A quick game of Tic Tac Toe can pass the time.
Make a grid with nine spaces. One person has X's and another person has O's. First person chooses a square to put an X in. Next person chooses a square to put on O in. The person wins when there are three X's or O's in a straight line either up or down or diagonally.
This is an activity with relatively easy instruction and safe materials depending on your choice of glue. (Using child-safe glue is a safe bet.) You can purchase bird feed or make your own at home as another activity. This activity can also initiate conversations about birds or you can take a walk and look for birds.
There are great instructions at the Creative Cubby website or follow the instructions below.
This paper clip fishing game can be fun.
Scatter paper clips on a table and have your loved one pick them up and put them back into a container.
Ask your loved one for help finding an object.
Ask, "Can you help me find?" and then have your loved one look for an item in your bag or around the room.
Having stones that your loved one can handle can be calming, and can give them something to do.
Bring a bag of stones of assorted shapes or colors. Encourage your loved one to sort by size, color, or make patterns and designs with the stones. Making simple pictures like a smiley face is another option. Encourage creativity.
Activities in which a person feels they are helping or being of service aid in creating positive feelings. This simple activity is something many people can do and is a calming task.
Have your loved one fold towels. If you have different colors, ask them to match the correct colors up as well.
This is a conversation game where you talk about two different options and why you would prefer one over the other.
Ask Questions Like:
Poems are a great way to engage your loved one and may help them remember stories and tales from when they were younger.
A poem or a book of poems.
With prompting, your loved one might remember a poem from long ago, or may simply enjoy hearing you recite to them.
If you are feeling particularly creative, can also recite a poem pretending you are a diffent person or using a different accent. Some people may know some poems or rhymes off the top of their heads. Others may need some resources. Ask your local librarian for assistance if you are having trouble finding a poem to share. Some suggestions include a Dr. Seuss book that they read to a child, "The Night Before Christmas," or a traditional poem that rhymes. A good example is this poem by Eugene Field:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe —
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!
Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.
The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea —
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish —
Never afraid are we
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.
All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam —
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'Twas all so pretty a sail
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea —
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,\nAnd you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Matching can be fun, and helps to engage your loved one in a mental activity.
Have your loved one match the different patterns or colors of fabric. Make piles out of each kind of fabric.
You can create your own matching game or purchase an already made one. If your loved one enjoys sewing and can still do some stitching, you can make the pieces yourself or have him or her help. For those who cannot sew, fabric choice and pattern tracing is a great way to help.
Clay can keep people busy and give their hands something to do.
Clay or Dough
You can suggest simple objects such as a bowl or a face for your loved one to make, or encourage him or her to be creative. You can also select something in the room to copy as a model.