Updated: Apr 23, 2021
Activity packets have been vital during the Covid-19 Quarantine. Depending on the restrictions and Covid status of the facility, some activity professionals might not even be able to visit their residents face to face.
In my activity packets, I like to put a variety of different types of printable activities. Word searches, crosswords, category puzzles, secret word cross out, adult coloring sheets, matching puzzles, mazes, connect the dots, word scrambles, riddles, math puzzles, and on and on and on!
Did you know these puzzles have some great health benefits for your residents?
The Bronx Aging Study identified that crossword puzzles could improve one's cognitive reserve (the brain's resistance to damage) and delay the onset of memory decline (1). Participating in cognitive activities overall reduce the risk of dementia and the more cognitive activities you do the risk becomes lower as well (2)
Here are some of the resources I have found to be helpful:
Activity Connection has some of the best puzzle activities. There are some even made specifically for those with memory concerns called "EZ Does it". There is also a section called "Cranium Crunches" with some more difficult puzzles for those who need more engagement. They also make a couple puzzles for Spanish speakers. I highly recommend a subscription to their site and would say its worth it just for their puzzle printables.
Golden Carers is also a great resources for activity packets. There is a section called "Games and Trivia" that has all kinds of great puzzles. They have a tool where you can make your own DIY activities to create word searches, crosswords, quizzes and sudoku.
This website has some more unique puzzles like Acrostics, Cryptograms, Logic Puzzles, Drop Quotes, and more. I would recommend including instructions on how to solve these types of more complex puzzles in your packet.
This website has regular puzzles and some more unique ones like rebus puzzles and brain teasers. The word searches come with images on them which is kind of fun! For memory care residents, you could use their puzzles for kids which have easier versions of word searches.
Krazy Dad has lots of unique puzzles like Suguru, Kakuro, Two Not Touch, Inkies, and many more!
The Word Search is a great place for word search puzzles that come in large print.
Also another good one for large print!
This website has great word searches in large print. They also have non-large print puzzles that once you find all the words, the remain letters have a secret message.
Lots of beautiful adult color pages. I love the art section, where you will find famous paintings made for coloring. Be sure to supply your residents with a packet of colored pencils or small point markers.
These connect the dot puzzles are not for the light hearted! This website also has some interesting color by number printouts. Remember for color pages to not give out anything too childish.
Be sure to assess your residents and see if the packets are the appropriate level of difficulty to engage them enough. Are there any other websites you use to find printable activities? Leave a comment below!
Pillai, J. A., Hall, C. B., Dickson, D. W., Buschke, H., Lipton, R. B., & Verghese, J. (2011). Association of Crossword Puzzle Participation with Memory Decline in Persons Who Develop Dementia. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 17(6), 1006–1013. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1355617711001111
Verghese, J., Lipton, R. B., Katz, M. J., Hall, C. B., Derby, C. A., Kuslansky, G., … Buschke, H. (2003). Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly. New England Journal of Medicine, 348(25), 2508–2516. https://doi.org/10.1056/nejmoa022252