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Fun ideas for seniors in retirement homes and long-term care facilities.

Entertainment Ideas for Seniors

We understand the importance of stimulating the minds of our wiser loved ones. Our 15+ years of experience making seniors smile, laugh, cry, bop along with us and even dance has taught us a lot about how to really reach our audience and deliver the kind of show that leaves a positive impact.

We can therefore tell what is good and what is going to work, so we've compiled this list of ideas over the years. Enjoy!

21 Fun Things To Do

1. Scavenger Hunt

Create teams of two or more and choose fun-to-find items within the home for the teams to find. Whichever team finds (or takes a picture of) all the items on their list first, wins.

2. What's In The Box?

All you need is a box, a blindfold and several items to put into the box. Blindfold the contestants, let them handle the items in the box and give them three tries to guess what's in the box. The one who guesses correctly first, wins.

3. Stickman

A secret word or phrase is chosen and written as a series of lines - one for each letter in each word. Players take turns guessing a letter. When correct, the letter is written down on the appropriate line and the player may guess the word or phrase to win. If the letter is not in in the word , the player draws one part of a stickman (1 head, 1 body, 2 arms and 2 legs = 6 turns).

A player loses by completing their stickman. The game continues until the word is completed or guessed or one player is left after all others have completed their stickman.

4. Truth or Dare or Joke

Players are given the choice between answering a question truthfully, or performing a "dare", or telling a joke.

5. Pass the Parcel

Prepare a fancy gift, using many layers of decorative wrapping paper. Residents take turns unwrapping the gift, one layer per person, and then passing the parcel to another resident for their turn. The person who unwraps the last layer receives the prize hidden deep inside! Imagine - wrapped presents within wrapped presents. Very fun.

6. Matinee Movie

Break out the popcorn and classics. Once the movie is over, discuss the best parts and the worst parts. Your residents are always interested to see what sticks out to other people and happy to say what stuck out to them.

7. Book a Live Show!

Definitely one of the best if not the best entertainment in the retirement industry! Treat your residents to something really special that they're gong to appreciate and thank you for.

8. Treasure Hunt

This is an excellent and fun way to stimulate seniors' home memory or to introduce a new resident to their surroundings.

9. Ice Cream Float/Milkshake Afternoon

Vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, Root Beer, Coke, Dr. Pepper and Ginger Ale. Put 50s rock n' roll on for some ambience and be sure to give couples two straws per drink!

10. Casino Evening

Black Jack table, two different types of Poker tables and three white dice is all you need for an evening of light-hearted gambling. The three white dice are rolled one at a time to simulate a slot machine. Use sweets, play money or pennies for ante.

11. Broken Telephone

Nothing gets people giggling faster than a good old game of Broken Telephone. Relay a message to a resident, who then tells another resident, who tells another resident... until the last person participating has been told. Who knows what madness will lie at the end of the line?

12. Lip Syncing Contest

Find out the songs your residents love best then challenge them to a lip syncing contest! Whoever receives the loudest applause wins.

13. I Spy

I spy with my little eye something fun for your residents! It's a familiar game and will give the seniors an opportunity to flex their memory muscles and language skills while having a good time with friends.

13, Mini Golf

Clear a large area out to make a six or nine-hole mini golf course. Use mugs tipped on their sides for holes and check out your local dollar store for toy plastic clubs. I recommend splurging on a pack of used golf balls.

14. Trivia Night

With a little effort you can google questions and answers that are chosen specifically to engage your resident's memory and intellectual prowess.

15. Choose Your Own Adventure

Find a few good Choose Your Own Adventure stories. Readers assume the role of the main character and influence the plot's outcome by deciding their actions and behavior at key points in the story. This is a fun way to spend an afternoon collaborating with friends.

16. An Evening of Murder Mystery

Interactive murder mystery games provide players with details of their character from the start, but it is up to the character to determine how they solve the murder. A wonderful way to practice memory feats and stimulate the mind.

17. An Afternoon of Magic

Either hire a magician to come out and entertain the folks live, or find someone who can livestream their tricks up close.

18. From The Gospel Deck

Choose 20-36 bible versus. Design a simple deck of cards with a verse on each card. Print the text side, cut the cards and then have the seniors decorate the backs. Leave the deck in a common room so people can draw from it when they want to read an uplifting or motivational verse.

19. Stained Glass Candy

Make beautiful and yummy stained glass ornaments. A quick google will give you all the information you need to spend a sweet afternoon with your residents.

20. Permission Deck

This is a wonderful treat for your residents. A deck of cards filled with fun and encouraging statements that will give them permission to do something nice for themselves. Print a large deck and leave it on a coffee table!

21. Name That Song

Based on the popular game "Name That Tune", have Daren or Lisa come out and play "Name That Song" with your residents!