Our Across the USA theme continues with the month of April! Celebrate by recognizing the great state of Wyoming, known as the Cowboy State and the Equality State. Plan fun activities throughout the month that recognize Wyoming’s commitment to equal rights, mineral collection, and American wildlife.
Since Wyoming has “Equal Rights” as its motto and is known as the Equality State (it was the first state to give women the right to vote in 1869), try to tailor a few of your activities to the women in your facility. For instance, play a fun game of Toss and Talk – Women’s Stuff, in which the ladies toss an inflated ball back and forth and answer the questions that are on the ball. Another option is to play the purse game, in which you name an object (e.g., nail file, bottle of lotion, etc.) and give a small prize to the first person who removes that item from their purse.
Wyoming is unofficially known as the Jade State since jade is the state’s official gemstone. It is also known for mining large amounts of other minerals from its land, including diamonds, jasper, and gold. As a fun activity, organize a Beading Party for your residents featuring a variety of beautiful beads, like jade beads, gold beads, or crystal beads that resemble diamonds, so residents can create stunning bracelets and necklaces.
In addition, take residents outdoors for a Gem Walk to find and gather interesting rocks that are seen along the walkways. Once indoors, provide gel pens, Sharpies, or chalk markers for residents to create intriguing pieces of art with their rocks.
Host several animal-themed activities for your residents to pay tribute to the vast amounts of wildlife that are located within the borders of Wyoming, as well as the art that is featured in the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming.
- Plan an Owl Flying Lesson on a breezy day in April for residents to assemble and fly owl windsocks. Once the flying lesson is over, hang the finished windsocks in your facility’s backyard for the season.
- Invite your facility’s Sewing Club to make sock owls using a craft kit that includes the fabric, the owl features, and the fiberfill stuffing. Donate the finished stuffed animals to a local homeless shelter as toys for the kids.
- Schedule a Quilled Art Class featuring an owl paper quilling craft kit to teach residents the art of quilling paper. Hang the finished artwork, along with other artwork, in your Activity Room for a fun Art Gallery Happy Hour. Serve punch and appetizers to visiting residents and family members as they browse the artwork in your gallery.
- Host a Mini Jigsaw Puzzle Tournament, in which residents compete to quickly solve mini wild animal jigsaw puzzles as a fun afternoon activity in your Activity Room.
- Invite residents to attend a special Wild Animal Documentary Showing in your Activity Room. Borrow a DVD from your local library that showcases wild animals like the American Antelope, which can be found in Yellowstone National Park – the world’s first national park that is located mainly in Wyoming. To make the showing even more interesting, pass out deer antlers for participants to wear during the documentary. After the animal documentary, collect the antlers to reuse them for your Christmas festivities.
- Organize a Puzzle Competition in your facility, where you have the residents and staff members of each floor compete to be the first floor to finish a jigsaw puzzle that is located on their floor. Get everyone excited about the competition by displaying the trophy that the winning floor gets to keep and show-off if they win.
- Assist residents with a needlepoint craft where they can easily embroider a cute fox design! Use the supplied plastic needle and yarns to stitch through the preprinted plastic canvas and then frame to display their finished project.
- As an intergenerational activity with the grandkids, host a Gummy Bear Minute-to-
Win-It game, in which the kids try to be the first to find a gummy bear in their whipped cream pie without using their hands. Encourage residents to cheer on their grandkids!
- Residents can practice their hand-eye coordination with this 3D Inflatable Bear Target! They can use an easy draw crossbow to aim Velcro arrows at the center target.
- Invite the grandkids to also participate in an intergenerational Crafting with the Grandkids activity by making bear coin purses. Encourage residents to assist their grandkids with using the plastic needles that are provided with the kit to lace the coin purses.
- Have the group create this easy-to-assemble moose head out of punch and slot wood pieces. No tools required, simply slot fit the pieces together.
- For a fun one-on-one activity, grab a recipe and assist your resident with making a Moose Munch snack (popcorn, nuts, brown sugar, melted chocolate, and butter) that the two of you can enjoy while playing cards.
- Plan a Wool Felting Session to teach residents the art of needle felting with an easy-to-use needle-felt kit. Follow the instructions to create beautiful pictures that your residents can display, like a sheep with landscape.
- Encourage your Knitting Club to use colorful wool yarn to make scarves and hats that can be sold at one of your upcoming Craft Fairs. Use the proceeds for your activity supplies.
notjustbingo.com is an online resource of fun, senior activity ideas for activity professionals of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They have been providing fun activity ideas online since 2009, and we continue to assist activity professionals across the country by creating meaningful and engaging activity ideas for their residents that go “beyond bingo.” Don’t get them wrong – bingo is fun, but we want to spread the word that there is more to life than just bingo. Overall, notjustbingo.com feels privilege to help activity directors better the living experiences of their residents while demonstrating that a senior’s quality of life can actually improve when they move to a nursing facility.