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Halloween Trunk Party

Halloween time! It is a time of costumes, children, candy, and CARS!  Trunk or Treat events for Halloween have become more popular as safe places for children to Trick or Treat. In my area, it is done mostly through churches.These are my thoughts in a nutshell.... Invite residents to participate (decorate car their car, dress in costume if they want, and hand out candy) Show residents ideas (see below websites) on decorating their cars Plan an outing to stores that will provide opportunities to buy items necessary (candy & decorations) Invite the local elementary schools 1st and 2nd grade classes.(This could be any organization you want to. Boys and Girls Clubs, Women in Distress, Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts, etc.) Families attending must RSVP to me so we can control how many attend  Families will receive a car pass for their car to enter our community Resident's decorated cars will be spaced out in our parking lot Halloween music will be playing in the parking lot Tim
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Royal Baby Shower

My first event to be include in a National magazine was our Royal Baby Shower ! Check out the story written below the video to see how we celebrated the royal baby and also supported a local charity for mothers and babies! It was also covered on CNN's Headline News and locally in the Sun Sentinel at Baby Shower for Harry and Meghan

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

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 , A pples 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 t

Marching into Fun

Can you believe it is March already? 2016 is well under way. The question for you today is, "how have you improved the offerings that you present to your community?" I believe that if you are not changing it up, or adding more to the calendar of events, that you are not as successful in your job as you can be - or should be for that matter.  Being in the field of providing recreational programs is an opportunity to enhance residents' lives. If you are not doing that, it is not fair to those who you serve. There are plenty of resources available to you so that you can be awesome at your job. Today, I will share a few new ideas that I brought to my community this year.  Wii Jeopardy  and  Wii Wheel of Fortune -  I have people who are active  Wii bowlers  in the community, and I have residents who leave evening programs in order to get home to see Wheel of Fortune and/or Jeopardy on television. So, I found the Wii games on Amazon, and ordered

Loving my Job

It is the month of love and today I ask you, do you love your job like you use to? After being in the field of recreation with seniors for almost 30 years, I can still say yes. But, let's be truthful, I won't say that I would say yes every day of the year. Here are some of the reasons that I still love my job. I hope that by sharing these with you that you will take the time to consider your situation and find that you have similar reasons to be glad you are an activities director. The appreciation of the residents The diversity of the day's tasks The experiences I've had that I might not have had otherwise Traveling Restaurants Cultural experiences Reasons to dress up, get in costumes etc Learning life lesson from worldly residents Does and don'ts for a good marriage How to treat your elderly parents How to be a classy woman The value of faith Strength in difficult times etc. Professional growing opportunities through a great company

Do's For Your Dance

During December my community hosts its annual holiday gala dance. It is a semi-formal event with high-end appetizers and a first-class dinner. Every year we try to raise the bar on this special night. After working with my company for the past 18 years, it is a challenge to keep it fresh and exciting, but the evening always seems to be very well received. With those years of experience come a few lessons that I have learned. You may not host a gala dance, but I think you will still find these points helpful in your job as activities director. Promote the date of your event well in advance so that residents have time to plan their evening (outfit, guests, table seating arrangements) Book a special musical talent for this night. This should not be someone your community uses on a regular basis.  At the same time, you should develop a good working relationship with the performers so that in case they must cancel on you at the last minute, they will