Get ideas about so much more you can do for your November senior activities! November is especially known for Thanksgiving, of course. But how about something new or unusual?
(And it's also a good idea to review the real Thanksgiving, which we know so much more about today. There are several documentaries available, and perhaps through the library).
Themes: Corn, turkeys, Native American themes, cornucopias, pilgrim hats, teepees, bare tree branches, pine cones, fall leaves.
Crafts – Make an easy centerpiece or collage for November senior activities, using dried foliage, as seen at the top of our page. Add a peacock feather for fun! For more craft ideas, see our pages on fall crafts for the elderly, which will also point you to a variety of pages.
Another easy idea is to use a simple image from nature as inspiration for a painting or collage. Silhouettes are especially simple. In November you can also add a bit of snow. Here are basic ideas to use as designs…
Commemorations for November:
National Family Caregivers Month - It started in 1997 as a commemorative week during the week of Thanksgiving. But now this commemoration has evolved into a month-long acknowledgment. The National Family Caregiver Support Program was set up in the year 2000 to help caregivers who are age 70 and over. It is part of The Older Americans Act of 1965.
A good month to be mindful of those of any age who are caregivers for their family. So plan special November senior activities with them. Some towns, facilities and churches have special services, luncheons and events for caregivers.
American Indian Heritage Month - Learn about the Native American cultures and history in your area, so important to the overall history of the Americas and Thanksgiving. Consider having a tribal member visit and give a presentation. If you'd like to make a fun craft with colored "Indian corn," see our page about fall crafts for the elderly.
Drum Month – Music is important to have with your November senior activities. Have a visiting musician, including from a school. (I'm sure you'll find a teen who is a good drummer). Talk about different kinds of drums. This is also a good time to have an event in conjunction with American Indian heritage.
Stamp Collecting Month -- Stamp collecting is intriguing for many people, and is also a valuable hobby. Discussions and displays can be enjoyed by those interested. Some in your group may have samples that they are willing to show and share.
Aviation Month – Aviation has been a topic in other months also, and any aviation events are perfect to work into your November senior activities. Another chance to celebrate its history. If there's a museum near you, it may be fascinating to visit. Or find an expert in the field to come and give a presentation. You may even have an expert in your group, or associated with it.
National Model Railroad Month -- This celebration is sponsored primarily by the National Model Railroad Association. For those who are real model train enthusiasts, celebrate it in your November senior activities. There is a great interest in model trains and railroads. Some of your community or members may have been a collector of model trains or memorabilia. Perhaps they even have some items that they can share, a bit like show and tell.
National Pomegranate Month – This exotic fruit even involves Greek mythology about the goddess Persephone and the underworld. The deep ruby jewel-like seeds and juice have many health benefits (but may also interfere with some medications). I love eating the fresh fruit! Also try it in jam and juices, or sprinkle the seeds on cereal, ice cream, or in yoghurt.
National Novel Writing Month – Has any of your group aspired to writing a novel (even a short one)? An excellent project for November senior activities! It’s especially fun if you create a writing group to motivate each other. Some may enjoy dictating into a recorder or into a computer program, with a little assistance at editing. A great legacy for family and friends. And it’s easy and inexpensive to self-publish through Amazon's Kindle, or CreateSpace (for an actual printed book).
Family Stories Month – If writing a novel seems too much, try family stories. One of our treasured keepsakes from Dad is his life stories digitally recorded. Other family members have also written and shared story snippets. Then we published them in booklet form, with cover and spiral binding done at a copy/print store. Or create a photo book from an online site, to include pictures.
Peanut Butter Lovers Month – The Harvard Medical School has designated peanuts has a very healthy food (including its fats). Especially low- or no-sodium all-natural types. So spread it on toast, sandwiches, celery, crackers, and desserts (yummy with chocolate). Baking cookies and bars is a great group activity.
Dates For November:
November 1 – National Authors Day – November is a month for writing, and this day celebrates authors well-known, or not. Perhaps you. Or your group. Who are your favorite authors? Have a few readings, put inspiration quotes on table cards, or use them as inspiration for art projects.
November 2 – The Sistine Chapel was completed, 1480 – Then the famous fresco on its ceiling was painted by Michelangelo in intervals, 1508 -1545. For those interested in art and history, talk about Michelangelo, how many years it took to paint (decades!) and how it was made. Also get an illustrated book from the library, and/or see a movie, such as the classic, “The Agony and the Ecstasy.”
...Project -- Perhaps your group would like to paint a mural on a small wall as one of your November senior activities. (See easy inspirational photos at the top of this page for design ideas).
November 3 – Sandwich Day – Plan a special or unique sandwich for lunch. Maybe offer a buffet so folks can build their own. And since it’s peanut butter month, they’re a good option this day too.
November 4 – Candy Day – Have a little party and serve special candies, including no-sugar. Learn the history of candy. Sugar was first known in ancient India, and sugar cane was called “reeds that produce honey without bees.” The first candy was boiled from sugar, and chunks were known as khanda. The history of chocolate is also fascinating. Some of your group may have homemade recipes to share, or even make. A candy pot luck is also a big hit.
November 4 – The first wagon train arrived in California - In May 1841, it left Independence, Missouri. For a historical flare for your November senior activities, we have a few ideas (more below). Talk about the history of wagon trains, and maybe watch a favorite old-time Western movie.
November 6 – Abraham Lincoln was elected president, 1860 - He had quite a life! This is a good time to have a special commemoration about him. Have inspirational readings, or put quotes on table cards. There are also many documentaries about his life, including at the library.
November 8 – The x-ray was discovered - By German Wilhelm Röntgen in 1895. How far we have come since then! There may be medical folks in your group that would like to learn more about the history of this.
November 9 – Pursuit of Happiness Day – What makes you really happy? Family, pets, hobbies, helping others? Celebrate it in your November senior activities. The perfect day to discuss them and plan (in advance) activities around people’s favorites. (And if you need hobby ideas, see our page on finding a hobby).
November 10 – Forget Me Not Day – This day celebrates those who make a difference in your life. November senior activities are a nice time for special efforts to include anyone who may be shy, introverted, lonely.
…Crafts -- Make greeting cards or place setting cards with the blue forget-me-not flower as the theme. Also include the flowers in crafts on this day; the shapes are easy to draw or paint. Seed packets can also be ordered online to give away.
November 11 – Veterans Day – It is very likely that you have veterans in your group. It is important to acknowledge their service to our country. Have a special celebration, lunch, etc. And if you want to make a special patriotic craft, get general ideas on our 4th of July crafts page.
November 13 – World Kindness Day – Do something particularly kind on this day, and perhaps participate in a charity, or make something for another as part of your November senior activities. Do you know someone in need? Making fleece blankets is popular and is easy to do. Or make a gift basket. Both are satisfying November senior activities.
November 16 – Button Day – Some people love to collect buttons. I’m sure I have hundreds in my box. Make a button craft like on a picture frame or in a collage, and include one or two unusual ones as focal points. See who has the most unique buttons.
November 17 – Take A Hike Day – (At least take a walk). Depending on your climate, November senior activities may still happen outside in the brisk fresh air. Perhaps take a stroll at a park or nature area. Fun with a pet too. Or even around the premises, walking paths or halls. Then gather back for special fall treats.
…Project -- If you have collected dried foliage, make a simple collage against art board or a piece of wood. Spray with craft varnish to preserve and protect.
November 18 – Mickey Mouse's Birthday – He’s older than I am by far! A perfect excuse for some unique November senior activities. For those interested, talk about Walt Disney, the creation of Mickey Mouse and other characters.
...Projects -- For an art project, learn to draw or even trace Mickey. Art work can be copied, laminated, and turned into placemats. Or make smaller bookmarks. Or laminate the characters and use them as part of a centerpiece. Watch an old and/or new cartoon too. Check your library.
November, Third Thursday – Great American Smoke Out Day – First promoted in 1977, this event is sponsored largely by the cancer society, and encourages people to quit smoking. At least for 24 hours. Many find it easier to do this as a group motivation, and it’s ideal to include in your November senior activities. A good time to re-acquaint ourselves with the dangers of smoking.
November 19 – The Gettysburg Address – This famous address was delivered by Pres. Lincoln on November 19, 1863. It is now considered one of the greatest speeches of all time. It was just over 2 minutes long. Read the Gettysburg Address, and about its history. A good reminder of our freedoms.
November 20 – Peanut Butter Fudge Day – A delicious way to continue Peanut Butter Lovers Month! Making fudge can be a group activity, or serve with dessert or as a snack. Get creative and decorate your fudge squares! You can also find sugar-free fudge recipes online.
November 24 – Parfait Day – A parfait is simply a layered dessert of ice cream or yoghurt, fruits, pudding, jello, whipped cream, etc., served in a tall glass, and then garnished on top. So there are plenty of options for sugar-free too. Find out your group’s favorite ingredients (and maybe something unique), and serve for dessert.
Thanksgiving – The third Thursday of the month - No doubt you already have many November senior activities revolving around Thanksgiving!
November 27 – Nobel Peace Prize established, 1901 – Alfred Nobel established the Nobel Prizes in the late 1880s. One Prize category was for peace, for those who "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." He was a rich Swedish industrialist and inventor (of dynamite and other explosives), and an armaments manufacturer. The Peace Prize may have been one way he tried to compensate.
November 28 – The first American automobile race, 1895 – 54 miles from Chicago to Evanston, Illinois. The prize was $5000. Did or does anyone own a vintage car? Or ever participate in a long-distance race? Also fun to get out those miniature vintage model cars of all kinds and show them off. For those into old autos, you may find books at the library to display, or offer a digital slide from online images, during a meal or snack.
...Crafts -- Photos or print-outs of vintage cars are perfect to use in collages and decoupage projects too; i.e., on boxes clocks, or backgrounds behind old family photos.
November 29 – National Square Dance Day – Just in time for some fun exercise to work off all those Thanksgiving calories! Plan a bit of dancing in November senior activities. With roots in traditional English, Irish and Scottish folk dancing, in the U.S. it became associated with cowboys. So use a Western theme on this day too. Consider having lessons, or get a live band to visit. You may have members who are already good at square dancing.
November 30 – Mark Twain was born, 1835 to 1910 – What a character! A fascinating life to study. (Oddly, he was born and died, which he predicted, during the passing of Halley’s Comet). He was a popular writer for the senior generation. Watch a Mark Twain bio movie -- “Mark Twain” by Ken Burns. Or a movie about Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn. Also easy to read a short story.
Instead of searching all over our web site for craft ideas, get some of our top crafts along with loads of new ones all organized here. Over 120 projects! PLUS a FREE booklet of templates for your activities. You get TWO books for one! So check out all the details (with plenty more options for November senior activities).