There are many ways for you and your children to serve at your local nursing home. Nursing homes are a great place for children of ALL ages to serve. The youngest kids always get big smiles just by being present and the older kids can create artwork, play games or show off their musical talents. Here are just a few ideas of how you can get involved in your local nursing home.
- Artwork and Cards–If your child can hold a crayon or a paintbrush they are ready for this service project. Nursing home residents love to receive kid art and cards. Our local Kids in Service NH group has made Halloween decorations, Christmas ornaments, Hearts for Valentine’s Day and Flowers for Spring. This is a great way to give new purpose to your child’s artwork and bring joy to others at the same time.
- Penpals–Contact your local nursing home to see if there are any residents interested in being a pen pal with your child. This is a great way to encourage your child to practice their writing and also form a relationship with an elder. If it is safe to do so, plan a visit to see your child’s pen pal.
- Visits–Many nursing homes are not allowing visitors at this time. If your local nursing home is allowing visitors, contact them to see if there are any residents who could use a visit. Visits usually go smoother when there is an activity. Bring a simple puzzle, a game, coloring books or an easy craft to make. If your child can read, have them bring a book to share with an elder.
- Adopt a Grandparent–If your nursing home is allowing visits, see if there is a resident that your family could adopt. Visit this resident on the regular and spend time learning about their life and what they like to do. Check out the suggestions above for visits for some ideas of activities that you can do as you get to know each other.
- Caroling or Musical Performance--Do you have a group of children who would like to Christmas carol or a few children who would like to perform their musical instruments or lead a group sing along? Contact your local nursing home to see if this would be possible and welcome.
- BINGO Prize Drive–One of the ways our local club has stayed involved with our nursing home during the pandemic is to run BINGO prize drives. BINGO is very popular with the residents and the kids have put together Amazon wishlists with items for people to purchase for prizes. Favorite prizes have been: lotions, soaps, small seasonal decorations, small plush, chapstick, large print crossword puzzle books etc.