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
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
Other May Activities

Besides the big activities that everyone talks about for May, there are other activity
opportunities that can bring a lot of joy and purpose to residents you serve.

In May, we as activity directors, can delight in outdoor activities. It is a perfect time to
have outdoor activities with your residents. You can plan and have a picnic. You could
take a drive to a local park or playground or school and have the residents watch the
children at play. For more ideas go to

May is also asparagus month. This is an ideal time to talk about asparagus and other
vegetables. You can even plan a garden whether you actually plant one or not. Maybe
you have a sunny window sill where you can have a few plants. Sometimes some
herbs are easy to grow. Chives are one of those herbs. Go to http://activitiesdirector.   
for how to plant and grow this herb. You could just buy a few chive plants as an

You can do the ABCs of vegetables. You can have a discussion about vegetables. Then
see how many vegetables your residents can name. You can give hints as necessary.
You could play a game, “Is this a vegetable?”

Play a game called vegetable salad. On each index or 3X5 sheet of paper, write a letter
of the alphabet that could be the first letter of the name of a vegetable. Have a
discussion about vegetables, naming those that residents might know. Now let each
participant pick one card. Then after everyone has picked a card, let each person name
a vegetable that starts with the letter he has. Give assistance as necessary. Now collect
the cards, mix them up and pass the letters out again. Now let each person name a
vegetable that starts with the letter he has. You can do this for as many rounds as you
like. You can add the task of having each participant name and tell one or two
characteristics of the vegetable. You could have the group member tell some facts
about a particular vegetable that starts with the letter he has and have the rest of the
group guess what vegetable he is talking about. The way you play this game depends
on the skill level of the participants.  

You can show or have actual items. Some residents may want to share some tricks
they have to making things grow better. When you are done with the discussion and
game, you can serve a vegetable salad.

May is also flower month. Use these same strategies for talking about flowers. You can
also talk about flowers that are certain colors. You can get catalogs from seed and
flower distributors and look at them with your residents or some of the residents can
look at the catalogs independently.

You can have members of the group arrange flowers. Buy some artificial flowers at the
craft store. Use a wire cutter to separate each flower from the bunch. Give each
participant several different types of flowers. They can put the flowers in a plastic vase
or pot. They could also put flowers in a piece of oasis(green material similar to
styrofoam ). You can place a piece of this material in a cup or some sort of other
container and have them stick the flowers in this. They could also decorate the
containers they are using. Of course the group members can arrange real flowers.   
You can do flower trivia or sing flower songs while you are doing this. For flower songs
go to

Pet week starting May 2 gives you a chance to talk and share information about pets
that residents had. You can also invite family members and staff to bring in calm well
behaved pets who are current on their shots. You can show pictures of animals that
make good pets and animals that probably do not make good pets. Then play a game
by showing a picture of an animal and ask the question, “Will this animal make a good
pet?”. You may get some pretty interesting answers and comments playing this game.

For more ideas go to

May does afford you many activity opportunities.