Jan 15, 2024

Get in the holiday spirit with our top festive activity ideas for care homes

Festive fun with the help of the Wellbeing and Activities Platform

We’ve reached that time of year again when people come together to celebrate the festive season, and for everyone that wishes to celebrate the holidays, there are plenty of opportunities to do so, and it should be no different for people living in care homes. So, using the Oomph! Wellbeing and Activities platform for inspiration, we’ve come up with some festive activity ideas for care homes to get your residents in the holiday spirit! 

Before you consider what festive ideas to choose for your residents (and you!) to partake in, it’s important to consider their individual preferences and experiences with the festive season.  

Everyone has different experiences with the festive season, for example, everyone has their own traditions and memories attached to the holidays, so thinking of activities that tap into the very fondest memories your care home residents have – times spent with their families and friends – is a good idea to both rekindle warm  memories of past festive seasons, as well as ensuring that the environment they are in now is just as fun and happy. Knowing them means you have a better idea of the types of festive activities they will enjoy the most! 

So, if you’re getting ready to celebrate the festive season with your residents and their families, why not try these ideas: 


Decorating the care home 

One of the best parts of the festive calendar is that day where the season, for a lot of people, really kicks off. Namely, the day the decorations go up! Many people have traditions of making a day of it, so why not set aside a decorations day for your care home and kick off the festive season in a way that builds true community spirit. It’s a good idea to decorate their rooms (while always paying attention to health and safety) so they are always immersed in the festive glow!  

As far as decorations go, there are plenty of ways to engage your residents with DIY decoration fun with the activities available on the Oomph! Wellbeing and Activities platform, which we will discuss further down. 


Christmas jumper day 

You could compare Christmas jumpers worn by staff and residents, and you could even have a competition to decide who is wearing the best jumper. You can take pictures and send them to family and friends courtesy of mCare’s Relatives Gateway and even ask them to get in on the fun by wearing their own Christmas jumpers and taking part in the competition. 

Why not try Oomph On-Demand's... 

  • Design your Own Christmas Jumper activity 

  • Christmas Jumper Spot the Difference puzzle 



It wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that a lot of care home residents will have fond memories of times spent either making and enjoying Christmas lunch with their families over the years, or participating in activities such as festive baking – even buffet food associated festive parties can elicit fond memories, so get the residents involved in a festive baking or cooking day. The benefits of cooking for care home residents, especially those with dementia, are well-documented; not only will it provide an opportunity for them to participate in a communal activity that can build bonds between staff and residents, as well as with other residents, but it also gives them the chance to rekindle fond memories and enjoy the tasty results of their efforts! 

Why not try Oomph On-Demand's... 

  • Pesto Christmas Tree recipe 

  • No Bake Christmas fudge recipe 

  • Mini-Christmas Trifles recipe 

  • Christmas Pudding Flapjacks recipe 

  • And many more...



Not only can arts and crafts activities make perfect, heartfelt and homemade Christmas presents for loved ones, as well as helping care home residents to really get into the festive spirit, but crafts and creative, artistic outlets enrich the daily routines of residents and can make a positive impact on their mental wellbeing by giving them a non-verbal creative outlet to express themselves and challenge their abilities. It also gives them a chance to socialise with other residents as well as staff and can also elicit fond memories of similar experiences in the past. For example, you could make home-made cards, or as previously mentioned make Christmas jumpers, or you could make your own decorations or spend an afternoon wreath-making. The list is endless

Why not try Oomph On-Demand's... 

  • Make your Own Christmas Party Hat activity 

  • DIY Christmas Stocking activity 

  • Christmas Spirit Board activity 

  • Christmas Photo Frames activity 

  • And many more... 


Carols and Christmas songs 

Like cooking, singing has been shown to have a profound effect on the mental wellbeing of older adults in care homes, so whether it’s organising a school or church choir to come into the care home and get them involved in a Christmas carol sing-along, or whether you have the opportunity to take your residents to a carol singing event in the local community, this would be a perfect opportunity to get into the festive spirit and utilise singing as a means of boosting community spirit and mental wellbeing in your residents. Festive songs also are one of the most powerful ways to get in the Christmas mood, not just for care home residents but for everyone, so why not have a Christmas song themed activity day or a Christmas sing-along to your residents' favourite hits from down the years. 

Why not try Oomph On-Demand's... 

  • Guess the Christmas Song puzzle 

  • Discovering Christmas songs activity book 

  • Write your own Christmas Carol activity 

  • And many more... 


Christmas movies 

Who doesn’t love festive movies? The best thing about festive movies is there are so many different ones to choose from, and it’s almost certain that if your residents are in the mood to be festive, they will have their own favourites, such as timeless classics like It’s a Wonderful Life, Miricle on 34th Street, White Christmas or A Christmas Carol. So, the perfect way to help your residents engage in communal and festive activity is put on a festive movie night, showing all their favourites. 

Why not try Oomph On-Demand's... 

  • Top 10 Christmas Movies 

  • Christmas Movies quiz 


Memory activities 

Especially meaningful for those with dementia, organising festive activities that centre around rekindling memories of the holiday season in years gone by will help to provide a strong connection to their life story, as well as a sense of engagement and community as it also provides the opportunity to discuss those memories with staff and other residents. You could help them to create holiday themed memory boxes, help them select pictures for festive photo frames, or organise festive-themed photo albums. 

Why not try Oomph On-Demand's... 

  • Christmas Reminiscence activity 

  • Christmas Memories Wordsearch 


Festive themed quizzes and puzzles 

Quizzes and puzzles are one of the most powerful ways to ensure entertaining and engaging activities in care homes, especially for those with dementia, because puzzles provide the perfect balance between giving the brain workout by providing a challenging but achievable task, which also helps to boost a sense of pride and self-esteem and accomplishment.  

If done together and covering shared interests, puzzles can help bring staff and residents closer together, as well as help to foster a strong community spirit between residents, not to mention the chances for discussions when partaking in quizzes in areas of interest for residents.  

There are so many different options to choose from in this department, so what type of festive quiz or puzzle you decide to go with depends on what your residents are interested in. The Who I Am feature of our digital care planning system, mCare, makes it easy for you to understand the fine details of a resident’s life story and preferences, which then will help you to understand what type of festive-themed puzzle or quiz they might enjoy the most.  

Why not try Oomph On-Demand's... 

  • Christmas Phrases Crossword 

  • Christmas Song Lyrics Crossword 

  • Christmas Quiz 

  • Christmas Picture Bingo 

  • And many more... 


Some other fun festive activity ideas for your care home include: 

  • Hosting a Christmas party 

  • Visiting a Christmas fair  

  • Visiting a Christmas light trail 

  • Christmas shopping day 

  • Local charity events 

  • Hot chocolate bar 

Whatever you decide to do with your residents this holiday season, we hope you have a fun and festive time filled with joy, happiness and community spirit. If you’re looking for more inspiration, click here to find out how investing in the Oomph! Wellbeing and Activities platform can make every day feel as special as Christmas day.  

For more seasonal fun, read here for winter activity ideas for people living in care homes.

January 15, 2024

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