Sample Activity Calendar for Seniors with Dementia
August 2023 Dementia Activity Calendar
Find fun senior activity ideas for your Alzheimer’s and dementia residents in the calendar below that you can easily add to your senior facility’s activity calendar.
TIP: Click on the links in the calendar box below to see more information about each activity.
TIP: Use the following monthly themes as inspiration for activity ideas.
August is …
- American Adventures Month
- American Artist Appreciation Month
- Boomers Making a Difference Month
- Bystander Awareness Month
- Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month
- Children’s Vision and Learning Month
- Get Ready for Kindergarten Month
- Happiness Happens Month
- International Pirate Month
- Motorsports Awareness Month
- National Back-to-School Month
- National Black Business Month
- National Eye Exam Month
- National Immunization Awareness Month
- National Minority Donor Awareness Month
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month
- Read-a-Romance Month
- What Will Be Your Legacy Month
TIP: Click on the following days of the month to see activity ideas for that specific day.
TIP: Find activities that are classified to help you easily find the types of activity ideas that you need for your calendar.
Each day contains six types of activities:
- Craft: easy and fun craft projects for residents
- One-on-One: meaningful activities that are ideal for one resident
- Exercise: enjoyable physical activities to keep residents moving
- Bedside: simple bedside activities that appeal to at least one of the resident's senses
- Reminiscing: interesting discussion activities for higher-functioning dementia residents
- Sensory Stimulation: fun, interactive, large-group activities to stimulate the senses
TIP: Click on the highlighted links below to get more information (instructions, recipes, or pictures) to assist with completing the activity.
- Birthday: Jerry Garcia, American bluegrass and folk musician (1942)
- Emancipation Day in Trinidad and Tobago
- Frontierswoman Calamity Jane died (1903)
- MTV, a music video channel, premiered (1981)
- National Raspberry Cream Pie Day
Crafts: Musical Instruments
Assist residents with creating musical instruments to use for the upcoming Making the Band activity. Supply residents with household materials, like canisters, tape, and dried beans or rice, to create the instruments.
One-on-One: Would You Want to Do It?
In recognition of this day that frontierswoman Calamity Jane died, borrow a tablet to share frontier photos with your resident of what life was like back then. Ask your resident whether he ever wanted to know what it was like living on the frontier.
Exercise: Let's Do a Flash Mob
On this anniversary of the premiere of MTV, a music video channel, teach your residents a simple routine to perform as a flash mob in a common area of your facility.
Bedside: Guess the Berry
Recognize this National Raspberry Cream Pie Day by inviting your resident to play a berry-tasting game. To play, first blindfold your resident. Then give her an assortment of summer berries to see if she can identify each berry by taste.
Reminiscing: Caribbean Life
On this Emancipation Day in Trinidad and Tobago, reminisce with residents about whether they ever thought about retiring to the Caribbean. Share a list of the best places to retire in the Caribbean to see if your residents agree.
Sensory Stimulation: Making the Band
For this birthday of bluegrass and folk musician Jerry Garcia, pass out the musical instruments that were created earlier during the Crafts activity to see who wants to join your folk band. For the activity, play American folk songs for residents to play their instruments and sing along with.
- Birthday: Myrna Loy, America's favorite leading lady of the 1930s (1905)
- First U.S. census began (1790)
- National Coloring Book Day
- Tu B'Av, an annual Jewish holiday that is celebrated as a holiday of love, like Valentine's Day (begins at sundown on August 1)
Crafts: Coloring Wrapping Paper
On this National Coloring Book Day, supply residents with nature coloring pages to fill in with colored pencils that you can use to wrap your bingo prizes as fun summer gifts. For the activity, encourage residents to color in the coloring pages with vibrantly colored pencils. Then use the coloring pages to wrap some of your smaller bingo prizes using double-sided tape. Use the wrapped prizes as fun gifts for winners of an upcoming game or activity.
One-on-One: Puff Pastry Hearts
Recruit your resident to help you bake a batch of puff pastry hearts on this day of the Jewish holiday that is celebrated as a holiday of love, Tu B'Av. Use puff pastry and cherry pie filling for the treat.
Exercise: Color Relay
For this National Coloring Book Day, set up a fun color relay game in which residents get their exercise while sorting colors. For the activity, divide residents into teams, and have all the teams sit on one side of the room. Then place a bowl of assorted colored goldfish crackers in a bowl for each team on a table on the other side of the room. For the relay, have one person from each team walk over to the table and begin sorting the colored fish crackers into the colored labeled cups. Once done, have them return to their team and tag the next person. Meanwhile, empty the sorted crackers back into the team's bowl for the next person to sort. The first team whose participants have successfully sorted their goldfish crackers wins.
Bedside: Love Is in the Air
Surprise your resident with a few heart balloons for your resident's room on this day of Tu B'Av, an annual Jewish holiday that is celebrated as a holiday of love, like Valentine's Day. To make the balloons, first inflate white and pink balloons with helium. Then cut out heart shapes from red tissue paper before applying to the balloons using Mod Podge.
Reminiscing: Who's That 1930s Celebrity?
Reminisce with residents about Old Hollywood celebrities on this birthday of 1930s actress Myrna Loy. Use a tablet to show the faces of popular movie stars of the 1930s to see if residents remember them. Afterwards, ask residents to discuss their favorite movie stars of all time.
Sensory Stimulation: Bird Census
Invite your residents outdoors to conduct a bird count on this day that the first U.S. census began. For the activity, find places outdoors (or indoors near a large picture window) for residents to sit and count the number of birds that are sitting, walking, flying, or swimming. Supply residents with pencils to make the tally marks on their sheet.
- Bangor State Fair in Bangor, Maine (August 3-6)
- Birthday: Ernie Pyle, American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist (1900)
- Birthday: Maggie Kuhn, American activist against age discrimination after she was forced into retirement at 65 (1905)
- Lollapalooza, an annual music festival in Chicago, Illinois (August 3-6)
- Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis, Wisconsin (August 3-13)
Crafts: Cheese Stick Flowerpots
On this first day of the Wisconsin State Fair, a state known for its cheese, assist residents with turning string cheese into cheese stick flowerpots to pass out to visitors. To make the flowerpots, first have residents use green permanent markers to draw stems onto the back of the string cheese package. Then have residents draw flowers using a different colored marker. Next, cut out pieces of brown construction paper to assemble into flowerpots to attach to the bottom of the packaged cheese using tape. Place the finished cheese stick flowerpots in a basket as a snack for your facility's visitors to help themselves.
One-on-One: Newspaper Pic Match
In recognition of this birthday of American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ernie Pyle, grab a newspaper to play a fun matching game with your resident using newspaper articles and pictures. Before the activity, cut out articles and their pictures. (Cut out at least 10 newspaper articles with their pictures.) Then place all the articles on one side of the table and all the pictures on the other side. Then have your resident work to see if she can match the correct newspaper article with its picture.
Exercise: Newspaper Target Toss
Recognize this birthday of journalist Ernie Pyle by grabbing a sheet of newspaper to play a newspaper target toss game with residents. Beforehand, use a red marker to draw a target on the newspaper sheet. Then during the activity, seat residents in a large circle, and place the newspaper target on the floor in the middle of the circle. Next, have residents take turns tossing coins or bingo chips to see who can land theirs in the bullseye.
Bedside: What's the Instrument?
Play a video of sounds from musical instruments for your resident to try to identify on this first day of Lollapalooza, an annual music festival in Chicago, Illinois.
Reminiscing: Everyday Ageism
Reminisce with residents about whether they have ever felt discriminated against based on their age on this birthday of Maggie Kuhn, the anti-age discrimination activist who was forced into retirement at 65. Reveal a few ageist stereotypes to see whether your residents have ever heard them before.
Sensory Stimulation: Pine Tree Art
For this first day of the Bangor State Fair in Bangor, Maine, the state that has the nickname "The Pine Tree State," assist residents with creating pine trees on paper using paint and plastic forks. For the activity, print out the tree template. (To print the template, simply hover your mouse over the image. Then right-click the mouse and click "Open image in new tab" before printing from your browser.) Then have residents use brown colored pencils to color in the trunks of the trees. Next, add a few dollops of green paint to paper plates for residents to dip their plastic forks in before stamping on the trees to create pine needles. Once the paintings have dried, frame and hang the tree art for the season.
- Birthday: Glenn Cunningham, American track athlete (1909)
- Birthday: Louis Vuitton, French fashion designer (1821)
- Birthday: Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (1900)
- Birthday: William Schuman, American composer who was president of the Juilliard School of Music in New York City (1910)
- Sturgis Rally, an annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota (August 4-13)
- Tall Timber Days Festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan (August 4-6)
Crafts: D.I.Y. Louis Vuitton Bags
In recognition of this birthday of French fashion designer Louis Vuitton, provide residents with paper bags to create their own paper bag paintings. For the activity, first have residents cover one side of their paper bags with liquid watercolors. Then when the watercolors dry, have residents use chalk to add designs to their bags.
One-on-One: English Hat Maker
Recognize this birthday of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, by showing your resident how to make a hat worthy of an English tea party. To make the hat, simply place a large sheet of newspaper over your resident's head and wrap with masking tape. Then add flowers (faux or fresh from your garden) around the head, securing with tape. Finally, roll up the ends of the newspaper to create the hat's brim.
Exercise: Walking Track
Create a walking track in the hallways of your facility for residents to walk in recognition of this birthday of American track athlete Glenn Cunningham. To create the track, simply place balloons along the hallways that you want residents to walk. To encourage residents to complete the track, place easy-to-complete puzzles at the end of each long hallway for residents to collect and complete before turning in for a fun prize.
Bedside: Guess the School
On this birthday of William Schuman, the former president of the famous Juilliard School of Music in New York City, quiz your resident about his knowledge of famous schools and universities. For the activity, read off the description to see if he can guess the school.
Reminiscing: Ever Been on a Motorcycle?
For this first day of the Sturgis Rally, an annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, reminisce with residents about whether they have ever ridden on or driven a motorcycle. Afterwards, ask residents whether it should be lawful to ban motorcycles from certain areas because of noise, like from parks or from residential areas after a certain time of night. Then ask whether they would be in favor of having electric motorcycles.
Sensory Stimulation: Tree Bark Animals
Gather bark from your outdoor trees on this first day of the Tall Timber Days Festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan so that residents can create bark animal drawings. Before the activity, gather light-colored bark that has fallen off your facility's trees for residents can draw on using markers.
- Birthday: Joseph Justus Scaliger, French scholar who founded scientific chronology (1540)
- Birthday: Sydney Omarr, world-famous astrologer (1926)
- First English colony in North America was established in Newfoundland (1583)
- Sandcastle Day
- Satchmo SummerFest, an annual jazz music festival celebrating Louis Armstrong in New Orleans, Louisiana (August 5-6)
Crafts: Newfoundland Row Houses
In recognition of this day that the first English colony in North America was established in Newfoundland, recruit one of your artistic residents to help you prepare a Newfoundland canvas art project for your residents to paint. Before the activity, provide your volunteer with a mini canvas for each resident who will participate in the activity, and have your volunteer use a pen to draw two row houses onto each canvas panel. To make the drawing easier, have your volunteer place the canvases side by side to create one long line of row houses. Then during the activity, provide each resident with one of the canvases to paint in fun colors. Finally, once all the canvases have been painted, hang the finished canvases side-by-side on an empty wall in your Activity Room for the season.
One-on-One: Under-the-Sea Food Art
Celebrate the ocean on this Sandcastle Day by recruiting your resident to assist you with assembling under-the-sea food art using different types of fruits, celery, and cereal.
Exercise: Chair Zumba Moves
For this first day of the annual musical festival Satchmo SummerFest in New Orleans, Louisiana, lead residents in a few fun chair Zumba moves.
Bedside: Movie Chronology
Test your movie-buff-resident about the chronology of popular movies on this birthday of Joseph Justus Scaliger, the French scholar who founded scientific chronology that places events in order of occurrence. For the activity, read off two random but popular movie titles, and award your resident a point if she correctly guesses the movie that was made first.
Reminiscing: Do You Read Your Horoscope?
On this birthday of world-famous astrologer Sydney Omarr, reminisce with residents about whether they have ever used an astrologer or palm reader as a life guide. Afterwards, take your local paper and read the day's horoscopes for each of the zodiacs to see if your residents think that their horoscope is true for them.
Sensory Stimulation: Clay Sandcastles
Prepare a sand clay for residents to use to construct their own sandcastles on this Sandcastle Day. Use sand, cornstarch, alum, and water for the clay. Place the clay on individual trays for residents to work on to build their sandcastles.
- American Family Day in Arizona
- Birthday: Louella Parsons, Hollywood gossip columnist (1881)
- Independence Day in Bolivia
- National Root Beer Float Day
- Palio del Golfo, an annual rowing contest in Italy
- Sisters' Day
Crafts: Pipe Cleaner Cacti
Supply residents with green pipe cleaners, pink yarn, scissors, and tacky glue to create pipe cleaner cacti in recognition of this American Family Day in Arizona.
One-on-One: Human Bingo
On this birthday of gossip columnist Louella Parsons, help one of your facility's newest residents chat it up with others by helping her play a game of human bingo, in which she needs to talk to others to see whether they match any of the characteristics on her bingo card. Walk with your resident to try to complete her whole bingo card.
Exercise: Bolivian Racquetball
Recognize this Independence Day in Bolivia by inviting residents to play the country's second popular sport – racquetball. To play, divide residents into pairs, and have each pair sit in chairs that are about five feet from the wall in your Activity Room, with the chairs facing the wall. Then provide each pair with plastic tennis rackets to hit an inflated balloon back and forth to one another by first hitting the balloon against the wall.
Bedside: Root Beer Float Popsicles
Make a few root beer float popsicles for you and your resident to sample on this National Root Beer Float Day. Use vanilla ice cream, root beer, and maraschino cherries for the popsicles. Be sure to make the popsicles early in the day so that the two of you can sample them in the afternoon.
Reminiscing: Can You Name the Sisters?
For this Sisters' Day, share photos of popular Hollywood sisters with residents to see if they can identify the sisters. Afterwards, reminisce with residents about their favorite actors and actresses.
Sensory Stimulation: Banana Gondolas
Have fun with residents as you use fruit to construct banana gondolas on this day of the Palio del Golfo, an annual rowing contest in Italy.
- Birthday: Abebe Bikila, Ethiopian Olympic marathoner (1932)
- National Lighthouse Day
- Picnic Day in Australia
- Professional Speakers Day
Crafts: Beach Rock Art
Supply residents with rocks, paint, and felt to create fun beach rock art on this National Lighthouse Day to display in your facility for the season. Once the rock art has been finished, use hot glue to attach drink umbrellas to each of the felt towels.
One-on-One: Paper Napkin Flower
In recognition of this Picnic Day in Australia, gather pretty picnic napkins or paper cocktail napkins to teach your resident how to create a paper napkin flower.
Exercise: It's Time to Stretch
For this birthday of Ethiopian Olympic marathoner Abebe Bikila, help your residents stretch their muscles for the day by leading them in a fun and gentle body stretch.
Bedside: Would You Rather...and Why?
Invite your resident to get chatting on this Professional Speakers Day by asking her a few summer-themed Would You Rather? questions so that she can make a choice between two scenarios.
Reminiscing: How to Pick a Ripe Watermelon?
On this Picnic Day in Australia, reminisce with residents about how to pick the best watermelon. Share a few watermelon-picking tips for residents to use as they help you pick between two watermelons to determine the ripest. (Beforehand, coordinate with Dining Services to provide you with two whole watermelons and a person to slice the watermelons for your residents.) Once residents have made their picks, slice the two watermelons to give residents a sample of each to determine whether they picked the ripest watermelon.
Sensory Stimulation: Edible Camera Treats
Celebrate this vacation season with residents by showing them how to assemble edible camera treats using graham crackers, sugar wafer cookies, white and colorful icing, and candies.
- Birthday: Dino De Laurentiis, Italian film producer (1919)
- Birthday: Florence August Merriam Bailey, American ornithologist and nature writer (1863)
- Birthday: Odie, the dog from the "Garfield" comic strip (1978)
- Happiness Happens Day
- International Cat Day
- World's Fair of Money in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (August 8-12)
Crafts: Bean Birds
For this birthday of American ornithologist Florence August Merriam Bailey, assist residents with making bean birds using giant fava beans, pinto beans, cereal box cardboard, paint, sticks, yellow paper, and white glue. To make the birds, first cut out oval shapes from the cereal box cardboard and paint in a light blue. Once the paint dries, glue on the fava beans and twigs. Next, glue a smaller pinto bean onto each fava bean (for the wings), and add yellow paper beaks.
One-on-One: Making a Flipbook
Teach your resident how to create a flipbook on this birthday of Italian film producer Dino De Laurentiis, using a stack of paper and a pencil.
Exercise: Coin Toss
On this first day of the World's Fair of Money in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, invite residents to participate in a fun coin toss game. Beforehand, use a ruler, marker, and white paper to create a grid of 2-inch squares. Then during the activity, have residents flip coins, and award a point if the coin lands completely in a square without touching any of the lines.
Bedside: Kitten Clutch
Show your resident how to sew a kitten clutch purse for a grandchild on this International Cat Day. To make the clutch, first cut out complimentary-colored felt pieces using the clutch template. Then sew the pieces together before adding on a button nose and button eyes. Next, use glue to attach string whiskers to the cat.
Reminiscing: Favorite T.V. Dogs
Reminisce with residents about their favorite T.V. dogs on this birthday of "Garfield" comic strip dog Odie. Afterwards, share a list of the most popular dog characters to see if your residents agree.
Sensory Stimulation: Pasta Faces
Celebrate this Happiness Happens Day with residents by assisting them with making smiley faces using pasta. For the activity, cut out circles or other shapes from cardboard. Then have residents glue on pasta to make facial expressions. Next, have residents use paintbrushes to paint the pasta and cardboard in one solid color. For the activity, use a variety of pasta, including macaroni, pearl couscous, and alphabet pasta.
- Birthday: Izaak Walton, English author of fishing treatises (1593)
- Birthday: Michael Kors, American fashion designer (1959)
- Birthday: Tove Jansson, Finnish artist and cartoonist (1914)
- International Day of the World's Indigenous People
- President Richard Nixon resigned (1974)
- Robert Gray became the first American to circumvent Earth (1790)
Crafts: Tie-Dyed Tanks
Pay tribute to fashion designer Michael Kors on this day that he was born by inviting residents to make children's tie-dyed tanks using Sharpie markers. To make the tanks, first twist them as described on the website and add rubber bands. Then color each section with a different colored Sharpie. Next, placed the colored shirt balls on a tray and add rubbing alcohol to the shirts. Finally, allow the shirt balls to dry for 48 hours before removing the rubber bands. Encourage residents to send the finished tanks to their grandchildren as gifts.
One-on-One: Bubble Art
Assist your resident with creating bubble art on this birthday of Finnish artist Tove Jansson. To make the artwork, fill paper bowls with paint and dish soap. Then use a straw to blow bubbles in the bowl. Next, take a sheet of paper and place over the bubbles to imprint the bubbles and their colors onto the paper. Allow the paper to dry before framing as summer wall art.
Exercise: Bottle Up
For this birthday of fishing treatise author Izaak Walton, create fishing lines (using wooden dowels, strings, and rings from your ring toss game) for residents to play the Bottle Up game to try to lift the bottle upright.
Bedside: America's Indigenous People
Borrow a tablet to share a video about America's Indigenous people with your resident on this International Day of the World's Indigenous People.
Reminiscing: Where Were You When...?
In recognition of this day that President Richard Nixon resigned, reminisce with residents about where they were when they heard the news. Afterwards, share a few other significant events in history, and ask residents where they were when those events happened.
Sensory Stimulation: Earth Sun Catchers
On this day that Robert Gray became the first American to circumvent Earth, assist residents with making Earth sun catchers. To make the sun catchers, provide each resident with plastic lids to fill with glue, along with blue and green glitter. Allow the glue to dry, and punch a hole in the top to thread with ribbon for hanging.
- Birthday: Eddie Fisher, American singer and actor (1928)
- Birthday: Herbert Hoover, American president (1874)
- Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa (August 10-20)
- National Lazy Day
- National S'mores Day
- World Lion Day
Crafts: Lazy Thursday Craft
Help residents celebrate this National Lazy Day by providing them with a super easy craft of making Washi tape pencils by simply wrapping pencils in colorful Washi tape.
One-on-One: Baked Elephant Ears
Recruit your resident to help you bake a batch of a state fair food staple – elephant ears – on this first day of the Iowa State Fair.
Exercise: Playing Hoover Ball
Encourage residents to play a variation of the game Hoover Ball on this birthday of President Herbert Hoover, for whom the game was named. To play, set up your volleyball net in your Activity Room, and have residents sit on either side of the net. Then have the teams hit a beach ball back and forth over the net, only allowing it to be hit once on their side before returning over the net. Award a point when the opposing team fails to return the ball over the net in one hit.
Bedside: Lion Icebox Cookies
Bake a batch of lion icebox cookies for your resident to sample on this World Lion Day.
Reminiscing: The Most Hollywood Marriages
On this birthday of Hollywood actor Eddie Fisher, who had five wives (including Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor, and Connie Stevens), reminisce with residents about the Hollywood stars who have had the most marriages over the years.
Sensory Stimulation: Creative S'mores Party
Invite residents to assemble s'mores to grill in your facility's toaster oven on this National S'mores Day. (On the website, scroll down to read the "Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens" section to view s'mores variations for residents to sample.)
- Birthday: Carrie Jacobs Bond, American composer (1862)
- Birthday: David Rice Atchison, Missouri legislator who became president of the United States for the day pending the swearing in of President-elect Zachary Taylor in 1849 (1807)
- Long Beach Jazz Festival in Long Beach, California (August 11-13)
- National Raspberry Tart Day
Crafts: Colorful Starfish
For this first day of the Long Beach Jazz Festival in Long Beach, California, assist residents with making colorful starfish. For the activity, first trace the starfish template onto art paper. Then use oil pastels to create designs on the starfish before using watercolors to paint the whole starfish. Once the paint has dried, cut out the starfish, and use glue to add embellishments, like sequins or gems, to the starfish.
One-on-One: Ladybug Tart
Recruit your resident to assist you with making a lady bug tart to sample this summer, using blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
Exercise: Beach Ball Toss
On this first day of the Long Beach Jazz Festival in Long Beach, California, invite residents to play a game of beach ball toss. To play, hang a hula hoop from a tree in the backyard. Then award a point each time a resident is able to toss a beach ball through the hoop. To make the activity a bit more challenging, attach a jingle bell to the hoop using a pipe cleaner. Then award an extra point if the person can toss the ball through the hoop without ringing the bell.
Bedside: Playing With Our Food
In recognition of this National Raspberry Tart Day, take a variety of cut pieces of fruit for your resident to arrange as fun fruit art before she eats it.
Reminiscing: We'll See How They Do
Recognize this birthday of David Rice Atchison, the Missouri legislator who became president of the United States for the day pending the swearing in of President-elect Zachary Taylor in 1849, by reminiscing with residents about whether they were ever pleasantly surprised by how a politician did in office, even one that they didn't vote for. Afterwards, read through a list of popular politicians to see if your residents like them, even if they didn't vote for them.
Sensory Stimulation: Folk Song Karaoke
Use your tablet to play fun American folk songs for a fun Karaoke activity on this birthday of composer Carrie Jacobs Bond. For the activity, seat residents in a circle, and toss a ball to a resident. Whoever catches the ball gets to read and sing along to the lyrics on your tablet. When they are finished, have them toss the ball to another person in the circle, who then gets to read and sing along with the next song, and so on.
- Birthday: Michael Kidd, American dancer and choreographer (1915)
- Birthday: Zerna Sharp, American educator who created the "Dick and Jane" readers (1889)
- International Youth Day
- National Garage Sale Day
- Vinyl Record Day
Crafts: CD Flowers
For this Vinyl Record Day, gather some of your facility's old CDs for residents to turn into hanging summer flowers. To make the flowers, first have residents pick out two complimentary sheets of tissue paper before cutting the paper into squares. Next, have residents cover one side of the CD with glue and the tissue paper squares (lying flat). Once the CD is covered, have residents begin balling up the remaining tissue squares to glue onto the flat tissue squares. Finally, add glue to the back of the CDs to attach ribbon for hanging.
One-on-One: Reading Out Loud
On this birthday of Zerna Sharp, the American educator who created the "Dick and Jane" readers, encourage one of your quieter residents to communicate more as the two of you take turns reading out loud to one another. Pick a subject of interest, like Black Friday, diamonds, or The Bermuda Triangle.
Exercise: Parachute Party
Help residents get their exercise by playing a fun parachute game in your Activity Room on this International Youth Day. To play, seat residents in a large circle, and have each participant hold the end of the parachute. Then assign every other person to be on the same team – either the red team or the blue team – so if you have an even number of residents, no players on the same team are sitting next to each other. Next, inflate five red balloons and place them on the parachute and inflate five blue balloons and place them on the parachute too. When everyone is ready, encourage each participant to shake the parachute to try to knock off the opposing team's balloon – so the red team wants to keep their red balloons on the parachute and only knock off the blue balloons, while the blue team wants to keep their blue balloons on the parachute and only knock off the red balloons. The first team whose has all five balloons fall off the parachute loses.
Bedside: A Dancing Bird
In recognition of this birthday of choreographer and dancer Michael Kidd, invite your resident to assist you with assembling a bird marionette for one of her grandchildren. For the craft, use pom-poms, Mardi Gras beads, felt, googly eyes, metal washers, craft sticks, glue, feathers, and thin string or fishing line.
Reminiscing: Best Things to Buy at a Garage Sale
In celebration of this National Garage Sale Day, reminisce with residents about whether they liked to frequent garage sales in their neighborhood. Afterwards, ask residents to name the top items that shoppers should buy at garage sales.
Sensory Stimulation: Lemon Fruit Stampings
Celebrate this summer day with residents by making lemon fruit stampings using freshly cut lemons, paint or ink pad, and paper. To make the stampings, have residents rub off any excess moisture from their cut lemons before either applying paint to the lemon with a paintbrush or placing the lemon on an ink pad. Once the lemon is covered, have residents press the lemon onto paper to create rows of different colored lemon prints. After the prints have dried, cut out some of the cleanest looking prints to frame and hang for the season.
- Birthday: Don Ho, Hawaiian singer who introduced Hawaiian music to America (1930; some sources say August 19)
- Birthday: John Logie Baird, Scottish inventor who was the first to demonstrate a working television (1888; some sources say August 14)
- Birthday: William Caxton, the first English printer (1422)
- Feast of Lanterns (Bon Festival) in Japan (August 13-15)
- International Left-Handers Day
Crafts: Styrofoam Prints
In recognition of this birthday of William Caxton, the first English printer, invite residents to make colorful Styrofoam prints. To make the prints, first have residents use a pencil to draw a design onto the back of a Styrofoam plate. Then use a brush to apply paint to the Styrofoam and create a print onto paper.
One-on-One: Summer Lanterns
Assist your resident with turning glass jars into summer lanterns for your backyard patio tables on this first day of the Feast of Lanterns (Bon Festival) in Japan. To make the lanterns, first wipe the outside of the jar clean with rubbing alcohol. Then pick two to three complimentary paint colors, and dip a cotton swab into the paint to place polka dots all around the jar. After decorating the jar, spray the jar with a clear sealant to seal in the paint. Next, fill the jar with sand and a battery-operated tea light for illumination. Set the finished jars out on the patio tables for residents to use in the evenings.
Exercise: Non-Dominant Bowling
On this International Left-Handers Day, have fun with residents as you encourage them to participate in a fun bowling game, in which residents try to knock down pins using their non-dominant hand.
Bedside: Drawing With Non-Dominant Hand
For this International Left-Handers Day, bring a sketchbook and instructions on how your resident can tap into her creativity by drawing with her non-dominant hand.
Reminiscing: My Family's First T.V.
Reminisce with residents about their family's first television on this birthday of John Logie Baird, the Scottish inventor who was the first to demonstrate a working television. Use a tablet to share a few pictures of early television sets to spark a few memories.
Sensory Stimulation: Tiny Bubbles Concert
- Largest Gothic church in northern Europe, the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, was completed (1880)
- National Creamsicle Day
- Navajo Code Talkers Day, recognizing the achievements of the Code Talkers who translated military messages in the Navajo language during World War II
- U.S. Amateur (Golf) Championship in Parker, Colorado (August 14-20)
- World Lizard Day
Crafts: Pueblo Pottery
On this Navajo Code Talkers Day, recognizing the achievements of the Code Talkers who translated military messages in the Navajo language during World War II, assist residents with using air-dry clay and paint to make American Indian pottery.
One-on-One: Making Creamsicles
Recruit your resident to assist you with making a batch of creamsicle popsicles on this National Creamsicle Day.
Exercise: Target Golf
Take a cardboard box to make a target golf game for residents to play on this first day of the U.S. Amateur (Golf) Championship in Parker, Colorado.
Bedside: Hymn Sing Along
Use your tablet to set up a hymn sing along with your resident on this day that the largest Gothic church in northern Europe was completed.
Reminiscing: Household Pests
For this World Lizard Day, reminisce with residents about the household pests that they have tried to eliminate from their home, like lizards, mice, or groundhogs. Afterwards, share a list of the top tips for controlling pests around the home.
Sensory Stimulation: Waffle Ice Cream Cones
Supply residents with waffles, blueberries, raspberries, and yogurt to assemble their own waffle ice cream cones to sample on this summer afternoon.
- Independence Day in India
- National Lemon Meringue Pie Day
- Panama Canal opened (1914)
- Vermont State Fair in Rutland, Vermont (August 15-19)
- Woodstock music festival in Bethel, New York began (1969)
Crafts: Tie-Dye Seashells
Show residents how to create tie-dye seashells using Sharpie markers on this day that the Woodstock music festival in Bethel, New York began.
One-on-One: Lemon Meringue Cookies
Invite your resident to help you whip egg whites to make a batch of lemon meringue cookies on this National Lemon Meringue Pie Day.
Exercise: Boxing Jabs
For this day that the Panama Canal opened, invite residents to exercise while playing one of Panama's favorite sports – boxing. For the activity, inflate balloons with helium, and add string and weights to the balloons so that the balloons are at arm height for your seated residents. Then have residents practice their left and right jabs by hitting the balloons.
Bedside: Henna Tattoos
Use a washable marker to give your resident a henna tattoo on this Independence Day in India.
Reminiscing: Small Town Charm
In recognition of this first day of the Vermont State Fair, reminisce with residents about the small, quaint towns that they have visited. Use a tablet to share photos with residents of some of the best small towns of each state.
Sensory Stimulation: Tie-Dye Cloud Dough
Recognize this day that the Woodstock music festival in Bethel, New York began by supplying residents with food coloring, cornstarch, and hair conditioner to make a tie-dye cloud dough.
- Birthday: Fess Parker, American actor and wine vintner (1924)
- National Roller Coaster Day
- Singer Elvis Presley died (1977)
- Sun Prairie's Sweet Corn Festival in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin (August 16-20)
Crafts: Wine Cork Hyacinths
In recognition of this birthday of actor and wine vintner Fess Parker, supply residents with wine corks to create hyacinth paintings. To make the paintings, first have residents dip cotton swabs into green paint to create flower stems on paper. Then have residents dip their wine corks into purple paint to begin adding purple flowers to the stems to create the hyacinths.
One-on-One: Balloon Wine
Encourage your resident to help you make a batch of balloon wine on this birthday of actor and wine vintner Fess Parker, using three cans of frozen grape juice, yeast, sugar, a balloon, a funnel, water, a rubber band, and a gallon container.
Exercise: It's All in the Hips
On this day that singer Elvis Presley died, invite residents to do their best Elvis Presley dance impersonation while listening to his hits.
Bedside: Virtual Coaster
Use a tablet to take your resident on a few virtual coasters on National Roller Coaster Day.
Reminiscing: Favorite Elvis Memory
Reminisce with residents about their fond memories of singer Elvis Presley on this day that he died. Encourage residents to share their favorite memories of the singer.
Sensory Stimulation: Popcorn Kernel Mosaics
Gather food coloring to dye popcorn kernels for residents to use to make popcorn kernel mosaics on this first day of Sun Prairie's Sweet Corn Festival in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. For the activity, supply residents with trays to fill with the colored kernels to create their own creative mosaics.
- Birthday: Davy Crockett, American frontiersman (1786)
- Black Cat Appreciation Day
- First transatlantic trip in a balloon was completed (1978)
- National Thrift Shop Day
- Novel Animal Farm by George Orwell was published (1945)
Crafts: Cardboard Animals
On this day that the novel Animal Farm by George Orwell was published, assist residents with painting cardboard animals. Before the activity, cut out the animal templates (the cat, dog, goat, fox, horse, and penguin) from cardboard for residents to paint in fun colors.
One-on-One: Black Cat Cake
Recruit your resident to help you bake a black cat cake on this Black Cat Appreciation Day.
Exercise: Nature Ring Toss
Recognize this birthday of American frontiersman Davy Crockett by inviting residents to play a game of nature ring toss. For the activity, place a stick in the ground, and then make your own rings by using duct tape to attach the ends of a piece of rope. To play, have residents take turns tossing rings around the stick.
Bedside: Hot-Air Balloon
In recognition of this anniversary that the first transatlantic trip in a balloon was completed, make a hot air balloon model for your resident's room. Use an inflated balloon, markers, strips of brown craft paper, twine, and glue for the project. Encourage your resident to help you decorate the balloon with the markers as you assemble the basket.
Reminiscing: Flipping for Profit
For this National Thrift Shop Day, reminisce with residents about whether they have ever flipped items to make a profit, like buying things at a garage sale to upgrade before selling later. Share a list of the best items to flip for a profit.
Sensory Stimulation: Dipping Cookies
Assist residents with dipping cookies into melted black candy melts to create black cat cookies on this Black Cat Appreciation Day.
- Kool-Aid Days in Hastings, Nebraska (August 18-20)
- Machias Wild Blueberry Festival in Machias, Maine (August 18-20)
- Serendipity Day
Crafts: Summer Window Clings
Assist residents with making summer window clings for the windows in your Activity Room. To make the clings, simply place a stencil sheet on top of the summer designs and trace the designs with liquid leading. Then fill in the designs with glass paint. Once the paint dries, peel off the designs and place on your Activity Room's windows.
One-on-One: Heads or Tails
Exercise: One and Done!
For this Serendipity Day, invite residents to work their arms as they play a super-sized variation of the game of chance One and Done! To play, seat residents in a circle, and give one of the residents a large die to roll. They are allowed to keep rolling and accumulate the numbers they roll as points until they roll the number one. When they roll the number one, they have to stop and pass the die to the next person. Before the activity, recruit a volunteer to make a large die for the activity.
Bedside: Kool-Aid Grapes
Whip up a batch of Kool-Aid grapes for your resident to sample on this first of the Kool-Aid Days in Hastings, Nebraska.
Reminiscing: When Things Happen by Chance
In recognition of this Serendipity Day, reminisce with residents about the things they remember in their lives that were serendipitous. Afterwards, share a few stories of serendipitous discoveries in science.
Sensory Stimulation: Blue Mouth Break
Recognize this first day of the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival in Machias, Maine by passing out blueberries for residents to sample.
- Birthday: Malcolm Forbes, American publisher who was known for his lavish lifestyle (1919)
- International Homeless Animals Day and Candlelight Vigils
- National Potato Day
- Singer Nat King Cole recorded "The Christmas Song" (1946)
- World Photography Day
Crafts: Photo Lacing
For this World Photography Day, invite residents to adorn your printed photos by lacing the photos. For the activity, print out some of the photographs that you have taken around your facility. Then use a hole punch to punch holes in the pictures for residents to lace using colorful yarn. To begin lacing, be sure to add tape around the end of a piece of yarn to make it easier for residents to string the yarn through the holes.
One-on-One: Photo Match
Borrow a tablet to have your resident play a photo match game online on this World Photography Day.
Exercise: Potato Roll
On this National Potato Day, invite residents to play a game of Potato Roll. To play, set up one toilet paper cardboard tube, and have residents stand ten feet away to roll a raw potato to try to knock down the tube. Award a point whenever a player knocks down the tube.
Bedside: Adorable Animals
In recognition of this International Homeless Animals Day and Candlelight Vigils, borrow a tablet to show your animal-lover-resident a quick video about baby animals.
Reminiscing: Big Splurges
Reminisce with residents about their biggest splurges on things throughout their life on this birthday of Malcolm Forbes, the American publisher who was known for his lavish lifestyle. Afterwards, share a list of the top things rich people buy.
Sensory Stimulation: Sing Along With Nat King Cole
Play Nat King Cole songs for residents to sing along with on this day that the singer recorded "The Christmas Song" in 1946.
- Birthday: Benjamin Harrison, American president (1833)
- Birthday: Eero Saarinen, Finnish-American architect and furniture designer (1910)
- FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 Final in Australia
- National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day
- National Radio Day
Crafts: Soccer Pencil Toppers
Supply residents with air-dry clay and paint to create soccer ball pencil toppers on this day of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 Final in Australia.
One-on-One: Chocolate Chip Pecan Mug Cake
In recognition of this National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day, recruit your resident to make a tasty chocolate chip pecan mug cake.
Exercise: Soccer Kicks
For this day of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 Final in Australia, seat residents in a circle to kick an inflated balloon back and forth to get their leg exercises. Once residents start kicking around the balloon, gradually add in a few more balloons for residents to kick around.
Bedside: Learning About the Presidents
On this birthday of President Benjamin Harrison, share a bit of presidential trivia with your resident.
Reminiscing: First "Grown-Up" Piece of Furniture
Have fun with residents on this birthday of furniture designer Eero Saarinen as you reminisce about the first "grown-up" piece of furniture that they bought. Ask residents where that piece of furniture is now. Afterwards, share a list of the top 10 essential home furnishings to see if your residents agree.
Sensory Stimulation: What Do You Hear?
In recognition of this National Radio Day, invite residents outdoors to play an outdoor sounds bingo game. For the activity, pass out bingo cards for residents to mark with pencils whenever they hear one of the objects on their bingo card.
- Birthday: Wilt Chamberlain, Basketball Hall of Fame (1936)
- Hawaii became the 50th state (1959)
- National Sweet Tea Day
- World Senior Citizen's Day
Crafts: Tea Party Hats
Assist residents with assembling tissue paper party hats to wear at the upcoming Sweet Tea Party activity. To make the hats, first have residents pick a color of tissue paper to use for the hat, and place three sheets of the paper on your resident's head. Next, use tulle or ribbon to wrap the tissue paper, securing it on your resident's head, and tying in a bow. Then use tape to curl up the edges of the hat to create a brim. Finally, adorn the hat by adding faux flowers and securing with tape.
One-on-One: Water Balloon Basketball
Take your resident to the back patio to challenge him to a fun game of water balloon basketball on this birthday of NBA Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain. For the activity, simply set up a basketball basket and a bucket of water balloons on the grass for the two of you to alternate tossing water balloons through the basket.
Exercise: 'Ulu Maika
On this day that Hawaii became the 50th state, teach residents how to play the Hawaiian version of lawn bowling – 'Ulu Maika. To play, place two sticks in the ground in the backyard that are about six inches apart. Then have residents stand 15 feet away from the sticks to try to roll a ball so that it rolls in between the two sticks.
Bedside: Hawaiian Leis
Encourage your resident to assist you with using twine and colorful tissue paper to make herself a Hawaiian lei on this day that Hawaii became the 50th state. Simply tie strips of tissue paper around twine to create the lei.
Reminiscing: What Did You Do When You First Retired?
For this World Senior Citizen's Day, reminisce with residents about what they did when they first retired. Share a list of the top things people do during retirement to see if it's similar to what your residents did.
Sensory Stimulation: Sweet Tea Party
Invite residents to wear the newspaper hats that they made earlier during the Crafts activity for a fun tea party in your Activity Room, featuring sweet tea on this National Sweet Tea Day.
- Be an Angel Day, a day to serve someone else with one small act
- Double Seven Festival in China, similar to Valentine's Day
- Mormon Choir first performed (1847)
- National Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day
- National Tooth Fairy Day (also celebrated on February 28)
Crafts: Sweet Hershey's Kisses Angels
Invite residents to assemble Hershey's Kisses angels on this Be an Angel Day. Before the activity, cut white pipe cleaners to four inches long and cut gold pipe cleaners to three inches long. Then during the activity, have residents shape the white pipe cleaners into wings and shape the gold pipe cleaners into halos. Finally, use craft glue to attach the wings, halo, and wooden balls to each of the Hershey's Kisses.
One-on-One: Pom-Pom Fairies
Recruit your resident to make a few pom-pom fairies for her grandchildren on this National Tooth Fairy Day. To make the fairies, first paint wooden peg dolls. While the dolls are drying, use colorful yarn to make pom-poms by wrapping the yarn around cardboard, tying the bundle, and trimming it. Next, use a pencil to draw wings onto colorful felt and cut out. Finally, use hot glue to attach twine to the wings for hanging. Then use the hot glue to attach the doll to the pom-pom, and to attach the wings to the doll.
Exercise: Perfect Match
In recognition of this day of the Double Seven Festival in China, similar to Valentine's Day, invite residents to play a fun perfect match game while walking and getting their exercise. To play, tape the names of people from popular duos on the backs of the residents. Then have residents walk around and ask one another "yes or no" questions to figure out whose name they have on their back. Once they have identified themselves, have them look around to find their match. Award a prize to the first duo to find each other.
Bedside: YouTube Sing Along
On this day that the Mormon Choir first performed, borrow a tablet to show your resident a Mormon Tabernacle Choir performance that your resident can sing along to.
Reminiscing: Taking Your Pet to the Vet
For this National Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day, reminisce with residents about what it was like for them to take a pet to the veterinarian, as you share a list of the most common animals seen by veterinarians. Afterwards, encourage residents to discuss their favorite pets and the fun names they gave them.
Sensory Stimulation: Spreading Love to the Birds
Assist residents with making heart-shaped bird feeders to place in the backyard on this day of the Double Seven Festival in China, similar to Valentine's Day. Use birdseed, unflavored gelatin, heart cookie cutters, water, straws, and twine for hanging.
- Birthday: Gene Kelly, American actor and dancer (1912)
- Birthday: Georges Cuvier, French paleontologist known as the "Father of Paleontology" (1769)
- Find Your Inner Nerd Day
- International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition
- National Sponge Cake Day
- New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York (August 23 - September 4)
Crafts: Pasta Skeletons
Assist residents with making pasta skeletons on this birthday of paleontologist Georges Cuvier. To make the skeletons, first glue craft sticks together as the backing, as shown in the video. Then use a variety of pasta shapes to form and glue the skeleton onto the craft sticks.
One-on-One: Skyline Art
On this first day of the New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York, remind your resident of New York City's skyline by having her help you create cardboard skyline art. To create the art, first cut paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls to size to create a unique mix of high- and low-rise buildings. Next, add details to each building, like steeples or towers. Then paint the tubes with black paint. Finally use white paint to add windows to the tubes. Store the finished tubes as a fun piece of artwork in your Activity Room.
Exercise: Seated Tap Dancing
Teach residents a simple tap dance exercise on this birthday of actor Gene Kelly. (Before the activity, watch the video to review the tap dance moves that you want to teach your residents.)
Bedside: The Underground Railroad
In recognition of this International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition, share a documentary about the Underground Railroad with your resident.
Reminiscing: What Type of Nerd Are You?
Help residents discover their inner nerd on this Find Your Inner Nerd Day as you help them learn what type of nerd they are. Afterwards, reminisce with residents about whether they were a bit nerdy in high school and what high school was like for them.
Sensory Stimulation: Sponge Cake, Loaf Cake or Pound Cake?
See if residents can taste the difference between a sponge cake, loaf cake, and pound cake during a fun cake tasting on this National Sponge Cake Day. Before the activity, coordinate with Dining Services to provide each of the three cakes. Then during the activity, provide residents with a sliver from each to see if they can tell the difference.
- Acton Fair, an annual country fair in Acton, Maine (August 24-27)
- Independence Day in the Ukraine
- Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul, Minnesota (August 24 - September 4)
- National Peach Pie Day
- Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status (2006)
Crafts: Rainbow Weavings
In recognition of this Independence Day in the Ukraine, a country known for its weaving, assist residents with making rainbow weavings. A day before the activity, recruit a volunteer to dye wool roving in fun colors of Kool-Aid. In addition, before the activity, be sure to assemble a cardboard loom for each resident to use. Then on the day of the activity, encourage residents to pick and choose different colored yarn to create a colorful and unique weave.
One-on-One: Planet Cookies
Invite your resident to help you bake a batch of planet cookies on this day that Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status.
Exercise: Tag Team Bowling
On this Independence Day in the Ukraine, invite residents to play one of Ukraine's popular sports – bowling. For the activity, divide residents into teams of two, where the two people work together – one person rolls the first ball, and the second person rolls the second ball to try to pick up the spare.
Bedside: Ever Been to the Mall of America?
Use a tablet to take your resident to the famous Mall of America in Minnesota on this first day of the Minnesota State Fair.
Reminiscing: Favorite Pies That Grandma Used to Make
For this National Peach Pie Day, reminisce with residents about their favorite pies that their mothers and grandmothers used to make. Share a list of the most common pies to see which ones your residents enjoy.
Sensory Stimulation: Maine Lighthouses
Supply residents with air-dry clay to sculpt lighthouses on this first day of the Acton Fair, an annual country fair in Acton, Maine.
- Birthday: Bret Harte, journalist and novelist known for his early stories of California (1836)
- National Whiskey Sour Day
- Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island, Nebraska (August 25 - September 4)
- Oregon State Fair in Salem, Oregon (August 25 - September 4)
- U.S. National Park Service was founded (1916)
Crafts: Fork-Painted Prairies
Recognize this first day of the Nebraska State Fair by inviting residents to use plastic forks and paint to create fork-painted prairies.
One-on-One: California Poppies
Encourage your resident to help you make California poppies on this birthday of novelist Bret Harte, who wrote stories about California.
Exercise: Bonding With Nature
In recognition of this day that the U.S. National Park Service was founded, lead residents in a few chair yoga poses to help residents connect more with the space around them.
Bedside: A Trip to Oregon
Use a tablet to take your resident on an online tour of Oregon on this first day of the Oregon State Fair in Salem, Oregon.
Reminiscing: First National Park Ever Visited
Reminisce with residents about the very first national park that they visited on this day that the U.S. National Park Service was founded. Afterwards, share a list of the best national parks in America to see if any residents have ever been there.
Sensory Stimulation: Candied Citrus
Invite residents to help you assemble candied citrus to use for your drinks on this National Whiskey Sour Day. Once the citrus garnishes have been made, add them to the drink glasses of your residents during a meal.
- First baseball games were televised (1939)
- Maryland Renaissance Festival in Annapolis, Maryland (August 26 - October 22 on weekends and Labor Day)
- National Cherry Popsicle Day
- National Dog Day
- National Toilet Paper Day
- Women's Equality Day
Crafts: Paper Roll Flowers
For this National Toilet Paper Day, show residents how to use toilet paper rolls to create paper roll flowers and butterflies. Simply paint toilet paper rolls before cutting and assembling into the flowers and butterflies. Use glue dots to attach the buttons and pipe cleaners.
One-on-One: Candy Apple Baseballs
Invite your resident to help you make a batch of candy apple baseballs on this day that the first baseball games were televised. Instead of making large candy apples, make mini candy apples by dipping the scoops of apple into melted white candy melts. Once the candy melts harden, use red icing to add stitching to the "baseballs."
Exercise: Caber Toss
On this first day of the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Annapolis, Maryland, host a caber toss competition among residents in the backyard. For the activity, supply each resident with a pool noodle to see who can toss their pool noodle the farthest. For the competition, divide residents into groups of two, and have the two members of each group compete against each other to see who can toss their pool noodle the farthest after three tries. Have the winners from each two-person group play one another. Continue having the winners play one another until there is only one winner left.
Bedside: Pet Pooches
In recognition of this National Dog Day, invite your resident to assist you with making a few pet dogs from pipe cleaners.
Reminiscing: New Rights
Celebrate this Women's Equality Day by reminiscing with residents about some of the rights that they did not have as younger women that they have now. Afterwards, share a list of women's rights that did not exist until the 20th century.
Sensory Stimulation: Popsicle Run
Go on a popsicle run in your facility's kitchen to pass out tasty popsicles for residents to enjoy on the back patio on this National Cherry Popsicle Day.
- Birthday: Mother Teresa, Catholic nun (1910)
- Burning Man 2023, a community arts and self-expression festival in Black Rock Desert, Nevada (August 27 - September 4)
- MTV Video Music Awards presentation in New York City
- National Pots du Creme Day, honoring the French custard dessert
- Notting Hill Carnival in England (August 27-28)
- The Duchess Who Wasn't Day, honoring the works of author Margaret Wolfe Hungerford whose pen name was The Duchess
Crafts: Sand Art Crosses
For this birthday of Mother Teresa, assist residents with assembling sand art crosses. To make the crosses, first use a cross template to cut out a cross from cardstock. Next, have residents use a pencil to draw designs on the cross. Then place the cross in a box lid to catch any excess falling sand. Next, use a paintbrush to apply glue on a section on the cross and sprinkle colored sand so that it sticks. Shake off any excess before applying glue to another section. Continue adding the colored sand in sections until the cross is complete. After the crosses have been made, shake off all the excess sand before displaying them.
One-on-One: The Meaning of Royal Titles
Educate your resident about the hierarchy of certain royal titles on this The Duchess Who Wasn't Day, honoring the works of author Margaret Wolfe Hungerford whose pen name was The Duchess.
Exercise: Summertime Carnival
Host a fun backyard carnival for residents on this first day of the Notting Hill Carnival in England. Before the activity, recruit a volunteer to help you build a few carnival games for residents to play, like a bean bag toss game and a ping pong ball toss game.
Bedside: Let's Watch Music Videos
Use a tablet to go online to watch 1950s music videos with your resident in recognition of this day of the MTV Video Music Awards presentation in New York City.
Reminiscing: First Dessert Ever Made
Reminisce with residents about the first dessert they ever made on this National Pots du Creme Day, honoring the French custard dessert. Afterwards, read through a list of the most popular desserts in America, and ask residents to tell the story of who taught them how to make it.
Sensory Stimulation: Contact Paper Abstract Art
In recognition of this first day of Burning Man 2023, a community arts and self-expression festival in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, show residents how to create abstract art using contact paper. For the activity, provide each resident with a sheet of contact paper to add on different colored paper, yarn, beads, and buttons. Once residents are done, use another sheet of contact paper to seal the elements in and hang.
- Birthday: Roger Tory Peterson, American naturalist and author (1908)
- First radio commercials were broadcast (1922; some sources say August 29)
- March on Washington civil rights rally in Washington, D.C. (1963)
- National Cherry Turnover Day
- Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day, referring to the action most desktop users do as they wait for the screen to load
- U.S. Open Tennis Championship in Flushing, New York (August 28 - September 10)
Crafts: Jingle Makers
Pass out jingle bells, pencils, and pipe cleaners for residents to make jingle sticks in honor of this day that commercials and their fun jingles were first broadcast on the radio. (On the website, scroll down to the second craft to view the instructions.) After making the jingle sticks, encourage residents to participate in a jingle bell orchestra in which you play music and point to a section in the orchestra (a group of residents sitting next to each other) to shake their jingle sticks at a certain point in the song.
One-on-One: Cherry Turnovers
Invite your resident to assist you with making a batch of cherry turnovers in celebration of this National Cherry Turnover Day.
Exercise: Backyard Tennis
Seat residents in chairs in the grass on either side of a volleyball net to play a fun game of backyard tennis on this first day of the U.S. Open Tennis Championship in Flushing, New York. To play, pass out plastic rackets, and have residents hit a small beach ball back and forth over the net.
Bedside: Remembering the March on Washington – Sixty Years Later
Reminiscing: When Did You First Begin Using the Computer
Reminisce with residents about their first use of a computer on this Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day, referring to the action most desktop users do as they wait for the screen to load. Afterwards, share a list of jobs that have been eliminated due to technology.
Sensory Stimulation: Nature Memory Game
On this birthday of naturalist Roger Tory Peterson, invite residents to play a nature memory game. To play, seat residents in a large circle. Then place different items from nature (e.g., leaves, pine cones, flower petals, pine needles, berries, etc.) in a paper bag. Next, give the bag to the first person in the circle, and have them remove an item and say what they found (e.g., "I found a rock in the forest."). Then have the next person take the bag and remove an item and say what they found, after repeating the previous item that was found (e.g., "I found a rock and a flower in the forest). Next, have the third person remove an item from the bag, and say what he found after repeating the previous two items (e.g., "I found a rock, a flower, and an acorn in the forest). Continue around the circle, having each new resident add in their new item after repeating what has already been retrieved from the bag.
- According to Hoyle Day, a day promoting games to be played according to the rules
- Birthday: Ingrid Bergman, Swedish actress (1915)
- More Herbs, Less Salt Day
- National Lemon Juice Day
Crafts: Lemon Tree Art
Assist residents with making lemon tree art on this National Lemon Juice Day. To make the artwork, first draw ovals on lemon-inspired scrapbook paper and cut out. Then cut out grass from a green-colored piece of scrapbook paper. Next, paint the canvas in a light blue paint. Once the paint dries, use glue to attach the paper pieces that have been cut out to the canvas to create the lemon tree. Finally, add embellishments to the picture, like green yarn for grass, yellow buttons for lemons, and blue beads for the sky.
One-on-One: Playing Crazy Eights
For this According to Hoyle Day, a day promoting games to be played according to the rules, teach your resident how to play a fun game of Crazy Eights.
Exercise: Lemon Bocce
Seat residents in a large circle, and provide each with a lemon to play a game of Lemon Bocce on this National Lemon Juice Day. Encourage residents to compete to see who can roll their lemon so that it lands closest to the jack (the white ball that is placed in the middle of the circle).
Bedside: Lemon Trivia
Bring by a refreshing drink of lemonade for your resident to sample on this National Lemon Juice Day. As your resident is enjoying the lemonade, share a few bits of lemonade trivia with her.
Reminiscing: The Salty Foods You Crave
Reminisce with residents about their favorite salty foods on this More Herbs, Less Salt Day. Afterwards, quiz residents to see if they can identify which of the foods you name is the saltiest.
Sensory Stimulation: Swedish Cinnamon Buns
Recruit residents to help you bake a batch of Swedish cinnamon buns on this birthday of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman.
- Birthday: Mary Shelley, English novelist (1797)
- Birthday: Ted Williams, Major League Baseball player who was known as one of the greatest hitters in the league (1918)
- La Tomatina, the world's biggest food fight (tomatoes) in Spain
- National Toasted Marshmallow Day
Crafts: Marshmallow Painted Cookies
Assist residents with making marshmallow paint on this National Toasted Marshmallow Day to decorate plain sugar cookies. Simply mix marshmallows, water, and light corn syrup while heating in a microwave in intervals. Then separate the mixture among cups and add different food colors to each cup to create the different paints. Encourage residents to use food-grade paintbrushes to decorate summer-themed cookies with their marshmallow paints.
One-on-One: Tomato Pin Cushion
Recruit your resident to help you make a tomato pin cushion on this day of La Tomatina, the world's biggest food fight (tomatoes) in Spain. Use the sewing pattern, fabric, green felt, stuffing, needle and thread, glue, and crushed walnut shells for the activity.
Exercise: How Many Hits Can You Make?
Take residents to the backyard to see how many hits they can make with a plastic bat as you toss them foam balls on this birthday of Major League Baseball hitter Ted Williams. Award a point each time a resident hits one of the balls that you toss to them.
Bedside: Ever Been to a Food Fight?
Use a tablet to take your resident on a virtual trip to the world's largest food fight – La Tomatina in Spain.
Reminiscing: Did You Ever Want to Be an Author?
Reminisce with residents about whether any of them ever wanted to become a successful writer on this birthday of novelist Mary Shelley. Encourage residents to share their career dreams when they were young. Afterwards, share a list of the best jobs for a midlife career change.
Sensory Stimulation: Dip-Dyed Marshmallows
Create dyes (food color and water) for residents to dip jumbo marshmallows in to create colorful dip-dyed marshmallows on this National Toasted Marshmallow Day.
- Birthday: Maria Montessori, Italian physician, educator, and developer of the Montessori method for engaging with children (1870)
- National Trail Mix Day
- South Dakota State Fair in Huron, South Dakota (August 31 - September 4)
- Sunset Bonfires in Stearns Park Beach, Michigan
Crafts: Sunset Wall Art
Provide residents with mini canvases to create sunset wall art on this day of the Sunset Bonfires in Stearns Park Beach, Michigan. Instead of using spray paint, as mentioned on the website, supply residents with sponge brushes and acrylic paint to create the ombre effect.
One-on-One: Trail Mix Bars
Invite your resident to help make a batch of trail mix bars to pass out during the upcoming Backyard Trail Walk activity.
Exercise: Backyard Trail Walk
In recognition of this National Trail Mix Day, take your mobile residents for a fun walk through the backyard for exercise. Along the trail, have residents sit and take a break, as you pass out the trail mix bars made earlier during the One-on-One activity.
Bedside: A Visit to Mount Rushmore
Use a tablet to take your resident on a tour of Mount Rushmore on this first day of the South Dakota State Fair in Huron, South Dakota.
Reminiscing: Favorite Natural Monuments
On this first day of the South Dakota State Fair in Huron, South Dakota, home of Mount Rushmore, reminisce with residents about their favorite natural monuments. Afterwards, share a list of the top natural wonders to see if your residents have ever been there.
Sensory Stimulation: Nature Trays
For this birthday of Maria Montessori, the educator who developed the Montessori method for engaging with children, invite residents to conduct a Montessori activity of studying items from nature. For the activity, provide each resident with a tray of items from nature (e.g., leaves, flowers, acorns, berries, twigs, etc.) and a magnifying glass, and encourage residents to study each piece of nature that they have and discuss what they find about the textures.