Armchair Antics

Recently in our Activity Coordinators’ Facebook Group, we ran an ‘ideas share’, getting everyone to share one of their favourite simple activities ideas, and in turn, benefit from everyone else’s ideas too.

The list we ended up with had over 50 fantastic activities from armchair boules to laminating local photographs and plenty of guessing games. Over the course of the coming weeks we are going to share this extensive and varied list with you, providing a little inspiration for your planning sessions.


Armchair Boules: Place a white ball in the centre of the room and each person has a ball with a number stuck or written onto it, they roll it towards the white ball, and whoever can get closest is the winner! I love playing this game, the concentration and determination on their faces is wicked – and they all support and encourage each other. (Natasha Lindo)

Pom-Pom Ping-Pong: Make pom-poms just a bit bigger than a ping-pong ball in very bright colours, and use a set of large plastic cups. Put sweets in some and gold stars in the others, and place in the centre of the room. Residents can throw their pom-poms into the cups, and get either sweets or a wish (if they get the gold stars).

Seated Badminton: Nice and simple and everyone can gently bat the shuttlecock around the room.

Armchair Ballroom Dancing: Online instructions to create classic dances seated are a brilliant way to get music and movement into your activities. Instructions for the cha-cha-cha here; for a simple ballroom dance here, while for something a little different we love this upbeat seated yoga session, and this fantastic set of disco moves.

Deck of Cards Workout: Each suit in a deck represents a different movement – the number on the card is how many repetitions to do. If you have a face card drawn, it represents a cardio move you do for 20 reps (like marching steps or front punches). My residents really enjoyed this. They each drew a card for a few rounds. (Crystal Stamper)

Beanbag Throwing: Provide hoops in the centre of the room, and get residents to throw bean bags through them. You can make it seasonal too – for December, we used faux snowballs which went down brilliantly. We had blow-up reindeer antlers, and the hoops made everyone laugh. Staff wore the antlers and raced around the residents collecting the hoops. (Jane Gracey)

Magnetic Darts: Buy a board that’s on wheels so you can move it around the room. It’s a great activity for wheelchair-bound residents and even for taking to rooms for individual sessions.