Saturday, July 28, 2012

More olympic activity ideas

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Here are some things we have done. Remember you can have senior olympics any time, not just during olympic season.

We have it once a month during the non holiday season

It seems to be easy for my staff to do and our residents really like it.

First I bought paper pompoms at the dollar store.

I have cheerleaders so participants have something to do when it is not their turn.
We do a lot of cheering.

I announce the activities like a sports commentator which makes it more fun

I try to get everyone in a big circle and move around the circle for the physical events
We have pretty low functioning residents, either physically mentally, visually and some are hard of hearing as well. Of course there are several high functioning residents who I use as helpers.

I mentioned a trivia contest in an earlier post
Besides that we do a dice throw. I have made large ones. I covered cardboard boxes with white paper and wrote numbers each side of them instead of drawing dots.Alternately you can buy a pair of large fuzzy dice.

You can have everyone throw the two dice and see who can add up the two numbers thrown.

You could have several rounds.

Then you can announce the winners. I usually give out trophy stickers, but not until the end of the activity.
You can use anything you want as prizes. You could make gold silver and bronze and participant medals with ribbon and cardboard. This is a good project for volunteers or higher functioning residents

Anyway back to the events

Of course we have a bean bag toss.
We use two laundry baskets. We allow each participant to throw all the items(usually about seven) in one basket to the other basket. We, of course, adapt and modify according to the residents ability. Some residents can only place the bean bags in the basket. Others can get the bean bags in the basket that is several feet away.
Actually we have a thing toss. I have made my own bean bags by putting dried beans in mismatched socks. that family members and others donated. I tie a knot in the top of the sock so no beans fall out. I have squishy balls and fuzzy balls. It makes this event interesting.and tacitly stimulating

Another event is bowling pin knock down.
We place a bowling pin on the floor in front of the resident and see if he can knock it down with a ball or kicking it if that is all he can do.
You could use more bowling pins if you like. Of course, we vary the distance depending on the resident's ability

We also have a domino pick.Each participant picks out a domino piece. Then we see who can add up the total number of dots. I do this like the dice throw

We do balloon toss, either individually with the group leader or in teams. We count to see how many times we can toss the balloon beck and forth before it hits the ground.

We may have several different rounds of trivia with different topics

We might do an event similar to a spelling bee. It is surprising who might be able to spell words

We could have a baseball game either with teams or individually with the group leader. I give the participant a large air filled plastic bat. I shorten it, blowing it partially up and folding the end without air and then taping it with duct or similar tape. I find if the bat is more than two feet long,it is hard to use.

You see you can use shortened versions of all the games the residents like to do. How many different ones you do depends on how many participant there are and how long you want it to last.

I find our group can only tolerate an hour.

You can serve snacks. play the olympic theme music. have an awards ceremony. I like to give every participant a prize or no one a prize. Often the residents do not even care about the prizes. They just care about having fun.

If you try to introduce new events, it can confuse the residents. By the time they get it, it is time to stop. That is why we use familiar events.

You could have a playing card toss or a playing card pick to see who gets the highest number.

The possibilities are endless. I think short quick events are the best so no one gets bored.

I hope this helps you

We have made olympic flags in the past if you have someone who is able to cut out appropriately colored rings out of construction paper. Alternately, you can pass out paper flags with circles drawn on them in the appropriate places. You can find these flags at enchanted learning. I did get them several years ago. I assume they are still available .

Feel free to leave a comment on anything that is not clear

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