A+ Activities with Jolene Ewert
Jolene Ewert, Executive Director
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Executive Director
About Jolene

Jolene has enjoyed working in
the healthcare field in such
capacities as Marketing
Director, Activity Director and
Coordinator of Dementia
programs. She currently holds
an Administrator's License and
works as an Activity Consultant.
She is the author of A+
Activites and owner and
operator of the A+ Activities
website, a website dedicated
to Activity Professionals that
has been in circulation for over
12 years.  

The A+ Activities E-Newsletter is available
for only $1.50 a month or $18.00 for a year.
Each month you will be emailed a
newsletter with activity planning ideas such
as sensory stimulation, men's groups, crafts,
trivia and many more! Don't pass on this
great resource! Visit the A+ Activities
website at
for more information or email Jolene at
Providing Internet Resources
for Activity Professionals
in Long Term Care Settings

Copyright 2004-Present
The Activity Director's Office
All Rights Reserved

Featuring supplies for
parties, holiday
celebrations  and
special events
Click Here
We now have available 10
holiday themed bingo cards with
hand-drawn images, a
crossword puzzle, a wordsearch
puzzle and a coloring page.
They are available for only $10
which includes shipping and

Available  through my site at
or an invoice can be requested
from me at
Tis The Season of Giving

Holiday Cooking Party                      
Hold a holiday cooking party at your facility. This can be a great way to kick off the
season and share some fun. The goal is to make cookies, soup, bread, muffins, etc. to
contribute to a food pantry or shelter. Have residents/staff/guests cook or bake together,
or make healthy bags of snacks (pistachio and dried cranberry mix), and wrap with a
festive bow and include a handwritten holiday greeting. Set aside time to make a facility
trip to distribute the gifts to a local pantry or shelter.

Gift Wrapping   
Gather residents and staff alike to take shifts working a gift wrapping booth. Charge a
minimal price for the service and donate all of the proceeds to a charity of choice.
Decorate a Christmas Tree for the Birds       
Don’t forget your feathered friends! Encourage your residents to decorate an outdoor
tree or bush for the birds. Provide air-popped and unsalted popcorn and cranberries so
your residents can string a garland for the tree that the birds will eat. Edible ornaments
can be made by spreading unsalted peanut butter on pine cones, and then rolling them
in wild bird seed. Hang with string.
Other edible ornaments can include dried fruits, and suet cakes. You can even cut the
suet cakes into smaller squares, or roll them into balls before hanging.

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

Snowman Soup                 

The Soup:
1 package hot chocolate mix
3 Hershey Kisses
15 marshmallows
1 candy cane

Place items in a Christmas mug and attach the following poem.

The Poem:

Was told you've been real good this year
Always glad to hear it
With freezing weather drawing near
You'll need to warm the spirit
So here's a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick
Add hot water, sip it slow
It's sure to do the trick!

Cinnamon Ornaments
A great idea for your facility tree:         
  • cinnamon
  • white glue
  • applesauce
  • rolling pin
  • cookie cutter
  • gold thread
  • straw

Mix 1 cup cinnamon and 1 cup applesauce with 1 Tablespoon of white glue. You want a
consistency that can be rolled with a rolling pin but not so sticky that it will stick to your
counter. Sprinkle counter with cinnamon and roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters.
Cut a hole in shape with the straw so you will be able to hang them. Let dry about 24
hours. They shrink as they dry. Cut lengths of gold thread, make loops and hang. They
will keep their scent for a few years. Refresh scent with cinnamon fragrance oil as

Hold a Facility Christmas Pageant              
1.        First, assign the parts for the Christmas pageant. Make sure everyone is included.
2.        Dress up everyone in bathrobes, sandals, and towels or shawls around their
heads. Check old Halloween costumes for angel wings, crowns, and anything else
relevant to the Christmas story.
3.        Use children's toys (stuffed animals, baby doll, etc.) as props. Spend time
together making other props, such as the star or manger.
4.        Decide whether you will narrate the Christmas story from scriptures, write a script
so the participants have speaking parts, or do both.
5.        If you want, invite family and friends to watch your Christmas pageant. Practice a
few times before the performance.
6.        Set apart a stage area and provide enough seats for all people coming. Play
Christmas music softly in the background and use candles to set the mood.

Intergenerational Idea

Let it Snow     

Your residents and the kids can travel to a miniature "Winter Wonderland" by making
your very own snow globes. You will need a wide-mouth plastic container with a tight
fitting lid, some small plastic toys, silver glitter and some water. You can use tiny
houses, people, animals, holiday trinkets or anything that fits in with the seasonal
theme. These toys need to be plastic without any metal parts and should not float (if you
have a toy that does float you can attach a penny covered in tape to weigh it down).
Place the toys in the bottom of the container and fill with enough water to cover. Then
add glitter to give it that snowy effect. Kids may also want to decorate their container to
make it even more festive. Tighten the lid, shake it and watch the blizzard begin.