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Christine's Activities
by Christine Jennings
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Christine received her North
Carolina State AD
qualification through
Rowan-Cabarrus Community
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'
Christine Jennings
Holiday/Celebration: Regata Storica (first Sunday staged
in Venice, Italy, as prelude to the rowing contest known as Regattas)

Overview: Turn your facility into a little Italian village as part of the Regata
Storica celebration that takes place in Venice, Italy once a year on the first
Sunday of September. Challenge your residents to explore a Venetian
tradition since the thirteenth century and experience a little taste of Italy
through out the day.

To promote:
Continued Education
Cognitive skills
Sensory skills

Activities: (Name suggestions)
1.        Exploring Italy
2.        Colorful Creation
3.        Regata Storica, our way!
4.        Café’ Alla Trionfante (Café’ of the Triumphant)

Activity 1 – (Educational – note you can use these ideas as two or three
separate activities)
What do your residents know about Venice, Italy? Take a trip to Venice,
Italy by reading some interesting information both historical and modern to
introduce to your residents. You will want to highlight the “Regata Storica”
which is what our theme is about today. has lots of
information on Venice, Italy and the Regata Storica. You can also explore
the Venice Online website which has the Historical Regatta
listed under their Events section, photos and maps to help you expand your
knowledge of Venice to share with the residents. Visit a local travel agent to
see if they have any posters of the city of Venice or of the famous Regata
Storica race to hang around your activity room or the facility for visual
inspiration. Adding some old large clay pottery around the rooms will help
give that Old Italian feel.
Check with your local library or DVD rental store to see if they have a DVD
on Venice, Italy or one of Italy that includes Venice. Show a short DVD on
Italy or just a segment of it so not to make the residents sit for an hour in
the morning. You could show the entire DVD at the end of the day if the
residents seem to have an interest in seeing more of Italy.
You could even include a couple of Italian words in this activity to teach the
residents, just something simple to get everyone in the Italian spirit. You
can translate any English word into Italian on to print as
hand-outs for the residents to practice and as a reminder of today’s theme.

Activity 2 – Craft (Creativity)
The creativity displayed during the Regata Storica is in the colorful
precession of historical boats and oarsmen in period costume. Give your
residents the opportunity to put their creativity to work on a boat of their
own. Boats can be made out of paper mache', wood, milk carton, slim style
shoe box or clay. Any shape will do so they can paint, glitter and/or trim a
colorful boat to display in a waterless boat race later in the day.

Activity 3 – Game (cognitive skills)
Have your own regatta race with the creative colorful boats that the
residents made during their craft activity. They will race on a waterless
canal in hopes to reach the finish line before their competitors. Have some
peppy Italian music playing in the background to give a festive atmosphere
when the residents enter the game area so they will sense the atmosphere
of celebrating Italian style.
Here are a few set up suggestions for the canal:
    Set up a canal shape trail on the floor or on tables by using blue fabric,
blue crumpled tissue paper or paint a water canal on freezer paper or
    If you are artistic you can paint some buildings along the canal to
represent Venice.
    Measure out one foot markers that will be used as spaces for the boats
to move towards with the end being the finish line.
    If using the instruction #1 to play the game you will need to include
several markers that have warnings or detours on them. The warnings will
make the boat that lands on it lose a turn and the detours will redirect the
boat to go back two or three spaces.
You can play this game in two ways or make up your own to fit your
residents capability.
Instruction #1:
    Boat owners participating in the regatta will take turns rolling dice and
someone will move the boat the number of spaces.
    If they land on a warning or detour marker then they will either lose a
turn or have to move back spaces.
    If they roll doubles then the player can roll the dice again.
    The boat that reaches the finish line wins.
Instruction #2:
    Have a list of questions about Venice, Italy and the Regata Storica
based on the information discussed with the residents during the morning
education activity.
    Each time a boat owner answers a question correctly they roll the dice
and their boat moves the number of spaces.
    The boat that reaches the finish line first wins.

Activity 4 – Social (Sensory and social skills)
Now is the time to celebrate the triumphant of all the residents for
participating in activities that expand their knowledge of Italy and having fun
with the Regatta race. The Café Alla Trionfante (Cafe’ of the Triumphant)
will allow the residents to socialize, enjoy music, wine (non-alcoholic),
cheese and other treats from Italy. Below are suggestions for your café’:
        Lower the lights, set up the tables with checker tablecloths and
flameless candles
        Hire strolling musicians to work the room while playing relaxing Italian
songs OR play CDs of Italian music in the background
        Ask volunteers or staff to dress in black pants or skits and white
shirts with a tie, like so many Italian restaurants servers dress
        Serve wine and to make it simple serve the non-alcoholic brand
        Serve cheese, crackers and dessert (check out
& Wines for ideas on cheeses and desserts)
The atmosphere should reflex the relaxation, comfort and a sense of
accomplishment after a day filled with successful Italian fun.

Christine Jennings