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Recreational Nursing Home Activities to Consider

Considering whipping up activities for nursing home residents comes with a lot of considerations. As people who live there have different physical and cognitive conditions that make them unable to participate in some activities, cooking up recreational activities for everyone to enjoy is far from being an easy task.

But the goal here is to make their time in the nursing home a good one, isn’t it? Fortunately, you can count on us to recommend some engaging and fun activities for nursing home residents. Of course, we’ve considered the condition of ones under hospice care and the ones who can’t enjoy some activities due to their condition.

Nursing homes have recreational therapists you can consult regarding choosing the right activities based on the individual physical and cognitive abilities of the residents who will be participating.

You can opt to have activities that are done in groups to encourage socializing. To start, here are seven fun activities you can arrange for nursing home residents:

1. Birthday Parties

We all know that birthday parties come with different side activities. There’s good food, music, games, and some magic tricks! One of the most entertaining parts of arranging a birthday party is decorating the event space. Ask some of the residents if they’d like to participate in preparing to give them something fun to do.

You can also have fellow residents attend along with the celebrant’s family.

2. Storytelling

Who doesn’t like stories? It can be a life anecdote, a book, or anything that keeps people entertained with only listening and processing information is always a good recreational activity, especially for individuals who aren’t able to participate in physically engaging activities.

Young people normally read stories to seniors in nursing homes, but you can turn it around and have the elderly tell their life stories! This could be a way for them to socialize and share their experiences.

woman holding a man with a ball


3. Musical Events

Arrange singing activities that include tracks from varying decades to accommodate the age groups of nursing home residents. Gather the songs residents like and put them on the list. You can invite bands, choirs, and individual performers to entertain the residents.

As music is proven to be therapeutic for people of all ages, you’ll be helping the residents’ well-being through this.

4. Board and Card Games

To make the games fun, be sure to select games that are appropriate for the residents’ cognitive abilities. Don’t forget that you’re doing this to let them have fun. Add rewards that can be won at the end of the games to encourage them.

5. Ice Cream Socials

This is a popular event in nursing homes and other care facilities. The reason is that ice cream is found to have positive effects on the brain. Be careful not to let your residents overindulge, for too many sweets can be bad for them.

6. Holiday Events

Arranging parties that the residents and their families can participate in can be good for all parties involved. Granted that families can see their loved ones inside nursing homes, it’s always good for the residents and their families to have each other around, especially during the holidays.

7. Food Activities

Food activities can be from designing cakes, baking, and well, eating the finished product. Have the residents engaged with learning—or remembering how to bake the goodies they love.

Recreational activities can be good to take the stress and loneliness off residents inside nursing homes. They don’t get to enjoy the usual life outside, and regular participation in activities allows them to get a sense of normalcy even when they’re in a different environment from their homes.

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