Technology is quickly changing the face of activity programming. Media streaming devices, such as Google Chromecast and Apple TV, and the many apps for tablets, such as Apple iPad and Microsoft Surface, are becoming must-haves for every activity/recreation department. However, there are so many resources and programming possibilities using modern technology, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Tech Corner is a new Activity Connection feature. It contains suggestions for using Internet sites, YouTube videos, senior-focused networks, apps, software, hardware, and other technology to enhance your program offerings.
Internet Sites to See
Old & Interesting
Sometimes inspiration for an activity can come from the most basic and seemingly commonplace things. At Oldandinteresting.com, you can find information on items that have evolved to help us over the years in the domestic setting. From the history of laundry to the beginning of baby walkers to early butter churns, this website gives you a glimpse into how people of the past accomplished various household chores. Build an activity around antique household items and see what interesting discussions and memories are invoked with your group.
Another place to find interesting and unique material is at BabaMail.com. From inspirational articles and videos to health tips and jokes, this page offers a wide range of topics to browse. Sign up on their website and choose topics that are of interest to members of your group. You will receive daily emails with interesting and entertaining information tailored to those interests from
all over the Internet. Best of all, the service is free.
A digital edition of the science and technology magazine How It Works, this app includes the latest news in science, technology, and space. With illustrations, photography, and explanations that make the science understandable for everyone, this app can really bring a new level of education to your programs. It even includes projects to try at home. The app is a subscription just like the magazine and costs $2.99 a month or $32.99 for the year. However, they do offer a 30-day free trial so you can see if it works for you. It is available in seven languages, requires iOS 8.0 or later, and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. There is also an Android version;
prices and free trial varies from those mentioned above.
YouTube videos are great for learning or just for entertaining. Schedule a "YouTube & You" program with some of the ideas below. There is also a "YouTube & You: Men's Edition" on our Men's Program page each month.
- Babe Ruth Documentary (26:22)
George Herman Ruth Jr. set records in baseball that made the world take notice. His record of 714 career home runs endured for nearly 40 years. With interviews and video footage of his baseball career, this documentary shows a fuller picture of the legend who became the one and only "Babe." Eat some hot dogs, sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," and then set up a tee and have participants take batting practice using a Wiffle ball and bat in honor of the "Great Bambino."
- The Meow Choir. You’ll Laugh Your Tail Off. (3:17)
Looking for something different to spice up your humor program? Look no further than this adorable boys choir singing entirely in "cat language." That's right, they brilliantly meow through an entire song. You won't believe your ears. After that, enjoy browsing through some other silly choir renditions: a high school show choir singing "The William Tell Overture," this delightful quartet from Harmony University singing a song they wrote called "You've Gotta Change Parts," or this choir of silent monks. Yes, you heard right, SILENT monks!
- Mass-Produced Dolls Painted to Have a More Realistic Look (14:07)
You'll find yourself doing a double take with this video. A Filipino artist working in the United States, Noel Cruz makes one-of-a-kind masterpieces. This video shows before-and-after pictures of dolls he has purchased and then altered to look more like the characters they are meant to represent. Often the after pictures look so real you wonder if the subjects are dolls or real people. Visit his website at ncruz.com. Then, listen to an interview with the artist about how he entered into this business. Does anyone in your group collect dolls? If possible, have them bring a doll to the discussion.
- A 45-Foot-Tall Sandcastle (1:11)
This video briefly discusses the process of building one of the tallest sandcastles ever made. Built in the Miami area and sponsored by Turkish Airlines, the beautiful castle was, for a moment, the Guinness world record holder at a height of 45 feet, 10 ¼ inches. The current tallest sandcastle was built in Germany in 2017 and towered to a whopping 54 feet 9 inches. Watch this funny Geico commercial where two dads compete to make a better sandcastle. Bring in some sand on trays and have your own build-a-sandcastle activity.
- Finding Lucy (1:25:31)
This PBS documentary of Lucille Ball is a beautiful tribute to one of the most amazing women ever to grace our televisions. A comedienne, actress, singer, model, film-studio executive, and producer, Lucille Ball really was a talent that few if any can match. Discuss some of these wise and witty quotes from Lucy with your group. Have a Lucy and Desi look-a-like competition. Then, read these 5 Timeless Life Lessons from I Love Lucy.
Gadgets & Gizmos
Reminder Rosie is not just any alarm clock. It is a voice-activated machine that allows loved ones to program reminders in their own voices. It can be heard up to 100 feet away and used for specific appointments, tasks, and medications. It also has large, two-inch-tall numbers, which makes it easy to read from near or far. Read some of these testimonials from their website. It can be used by people who speak other languages as well. Ask family members to record reminder messages or simple greetings to brighten their loved one's day. It's a wonderful option to help encourage seniors to stay on task and independent while giving them a little encouragement when they need it.
Activity Connection on TV
Did you know that many of the features on Activity Connection can be displayed on your widescreen TV or on a tablet? For example, show one of the Junk Drawer Detective puzzles on your television and solve it as a group activity. Or, bring up the short story on an iPad for a resident to read as an individual activity.