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Mental Activities



A selection of activities to stimulate the mind.




A Good Old Rummage... 

It's always exciting to find something of value amidst the unwanted junk at a car boot sale – perhaps a toy car exactly the same as the one you used to drive along the wall in your back garden, or a china marble you won in battle with the marble champion at school. It's easy to bring that to the care home with a little help from the local second hand shop.

Speak to your local Cancer Research or charity shop owner and ask if you can borrow some items for the day for a small donation. Few are likely to refuse the local Care Home.

Gather up items which you feel would be of interest to residents – common ornaments, shoe kits, types of crockery – anything which is likely to have had its place in a home forty or fifty years ago.

When you get back to the home, lay everything out on a table,, jumbled like a car boot sale and invite residents to have a rummage. (Anything that anyone wants to buy, can – as long as the proceeds go back to the Charity Shop:)

This is an activity that's always different, depending on what you've picked up. Residents will enjoy doing what we all love doing – and why car boot sales continue to draw in the crowds on an early Sunday morning.


Picture Bingo

picturelottoBingo with a twist!  Great for residents with poor verbal ability.

This is a particularly good game for elderly people with loss of verbal skills as it uses pictures only.  Of course, you can buy Picture Lotto for kids which works well, but it's far more interesting to make your own with landmarks and pictures relevant to the residents or location of your care home.



How to Make Picture Bingo 

Draw a table on your pc programme with 9 evenly distributed squares (3 x 3).

Look through the web for pictures 100 x 100.  This is a common picture size, so it's very easy just to go to Google - images - then type in, say "car 100 x 100".  Save to a folder in your pc.  20 will be enough.

Fit the pictures on your table.  Save.  Now Save As and give a different name, eg., "Bingo 2"  This time a few different pictures on your table. Keep saving as until you have about 10 of these bingo cards.

Next, make a table with all twenty cards.  These will be your Bingo "Balls"

Print and spray glue to a piece of card.  Your bingo cards are ready.  Your Bingo "Ball" cards just need to be cut up into squares after you've glued them to a piece of card.

Put the small cards inside a drawstring bag and you're ready to go!






Laminated Calendars


Make a wipeable laminated Calendar - great for keeping track of important dates and visits.

Calendars can either be made for wipeable writing, or with velcro for the purpose of attaching picture cards, for those with limited reading ability. Fun and easy to make. And here's how...


A Real Brainstrainer - The Stroop Effect

The Stroop Effect Braintrainer

This mental activity is based on the Stroop Effect - a phenomenon that affects us all, first identified by Dr John Ridley Stroop. Try it out!

The premise is that we find it incredibly hard to name the colours of word colours when they don't match. This is because we process colour and words in different parts of the brain. As we get older, our reaction times become slower and it becomes more difficult to execute this task. This is why it's a great brainstrainer and can be a lot of fun too! For downloadable templates, please visit our free members section.

Stroop Effect

Read out the COLOUR of these words as quickly as possible. Get staff involved too - it's more difficult than you think!