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Teach everyone to do the Macarena or the Mexican Hat Dance and have a contest to decide the best dancer.

  • Piñata Anyone? Let everyone have a turn trying to break open the piñata.
  • Limbo Line – Have guests try to bend backwards low enough to fit under the limbo stick (broom handle, yardstick, etc.).
  • Costume Contest -- award prizes to the best costume(s). Give one to the funniest, the most authentic, the most creative, all-round-best etc.

Other Activities

These activities focus on “team building” which can mean teams of residents and families or residents and staff etc. The following are popular team building activities, each linked to a printable instructions sheet.

Human Knot
Everyone stands in a bundle, close together. They are asked to raise their hands and take another person’s hand. This way they form a human knot. The challenge is to untangle themselves.
Paired Sharings
This is the most basic talking activity of them all. You give people a topic to talk about in pairs. After the paired sharings, they share what they have discussed with the rest of the group.
Who am I?
Everyone gets a tag with a famous name on it…Johnny Carson, Barack Obama, Oprah, and so on. They don’t know what’s on their card because it’s pinned to their backs. So everyone knows what’s on everyone else’s name tag, except their own. People then walk around and ask questions to find out “who they are.”
Variation of “Who am I”?
Make up name tags using Time Magazine’s “People of the Year” for the 1950s. See a list of names and photos.

Bonding Belt

Sorts & Mingle - this game is a nice way of getting people to talk with one another and to get to know things about each other.

Photo Scavenger Hunt

1950s Man of the Year, Time Magazine


 1960's Fun Facts


​An 85 year old resident today was 32 in 1960 so they probably remember some of the big events of that decade.

Check out these 1960’s Fun Facts to use in your NNHW activities. To get the full list, click here. (PDF, 20 MB).

1. The cold war is in full swing with Nikita Khrushchev banging his shoe on the table at the UN telling us he would bury us.
2. The Kennedy - Nixon debate is the story of the year which was to portend the new power of television in the electoral process
3. The Berlin Wall is under construction and the Soviet Union was ahead in the space race.
1. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space. American Alan Shepard follows a few months later.
2. Soviet and American tanks standoff at Checkpoint Charlie as tensions build in Cold War in Berlin, Germany.
3. The Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba begins. It ends two days later in failure.
1. Two of The Flying Wallendas are killed and one paralyzed during their high wire act in Detroit.
2. The First Wal-Mart store is opened by by Sam Walton in Bentonville, Arkansas.
3. Marylin Monroe -- Happy Birthday JFK.
1. November 22, 1963 became the event day of the year, so much so, that most everything else happening in 1963 is mostly forgotten.
2. On August 28th 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. addressed over 250,000 people from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in what has become known as the I Have A Dream speech.
1. The U.S. sends 5,000 more military advisers to South Vietnam, bringing the total number of forces in Vietnam to 21,000.
2. The United States Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving President Johnson war powers to pursue the war in Vietnam.
3. Nelson Mandela is sentenced to life in prison.
1. Bloody Sunday -- 800 African Americans marched in Montgomery, Alabama to protest not being allowed to register to vote
2. The first of the decade's urban race riots began in the Watts district of Los Angeles. It lasted 6 days with 34 people dead, 1,072 injured, and 4,000 arrested.
3. The first rumblings against the war in Vietnam began with Teach Ins around the nations college campuses.
1. President Lyndon Johnson adds 8,000 soldiers in February and another 60, 000 by April to make the total U.S. troops in Vietnam total 250,000.
2. While fueling over Spain, a B-52 collides with a KC-135 tanker dropping four 1.5 megaton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares.
3. Indira Gandhi is elected Prime Minister of India.
1. Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first black Supreme Court justice.
2. Senator Eugene McCarthy begins his run as a Democratic candidate for president under the banner or withdrawal from Vietnam.
3. Apollo 1 fire kills astronauts Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee on a launching pad test at Cape Kennedy, Florida.
1. Popular TV: Rowan and Martin Laugh In, Hawaii Five-O, Mod Squad and Dick Cavett.
2. Popular Movies: 2001 A Space Odyssey, Rosemary's Baby, Planet of the Apes.
3. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood premiered.

1. On July 21 Apollo 11 Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Edwin Aldrin became the first human beings to set foot on the moon with the words "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
2. Richard M. Nixon inaugurated as President.
3. Golda Meir becomes Israel's 4th Prime Minister and first woman Prime Minister.