Activities for April

Here are Six Articles to Get You Started

Here are some ideas for April activities in nursing homes and assisted living.

Resident Activities for April, Part 1

Fountain of Youth
This of course is a different Fountain of Youth. But it is spring and youth springs eternal. Arthur Dries

April arrives and spring with it. I start my April show with the song You Make Me Feel So Young  because it is upbeat and conveys how I and others feel in the spring. We are rejuvenated, feel energetic and youthful welcoming in the sunshine and warmer temperatures. I also start my keynote speech with this song as well because when I am around older folks, I feel young. And not because they are older but because they are so youthful and inspiring that they make me feel alive.

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April Shower Trivia

Gene Kelly
Gene Kelly. Getty Images

Share the story of legendary Gene Kelly who starred in the movie Singing in the Rain.

Eugene Curran Kelly (August 23, 1912 - February 2, 1996), better known as Gene Kelly was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was a dancer, actor, singer, director, producer, and choreographer. Kelly was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks and the likeable characters that he played on screen.

Gene was the third son of James Kelly, a phonograph salesman, and Harriet Curran, who were both children of Irish Catholic immigrants. He attended college at the University of Pittsburgh where he joined the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. Early in his Broadway career, he appeared in Cole Porter's Leave It To Me as an Eskimo who supports Mary Martin while she sings "My Heart Belongs to Daddy." In 1940 he was given the leading role in Rodgers and Hart's Pal Joey, which brought him to national attention. During this period he also choreographed several hit plays, including the 1941 production of Best Foot Forward.

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Judy Garland and the Wizard

Ruby Slippers
Remember these?. Getty Images

When I start my program in April it is the rain portion as I call it. But at some point the rain stops and you look up in the sky and see a rainbow after a sun shower. I sing "Over the Rainbow" and then launch into some trivia about Judy Garland and that famous movie she was in. You can too.

Judy Garland

Recall the history of Judy Garland. Judy Garland (June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969) was a film actress considered by many to be one of the greatest singing stars of Hollywood's Golden Era of musical film. She was known for her intense acting, charming wit, and great sense of humor. Born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Judy began life as part of a family of vaudeville players. The family soon moved to Lancaster, California and the Gumm Sisters began work on stage and in short films.

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April Fools

April Fools Day
Celebrate April Fools Day. Spike Mafford

April 1st is….April Fools Day.

Ask residents if they ever pulled an April Fool’s joke on someone and share any stories from staff.

April Fool's Day or All Fools' Day, though not a holiday in its own right, is a notable day celebrated in many countries on April 1. The day is marked by the commission of hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends and neighbors, or sending them on fools' errands, the aim of which is to embarrass the gullible. The origin of this custom has been much disputed. What seems certain is that it is a relic of those once universal festivities held at the vernal equinox, which, beginning on old New Year's day, the 25th of March, ended on the 1st of April.

Though the 1st of April appears to have been anciently observed in Great Britain as a general festival, it was apparently not until the beginning of the 18th century that the making of April-fools was a common custom. In Scotland the custom was known as "hunting the gowk."

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Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Let's play ball!. John Kuczala

Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is an early-20th century Tin Pan Alley song which became the unofficial anthem of baseball. The song is traditionally sung during the seventh-inning stretch of a baseball game, in spite of the technicality that it is written from the perspective of someone not currently watching a game.

The words were written in 1908 by Jack Norworth, otherwise best-known for writing "Shine On, Harvest Moon". While riding a subway train, he was inspired by a sign that said "Baseball Today — Polo Grounds". After he wrote the lyrics, it was set to music by Albert Von Tilzer, although neither of them had ever seen a baseball game before. The song was first sung by Norworth's wife Nora Bayes. Norworth wrote an alternative version of the song in 1927.

Below are the two versions.

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On the Road Again

Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson. 2013 Getty Images

OK, follow my rationale on how this song made it into the collection. I figure that in most of the climates in the U.S. and Canada, April is the first sign that you are thawing out for the winter. People get cabin fever in the winter and are itching to get out and about in the spring. They want to hit the road so to speak and so we have this song by Willie Nelson.

  1. Play the song.
  2. I get the residents to give me a big yee ha during certain parts of the song. Have fun with it.
  3. Plan a day trip for those able to celebrate the good weather returning.
  4. Share some of the story of Willie Nelson.

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Monthly Activities

Check out the rest of our articles about activities for specific months.

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