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
Gone Fishin’

Although people fish all year round, most people associate fishing with the lazy hazy
days of summer. Here is real easy fishing game you and your participants can create in
a short period of time.

You will need
  • pipe cleaners
  • Two foot wooden dowels or some other type of poles
  • Several magnets
  • You can also make a tabletop version by using unsharpened pencils for poles,
    thin light weight string for the line about six to twelve inches in length and
    magnets to catch the fish.

Attach string to each pole. The longer the string the more challenging it is to catch the

At the other end of the string, attach the magnet.

Make the fish out of pipe cleaners. Your participants bend the pipe cleaners into the
shape of a fish.

For a picture of how they look go to:  

You can have some of the residents decorate a box to look like a small pond, use a
small plastic pool, put a blue piece of paper or plastic in the shape of a pond, or you
can simply put the pipe cleaner fish on the floor, on the table or in a container for those
that have trouble seeing or not very coordinated. For these folks make the poles and the
string shorter. You may have to use trial and error to find the size that works best.

Put the fish in front of the residents. Have them use their fishing pole to catch fish. You
can do any number of things with catching the fish. You can have them catch fish of a
certain color or size.

You can sing some fishing songs while participants are fishing. For fishing songs go to

You can read a story about fish, discuss fish facts, or ask riddles about fish. Information
about this starts at and continues for several days.  Go to

Another topic for a fish discussion is to talk about
ways to cook fish. Related to this is discussing favorite recipes for making fish dishes.

If you would like to serve a simple dish, serve tuna salad on crackers. You can prepare
the tuna salad before the group or you can have your participants make it. An even
easier food to serve at your, “All About Fish” group is goldfish crackers.

Have you ever heard of Billy Bass. It is a soft plastic fish on a plastic frame that moves
and sings when you press the start button. It is a simple fun quite engaging item to
bring around during 1:1 visits, as an impromptu short activity, or as an introduction to
another fish activity.

Another thing you can do that really has nothing to do with fishing except for its name is
to play the card game, “Fish”. Most people remember this game. If not, it is pretty simple
to learn. You can invite children to come and play this game with your residents. You
can also play other simple card games with or without the children. Playing cards is
such a handy activity tool and is especially good for persons who love numbers, have
worked with numbers, relate to numbers, like to play cards, or have played cards in the

For ideas about card games, go to

Fishing and ideas related to it can spice up your activity calendar this summer or