As always, there are a number of special days to keep an eye out for this month. Find our tips and activity ideas below. Enjoy!
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1st November: All Saints’ Day
After all the ghosts and ghoulies of Halloween, All Saints’ Day can feel a bit more relaxed! It is an important day in the Christian calendar and is especially celebrated by Roman Catholics.
- Contact your local church. Arrange a visit, or invite friends of the church in to your care setting. Find out which is the patron saint of that church and what they are the patron saint of! You could extend this by researching the churches that your residents used to attend, or where they got married.
- Make stained-glass windows. Use colourful tissue paper to make your design, then use black card to make a window frame.
- Discuss famous saints, such as Mother Teresa, St Francis of Assisi and Joan of Arc. Print off pictures of each saint and challenge residents to guess who is who.
- Hold a singalong session to When the Saints Go Marching In.
5th November: Bonfire Night
Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night or Fireworks Night, is an annual celebration involving bonfires and firework displays.
- Make firework paintings. Cut the end of a cardboard inner tube into strips, dip this into brightly coloured paint and then press onto black card for a firework effect! You could also use cookie cutters to create varied patterns.
- Make homemade vegetable soup to enjoy with bread and butter.
- Enjoy a few sparklers in your garden or outdoor area.
- Wrap up warm and go outside to watch firework displays or do a spot of stargazing.
13th November: Remembrance Sunday
Remembrance Sunday is always held on the Sunday closest to the 11th November. It is the day when the nation remembers all service men and women who have lost their lives, not only in the two world wars, but also in other conflicts. Armistice Day (held on 11th November) is the day when the peace treaty was signed after the First World War. Two minutes of silence is usually observed on both days. It is important that all staff are made aware of this and that they respect the silence on both days.
- Many of your residents will wish to buy and wear a poppy. The Royal British Legion will be happy to provide you with a collection pot and poppies. They also have free resources on their website, which you could explore with your residents.
- Make displays using red paper poppies. Place them in jars or attach them onto a board in a wreath shape.
- Paint poppies using halved apples (half them lengthways, not widthways!) dipped into red paint. Print the apple onto a sheet of paper, in the same way that you would do potato printing.
- Check what time the remembrance service and parade will be televised. Ask your residents if they would prefer to watch this individually or in a group, and do your best to accommodate this.
- Most churches will hold a Remembrance Day service on the Sunday morning. They would be only too pleased to accommodate your residents in this service.
- For those that lost loved ones, the Royal British Legion provide simple wooden crosses with poppies on. These can be placed in your garden, or on the windowsills of residents’ bedrooms.
20th November: Stir-Up Sunday
Stir-Up Sunday dates back to Victorian times. It is the day when the family would get together to mix up the Christmas pudding.
- Today offers plenty of opportunity for reminiscence. Encourage the sharing of memories about making Christmas puddings. Ask your residents about their family traditions. Did they place a coin in the pudding for good luck? Did they make a wish whilst stirring? Do they remember steaming the cloth-wrapped pudding for hours on end? Did they stir the pudding from east to west (the direction the Wise Men travelled to see baby Jesus)?
- Involve your residents in weighing out ingredients and stirring the mix. This task can be done as a group activity, but it also works well as a one-to-one session. Residents with late-stage dementia will be able to engage with this task as a sensory activity – smelling the spices, feeling the dry ingredients and experiencing the motion of mixing.
- Buy cheap wooden spoons and invite residents to decorate them however they wish using felt-tip pens and paints.
- Print off Christmas pudding pictures for residents to colour in. Assist residents in punching a hole in the top of the pudding and threading curling ribbon through the hole. Save these to use as gift tags at Christmas.
24th November: Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is an American tradition that started out as a celebration of harvest. There is no reason why we can’t join in! There may be individuals within your care setting who have links to America – involve them in the planning of Thanksgiving celebrations.
- Ask your kitchen team to serve roast turkey today, with all the trimmings!
- Make and serve traditional American puddings, such apple pie or pumpkin pie.
- Wrap your residents up warmly and go outside to observe the colourful leaves. Bring some crunchy, autumnal leaves back to show to the residents who are in their rooms.
- Do leaf rubbing, or cut out leaf shapes from orange, yellow and brown card. Stick these together on a long piece of twine or string to make an autumnal garland.
- Design and write postcards to send to a care home in the USA. There are care home pen-pal schemes available that you could join, or you could simply reach out to a care home in an area that one of your residents has a link to.
30th November: Winston Churchill’s Birthday
Your residents will remember Churchill as the prime minister who led the country through the Second World War. However, you should try to focus your discussion and activities today on the other aspects of his character.
- Winston Churchill was an accomplished artist. Research his paintings online and use these as inspiration for your own watercolour creations.
- Go on a virtual tour of Blenheim Palace, where Churchill was born.
- Celebrate his birthday with a traditional British afternoon tea.
30th November: St Andrew’s Day
St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. St Andrew’s Day is a bank holiday in Scotland, and it marks the start of the Scottish winter festival. It is worth noting that St Andrew is also the patron saint of Poland, Romania, Greece, Russia and Ukraine.
- Enjoy some traditional Scottish music. Scotland the Brave, The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, Flower of Scotland, The Skye Boat Song, and bagpipe music are all wonderful, appropriate choices!
- Hold a chair-based ceilidh dance session. Ceilidh is similar to line dancing. Watch some YouTube videos for inspiration of the types of moves you can incorporate into your session.
- Make and eat a warming, nutritious Scotch broth using lots of vegetables and pearl barley.
- Serve traditional Scottish shortbread as your morning snack.
- Make Scottish cranachan – simply layers of cream, raspberries and toasted oats with a dash of whiskey.
- Design your own tartan by dragging forks in a criss-cross pattern across paint colours of your residents’ choice.
- Use your Daily Sparkle resources to prompt discussion on Scotland and St Andrew’s Day. Invite your residents to share their memories of visits to Scotland and knowledge of Scottish culture.
We hope you find these suggestions useful. We always love to see and hear what our readers have been up to – please email photos and stories to for your chance to be featured in our Reader’s Corner!