It seems that Christmas is well and truly upon us! Mariah, Sinatra, Bublé and even Bieber are clearly going to be unavoidable for the next few weeks, and I for one LOVE it. But with the festive season comes a unique set of challenges for care homes and those in care, with that in mind, our question is what Christmas activities can we host that are fun and festive for everyone, without having to break the bank!
We’ve grouped our list of (borrowed) Christmas activity suggestions into four sections all with a special Christmas DIY touch! The first section focuses on Rudolf’s fantastic opportunities for reminiscing and reconnecting; Santa’s second section sparks ideas for DIY fun; Ms Claus ponders her thoughts for active activities in our third section; and finally, the Elves push for Winter Wonderful Games.
1. Rudolf’s Reminiscing & Reconnecting
Christmas is an incredibly nostalgic time full of traditions, family and loved ones. Making it a fantastic opportunity to reconnect care home residents with their nearest and dearest, here are a few Christmas activities perfect for care homes that want to help those they support reminisce and reconnect.
Help residents create & send Christmas cards – Family and friends (even church) love receiving them, and they couldn’t be easier to make! Fold an A4 piece of card in half, have lots of decorative bits and pieces and away you go. You could use old magazines or newspapers, ribbon, tissue paper, coloured pencils – all things you might already have in your craft box or can be purchased for little-to-no cost. For inspiration, you could create these simple cards, these button and ribbon cards or these tag cards.
A Christmas Wishes Tree – A Christmas Wishes tree is a really lovely way to allow people in your care home to share Christmas Wishes within the home and with friends and family. It may also give people time to reminisce and reflect on cherished memories and loved ones.
Cooking a tasty treat – who doesn’t love a tasty treat? Cook up some festive favourites and bring back memories and feelings of Christmas. Help those you support to reconnect with friends and family and invite them around to enjoy what you’ve cooked up!
What’s everyone’s favourite Christmas food? Mine’s a mince pie, and they’re fun and surprisingly easy to make, here’s an easy peasy mince pie recipe.
2. Santa’s DIY Décor
Get everyone in your care home involved in making some awesome Christmas Décor as a creative Christmas activity. Homemade is always better; take a look at these Christmas DIY ideas that could brighten up your care home or service and be fun for everyone to make and take part in.
Christmas Crackers – A must-have for Christmas, see how they can be made with this handy guide and create some crackers for a fantastically festive activity those you support will love.
Christmas Stockings – These would brighten up any room or care home, and are great fun for anyone wanting to show off their artistic flair, create your own stockings and give them as gifts to family and friends! See how to make your own Christmas Stockings.
Christmas Crafts Day: Invite friends and family and inspire everyone’s creativity with a day making some homemade Christmas Decorations. Want some ideas or inspiration? We love these homemade Christmas Wreaths and how cute are these Mason Jar Lid Snowmen? These could give any room a Christmassy touch of sparkle and make a greate activity for those in care.
3. Ms Claus Active Activities
Want Christmas activities that encourage more exercise for those in your care and activity this Christmas? These Christmas activites could be for you.
A Christmas dance – Why not find out what everyone’s favourite Christmas tunes are and set aside an afternoon for Christmas music and boogying? Pop on some Sinatra or Buddy Holly and bring some festive cheer to everyone in your care this Christmas.
A Christmassy Walk – Could you decorate a hallway or even the garden with a few festive surprises and encourage everyone to go for a winter walk? Create your very own wonderland and use the decorations you made earlier to display for all to see. This could be a great Christmas activity to get friends and family in on too!
Singing Carols – Why not get in the Christmas spirit and have a Carols sing-a-long afternoon! We know that singing releases endorphins or ‘happy chemicals’ (and even in some cases has shown to reduce the need for pain relief!), so host a sing-a-long and create some happy Christmas cheer for everyone in your care home.
4. The Elves Winter Wonderful Games
If you’re looking for some Christmas activities which are more low-key and calm, games are a fantastic option as a way of bringing festive joy to those you support throughout the Christmas period.
Christmas Jigsaw – A jigsaw puzzle can be an ideal small group or solo activity. The best thing about Christmas jigsaws is the variety of different shapes, sizes and complexity of puzzles so you can choose one that is best suited for each person/individual. They’re a great winter activity and always remind me of a cosy Christmas by the fire.
Name That Tune – Pull together a Christmas musical quiz and help people reminisce about a particular era or period of time; this could either be a quiz to write down the name of the song or a bingo form with images that are related to the song. There are a lot of awesome and free youtube videos of musical quizzes. We’d recommend this ‘Guess From the Intro’ Quiz.
A Christmas Story – Get everyone in your care home together, choose someone with a great reading voice and pick out a Christmas Story to read to the group. If appropriate, create a cosy atmosphere with lighting and blankets and let everyone sink into another world. ‘A Christmas Carol’ is obviously a festive favourite, as well as ‘The Elves and The Shoemaker’. It’s not technically Christmas, but I also love a bit of Harry Potter around this time of the year.
Whichever Christmas activities you choose to do this year, I hope this list has been all fun and games and helps to inspire some festive ideas for your team and the people you support.
Have a very Merry, Festive Christmas 🙂
For more info on how Nourish software can help in residential and nursing care, check out a few of our software features or discover the many benefits of adopting a person-centred approach to care plans.
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