Beyond Egg Hunts: Five Ways to Celebrate the Season in Your Senior Community

Easter-bonnet

After a long, cold winter the first signs of spring are finally showing up, in flowers beginning to bloom, warmer temperatures, and, of course, the two major holidays of the season: Easter and Passover.

Although senior communities may not want to focus on the religious aspects of these holidays, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the coming of spring and even the secular traditions of the Christian and Jewish holidays, focusing on the food and culture. Here are five ways to celebrate the season of re-birth and renewal.

Make Spring or Easter Crafts
Browse Pinterest to get ideas for fun and simple crafts. From wreaths put together with wire and plastic eggs to baskets or silk flower arrangements, there are plenty of crafts that seniors of any age and ability level can do. Why not invite a local elementary school to your senior home for a few hours and let young and old work together making crafts? The young ones will learn greater respect for seniors, while brightening your residents’ day with their smiles.

Plant a Flower Garden
We’ve talked about how to start a garden to grow food that can be enjoyed later in the season. But why not plant bulbs, lilies or even roses in a special spot on your senior community’s grounds? Choose a spot where residents can see the flowers from their rooms or from a common area, like the lounge or dining hall.

Enlist the Help of Residents to Prepare a Jewish Feast
If you have Jewish seniors in your community, enlist their help and old family recipes to prepare foods traditionally found in a Jewish Seder, the feast that kicks off Passover and is the most widely observed Jewish practice today. Make sure to include matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, beef brisket, roast potatoes and kugel.

Let Jewish seniors share their own stories of Passover celebrations from when they were young or, if seniors in your community have an interest, let one eloquent senior tell the story of Passover to everyone before the feast begins.

Color Eggs
Yes, we promised ideas that would go beyond the plain old egg hunt, but when we saw these all-natural ways to dye Easter eggs, we thought it was too cool not to include. Rather than the plain old store-bought Easter egg dye or food coloring, use these natural ingredients to color eggs.

The following ingredients produce the following colors of eggs:

Brewed Coffee: Brown
Blueberries: Lavender
Onion skins (yellow): Sienna
Cabbage: Purple
Cranberry juice: Light pink
Paprika: Red
Turmeric: Yellow-Green
Purple cabbage: Blue

Remember, the longer you soak the eggs, the deeper and richer the color.

Hold an Easter Parade
Invite your senior community residents to dress in their Sunday best, including Easter bonnets, and hold an Easter parade across your grounds. Invite friends and family members to watch and cheer. If it rains (a distinct possibility in April) march through the halls of your senior community.

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