Every year I get inspired to add a little more zest to my holiday programming. This year was no exception.
After shaking each person's hand, learning their names, and planting a gift bow on each, I gave everyone wristlets of bells, each with a slightly different tone to keep it melodic as well as rhythmic. Worked well with Jingle Bells and Winter Wonderland. Even when I turned off the music, they continued to play in rhythmic synchrony with one another.
With 24 oz. bags of Buffalo Snow found at Joanne Fabrics on sale and music about snow, I tore off clumps of snow handing one to each person. We began as though packing the snow, from one hand to another. Then, I began throwing throwing snowballs, first to those who would be most amenable. They threw them at me and then at one another. We talked about snowball fights. Some people reshaped the cotton into beards.
Wanting to bring in a song I used to love from Christmas Revels, I bought a children's version of Lord (or Lady, my version) of the Dance. In celebration of the new year, we danced to a theme of masqued balls. People could choose between a king or queen's crown, jester's cap, leprechaun or honey bee headbands, masks, boas or bells. I played the 1 minute song 3 times to great hilarity and my attempting to get them to keep the rhythm with their feet.
I just found another song for next year. Johnny Mathis singing "It's the Most Wonderful Day of the Year" to a great polka rhythm.
You can read previous posts: December 19, 2010, Preparing for a Dance Therapy Group with People with Dementia and December 02, 2012, Dance Movement Therapy with People with Dementia with Holiday Theme.
We wish you a wonderful holiday season. Give and receive good cheer.