by Christine Jennings
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Christine received her North
Carolina State AD
College, Continuing Education
Health Occupations Program
in November 2007. She has
been volunteering at living
assistant and adult care
facilities since 2007. Christine
writes for The Rec-Room and
compiles fantastic monthly
theme-related activity ideas for
Christine's Column found on
the Re-Creative Resources'
Holiday/Celebration: Fourth of July
Residents decorate their own patriotic hats to wear in a July 4th parade
leading to an area where residents, family and staff can enjoy light
refreshments during a social. Staff members can vote for the resident with
the most patriotic hat. To encourage the staff to attend and participate hold
a drawing for them at the end of the social.
• Promotes creativity
• Friendly competition
Activities: (name suggestions)
1) American Made (Craft)
2) Patriotic Parade (Facility event)
3) Party Patriotic Style (Social)
4) And The Winner Is (Staff Voting/Drawing)
Activity 1 - Craft
• Hats – straw or ball cap style (can be found at local dollar store).
• Decorating material – flags, USA buttons, red/white/blue ribbon,
flowers, feathers, glitter and anything else you can find that is patriotic.
• Glue (Low Temp Glue Guns work the best and Wal-Mart has them $3
• Stapler (Is an option for attaching decorations)
Please all items out on the table to allow residents to freely choose and
decorate their hats.
Activity 2 - Parade
Set an appointed time for residents to line up wearing their decorated hats.
Prepare large cards with numbers on them and assign each number to a
resident to wear during the parade. Keep a list of the residents name with
their assigned number for the hat competition during the social. This will
make the voting and counting quicker and easier for you to tally.
Ask the facility director to be the parade marshal and lead the residents
through the facility to the area where the social will take place. Ask other
managers from different departments to carry a boom box playing patriotic
band music, pass out small American flags, and/or candy to by standers.
Make sure to have the other managers randomly among the residents in
the parade to help keep them all on the parade route.
Activity 3 - Social
Invite all residents, staff and all family members to a July 4th Social. Set
up tables decorated with red, white and blue tablecloths, streamers and/or
America flags. Suggestion for center pieces: red, white and blue small gift
bags with red, white or blue potted flowers in them. The gift bag will cover
up any plain pots the flowers came in from the store. These can be the
prizes for the staff drawing at the end of the social. Set up two different
voting boxes. One box will be for the staff to vote on the best decorated hat
and should be decorated with a hat theme. The other box will be for the
staff members to enter for their change to win for attending the social.
Decorate it with staff pictures or names on flags or buttons in red, white and
blue lettering. Make sure during your announcement time at the beginning
of the social to point out the boxes so staff will know where they are and the
purpose for each.
• fruit punch or a 7-UP/Ginger Ale punch
• red Jell-O topped with Cool Whip and blueberries
• strawberries, blueberries and white fruit dip
• blue Tostitos chips with white cheese dip or salsa
Activity 4 - Staff Voting/Drawing
Ask staff to look at each residents decorated hat and vote for their
favorite hat by the number associated with the hat. Instruct them to place
their entry in the voting box designated for the resident’s hat election. Then
inform them to enter their name in the designated staff drawing box for their
chance to win a prize. Allow 30 minutes for the staff to enter their vote for
the resident’s hat contest.
During the last 15 minutes of the social hour announce the winner of the
most patriotic hat contest and award the resident with their prize. Remind all
staff to get their name in for the staff drawing. After five minutes start
drawing names from the staff box and award them their prize. Draw as many
names as you do flower centerpieces. This will also help you take down
your decorations because all you will have left is to remove the tablecloths
and any streamers or flags you used to decorate the room with.
Happy Fourth of July!