Ideas For Your Busy September and October Activity Schedule

Hello, I just can’t believe how quick this year is going and how quickly we are entering into the busiest time of the year for AC’s  worldwide. So as I was  sharing with my online community of wonderful AC’s  this morning , I thought why not help everyone out and do this as a blog.

Here are some key dates that you may wish to cover and ideas of what you can do. I must say don’t always feel compelled to cover every date or feel discouraged if your home activities schedule is different to everyone else’s. You have to remember every care home is unique and different, has a budget, or has no budget and  every AC has their own personal flare and style.

Make sure you use your notice boards to display your work and keep it looking up to date and fresh, as this is what visitors and residents first see in the home.

Image result for hello september and october

Key Dates For September International Talk Like A Pirate Day – Tuesday 19/09/2020
You can have lots of fun for this one . You could have a competition to see who sounds like a pirate the most. You could use the following list  for phrases.

Pirate Terms and Phrases

If you think that there are only a few pirate terms and phrases to learn, you are absolutely mistaken! After reading this list, you will see that there is quite a bit more to speaking pirate than running around and say “Aargh!”
All hands hoay=Everyone get on the deck

  • Avast ye=Pay attention
  • Black spot=Death threat
  • Dance the hempen jig=To hang someone
  • Dungbie=Rear end
  • Hempen halter=The noose used to hang people
  • Hornswaggle=To cheat
  • Shiver me timbers=An expression used to show shock or disbelief
  • Abaft=Back area of the boat
  • Binnacle=Where the compass is kept on board the ship
  • Cackle fruit=Chicken eggs
  • Coaming=A surface that prevented water on the deck from dripping to lower levels of the ship
  • Duffle=A sailor’s belongings
  • Head=Toilet on board the ship
  • Holystone=Sandstone that was used to scrub the ships
  • Jacob’s Ladder=Rope ladder that was used to climb aboard ships
  • Monkey=Small cannon
  • Monkey jacket=Short jacket worn by some of those aboard the ship
  • Orlop=Deck where cables are stored away
  • Poop deck=Deck that is the highest and farthest back
  • Cockswain=The helmsman
  • Flibustier=Pirates of the Golden Age
  • Freebooter=Refers to an actual pirate
  • Landlubber=A person who is not incredibly skilled at sea
  • Powder monkey=A gunner’s assistant
  • Black jack=Large drinking cups
  • Davy Jones’ Locker=Refers to death
  • Ahoy=Hello
  • Ahoy, matey=Hello, friend
  • Batten down the hatches=A signal to prepare the ship for an upcoming storm
  • Blimey!=Something said when one is in a state of surprise
  • Blow the man down=A command which means to kill somebody
  • Booty=Treasure
  • Buccaneer=Name for a pirate
  • Crow’s nest=The place on the ship where the lookout stand is built
  • Cutlass=Type of sword used by the pirates
  • Feed the fish=Meaning that an individual or group of individuals will soon die
  • Heave ho=Instruction to put some strength into whatever one is doing
  • Jolly Roger=The famous pirate flag with a skull and crossbones on it
  • Man-O-War=The name used for a pirate ship that is all set and ready to go to war
  • Old salt=A sailor that has a great deal of experience on the seas
  • Privateer=Pirates who are sponsored by the government
  • Scallywag=A name that is used as an insult to someone
  • Scuttle=To sink a ship
  • Seadog=An old sailor or pirate
  • Shark bait=Going to die soon
  • Thar she blows!=An expression used when a whale is spotted from the ship
  • Son of a biscuit eater=An insult
  • Three sheets to the wind=Someone who is quite drunk
  • Walk the plank=A punishment which entails someone who walks over the side of the ship off of the plank. Their hands are often tied so that they cannot swim and they drowned.
  • Yo Ho Ho=There is often used to express some sort of cheer but also can be used to call attention to the speaker.

You might be surprised to see some of the items on this list. In fact, certain expressions have made their way into every day life. For example, people often say “Three sheets to the wind” about a drunk person at a party or they will call a rascal a “scallywag.” Learning about how languages blend into each other is extremely interesting.
Have a fancy dress competition or if you work in a large facility have a competition to see  who could do the best pirate display on the notice board on their floor and get the residents to judge.   
Use this link for loads of wonderful ideas that you can easily adapt to use with your residents.

International  Peace Day 
 This maybe a day you wish to observe with your residents , it is actually a wonderful topic that you can use for a reminiscence session and derive lots of conversation threads.
What is International Peace Day?
 The International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is a holiday observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access.It is a day that the United Nations celebrate to also honour the achievements of those whose accomplishments helped to bring peace to the world. 
Activity Ideas-
You could create a peace collage  featuring a dove.
Plant a peace garden with your residents.
Plan a reminiscence session talking about how life was after peace when WW2 ended.
Have a coffee morning and sell cakes to raise funds for your home to celebrate world peace day.
Print off  pictures to colour .
Make a peace tree and get the residents to write their thoughts or wishes on the leaves and then stick those onto your tree you make.

International World Alzheimer’s  Awareness Day 21/09/20-
This really should be celebrated especially if you are a dementia home and it is a day to raise the profile of Alzheimer’s Disease, awareness and raise money for research.
Activity Ideas
 Download for FREE resources you can use and put up in your home , use the link below to print off posters and information  from
Talk to your local Alzheimer Charity  worker to arrange for them to come in and give a talk.
 Invite the community into your home to a Dementia Friends talk,  again contact your local Dementia Friends group to arrange a Dementia Friend to pop along to give an informal chat about dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. 
Definitely do a reminiscence session with your residents on any topic they want  or what you think would suit their needs.
Contact your local library or museum for a loan of their reminiscence boxes and there is a low cost for these, in some cases the library staff will come out to do a reminiscence session.

Make  cup cakes by doing a  baking session and have a coffee morning and raise funds to donate to the Alzheimer’s society and your care home too.

Harvest Festival  23-29/09/20 I have prepared a cheat sheet for you to help you out as you enter September-
Interesting Facts To Share To Create Reminiscence  Discussion Threads-

Harvest festival use to be celebrated on the 1st of August and called Lammas meaning loaf mass, Farmers made loaves of bread from the new wheat crop and gave them to the local churches who would use them as communion bread during a thanksgiving mass.

The custom ended when King Henry VIII  broke away from the Catholic Church, and nowadays harvest festivals are done at the end of the season.

Traditionally the end of the harvest was celebrated with a big meal , harvest supper, which would be eaten on Michaelmas Day.

At the start of the harvest, villages would appoint a strong, respected man of the village as their ‘Lord of the Harvest’. He would be responsible for negotiating wages and providing workers to work in the field.And the ‘Lord of the Harvest’ would sit at the head of the table.

Michaelmas Day-

Michaelmas Day is the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel, who threw the devil out of heaven.
He is also regarded as the saint of the sea, maritime and horses and horseman. the day is celebrated 29th of September which is harvest festival day.

Michaelmas day is also known as goose day. Goose fairs are still held in some English towns, but geese are no longer sold.A famous Goose Fair is held in Nottingham on the 3rd of October each year.
Goose was the main bird to dine on on Michaelmas day and was a custom.

It is said that Queen Elizabeth I was eating goose when news of the defeat of the Armada was brought to her on Michaelmas day and she declared she will henceforth  would always eat goose on that day and everyone followed suit.


It is believed that when the devil was kicked out of heaven he fell on brambles and cursed the fruit of the plant and it is believed to be bad luck to eat blackberries after Michaelmas Day.

Also it is believed if you eat goose on Michaelmas Day you will not lack money  all year.

Also if the breast bones of the goose are brown after roasting the following winter should be mild, but if the bones are white or have a slight blue hue  then the winter will be severe.

In Ireland if you find a ring  hidden in a Michaelmas pie it  is meant that one would soon be married.

Corn Dolly

A corn dolly  was supposed to be have been the spirit of the corn goddess and dates back hundreds of years.It is believed in order to keep the spirit of the corn goddess alive and have a harvest next year they would keep back some corn.
Hence corn dolls where created with this belief.

Some Activity Suggestions For You-
Make A Michaelmas Pie!

If you happen to live where blackberries grow wild, why not take advantage of their abundance at this time of year and gather as many as you can for making crumbles, jam….and Michaelmas Pie!

12 oz plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 oz white vegetable fat or lard
3 oz chilled butter, diced
3 fl oz chilled water
pinch salt
2 lbs cooking apples
2 oz sugar
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
12 oz) blackberries
1 egg, beaten


Pre-heat the oven to 180 C, 350 F, Gas 4.
1. Prepare the pastry. Place the flour in a large bowl and stir in the cinnamon and salt. Rub in the butter and white fat with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and add the chilled water. Bring the mixture together using a round bladed knife. Once it has come together, knead for a brief moment and place in a plastic bag in the fridge. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.

2. Peel and core the apples. Cut them into large chunks and place them in a saucepan with the sugar, cloves and nutmeg. Cover with a lid and gently cook for 5 minutes, until the apples have softened. Fold in the blackberries and remove the saucepan from the heat. Cool completely.

3. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out two thirds on a lightly floured surface. Line an 8-inch metal pie plate. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork. Strain the fruit, reserving the juices and spoon the fruit mixture over. Roll out the remaining pastry. Lay the pastry over the fruit. Lift back the edge and brush the base with a little egg and seal the edge. Trim and crimp the pastry edges. Brush the surface with the remaining egg and make a couple of slits in the top. Scatter a little more sugar over the pastry and bake for 35 minutes. Serve hot or cold with ice cream or fresh double (whipping) cream.

Create your own Harvest Festival Display-

Ask your residents, their family, staff and friends to create your own Harvest Display by donating   vegetables, tins of food, corn etc.
Once you have finished displaying it you can donate it to the local church or local food banks for distribution.

Make your own Fab Wall Display-

Make something like this picture example, using leaf prints, paper, paint etc. This could be done over a few sessions with your residents.

Make your own harvest wheat sheaf !
YOU WILL NEED:A large baking tray ( the biggest your oven can take anyway)A pair of scissorsThat is allINGREDIENTS700g strong white bread flour10g instant dried yeast10g salt5g sugar450ml cold water3 egg yolks ( for glazing and sticking)METHOD FOR DOUGH:Mix all the dry ingredients together, then gradually beat in the water until you get a nice firm dough and the bowl is clean with no dough sticking to the sides, if your dough feels too wet or tacky add a touch more flour, if it’s too dry and not very malleable add a bit more water.Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes until you have a nice clean ball of dough. Leave to rest for 10 minutes somewhere cool, then split the dough into two, keep one-quarter for the base and three-quarters for the decoration on top.Thanksgiving Service-Hold your own thanksgiving service with hymns and share poems and get the residents to share why they are thankful. October- HalloweenThe main theme day for October is Halloween. A lot of elderly people do not want to celebrate this and some people find it frightening .All be it, it can be a very scary time with the costumes and scary masks that will be about , especially for people with dementia.
So bearing this in mind, I would suggest that you can include some nice interactive activities that mark the occasion in a befitting manner and gets everyone involved.
Please do not put up grave yard pictures or back drops very in appropriate or scary costumes or masks.
It is of great importance that people in care homes are aware the seasons for their orientation of time and seasons, and that they know where we are in the year.

Here are a few suggested ideas-


Share the origins of traditions of Halloween, do your research on the internet.
This is an excellent resource


Halloween-themed food is fun, easy to make, and perfect for entertaining groups of elderly people, large or small. Bake cupcakes and have them decorate them with orange and black icing. Provide sprinkles and candy corn for decoration as well to make the project even more festive! You could also bake sugar cookies and have the group cut out the dough with Halloween-shaped cookie cutters before baking and decorating them. Candy apples are even easier; just melt caramel, put some apples on sticks, and dip.

GamesThere are plenty of game options for seniors that are amazing for Halloween. Halloween Bingo is a great choice for the elderly. You can cute out Halloween themed pieces and use them for the Bingo card. Memory games are another great option for the elderly. Have you ever played games of concentration with a child? Kids seem to be better at recalling matching cards than adults, and games of concentration can be exceptionally challenging for the elderly. The suits, numbers, or colors can be declared as matches to make the games easier, and an entire deck of cards or partial decks can be used, depending on the difficulty level desired. Two decks of matching cards can be used together to create exact matches and larger memory games. Obviously, the fewer number of cards used in conjunction, the easier the memory games for the elderly players.
Craft ActivitiesThere are numerous activities the elderly community may partake in during the Halloween season. Pumpkin painting is extremely fun and interactive for seniors. Pumpkin painting is a classic Halloween activity for all ages. It works well for the elderly because there is less need to use fine motor skills.Cards and card making is another great Halloween activity. Set up a Halloween card-making craft activity. Making Halloween cards allows the seniors to connect with distant relatives and friends. Provide card materials in black, orange and purple. Include decorative scrapbook papers with a Halloween pattern along with Halloween stickers, ribbon and scrapbook embellishments.Providing pre-cut Halloween shapes is a good idea if the participating seniors aren’t able to cut easily with scissors. The elderly participants glue the shapes onto the card stock base to create the cards.
Halloween Reminiscence Mat Game
Last year I created a Halloween friendly reminiscence game mat which you can use with groups, each persons has a go at throwing a bean bag onto the mat and it has very non scary questions on it, like did you ever go trick or treaty?I have a few in stock if your interested email me at

Pumpkin CarvingYou can get a few pumpkins and get the residents to help scoop out the insides and draw on the front of them and then you cut out either a face or a pattern.
Also I have created a reminiscence mat that can be used at Halloween that talks of old traditions and historical facts , this is a good resource to use. If you would like one to purchase email me at
Until next time keep shining and remember your worth. Do you like what I have shared?  Let me know and also I have created an online AC Academy that gives you support with all the challenges you face.
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Until next time, keep shining.
Ann Marie x