After those wintery months inside, seniors are ready to say…hello, sunshine! But spring weather is famous for sunny ups – and rainy downs. No matter the weather, this fresh crop of 9 spring activities for seniors will put a spring in their step. From a walking club to a royal wedding watch party, it’s time to “think spring” at your senior living community.
Out Like a Lamb: 4 Outdoor Spring Activities for Seniors
1) How Does Your Garden Grow?
Seniors who lovingly planted tulip and daffodil bulbs in the fall, will be on watch for buds. Take them outside to look for the first signs of spring. Once flowers take off, weeding can be one of your spring activities for seniors as part of a gardening club. Use these tips for creating a gardening club for seniors.
If bad weather hits, the gardening club can still meet. Indoor gardening spring activities for seniors include:
- Picking out flower seeds online or in catalogs
- Already have seeds? Seniors can plant them in starter flats or small pots
- Drawing up and designing garden plots – see if a local nursery will volunteer to help for an hour
- Plan a “ground breaking” party complete with outdoor spring activities for seniors who aren’t in the gardening club. Birdwatching is one of the best spring activities for seniors with mobility issues.
2) These Shoes Were Made for Walking
Plan spring activities for seniors that involve some fresh air – and fresh sights. Walking clubs are sprouting up everywhere – in neighborhoods and other senior living communities. Plus, one study found that seniors who walk regularly are 28% less likely to become disabled.
Seniors with mobility issues can still get outside. Just create a staff-guided “wheelchair walk” that moves at a comfortable pace. Need ideas for setting up a walking club as one of your spring activities for seniors? The American Heart Association offers great tips on walking clubs.
3) Say Woof to Warm Weather
There’s no end to studies touting the benefits of owning a dog. From mental health perks to heart health, the title of “man’s best friend” is fitting.
If your senior living community doesn’t allow live-in pets, schedule an outdoor visit from a local animal shelter. Seniors can get their fix of wagging tails. And adoptable dogs love socializing outside the stress of the shelter. Seniors can also invite their families to join in these dog-friendly spring activities for seniors. Maybe they’ll end up adopting a dog. Check out Petfinder to find a shelter near you.
4) Party (or Picnic) in the Park
It may not be best to plan a party for March 20, the first day of spring. Instead, schedule spring activities for seniors around a specific weather event – like the first day of 70-degree weather, or five days without rain. Seniors will be watching their calendars! In fact, you can turn your TVs into digital signage alerting seniors when the event is announced.
If your senior living community features beautiful grounds, hold the picnic or party onsite. Some seniors may also appreciate the change of scenery at a nearby park.
In Like a Lion: 5 Indoor Spring Activities for Seniors
5) A Royally Exciting Spring
William and Kate and Harry and Meghan, oh my! It’s a big year for the British Crown. Chances are, many of your residents are “royal watchers.” So, plan spring activities for seniors fit for queens and kings.
Royal Baby Watch
Prince William and Duchess Kate’s third child is due sometime in April. Let seniors guess which day they think the child will be born, and his or her gender. Prizes for the winner could include a special dessert, a paper crown or the title of king or queen for the day.
Royal Wedding “Watch” Party
Meanwhile, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to marry May 19. Televised coverage of the event, much like that surrounding William and Kate’s wedding, is expected. Plan spring activities for seniors are the event! There’s added excitement since Meghan is an American. Set up a tea party to celebrate. Serve finger sandwiches and other easy-to-eat treats.
6) A Clean Sweep
Yes, cleaning can become one of your most popular spring activities for seniors. Here’s how:
- Incentivize seniors to do a little spring cleaning. Remind them that their unwanted items could be donated to someone in need. Partner with your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. Schedule a pickup day and let seniors know in advance.
- Invite seniors to take part in a before/after photo challenge of a cluttered closet or kitchen as one of your spring activities for seniors.
- Bring in a personal organizer to lead a workshop on tips for keeping a clean apartment.
- If the weather is nice? Organize a cleanup at a local park on Earth Day, April 22nd for seniors without mobility issues. Award prizes to seniors who pick up the most litter.
- Cleaning spring activities for seniors can instill confidence and pride, as they see the visual impact their efforts make: a more beautiful, orderly space.
7) Spring Forward! Live Trivia Tournament
On March 11th, clocks are moved ahead for daylight savings time. Invite seniors to spring forward and enjoy a live trivia tournament in your recreational space. Some senior living communities use live trivia tournaments as a prospecting event. Others let seniors invite in friends and family.
Whatever your goals are for hosting a live trivia event, one thing is clear: trivia spring activities for seniors are social affairs. Residents will enjoy chatting with others about possible answers. Plus, a little friendly competition can help them form friendships.
8) A Real Page Turner
No matter the season, a book club is a great idea. Here are creative ways to make a book club one of your spring activities for seniors:
- Experiment with a new genre. While graphic novels might seem childish or too offbeat, the category has evolved to include mature stories for all ages. Start with NPR’s list of the 100 best graphic novels and comics.
- Revisit childhood favorites. Think Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series, or C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Seniors will enjoy the rich storytelling, while noticing new details and reminiscing about the past. Grandchildren could be invited to join these spring activities for seniors, too.
- Create a cookbook club. Let seniors browse a cookbook of the month and select recipes that will be prepared at the next month’s meeting. That gives kitchen staff time to prepare the ingredients. If a recipe is a big hit, consider adding it to the regular menu.
When the weather warms up? Take these book-based spring activities for seniors…outside! There’s nothing like reading under a shady tree on a sunny day.
9) Small Town Theater
Viewing live theater can be an expensive endeavor, so get creative when adding it to your spring activities for seniors. Fortunately, there’s a cost-effective idea that also benefits the community….
Spring plays and musicals are common at local elementary, middle and high schools. Performers are often nervous ahead of their big debuts. Reach out to school theater teachers: invite them to set up a dress rehearsal at your community. Seniors are a less-intimidating audience for kids, and they’ll be delighted to watch the next generation of talent.
No matter our age, we all get a little spring fever when March rolls around. Tap into the anticipation of warmer days by launching these spring activities for seniors.