The Activity Director's Office Presents
Activity Ideas That Work
by Gina Salazar, AD
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Christmas Spelling Bee

Have residents spell these words:

santa claus
Apple Cinnamon
Ornament Craft
Materials Needed:
Cookie Cutters

Mix pretty much equal parts of the
applesauce and the cinnamon until
you get it to be a nice clay consistancy.
Roll the dough out on wax paper until it
is 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Use the cookie
cutters to cut out holiday shapes. With
the straw, poke a small hole towards
the top of the shape. Put the shapes in
a warm spot to dry, this takes a few
days! Once your sweet-smelling
ornaments are dry you can string a 8 -
10 inch piece of ribbon through the
hole you made with the straw and
hang it up!
Christmas card Wreath:
(this project might take one or two
times to finish)

You will need:
wooden clothespins(40 for each
green paint
paint brush
red and green beads(medium size)

paint the clothespins and let dry.then
take a clothes pin and run the wire
through the middle of it,then take a
bead and run the wire through it,then a
clothespin,then bead,and so on,do this
until you get the size of the wreath that
you want,then tie the wire closed.then
put your chistmas cards on the end of
each clothespin.

Snow Globe:

You will need:
baby food jar
florist clay
plastic holiday
small plastic greenery
silver glitter
white glue

Paint the lid of your baby food jar and
let a piece of florist clay
inside the lid and arrange the plastic
figurine and greenery in the
clay.squeeze a small drop of the glue
to inside the lip of the lid.fill the jar with
water and add about a teaspoon  of
silver glitter,carefully place your scene
inside the jar,sealing the lid tightly.let
dry overnight.
in the morning shake the jar and watch
the "snow" float down.
Holiday Trivia:

~what is the name of the famous
singing chipmunk-Alvin
~what song contains the
la,la,la."-Deck the halls
~ what does "feliz
navidad"mean-Merry Christmas in
~ where does Santa leave
presents-Under the tree,and in
~what are the two colors of
christmas-Red and green
~how many reindeer does Santa
have-With Rudolph,nine.
~name the flower associated with
~name a food item people often
string together to make
~ name the famous Christmas
ballet- The Nutcracker
Stuffed Gingerbread
Man Craft

Instructions to make a stuffed
gingerbread man decoration out of
a paper bag and newspaper.

Materials Needed:
Large, Brown Paper Bag
Misc. Items to Embellish

Cut two large, identical
gingerbread shapes out of a
paper bag. Lay both gingerbread
pieces together so the sides with
any printing are touching - the
outside pieces should be blank.
Staple around the edges, but
leave an opening in the top so you
can stuff your gingerbread man.
Wad up small pieces of
newspaper and stuff your
gingerbread man. Staple the
opening shut.

You can now add eyes, nose,
buttons, rick-rack, and anything
else you want. You can also staple
on a small yarn hoop to use for

Graham Cracker House

Materials Needed:
Graham Crackers
An Assortment of Candies

What you need to do is line a
small sheet of card board with tin
foil then place 4 crackers in a
square standing up to form the
base of the house. 'Glue' them
together with iceing. Gently place 2
more graham crackers over the
top to be the roof. Decorate your
house using a variety of candy,
which can be 'glued' on using the

Be creative and try your hand
making different sized houses! For
more support use a small box or
milk carton as a base for your
'gingerbread' house. This will help
it be sturdier.
Candy Wreath

Make a wreath using hard, wrapped
candies, ribbon, and a hanger! A fun
decoration that you can eat.

Materials Needed:
Wire Hanger
About 35 Wrapped Candies
Curling Ribbon

Straighten the hanger and then cut it in
half using wire cutters (only 1 half will
be used). Bend one of the pieces of
hanger into a circle shape. Twist one
end around the other to secure, leaving
about 3-inches of one of the ends free.
Bend that end over to form a small
circle or hook for hanging. Use a pair
of pliers if necessary. If needed you
can also use some duct tape to help
secure the ends together.

Once you have the wreath base made,
you can add the candy! You can use
any kind of wrapped candy you like,
anything from traditional peppermint
rounds to suckers. About 35 of them
will fill your hanger nicely, but this
number can vary quite a bit from
person to person because of how
close they are tied together.

Cut the curling ribbon into 8-inch
pieces. Take 1 piece of candy and tie it
to the center of a piece of ribbon. Then,
use the ribbon to tie the candy tightly
onto the wreath. You can either cut off
the extra ribbon or leave it. The ends
can be curled to add a nice touch to
your wreath. Continue this process
until you have the wreath as full of
candy as you like.

Hang your wreath and keep a pair of
scissors nearby to share the candy
with visitors!
Shredded Wheat Wreath

Make a wreath using shredded wheat
cereal, submitted by Beth and Mark.

Materials Needed:
Cool Whip Type Lids
Shredded Wheat
Green Food Color
Red Hots

Crumble up shredded wheat and mix
with enough glue and green food
coloring to coat. Put it onto the cool
whip lid and shape it around the edge
so it looks like a wreath. Press in the
red hots for the berries and let dry

Pine Cone Wreath

Materials Needed:
8 Pine Cones (approximate)
Wire Coat Hanger
Duct Tape
Items to decorate your wreath

Cut the wire coat hanger in half and
form it into a circle. Wind the two ends
together. I them secured the ends and
covered the entire circle with duct tape.
This held it together better and gave
the pine cones a better surface to stick

Once you have your circle formed, glue
on the pine comes (a hot glue gun
worked best for me). Decorate as
desired. I added a ribbon and holly
made out of crafting Foam. A added
red beads for the holly berries.

If you want a larger wreath, just do not
cut the wire hanger in half! :-)
December Dates to Celebrate:

December is Bingo Month-first manufactured in 1929-Try playing different types
of bingo this

December 17th-
Ben and Jerrys Ice cream stand first opened- Why dont you
have an Ice cream Party with different types of ice cream.

December 21-
Crossword Puzzles Birthday-The first crossword puzzle was
published on this date in 1913.Why don't you have a crossword puzzle party.
Give each resident a different puzzle to do for a set amount of time (5 minutes)
then say switch, and have residents switch with other residents, and keep going
the the puzzles are done.This activity is better suited for alert residents.

Christmas-December 25th- Why don't you have a Christmas Luncheon,with
entertainment.Or have the staff sing karaoke christmas carols with your
residents.Play games and have your present exchange with your residents.

New Years Eve- December 31st- Why dont you have a party at 12:00 noon,since
everyone will be sleeping at midnite.Serve sparkling apple cider and have
residents talk about their new years resolutions.  

Christmas Arts and Crafts:

Sock Snowman

White sock
Scraps of colorful fabric
Small black beads
1 orange bead
Rubber band
Black paint or marker

Fill the sock 3 quarters full with rice.

Place a rubber band tightly around the top of the sock, leaving a couple of inches
for the hat.

To create the hat, fold the lip of the sock over the top of the rubber band. Paint the
hat with the black paint or marker.

To add the scarf, take a small strip of the colorful fabric and tie it around the sock
(about 1/3 of the way down from the hat).

Place on eyes, nose, mouth, and buttons with black and orange beads.

This makes a great Christmas decoration!

Dishtowel Angel

1 dishtowel
1 washcloth
1 Pot holder

Fan Fold the dishtowel lengthwise
(Fig. 1). Fold in half and tie off
about 2 to 3 inches from fold,
this forms the head (Fig. 2).

Fanfold the washcloth (Fig. 3).
This forms the arms.

Fanfold the potholder with the loop along top edge (Fig. 4). This forms the wings.
Place the washcloth on top of the potholder and secure in the center with a
ribbon (Fig. 5).

Lay towel on top of potholder and washcloth. Bring the arms (washcloth) around
and tie together 1 inch from ends, this forms the hands and holds all the pieces

Angel Poem
An angel in the Kitchen
Watching the stew
Blesses your cooking
And all that you do.

Dutch pinwheel tree ornament

Materials Needed
2-color heavy decorator foil or 2 colors lighter foil paper (gift-wrap is suitable), to
be glued paper side to paper with foil sides out
1-inch brass paper fasteners
9-inch colored pipe cleaners
white glue

1. Cut a 6-inch square from the heavy foil,
using a ruler to measure. Or, if you use lighter
foil, cut two 6-inch squares, one of each color,
and work both pieces together, foil sides out.
Use a dab of white glue between the points
and in the center to hold the squares together.

2. Cut a diagonal line from each corner to
1-inch from the center.

3. Take every other point and bend over center. With
nail, knife, or hole punch, carefully make a small hole
through the points at center. Push paper fastener
through the hole from the front. Open paper fastener
at back of pinwheel.

4. Attach pipe cleaner to back of fastener.
Hang ornament from tree with pipe cleaner.
Repeat for more pinwheels.

If desired, multicolored pinwheels may be
made from several different heavy foils or
light-colored combinations. If desired, use a
12-inch square to make a pinwheel ornament
for the top of the tree or decoration elsewhere.  

Advent TP Christmas Tree

A fun way to count down the days until Christmas. Make this advent Christmas
tree using toilet tissue or paper towel rolls.

Posterboard or Cardboard
12 Toilet Paper Rolls

Cut each toilet paper roll in half so you have 24 circles that are about 2 inches
tall. Paint each circle green.

Once the paint is dry, glue them onto the posterboard into the shape of the
Christmas tree below. (The circles below are different colors to make them
easier to distinguish.)

Once the glue is dry, trim the posterboard around to toilet tissue rolls, into the
shape of a Christmas tree. Place a small candy or other treat into each circle.
Starting on December 1st, take out one piece of candy or treat per day to help you
count down every day until Christmas!

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The Activity Director's Office
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