Thursday Therapy Treat: Drums, Older Adults and a Robin

Spring is here and with Easter just behind us I am pulling out all of my springtime favorites! I particularly enjoy springtime sessions with older adults because of all of the fun “springy” music there is from this generation’s musical history. One of my favorites that I use this time of year is “When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin’ Along”. Long title, amazing results! This is one of my interventions I use which encourages 1) socialization, 2) team work, 3) motor skills, 4) self expression, 5) reality orientation, and 6) cognitive processing. My groups always have a great time with this one which gets everyone moving and having a great time!!

What You Need…

Egg Shakers, Paddle Drums, Plush Robin, Guitar

Here’s What ya do!

-Distribute 1 paddle drum to each participant and instruct them to hold it upside down

– Place one egg inside drum of each participant so they are balancing the egg in the drum like an egg in a frying pan

-Place the Robin in one of the participant’s drum

-Put the egg bucket on the floor near a volunteer to be the “egg dumper”

-Tell the group the game will work like musical chairs as when the music is playing they will work as a group to pass their eggs towards the egg dumper who will dump them in the bucket *Encourage the group to resist using their hands to move the eggs and to dump the eggs into the peers’ drums by twisting their wrists.

Play “When the Red Red Robin” while the group moves the eggs towards the dumper. Stop the music periodically just like musical chairs. When the music stops, the group is to stop all movement.

-While the music is stopped, whoever has the Robin shares something they enjoy about the springtime (i.e. flowers, the weather, Easter, etc.). You may add some variety into the intervention by asking for a new volunteer to be the “egg dumper” before restarting the music.

-Continue for as long as you wish and end when all eggs have been returned to the bucket or everyone has had a turn to share.

Team or Solo?

– If you have additional help and are working with a colleague, it is always fun to have someone adding eggs to the drums throughout the song to keep the group on their toes!

-If you are acting solo you can also place the eggs in the drums during the song (make sure to practice balancing between egg shuffling and guitar playing!) or during the music pauses.

Further Considerations

-You can also make it into a race to see how fast they can get the eggs to the bucket by either beating a number of song repeats needed or by measuring how far into the lyrics they made it. They can also continue to pass the robin around if the group is quick and dumps all of the eggs before the verse is over.

-If you use this intervention before Easter you can use an Easter basket instead of a bucket just to make it a bit more festive!

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Have fun with it! It’s one of my favorite springtime interventions to do with large groups of older adults but can easily be adapted for smaller groups!

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