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Fourth of July

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Anyone have any suggestions for celebrating fourth of July. Fireworks are too late for my seniors.

 

WHat about Carnival type of games? Ask the grandkids to come and have a competion with them.

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Here are afew suggestions that might work for you have your residents make fresh squeezed lemonade this will bring back a lot of memories and start a great reminiscing activity and than in the afternoon after the lemonade is good and cold serve this over ice and maybe a Hot Dog and chips this you can do on the patio or even with a decorated cart going room to room.

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My seniors also cannot make it to the fireworks, but do you have a parade in your area they could go to? We don't but we have a picnic with homemade ice cream and all the items they request to make it like the 4th of July's they remember from the past. We invite family and friends. Loads of red white and blue. Or you can get staff and volunteers to decorate their wheelchairs and walkers and have a parade in the facility. There are some videos available of fireworks although I have never tried them.

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If you are not able to attend the fireworks. Try buying some sparklers for the residents. If possible take them outside to a porch or patio. Have proper safety equipment available. Have cup cakes with small american flags on the tops and drinks. You could also play some patriotic music during your activity.

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If you cannot take your residents out to a parade, consider having a parade in the facility and inviting family and staff children to participate as well as some residents. You can't go wrong with a picnic for the 4th. Again, I would try to invite families and children. You can have your residents work on a patriotic craft to decorate for the party and possibly even cook something -- even if you just decorate a cake with whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries (to make a flag or go with a different resident suggestion) if you do not have an oven. We once improvised a sparkler with rolled construction paper and shredded mylar (that you often stuff baskets with) coming out the end. We stuck them in our plants for a festive look. Use patriotic music to celebrate. You could easily have a patriotic sing-a-long as well. Since the 4th is fast approaching and it is on Saturday this year, you may wish to celebrate on Friday. This works best if you have a lot of families who take residents out on the weekend.

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Here are a few ideas to help with your July 4th celebration:

 

1. Have a picnic or parade, inviting friends and family to help celebrate.

 

2. Let the residents decorate ball caps with red, white and blue paints.

 

3. Let them make pom pom like streamers to wave at the picnic or parade. You could use red, silver and blue mylar attached to something that would be easy to hold.

 

4. Let the residents make and decorate cupcakes with a July 4th theme to serve at the picnic or parade.

 

5. On the day of the parade or picnic let the residents decorate wheelchairs, walkers, etc with crept paper and construction paper; you could offer prizes for the most creative.

 

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We too are in an area and serve a population that taking the residents to the fireworks is not feasible. I am a salary employee but no matter what day the 4th of July falls on, I come in and help with the 4th of July Party for my residents. I have one activity staff that works in my department every day. I schedule the party at 1:30 in the afternoon. That gives the CNA's time to get everyone to the bathroom after lunch and gives me and my staff time to get the party decorations up and the food or snacks prepared before transporting residents to the activity area.

 

This year as with past years, I will decorate the area with festive red, white and blue "what ever I have". Flags, garland, banners etc. A couple of years ago I purchased balloon weights from the dollar store that are red, silver and blue respectively; the shinely ones with wire and stars in the middle. I use them as centerpieces on the tables. This eliminates the need to pay for balloons and they can be reused for Memorial and Veterans Day celebrations.

 

I play patriotic music and serve red or blue punch and food. Past years we have just danced and ate the food but this year I have purchased patriotic trinkets (lei's, bracelets, necklaces) from Oriental Trading and I am going to set up "No Fail" games for the residents to play to "WIN" the prizes. First everyone will get a Metalic Star necklace (they were free due to our super Material Management Supervisor!) and then I will have ring toss where I will set up bowling pins with a laminated Uncle Sam on the middle pin, basically the rings are big enough as to not fail. The next game will be pick the duck from the tub, just like at the fair only it doesn't matter what number they get everyone will get the right number and last will be a bullseye game where I will draw a big bullseye on one of our inside windows and use a kids suction cup dart gun. I will have points awarded to each ring and no matter what their points are, they will win.

 

Last, I just got back from our local thrift store and was lucky enough to find a patriotic Teddy Bear, so I am going to add guess the number of peppermint candies in the jar. The resident who comes the closest without going over wins the Teddy Bear.

 

I realize this is a long post, but I hope that it gives someone some ideas. I have used some of these games at other parties as well. Some of the ideas came from the Summer Olympics I held last summer. The residents had a blast, especially the bullseye game. They loved shooting the gun and all I did was draw the bullseye on the window with a wet erase marker so it could be cleaned off. The trick is to have an inside window or you need to put a backdrop on the outside of the window so the bullseye shows up.

 

Happy 4th!

 

Ella

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