Susan Berg's Activity Ideas Galore
By Susan Berg, CDP, AD,  BS(COTA/L)
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Susan Berg
Author, Activity Director
Activities Director Blog
Alzheimers Ideas
About Susan

Susan Berg has been a
healthcare professional and
educator for over 20 years. She
is the, activity director, of
many years, at Hunt Nursing
and Rehabilitation Center in
Danvers. While there, she has
gained much dementia care
and activity experience and
knowledge. She has had
special training in dementia
care and dementia activities
through the Alzheimer’s
Association and other
educational forums. Berg is the
author of Adorable
Photographs of Our Baby-
Meaningful, Mind-Stimulating
Activities and More for the
Memory Challenged, Their
Loved Ones, and Involved
Professionals, a book for those
with dementia and an
excellent resource for
caregivers and healthcare
professionals.
Take a look
at Susan's book
Flash Cards are
available  to use
with Susan's Book
Note:  They can also be
used without the book
and are ideal for group
use.
School Days & Other Ideas

Students return to school in September. However there are some schools that start in
late August. None the less there are all sorts of activities related to going to school. The
song “School Days” is a nice way to begin an activity based on going to school.

You can also talk about favorite school subjects. A good way to do this is for you to
mention some school subjects and what they are about. Then you can talk about
subjects you liked at school and why.

Now you can open up the discussion to the audience finding out the participants’
favorite subjects. For those who are timid or cannot think of anything to say, you can give
them a choice of two to pick from. Or for the non verbal group member you can say, “I
bet that(timid participant’s name) liked music(or another subject) when she was in
school”.

Do not forget to make sure someone liked music as a favorite subject, or you can
mention that you liked music when you were going to school. Then you can have a sing
a long including songs students sang at school. Most students sang some patriotic
songs.

Another idea related to going to school is to have a spelling bee. (You would be
surprised how many folks with dementia can still spell). Make sure the words to be
spelled are appropriate for the resident.

Talk about lunch at school (many went home for lunch). You can talk about a good
lunch to eat while going to school. You could make a bag lunch and have group
participants guess what food is in the bag. You could have them taste the food and
guess what it is as well.

Another good idea for September is to talk about trees because this the month when
trees are undergoing a number of changes.

See how many types of trees the participants can name. Make sure you give everyone
who is present a turn. Give hints as needed.

For a list of common trees go to
http://activitiesdirector.blogspot.com/2010/05/tree-
names.html


Bring in leaves from various trees, and see if  the group members of the audience know
what tree they are from. You and they could make a wreath out of leaves using a paper
plate rim as the backing. You can add a bow to make it look festive. Go to
http:
//activitiesdirector.blogspot.com/2010/05/wreath-of-leaves-easy-to-do-fall-craft.html  for
more details.

You can talk about why trees leaves turn colors in the fall. You can ask group
participants, what their favorite color is. You could have a side discussion all about
colors. For a special activity about colors go to
http://activitiesdirector.blogspot.
com/2010/05/bonus-from-adorable-photographs-of-our.html

You can talk about the weather in the fall.
You can discuss Indian Summer. You can sing songs about fall such as, “Shine On
Harvest Moon”

In September, there is also National Honey Month. Here are discussion questions
about honey. Ask, “Who likes honey?” Then ask, “What do you use honey for, and where
does honey come from?”

Make sure to come back for October ideas because you can combine a discussion
about apples and honey at the end of September or early in October because October
is national apple month.

I hope these ideas will be useful to you when you are planning activities in September
for the residents you serve.