Skip to main content

Contemplate & Create

A small, but very interested, and talented group of residents went to the museum recently. This trip was different from any other outing to the museum because the residents went to "Contemplate and Create." That was the name of the program at our local museum, and that is exactly what they did. 

The program was basically a tour of specific items in the museum, with narration by the docent highlighting the concepts that we would later put into practice in our own work. There were a few different topics to select from. I choose "assemblage" thinking that it would be the least intimidating.  

After the tour, we went to a classroom area in the museum that I never even knew existed. The teachers for this portion of our outing had everything ready for us. They had a plain white box that would become our work area, along with magazines pre-clipped and organized by subjects, pipe cleaners, buttons, corks, straws, small plastic animals, beads, scissors glue, etc., etc.  They showed examples and guided us through our own very personal process. 

What was neat about this was the bonding that took place with the residents who attended. As some of you know from reading this blog frequently, the community where I work also has two other communities in the area and we run trips together. This trip had about 11 people, but they were from three different locations.  While on the bus waiting for the museum to open, I discussed what we were going to do that morning, and asked the group if they had ever done any type of assemblage project. A few had, and they shared that with  the group. A few had other artistic interests, but had not worked with assemblage. At the end of the morning, when it was time to put away the glue and the beads, it was another great opportunity to interact. It was like  Show and Tell. Everyone took great pride in showing their box and explaining their process and/or subject. 

At our museum, this was a free program and is done with students also. It might be worth a phone call or a look on-line to see if any of your local museum's programs could be presented to your group of senior adults. Some museums have outreach programs where they will come to your retirement community. contact their education department. The museum's slow time for having patrons in the museum is usually a good time for our population, so get busy and see how you can enrich your resident's world with art appreciation.

Popular posts from this blog

Veterans Day Service

In our retirement community, Veterans Day is a very special event. This holiday honors the living veterans who served and are serving our great country. In our independent living community, we have Veterans from WWII, the Koren War and Vietnam War. Veterans Day is always celebrated on November 11 at 11:00 a.m.  (I think really it is suppose to be 11:11 am, but that might look funny on your calendar.)
Our program usually involves a few key elements. The first is that we ask the men in the community to make sure that we have the service stats so that we can announce their branch and length of service. This information may be printed on the day's program, used as part of a slide show or shared by the speaker leading the program.  We like to give our veterans a chance to stand out on this day. We ask them to gather together and proceed into the auditorium to sit in a reserved section for them. Sometimes I order a boutonniere or corsage for them to wear into the service, or give them a…

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…

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…