Nursing Home Visit

When planning field trips, you and your students are missing out if a nursing home or residential care center isn’t on your list. Often overlooked, a care center offers many opportunities for learning and growth.

Nursing Home visit
Showing off our American Sign Language skills! … or at least trying!

I personally struggle to prioritize visiting our community’s local care center. There never seems to be enough time or I need to visit my own grandparents who still live at home. However, I always feel blessed when I take my own kids or our class for a visit.

5 Great Ideas for a Visit

  1. Put on a Performance. Act out a reader’s theatre, play musical instruments, have a talent show, sing songs or read poetry. Our American Sign Language class did a 20 minute program with songs and Bible verses using both our voice and sign.
  2. Make items to give away. Handwriting practice on bookmarks or doorknob hangers, art gifts, small sewing projects.
    • Can’t Visit? Send something; Children make cards each year at our home school support group’s Valentine’s Day party. We drop the cards off at a local nursing home for the staff to distribute.
  3. Hold a Science Fair. Students will learn so much by sharing their knowledge with others. Set up displays along the perimeter of a large room and leave lots of space in the center for people to move around easily.
  4. Host a Craft or Art workshop. Students can explain techniques they have learned. Rubber stamping is an easy art that everyone can enjoy.
  5. Bring Animals for show & tell. Just ask first. When I was young, my family brought our farm animals to the nursing home for their “State Fair Days” celebration.

nursing-home-visitPlace/Event: nursing home or residential care center 
Cost: Free
Grade/age range: PreK-12
Group size: typically better for small groups
Hands-on: Yes

For a short time before I had my children, I worked in a nursing home as an activity assistant. I was able to see first hand how meaningful children are to the elderly. I also experienced what an activity director really needs:

3 Useful Tips

  • Contact the care center’s activity director and volunteer to help with their programs.
  • Visit in the summer or other times of the year instead of just the holidays.
  • Ask which residents would benefit the most from visitors.

nusing-home-walk-in-hall-wayThere are so many wonderful opportunities at a care center. Make plans to visit and give your children a rewarding experience.

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