The holiday season is a time of joy, warmth, and togetherness. It’s an opportunity for families to come together and create beautiful memories. However, when a family member has dementia, it can sometimes be challenging to find activities that are both enjoyable and suitable for their abilities. To help with this, we’ve compiled a list of Christmas games and activities that are perfect for people with dementia. These activities are designed to be engaging, simple, and memory-friendly, ensuring that everyone can be part of the festive celebrations.
- Memory Card Game with a Christmas Theme
Creating a memory card game with Christmas images like Santa, reindeer, and snowflakes is not only fun but also beneficial for cognitive skills. Players flip over two cards at a time to find a matching pair, which can aid in memory recall and recognition.
- Christmas Song Karaoke
Music has a unique ability to unlock memories. Singing familiar Christmas carols can be a wonderful way for individuals with dementia to connect with their past experiences and emotions. Plus, it’s a lot of fun for everyone involved!
- Decorating a Christmas Tree Together
Engage in the timeless tradition of decorating a Christmas tree. Opt for safe, non-breakable ornaments to ensure the activity is stress-free. This can be a delightful and nostalgic experience for everyone.
- Christmas Bingo with Pictures
Bingo is a classic game that can easily be adapted for the Christmas season. Use cards with pictures of bells, stockings, and candy canes. This game is excellent for recognition and a fun group activity.
- “Name That Christmas Tune”
Play snippets of popular Christmas songs and have the participants guess the tune. This simple yet enjoyable game can evoke pleasant memories and stimulate cognitive functions.
- Simple Christmas Puzzle Building
Puzzles with large pieces and Christmas themes are perfect for a calming and rewarding activity. Completing a puzzle can give a sense of accomplishment and joy.
- Christmas Story Time
Reading aloud from classic Christmas stories or poems can be a soothing and engaging activity. It’s a chance to revisit familiar tales and evoke memories of past Christmases.
- Pass the Christmas Parcel
A game of passing a wrapped parcel around to music, where each person removes a layer of wrapping when the music stops, can be exciting and simple. It’s a great way to involve everyone in a playful activity.
- Festive Object Identification
Discussing and identifying various Christmas objects like ornaments and pine cones can help with tactile stimulation and memory recall. This activity is also an excellent way for family members to engage in meaningful conversations.
- Guess the Scent
Christmas is also a time of distinctive scents. Use jars with scents like cinnamon, pine, or gingerbread and let participants guess what they are. This activity can stimulate the senses and evoke memories.
When planning these activities, remember the most important thing is to focus on the joy and the experience, rather than the challenge or the need to ‘win’. Keeping these games light and pressure-free ensures that everyone, regardless of their cognitive abilities, can enjoy the festive season. This holiday season, let’s create an inclusive environment where every family member, including those with dementia, can partake in the warmth and happiness of Christmas.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from Dementia Friendly Keighley and all it’s little helpers!!