The flamingo is a fun and interesting bird and one more reason to party! Party you ask? Why not! It was about time that I hosted a dance in my retirement community and I usually create a theme for the dances in order to decorate and get the residents involved. Instead of doing the same old themes based around the holidays or seasons of the year, I created a Pink Flamingo Dance.
I asked the residents to dress in pink and almost everyone did! Of course, there was a man or two who declared that he did not own anything pink, but that was fine. I even suggested that they could dress like a flamingo if they wanted, which no one did, but a few people did wear their shirts with flamingos on them.
I bought some great decorations through Amazon such as an inflatable 4ft flamingo to take photos with and pink flamingo floating coasters that I used as floats in our lobby's fountain. I put balloon weights and pink balloons in them for the reception that was held before dinner. I also use the floating beverage holders for the centerpieces of the tables at the dance.
In the picture above you will see me wearing a hat similar to one that I saw at Amazon. I happened to have been able to borrow mine from a resident who had some other pink flamingo items. This was actually one of the first programs where I had three different residents offer decor for the event. I really think that it helped having their items not only for the obvious reason of having more stuff to use, but because they were telling their friends that I was going to be using their stuff and it helped promote the event even more!
Sometimes my events are very elegant, sometimes they are really nice and sometimes they are more fun than they are stylish. This is one of those events where it is all about having fun. I could have gone crazy with all the pink things I saw at the store (cake serving stand, cups, etc.) but I made the focus really be on the flamingos. I also found flamingos in the garden section of Walmart. In order to make them stand up inside the Lobby, I went to the craft store and bought sheets of thick Styrofoam. I covered the Styrofoam with plastic that I found in the crafts store, which had a water print on it.
I'm sure as activities directors, you can see that this activity can be modified for any kind of animal or trendy item. I have a resident who wants me to have a Rubber Ducky Party, and ask everyone to wear yellow and share their duckies. She happens to be a collector of rubbber duckies, but since I'm not sure that others have any, I've put it off - for now. What about doing something with Smilie Faces? Or a camouflage party during hunting season (that one is for those of you who have that.... I'm in South Florida, and that is not a season we really recognize here.) Maybe frogs would be fun? I think you understand where I'm going with this. It doesn't have to be about Flamingos. Pick what you see around you and take it to the next level by celebrating it in your own way. If it has never been done before, it makes it even better! I find that residents give a lot of credit for thinking outside the box and let you get away more if it is not perfect. Take a risk and try something new today. It will make you feel good and your residents will be thanking you.