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LAUGHFEST

Do you like to hear the sound of hearty laughter? It’s hard not to chuckle along with others who are enjoying a good belly laugh. April is National Humor Month. You can provide the older adults in your group with plenty of opportunities for a giggle or a smile. Here are some suggestions for a few good laughs.

  • Kick off the month with an April Fool’s Day party on April 1. Pull a few simple practical jokes, like turning the clock upside down or wearing your sweater backwards. Hold a joke-telling contest. Reminisce about April Fool’s jokes of the past. Buy some old felt hats in a thrift store so your group can decorate them with odd things like plastic bugs or fruit. Vote on the funniest.
  • Define “funny bone.” Ask: What tickles your funny bone? What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
  • Listen to the humor song “I Love to Laugh” from Disney’s film Mary Poppins. Ask: Does all the laughter in the song meant you feel like laughing?
  • Make a recording of staff/residents laughing. Play the sounds for your group. Can you recognize people by just the sounds of their laughter? Ask: How does the sound of laughter make you feel? What are the benefits of daily laughter? What makes you laugh out loud?Discuss the meaning of the proverb “He who laughs last, laughs longest.”
  • Ask your group some silly questions and encourage silly answers. Examples: How do you get ants out of your pants? Where can you spend pennies from heaven?
  • Enjoy a treat with a funny-sounding name, like monkey bread, snicker doodles, or whoopee pie. Hold a tasting contest of oddly-paired items – like jelly on a pickle.
  • Reminisce about school-boy pranks in the mid-20th Century. Ask: What kinds of mischief did you get into at school? What kinds of pranks did you pull on the teacher? Did you ever get caught in the act?
  • Say some old one-line tongue twisters, three times, as fast as possible. Example: Rubber baby buggy bumpers
  • Paint smiling daisy face flowers to hang around the room.
  • Invite a member of a clown ministry to entertain your group. Encourage participants to wear a piece of clothing with polka dots – socks, tie, t-shirt, hat. Make a polka dot cake with the group. Play a game with round pieces such as Bingo or Checkers.
  • Listen to a funny book by Erma Bombeck on audio. Read some of her old newspaper columns titled “At Wit’s End.”
  • Make a group collage of funny pictures. Ask participants to tell what they think is happening in the picture and to suggest a silly title for each one.
  • Share some pet humor. Watch an animal tricks video or a funny animal movie, such as The Shaggy Dog or Bedtime for Bonzo. Invite a dog owner to bring his/her pet to perform some tricks for the group. Ask participants to share stories of the pets they used to have. · Play some silly name games. (Examples: Spell your first name backwards, write it on a marker board, and then pronounce it; list some “flower” baby names – Rose, Violet) Sing along with the 1964 hit “The Name Game.” Create a version of the song with some of the participants’ names.
  • Play some silly name games. (Examples: Spell your first name backwards, write it on a marker board, and then pronounce it; list some “flower” baby names – Rose, Violet) Sing along with the 1964 hit “The Name Game.” Create a version of the song with some of the participants’ names.
  • Read some funny quotes from comedian George Burns, and listen to an episode of the old radio comedy show, The Burns and Allen Show.

CLASSIC COMEDIES TRIVIA QUIZ

  1. Which classic comedy features the neat freak Felix Unger and the slob Oscar Madison? The Odd Couple
  2. In the 1938 comedy Bringing Up Baby, what type of animal was “Baby”? Leopard
  3. In the 1958 comedy No Time for Sergeants, who played the role of Will Stockdale, a Georgia country boy who is drafted into the Air Force? Andy Griffith
  4. Finish the title of this 1963 comedy: It’s a Mad … Mad, Mad, Mad World
  5. Which silent film comedian portrayed The Little Tramp in many of his films? Charlie Chaplin
  6. Cary Grant plays scientist Barnaby Fulton in Monkey Business. What is he trying to discover in his lab? Youth serum
  7. Who starred opposite Doris Day in the 1958 comedy Pillow Talk? Rock Hudson
  8. “Jimmy” won an Oscar for Best Actor in The Philadelphia Story. Who was he? James Stewart
  9. Which blonde actress appeared in the 1959 comedy Some Like It Hot, with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon? Marilyn Monroe
  10. Who played the role of a teenager in the small town of Carvel in the Andy Hardy movie series? Mickey Rooney

“LAUGHFEST” written by Sue Hansen. © 2011 ElderSong Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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