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
Meaningful Activities for June

There are some great days that lend themselves to meaningful activities in June. You
can refer to last year’s article for other ideas.

The first day I am going to discuss is Flag Day. For directions on how to make a large
paper flag that is fairly easy, go to

Not only can you use this flag for Flag Day celebrations and activities, but you can use it
for other patriotic holidays like July 4th. If this craft is too difficult or you do not have time,
just buy a large inexpensive flag. Having one comes in handy when having discussions
about the American flag, Flag Day and other patriotic activities. You can also read a
story about Flag Day. Go to
html   for one your residents might enjoy.

No flag Day event would be complete without doing Flag Day trivia
Here are two questions and answers that I am sure will spark some discussion.

Why is the flag red, white and blue?
To the original members of the Continental Congress, red stood for hardiness and
courage, white for purity and innocence, and blue for  justice. You can discuss which
parts of the flag are red white and blue.

Why thirteen stars and stripes on the flag? They represent the thirteen original
American colonies. The thirteen colonies included Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia,
Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina,
South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.

I like to play a game where I name a city that is in one of the thirteen original colonies
and see who can name the state. I find this easier for most people. You are used to
thinking that way.

To this day thirteen stripes still commemorate the original colonies. Today there are 50
stars instead of thirteen that represent every state in the Union.

You can play the name the state game, by naming popular cities and see who can
name the appropriate state.

You can also have a Flag Day party featuring all American food like hamburgers, hot
dogs and apple pie. Actually you can have a discussion prior to Flag Day to see what
your residents think you should have.

Another day to celebrate is “Know Your Senses Day” which is June 21 There are a
number of things you can do to recognize this day Of course, taste, touch, scent, sight
and sound are the five senses. Five senses that are often taken for granted. That is why
this special day reminds you and the residents to stop and use your senses. Also it is a
wonderful opportunity to provide some extra special sensory stimulation to your lower
functioning residents.

Here are some ideas
Assemble a group together as you normally do. Introduce the topic of the five senses.
Have a brief discussion about each of the five senses. Now say that we are going to try
to heighten each of your senses. Be aware of each group member’s limitations while
doing these exercises. Help him/her compensate for the deficits as best you can.

For sound try listening to different types of music. Ask the group participants which
music they like the best and why. You can do this at a one to one encounter as well.

For touch start out by giving each participant a dab of hand cream to rub into her/his
skin. The softer the hands, the more sensitive to touch they are. Studies show that
holding hands with a partner relaxes a woman. Have everyone hold hands. Ask the
group members how does this feel? A manicure is also a great touching experience.
If you want to incorporate smell with touch, use several different scented lotions when
you are giving each participant a dab of hand cream. Ask them to smell the lotion in
their hand. They could also smell someone else’s hand.

There are many other things that you can smell. Cooking foods with strong aromas
always perks up your sense of smell. Then you can have the group members taste the
food that was cooked. Ask them if the food tastes as good as it smells.

Did you know that 70 percent of the sensory information that defines our world is visual.
There are so many things you can look at. You can look out the window, look at pictures
or look at each other. Now have the participants describe what they see.

These are just a few ideas, for more go to

I hope I have helped you to have a jubilant calendar this June.