December Activity Ideas

20 Nov

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


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