Activity Theme Ideas to Reduce Fidgeting

If you have residents who like to fidget throughout the day, then try to provide them with simple activities that they can easily capture their attention while keeping their hands busy. Here are 3 types of activities from to consider for your restless residents.

Lap Activities

senior fidget activities

Lap activities are great for your wheelchair bound residents, as your residents can easily hold them in their lap. For instance, use an activity pillow or an activity apron that provides a variety of lacing, buckling, and zipping activities for your residents. A smaller option is the fidgety bag that allows residents to easily move beads back and forth.

In addition, muffs that residents can easily fit on their hands work well too. Use an activity muff to help residents with their fidgety hands.

Finally, use squishy discs or massage balls to help your residents get a fun finger workout while keeping busy.

Lacing Activities

fidget board

Lacing activities provide residents with a fun project where they can use their fingers to lace an image or pattern. For instance, residents can interweave laces while working on a lacing board. Furthermore, with a lacing board residents are able to be creative by adding different shapes and colors with the blocks and laces. In addition, using a lacing ring is another option for residents to weave laces through.

Alternatively, if lacing boards or lacing rings seem too boring for your residents, then add a bit of personality to the activity by using lacing cards that have the images of cute animals.

Finally, if you also want to help your residents improve their color and pattern recognition, then use a rubber band and peg pattern card set that allows them to add colorful rubber bands to the pegs on the board.


fidget senior

In addition, schedule fun games that will keep your residents’ hands occupied. For example, set up a fun flip chips matching game that allows your resident to flip pieces in hopes of finding a match, or provide your resident with a catch-a-ball toss game to play. If the catch-a-ball toss game is too difficult, then use the classic paddle ball game for your resident to test out his paddling skills.

Finally, another fun game to play, especially when the grandchildren are around, is the Lite Brite game that allows your resident to be creative with color while sticking the pegs into the pattern.

About Not Just Bingo:

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Not Just Bingo 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 continue to assist activity professionals across the country by creating meaningful and engaging activity ideas for their residents that go “beyond bingo.” Not Just Bingo feels privileged 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!


Want even more ideas each month? Visit for how-to activity ideas, monthly newsletters, and daily holiday ideas. You can also sign up for the Notjustbingo Membership to receive specialized activity ideas to keep your residents and staff engaged, active, and having fun!

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