The barrenness of winter is slowly replaced with a touch of green in March. Soon you’ll celebrate the arrival of Saint Patrick’s Day and a new season! Nature comes to life in vibrant shades of green during the springtime. No wonder it’s a favorite color. Celebrate the color of growth and renewal with some creative activities for your group of older adults. Here are a few suggestions for the color green.
- Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day on March 17. Sing some Irish songs, “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” “I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover,” “My Wild Irish Rose,” “The Wearin’ of the Green.” Encourage participants to don something green – hat, tie, socks, or t-shirt.
- Discuss the meaning of the saying, “Luck o’ the Irish.” Ask: Did you ever have a good luck charm, like a rabbit’s foot? Did you ever see a four-leaf clover?
- Enjoy a travel video of the Emerald Isle – Ireland. Ask participants if they remember Johnny Cash’s Irish song, “Forty Shades of Green.”
- Share some fresh key lime pie with your group. Serve the treat on green dessert plates.
- Smell some fresh mint leaves. Sip some mint herbal teas – spearmint or peppermint.
- Sow grass seed in pots and containers. (Caution: Do not let anyone taste or eat the seeds.) During Easter week, fill the grassy baskets with decorated eggs.
- Ask the ladies to identify types of green houseplants. Repot some small plants. Ask: Did you have a “green thumb”? What tips can you share for growing healthy houseplants?
- Ask the men to share memories of being “on the greens” at the first sign of warm weather. Challenge your group to a golf rules trivia quiz. Reminisce about famous golfers – Palmer, Snead, Hogan. Display some golf equipment.
- Celebrate National Nutrition Month (in March) with a taste test of green vegetables and fruits.
- Enjoy one of the first signs of spring – new green buds on trees and plants. Force some flower buds indoors. Forsythia or pussywillow are good choices.
- Agree or disagree with the wisdom of the proverb: “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” For some humor, read excerpts from Erma Bombeck’s popular book,The Grass Is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank.
- Tint some white flowers the color green using food coloring. Experiment with shades of green – sea green, mint, kelly green, lime – using tempera paints/sponge painting.
- Display some green gemstones – emerald, jade, or peridot. Ask: Did you enjoy receiving jewelry gifts? On what occasions did you receive jewelry? Describe your tastes. Is bigger always better?
- Discuss the meaning of the term “go green.” Demonstrate some green products for spring cleaning. Ask: What do you recall about the environmental movement in the late 1960s and 70s? Did you ever participate in an Earth Day event? Did you ever belong to a group, like the National Wildlife Federation or the Sierra Club?
- Green is the color of money. Pass around some one-dollar bills in your group. Ask: Did you keep the first dollar you earned? If you owned a business, did you frame the first earned dollar?
- Sing or listen to some green songs, such as these: “Green Eyes,” “Greensleeves,” “Mountain Greenery,” “Wearin’ of the Green,” “Green, Green Grass of Home,” “Green Grow the Lilacs,” “Little Green Apples,” “Green, Green.” Ask group members to name other songs that have colors in the title.
THINK GREEN TRIVIA QUIZ
Does your group have the “luck of the Irish”? Try for a perfect score on the following trivia quiz.
- Which advertising icon used in vegetable commercials shouted, “Ho, ho, ho”? Jolly Green Giant
- In which baseball stadium is the Green Monster wall located? Fenway Park (home of the Boston Red Sox)
- Finish the title of the following country song: “Green, Green Grass of ….” Home
- What kind of trading stamps were issued to American shoppers in the mid-1900s by supermarkets, gas stations, and retailers? S&H Green Stamps
- What 1960s TV sitcom starred Eddie Albert, Eva Gabor, and a pig named Arnold? Green Acres
- Vince Lombardi coached this professional football team from Wisconsin. Green Bay Packers
- Which state is nicknamed the Green Mountain State? Vermont
- Which emotion best describes a “green-eyed monster”? Jealousy or envy
- This radio and television crime-fighting superhero had a sidekick named Kato who drove a car, Black Beauty. Who was he? The Green Hornet
- What is a greenback? U.S. dollar bill
“GREEN THOUGHTS” written by Sue Hansen. © 2009 ElderSong Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
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