Are you looking for an activity idea to engage a big group of seniors?
Perhaps, you’re tasked with coming up with activities for a visit to a nursing home, or you work in a nursing home and are looking for activities.
Here is one that you can try out – balloon badminton.
A badminton game especially designed for senior citizens. Instead of badminton rackets, you may use fly swatters.
Instead of regular shuttlecocks, we will use balloons so that it has a bigger surface area and is easier to hit. You can play this game either seated or standing.
- Arm strength
- Gross motor skills (big movements)
- Hand-eye coordination
- Social interaction
- Any badminton racket or fly swatters will do. You may even use a rolled up newspaper or pool noodle.
- Inflated balloons – shuttlecocks or small soft balls can still be used depending on the participants.
Aim of activity
The main objective of the game is to involve the senior in a light physical exercise that promotes hand-eye coordination. It’s also an excellent opportunity for them to bond and socialise with other tenant seniors.
Mechanics of the game:
- Position the seniors in a circle and have them spaced out well apart from each other. Otherwise, they may hit each other with a badminton racket or fly swatters.
- Group them into two competing teams and four on each side.
- They can perform this activity either by sitting or standing.
- The goal is to hit the balloon hard enough that it crosses the net. The receiving end must not let the balloon touch the ground.
It’s also ideal if you put an upbeat music during the duration of the game to encourage a positive environment. This is only if the seniors are comfortable with music.
Level of difficulty
- You may add forfeits or prizes to make the game more exciting.
- You can get seniors to change the direction in which the balloon is being hit
- You can incorporate a musical chairs approach where everyon has to pause the game when the music stops
Here’s a video you can watch to get a better idea of how the game is played: