|Silvana Clark's Insights
by Silvana Clark, Professional speaker, presenting keynotes and workshops
on humor in the workplace as well as ideas on creative activities.
|About Slivana Clark
Silvana Clark began her
activity/recreation career 20
years ago as a spotter for kids
on a trampoline. Every Saturday,
for four hours, she'd watch kids
bounce up and down, up and
down, up and...you get the idea.
Since then she's written eleven
books and is a popular speaker
at conferences around the
country. She was a keynoter at
the British Columbia Activity
Professionals conference and
recently gave a keynote for the
Wisconsin Activity Professionals
Conference. Her sessions are
filled with humor, practical
information and small group
activities. She is recovering from
her appearance on the Fox
reality show, Trading Spaces,
where she spent a week living
with a family that saw no need
for any kind of fun activities.
Contact her at
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Celebrate some fun July activities with these ideas.
July is National Recreation and Parks Month
Most communities have a local Parks and Recreation program. Get a copy of their activity schedule and
check out the programs. You’ll find a variety of activities to keep your residents busy all month with free
concerts, fireworks displays and special events. Many parks and recreation departments have dance classes
or musical groups that would love to perform at your facility. One department had a club for kids who liked
tarantulas! Yes, the group visited an assisted living center and displayed their hairy, crawly “pets”!
Visit a new park in your community. Many parks are now wheel chair accessible.
Perhaps your more active residents would like to do volunteer work. Call your local Parks and Recreation
department to see if they need volunteers. Some departments look for help planting trees or doing
registration for a special event. Other times they need volunteers to help with a Special Olympic track meet
and pass out ribbons. These opportunities provide your residents with a chance to give back to your
Many of your residents probably remember pressing flowers in books. Bring back those memories by
collecting an assortment of flowers and leaves. Place them between the pages of a little-used book. Put a
weight on the book for several days. Gently remove the flat flowers and use to decorate note cards or
Celebrate the Dog Days of Summer
July 3 – August 15
This 40-day period is traditionally the hottest time of the summer. Find ways to celebrate by keeping cool.
Sing a few “cold” songs such as Frosty the Snowman or Walking in a Winter Wonderland.
Cool down by making some paper snowflakes. Fold a paper coffee filter in half – then in ¼’s and then in 1/8’
s. Have residents cut out small shapes and make slits in the paper. Unfold for a frosty snowflake.
Have residents help make frozen pudding cups to cool down in the heat. Mix up a package of instant or
cooked pudding, any flavor. Pour pudding into small plastic cups. Stick a plastic spoon or wooden craft
sticks in the center of the pudding. Make a small slit in the center of a paper cupcake liner. Slide paper over
spoon until it touches the cup. The liner will help catch drips as people eat their pudding pops. Chill
overnight. To unmold, just peel paper from frozen pudding.
If young children are visiting your residents, let them cool off by painting your building. Don’t worry! It’s safe.
Hand children a bucket of water and paint brushes. Let them paint the sides of your building or a wooden
fence. The water darkens the surface and then quickly dries in the sun. They can paint the same area over
and over. Residents enjoy watching their building get painted by these young painters.
See if your local police department will bring their police dogs for a demonstration at your facility. It’s
fascinating to watch these highly trained dogs follow scent trails and obey complex commands.
Put up a bulletin board and ask residents to display pictures of their dogs or their grandchildren’s dogs.
Anniversary of the Pied Piper of Hamlin
Refresh your resident’s memory by reading the story again. Most libraries have several versions of the story.
Read them to your residents and compare which version they like best.
Select a musical staff member or resident to play an instrument or whistle. Let them lead you in a parade
throughout the building – or if you are really brave, through the neighborhood. Follow wherever they go, just
like the rats in the story of the Pied Piper.
Sit down as a group and write your own version of the story. What problem could happen in your community?
How could the problem be solved? What type of music could be incorporated into the story?
The Pied Piper used music to lead the rats out of town. Make your own music! Set out an assortment of
empty tin cans, bottles, cardboard tubes and other odds and ends. See how creative everyone can be making
their own musical instruments.
Since rats like cheese, you have two options. Number 1: serve a delicious cheesecake for dessert or number
2: cut up cheese and dig out your old fondue pot. Have a snack of cheese fondue with bread cubes.