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
National Dice Day

December 4th is National Dice Day. With this in mind, play some dice games with your
residents in December. In fact there are many reasons why dice games should be on
your activity calendar at least once a month. You can also play dice games during 1:1

Dice games can be based on many things. Residents may have to be lucky, or they
may have to rely on their skill and ability to plan. Residents of all ages and mental
abilities can play and enjoy dice games. This is especially important because now
many facilities have younger residents and with only the need for a mild suggestion,
your residents will want to partake in a dice game. You can find games to play with two
players or twenty players, You can play them using a table or the floor,

Dice games are mind stimulating. They are mind stimulating in obvious ways because
people have to count or do quick mental addition. But they are also reinforce the
concept of taking turns, keeping score, winning and losing gracefully, playing without
keeping score as well as many other things.

Dice games are portable. You can always find room for a few dice in an activity cart in
your pocket, on a unit for staff members to use with residents or in a resident’s room.
You can “pre-package” some dice with a stack of print- outs, plain paper and pencils.
Put the dice and any other necessary equipment in a resealable plastic bag or box.

Dice games are personally satisfying.. Most people love the look and feel of dice. They
like the versatility of dice game and the quickness of a dice game

Dice are cheap. You probably have a number of interesting dice in existing games, and
you can certainly buy more very cheaply at a dollar store. You can make your own dice
using varying sizes of cardboard boxes, white paper, dark paper or other interesting
material to make the dots, a scissors and glue or tape. For some ideas on how to
make dice go to

Dice games are plentiful. There are so many games you can play with just one die. A
simple game to use as a filler is to have each participant roll the die to see who gets
the highest number. You can have more than one round where you can have a winner
for each round or the scores can be cumulative where you can have a scorekeeper or
the residents can keep their own score. You can do the same thing with two or three
dice. You could have a list of six things to do. Each time a group member throws a
certain number, he has to do what is in the list for that number. For ideas as to what to
put on the list go to

Another easy dice game is to have each number represent a part of something like an
animal or object. The object is divided into six parts and each part has a number. The
object is for each participant to roll each number so the whole object is made. To make
it more difficult, the parts must be gotten in order. You cannot get one part until you get
the part before it. For an example of this go to

Since December is a holiday month, play a dice game that relates to the holidays. You
can make an adapted dreydl that looks sort of like a die with Hebrew letters on it.
Using the ideas on how to make a die, instead of putting dots on it, you could put
Christmas symbols on it or make it in red or green or both.  

Encourage your residents make up their own games. You can help them, of course.
Then play the game(s) that have been made up.

Dice games can be quick or they can take a long time. Pick a game for your audience
that matches its needs, preferences, and time allotment.

There you have it. Dice games for December. Remember December 4th is National
Dice Day.

For more information on dice games go to