Monthly Archives: November 2012

You be the judge

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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Activities


Holiday Baking

One of my fondest childhood memories is watching my mother cook holiday meals and treats.  She would always let me assist her with mixing and adding this or that and of course letting me be the “official taste tester”!  This meant I licked the bowl and spoon when she was done.  I always like to get recipes from my residents and bake or cook their favorite holiday treat.  Here are some fun cooking classes you can have with your residents.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels Recipe

Chocolate Covered Pretzels


Banana Bread Recipe

Graham Cracker House recipe

Gram cracker House

Gingerbread Boys Recipe

Gingerbread Cookies

Red Velvet Cake I Recipe

Red Velvet Christmas Cake

Soft Gingersnaps Recipe

Soft Ginger Snaps

Cranberry Orange Cookies Recipe

Cranberry Orange Cookies

Christmas Cake Recipe

Christmas Cake

Eggnog Cookies II Recipe

Eggnog Cookies

Christmas Fruitcake Recipe

Christmas Fruitcake

Candy Cane Fudge Recipe

Candy Cane Fudge

Santa’s Reindeer Poop

Hot Chocolate Santa Hat Brownies


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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Activities


December Activity Ideas

December is …

  • Bingo’s Birthday Month
  • National Tie Month
  • Safe Toys and Gifts Month
  • Spiritual Literacy Month

Tree Trimming Social

Invite residents to help you decorate your facility’s holiday trees. Play holiday music and serve holiday cookies as a snack.

Writing Holiday Cards & Notes

Invite residents to write holiday wishes to their loved ones. Supply residents with holiday cards and envelopes.

Jewish Culture

Share some Jewish culture with your residents during this Hanukkah season.

St. Nicholas Social

During this holiday season, share the history of St. Nicholas on this St. Nicholas Day and how it has evolved. Serve eggnog and Christmas cookies.

Deck the Halls

Invite your staff to assist your residents in decorating their doors for the Holidays.  

Name That Holiday Tune

Play the first few notes of a holiday song and have residents guess which song it is. Play the rest of the song as residents sing along.

Christmas Around the World

Share with residents how other countries celebrate this holiday season.

Make a Christmas List Social

Have fun with residents and talk about all the things they want for Christmas. Play holiday music and serve warm cider and holiday pastries.

Bingo Bonanza Social

Celebrate Bingo’s Birthday Month by hosting a facility-wide bingo party. Invite residents and family members or other facilities to come and have fun playing bingo.

December 1 

Basketball Tournament

Encourage residents to play one another in indoor basketball as you recognize the birth of basketball today by James Naismith. Have residents play in teams while sitting down. Put up a basket (e.g., wastebasket) into which the residents must throw the ball (Nerf ball or piece of balled-up paper). Keep score as you root on the residents.

History in Review Social

Reminisce about this day in history when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Ask residents where they were when they heard the news. Serve warm apple pie as a snack.

December 4

Whodunit? Mystery

Host a special whodunit? mystery on this day that the Mary Celeste ship was found sailing erratically with no one on board – and no one ever found! Assign characters to the residents and have them read their roles, and then guess “whodunit?”

Show & Tell Social

During this Cookie Cutter Week, host a “show and tell” program and invite residents to bring or talk about the cookie cutters they have used. If possible, invite someone from your community, possibly an antiques dealer, to come and show off their cookie cutters.

December 7 

Pearl Harbor Dedication

Show residents a documentary about Pearl Harbor and the start of World War I on this day that Pearl Harbor was attacked. Borrow the documentary Pearl Harbor: Commemorative Edition (2000) from your local library or video store.

December 9

Hanukkah Celebration Dinner

Host a special dinner for Jewish residents to celebrate Hanukkah. Coordinate with Dining Services to serve appropriate fried foods or foods baked in oil.

December 10

Hanukkah Art

During Hanukkah, show slides or a DVD to residents about the different artwork relating to the Hanukkah holiday, or a DVD about the Festival of Lights, like A Taste of Chanukah (1999). Borrow the DVD from your local library or video store.

Poetry Social

Read holiday poems to residents as you recognize poet Emily Dickinson’s birthday today. 

December 12

Ol’ Blue Eyes Social

Play Frank Sinatra music all afternoon as you serve sparkling apple cider and birthday cake to celebrate Frank Sinatra’s birthday today.

December 13

Movie Night: An American in Paris

Celebrate George Gershwin’s An American in Paris debut today by the New York Philharmonic. Show the movie An American in Paris (1951) with Gene Kelly.

December 15

Bill of Rights Day Quiz

Test your residents’ knowledge about the Bill of Rights by quizzing them about its history on this Bill of Rights Day. For instance, ask residents about which freedoms are covered by the First Amendment. (Answer: freedoms of speech, press and assembly.)

December 16

Boston Tea Party

Invite residents to have tea and pastries as they celebrate the historic Boston Tea Party that happened on this day. Serve an array of specialty teas for the residents.

Literary Moment

Celebrate English novelist Jane Austen’s birthday today by sharing interesting quotes of her work.

Happy Hanukkah Social

Celebrate this last day of Hanukkah this afternoon by sharing Jewish traditions during the holiday season. Serve latkes and sour cream as a snack.

December 17

This Day in History

Show the documentary Wright Brothers’ Flying Machine: Nova (2004) in honor of the brothers’ first flight on this day. Borrow the documentary from your local library or video store.

December 19

Movie Matinee: A Christmas Carol

Show the movie A Christmas Carol (1951) starring Alastair Sim on this day that Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol was published.

December 21

Jack Frost Memories

Honor this first day of winter by encouraging residents to reminisce about past winters. Serve warm cider.

Nostalgic Matinee

Invite residents to watch the classic movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) on this day that it opened. Borrow the DVD from your local library or video store.

Crossword Puzzle Tournament Social

Encourage residents to play crossword puzzles as you celebrate this birthday of the crossword puzzle. Give out crossword puzzles to residents and award the resident who finishes first. 

December 24

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Social

Celebrate this Christmas Eve with residents singing holiday songs,reading favorite Christmas stories, and sipping eggnog.

Holiday Movie Night: Miracle on 34th Street

Encourage residents to come out of their rooms and watch the movie Miracle on 34th Street (1947).

December 25

Christmas Day Parade

Encourage residents to come out and watch the annual Christmas Day parade on television.

Christmas Dinner

Coordinate with Dining Services to serve a special Christmas dinner for residents.

December 27

Big Band Showcase

Showcase big band music by playing music led by band leader Glenn Miller on this day that the “Glenn Miller Show” debuted on the radio.

December 29

Bowling Tournament

Encourage residents to compete in a bowling tournament on this day to honor the birthday of the bowling ball. Set up your facility’s bowling set and cheer residents on as they compete for a trophy and the title of “Your Facility’s Bowling Champion.”

December 31

Holiday Word List

Encourage residents to create as many words as they can from the words “New Year’s Eve.” List the words that the residents come up with on a giant board for all to see.

Last Day to …

Have fun with residents as you discuss what they would like to indulge in on this last day of the year before their New Year’s Resolutions kick in on the first of the year.

New Year’s Eve Social

Host a New Year’s Eve Social for residents to ring in the New Year. Serve sparking grape juice and warm appetizers.

Countdown to 2013

Help your late night residents (and staff) ring in the New Year by turning the television in your Activity Room to one of the New Year’s Eve parties.

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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Activities


Christmas Arts and Crafts

Christmas is such a fun time of the year to do crafts and there are so many craft ideas out there!  Here are just a few ideas I thought you and your residents would enjoy.  


Pinup Wreath

Decorate a wall or an interior door by hanging a holiday-card wreath. Using wood glue, affix miniature wooden clothespins to a large (about 14-inch-diameter) embroidery hoop. Alternate clothespins to point outward and inward, spaced 1 1/2 inches apart. Suspend from a ribbon, and clip your cards in place as you receive them

Sock Snowman

Dish Towel Angel

EASY Christmas crafts and one-of-a-kind gifts or a festive holiday decorations are found here. Designed with simple instructions and pictures make it possible for anyone to create Christmas crafts they can be proud of.This beautiful project is so simple and whimsical it would make a wonderful addition to a plate of cookies or a gift jar of stew mix. These are not just Christmas crafts. We love to make these little towel angels when sending food to families with a sick family member.

 Material needed for your Towel Angel

* 1 dishtowel
* 1 washcloth
* 1 Pot holder
* Ribbon


Fan Fold the dishtowel lengthwise (Fig. 1). Fold in half and tie off about 2 to 3 inches from fold, this forms the head (Fig. 2).

Fanfold the washcloth (Fig. 3). This forms the arms.

Fanfold the potholder with the loop along top edge (Fig. 4). This forms the wings. Place the washcloth on top of the potholder and secure in the center with a ribbon (Fig. 5).

Fig. 6 Lay towel on top of potholder and washcloth. Bring the arms (washcloth) around and tie together 1 inch from ends, this forms the hands and holds all the pieces together.

Angel Poem
An angel in the Kitchen
Watching the stew
Blesses your cooking
And all that you do.

Felt Penguin Ornament

 Felt Christmas Ornaments

Paper-Chain Garland

Break the bonds of tradition with this glam update to the classic paper-chain garland. The secret: shimmery double-sided scrapbook paper (a 12-inch by 12-inch page will yield two dozen 6-inch by 1-inch strips). Cut out strips, then staple bands to make interlocking circles, alternating solid and patterned sides as you go.

Read more: Paper Garland – Christmas Paper Craft – Good Housekeeping

Candy Cane Reindeer

Candy Cane Reindeer

Candy Christmas Wreath

Christmas Candy Wreath

Snow Globe

Christmas card Wreath:
(this project might take one or two 
times to finish)

You will need:
wooden clothespins(40 for each 
green paint
paint brush
red and green beads(medium size)

paint the clothespins and let dry.then take a clothes pin and run the wire through the middle of it,then take a bead and run the wire through it,then a clothespin,then bead and so on,do this 
until you get the size of the wreath that you want,then tie the wire closed.then put your Christmas cards on the end of each clothespin.

Apple Cinnamon
Ornament Craft
Materials Needed:
Cookie Cutters

Mix pretty much equal parts of the applesauce and the cinnamon until you get it to be a nice clay consistency
Roll the dough out on wax paper until it is 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Use the cookie cutters to cut out holiday shapes. With the straw, poke a small hole towards the top of the shape. Put the shapes in 
a warm spot to dry, this takes a few days! Once your sweet-smelling ornaments are dry you can string a 8 – 10 inch piece of ribbon through the hole you made with the straw and hang it up!

Paper Poinsettia Flowers

Mr. Sandman

Hand made card

Paper Angel

Craft Stick Christmas Tree Ornament

Foam Christmas trees

Christmas Tree Craft

Make a woven mat for kwanzaa

Make A Kwanzaa Woven Mat

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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Activities