Skip to main content

Tax-time Blues Theme Party

We had a great night last night with our first ever Tax-time Blues theme party. Let me share with you what we did, so that if you'd like, you can add it to your calendar. First of all, it was important to plan it during tax season.
My retirement community's lobby is current under renovations, so it is a bit of a mess..... and it actually worked out fine for me with decorations. (I will post pictures ASAP.) Because of the construction, we have a temporary wall in the lobby. I told the residents that I was broke from paying taxes and that I need them to help provide art for the wall. I used the term graffiti because they wanted to "tag" the wall when it first went up. I gave them flip-chart paper and they brought back some interesting work relative to the theme. I also printed some famous quotes and printed one per page to add around as well. Sayings like "I'm to broke to pay attention" or "I'd have all the money I need it I died at 4:00 p.m. today" by Henny Goodman. I used soda cans as a garland. I used blue balloons with blue crape paper hanging from it in a small section right before my Auditorium. I added copies of the 1040 form to some of the balloons and floated them along with the ones with crape paper. Then inside the auditorium, I used white bed sheets with holes in it to cover up the stage curtain. I covered the organ and piano that sit on stage too with tarps and sheets. I made it look like a work area with a few paint cans and a paint roller. I added a couple of large "hobo bags" there also. And lastly, I made Uncle Sam's arm coming out from behind the holey curtain, grabbing a handful of money.

The evening started at 4:30 p.m. when residents came down to have "simple snacks." Snacks were onion rings, corn fritters, cheese spread and crackers and a punch. Then they went into the dining room for dinner. The table cloths were exchanged for butcher paper, the place settings were scaled back to the minimum required items, and the silverwear was placed into the water goblet with a paper blue napkin. It looked nice when they walked in. We also added crayons to the tables so that they could "tag" the tables if they wanted to. And they did!

Dinner offered "Ketchup Soup" which was tomato soup, Macaroni salad, American cheese omelet, Poor Man's Lobster (Baked Monk Fish), Beanie Weenies, Hobo Stew (beef stew), tater tots, spinach, and corn on the cob.

After dinner I had a jug band perform. It was the perfect show for the night. Let's just say that I ended the show with "you get what you pay for (laughter from the audience).... and tonight we got more than we bargained for!

The residents dressed as bag ladies, bums, pan-handlers, and much more. They loved it. And those who said "I was raised poor, and didn't want to dress like that again" still found the event fun because others were dressed up....or should I say down.

ps. Take a look at my other theme ideas listed in the category listed on the left or start at Thinking About Themes.

Popular posts from this blog

4 Pictures 1 Word Game for the Big Screen

Many of you who have played 4 Pictures 1 Word, know that this brain game is available as an app for your computer, tablet or phone for free. That is great, bu it does not allow a team to play and is not audience friendly if you wanted to present it at your retirement community (or other social gathering). 
After some time and effort, I made a 4 Pictures and 1 Word game  slide show that you can use in your community. I did use the app for suggestions and the Internet for the pictures. I am glad to share this with you so that you will not have to spend the hours that I did in creating this game. If you get the urge to make one also, please come back to this blog page and share it.  I played this last week with a group of about 25 independent living residents.We did not get through all of the slides due to time constraints..... but I was glad I did not run out of slides in my hour that I had their attention. I will be playing this with them again... and would love to have other slides t…

Play Music More Often

"Music is the soundtrack of your life," said Dick Clark. When you hear a song, if you are like me, it takes you back to that time in your life when you heard the song for the first time or to the occasion where you heard it. That is powerful. Can you imagine the music that our residents have heard in their lifetime? Just like the world in general, they have experienced so much and it is nice when we, as activities professionals, can take them back to the happier days, with the soundtracks from their lives.
So, the question I pose to you today is how do you find and present music to your residents? Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is by way of hired professional performers. That is a given in our jobs, so in this post, I'd like to focus on a few other ways that you can bring music to your residents that they will recognize and enjoy, along with theme music for your special events.

Pandora, Amazon, (search MP3 Download then search free songs) and YouTube are pla…

Brain Games

Recently we hosted our senior Olympics program. This year we added a new event called Brain Games. I found a really good link for brain games that you should look at to understand the definition.
After looking at that link and reading through some other online material, I realized that there is a difference between training your brain and brain games. Be mindful (pun intended) that you are not qualified to train resident's brains unless you have gone to training for it. We, as activities professionals however, are very capable of playing brain games with those who are interested in our communities.
Recently, I introduced Scattergories, Apples to Apples,Wii Jeopardy,Wii Wheel of Fortune and a Name that Tune type of game.  They are fun games that required your brain, so I thought that they were Brain Games. This last game, Name that Tune, I created on my own since I could not find anything that would have been appropriate for this generation to identify with. I downloaded music from t…