What are some spring/summer, even fall, outside activities that can be enjoyed by seniors with memory loss?

Check out the list below for ideas.

group of senior citizens gathered after an outside exercise class

outdoor activities for seniors with dementia

  • Go for a nature walk. Talk about what you see, hear, smell, and feel. 

  • Along your walk, collect items of interest for later use.

  • Do some nature photography. Take photos of things in nature that interest you.

  • Pack a picnic lunch and take it to the park. People watch at the park.

  • Grab fast food and take to the park.

  • Plant flowers and vegetables in a garden or raised bed.

  • Weed garden or raised bed.

  • Water the flowers or vegetable garden.

  • Watch birds. Get to know the birds in your area.

  • Attend a bird banding session or go to a bird sanctuary.

  • Watch dogs at a dog park.

  • Sweep the porch or patio.

  • Swing on a porch swing or sit in a rocker.

  • Go for ice cream cone or dish.

  • Attend an ice cream social.

  • Pick fruit somewhere.

  • Go to an outdoor Farmer’s Market.

  • Go to an outdoor craft show.

  • Visit a botanical garden.

  • Go to the zoo or visit a petting zoo.

  • Go for a drive

  • Go for a train ride.

  • Take in a baseball game or a local softball game.

  • Play putt putt or miniature golf.

  • Cook out or have a barbecue.

  • Lay on your back and watch the clouds.

  • Gaze at the stars

  • Watch for meteors during a meteor shower.

  • Attend an outdoor movie or a show (drive-ins included – if there are any still around).

  • Take an outdoor yoga class or do a session of chair yoga.

  • Take the table/board games outside – checkers, backgammon, dominos, playing cards.

  • Play balloon volleyball

  • Hula hoop (if physically able)

  • Hopscotch (another one if physically able)

  • Ride a bike (helmets, too!)

  • Have a water squirt gun/toy fight on really hot days

  • Jacks (if anyone remembers how)

  • Pick up sticks (do people play this anymore?)

  • Colored parachute with a lightweight ball (works best with a bigger group)

  • Play Horseshoes

  • Toss a ball (or balloon) or toss a frisbee

  • Fly a kite (may need help getting it started)

  • Bocce ball or lawn bowling

  • Go to the beach or lake. Collect shells at the ocean.

  • Go swimming

  • Go fishing

  • Go for a boat ride

  • Enjoy a summer evening concert in the park.

  • Eat lunch outside while listening to live music.

  • Invert a large plastic bucket or drum container and bang away at the “drum” with pool noodle “sticks”.

  • Take an outdoor painting, sketching or drawing class.

  • Paint rocks in creative ways.

  • Paint your hands and create some handprint art.

  • Sidewalk chalk art (may need to provide a stool).

  • Make wind chimes – buy a set to make or use shells or pieces of bamboo

  • Make a summer themed collage.

  • Paint flower pots

  • Decoupage flower pots with cut out parts of napkins or other misc papers.

  • Create flower arrangements, real or fake.

  • Does anybody play badminton anymore?

  • Pickleball anyone? That is, if physically able to play this game.

group of older citizens outside in park area smiling into camera

pool noodle activities for alzheimer's patients

There are a lot of activities you can do with pool noodles both inside and outside. And you don’t have to be in water!

  • Play balloon volleyball. Use shortened noodle with a balloon to bat it around.

  • “Drum” with them to music as mentioned already.

  • A variation* of this would be to cut a small section of a pool noodle then cut it in half and use one of the halves as your “boat”.

  • You could do partner exercises like in this video below. Caution-there are some exercises that you may not want to use since it involves balancing on the noodle unless assistance is provided.

  • Create a race track. Cut a long noodle in half. Prop the halves on something higher and race 2 cars down the track to see which one wins. 

  • Noodle Ring Toss: Set up some rings or hoops on the ground. Toss pool noodle segments toward the targets to try to land them in the ring or hoop. You could do various points according to distance thrown or how close to ring.

  • Noodle Relay Race. If you have a group, divide into teams. Form a race of some sort using the noodle or section of a noodle.

  • Bowling. Set up empty plastic bottles in 10-pin configuration. Knock them down by rolling the pool noodle.

  • Hockey. Use the noodles to play floor hockey using a small lightweight ball or a balloon.

  • *Bark boats. A variation on the pool noodle boat would be to take a big piece of tree bark and add other nature items. Send your “boat” down the river.

indoor activities

  • Pool noodle ideas can be used inside as well as outside.

  • Create a box of found objects or memory objects.

  • Play some Ping Pong

  • Make something with things found in nature.

  • Play a game of Pool or Darts.

  • Go bowling.

  • Board games and puzzles.

thoughts

Just because someone has dementia doesn’t mean they can’t do activities. 

You just have to alter or adapt the activity to fit the person and his/her capabilities. And be ready to leave at a moment’s notice!

For example, my mom, who had mild cognitive impairment, never would have been able to sit through an outside movie but she could handle a concert at the park. It wasn’t as long. However, it was dicey, as I never knew when she would get antsy about who was watching the baby at home. (There was no baby at home.)

I read over and over again how we need to keep the cognitive skills in people challenged and how it’s good to learn new things.

So keep your loved one with memory loss active, moving and challenged by different activities.

You might find additional activity ideas here –

Fall Activities for People with Dementia