Engagement Activites


  • Engagement activities create purpose and lead to relaxation and satisfaction.
  • The activities stimulate the brain and help keep the cells communicating with one another.
  • Connecting with another person during an activity creates moments of joy.
  • When choosing an activity, match interest with capability.
  • Discontinue an activity if it leads to confusion or frustration.
  • If an activity has multiple steps, provide guidance as needed, one step at a time. Listening to a series of things to do then trying to remember and perform them can be challenging.
  • Think creatively and do not be afraid to try new things.



  • Color with large crayons
  • Chalk pastels
  • Watercolors
  • Paint-by-number
  • Paint with water


  • Cut pictures out of magazines
  • Create shapes and mosaics with different colored papers
  • Magnetic letters or shapes on a metal tray
  • Do needlepoint with large, plastic needle and large-hole canvas
  • Arrange flowers, real or artificial
  • Thread beads or pasta on string or shoelace


  • Puzzles with larger pieces
  • Large LEGO/DUPLO blocks
  • Bake cookies
  • Knead dough
  • Playdough
  • Clay
  • Pattern blocks and boards


  • Large tic-tac-toe
  • Ring toss
  • Cornhole
  • Simple board games
  • Matching games
  • Bingo with animals or instruments


  • Simple games on the iPad such as popping balloons or bubbles
  • Live cams at zoos and aquariums
  • Explore favorite places, cities, museums, etc. using internet sites
  • Scroll through google images of a favorite subject like Golden Retrievers, daffodils or Paris


  • Consider career or hobbies and simplify skills associated with it, such as:
    • Stuffing envelopes or folding paper
    • Typing or using an adding machine
    • Changing a baby doll’s clothes or folding clothes
    • Drawing with a ruler and pencils


  • Help set the table, dry dishes, and prepare food as able (e.g., pour pre-measured ingredients into a bowl and stir).
  • Shake cream in a jar to make butter
  • Repetitive tasks, such as folding washcloths or balling socks (large quantities can be purchased for a low cost at dollar stores)
  • Sort coins, buttons, colored pom-poms, clothespins, colored plastic silverware, or keys using a sectioned tackle box or multiple containers
  • Assemble large nuts and bolts together
  • Fit PVC pipes together
  • Untie large loose knots in rope
  • Tinker board or busy apron


  • Rhythm is in the right side of the brain and it is typically intact for a long time.
    • Listen to favorite songs
    • Engage members of the care team by asking them to create playlists
    • Use a simple music player
    • Purchase simple musical instruments, such as rhythm sticks or bells (or make a shaker by putting rice in a container)
    • Clap hands in rhythm with the song
    • Dance

Physical activities

  • Go for a walk in the neighborhood or on a nearby track
  • Yoga or T’ai chi classes
  • Chair exercises
  • Garden
  • Weed
  • Water plants
  • Feed the birds
  • Sweep
  • Rake leaves
  • Relax outdoors, observe the sights and sounds of nature
  • Have a picnic (indoors or out)
  • Going for a drive
  • Attend a sporting event
  • Play catch with a large beach ball
  • Play volleyball with balloons

Doll or pet therapy

  • Help care for a family pet, including walking, feeding, and brushing
  • Purchase a stuffed animal dog or cat (especially mechanical ones that make them appear more lifelike)
  • Watch fish in a tank or birds in a cage
  • Care for a doll


  • Spa day
    • Schedule an appointment or create a home spa with foot soak, pedicure, manicure, and massage.
  • Look at old pictures and reminisce
  • Watch family videos
  • Watch reruns of a favorite sports team, including a Super Bowl or World Series
  • Look at memorabilia or favorite treasured trinkets
  • Watch favorite movies
  • Read from a favorite book or poem
  • Look through vintage magazines or catalogues
  • Make photo books or a life story book
  • Recite favorite spiritual verses, inspiring quotes, prayers, or songs
  • Participate in religious services (in person or online)


  • Visit website for Hands On Charlotte for volunteer activities.


  • Visit website for Charlotte’s Got a Lot or Charlotte on the Cheap.
  • Check the local newspaper or neighborhood publication for updated calendar of events.
  • Check the local library or senior center for upcoming activities.