Functional Therapy Activities: Wrapping Presents

One way to improve productivity in the SNF is to plan one activity for an entire day and modify it to meet your patients’ specific needs. Type up a template for the activity and copy, paste and edit it based on the goals that you target for each patient.

Something we started at my SNF several years ago was having the patients wrap our Christmas gifts. I started this when my children were small so the gifts consisted of cute little clothes, toys, books, etc. Even the older gentlemen in our facility greatly enjoyed wrapping the presents.

One year I had bought my son a new Bible. One patient was especially fond of it and took great pride in wrapping it for my son. Because my son frequently visited the facility, this patient would often ask him about his Bible and the conversations they had as a result were precious.

By wrapping presents in therapy, disciplines are able to co-treat, patients are able to work together cooperatively, and therapists benefit by decreasing holiday related stress that accompanies the strict scheduling of the SNF setting.

Vary your treatment activities based on patient needs and target:

*Object recognition and naming, functional use of objects

*Sustained attention

*Divided attention: Listen to Christmas music in the background or have some reminisce questions handy to discuss (like these free printable ones)

*Problem solving (leave out a supply such as scissors or tape), sequencing (verbally have them tell the steps prior to completing), reasoning (give different sizes of paper and have them determine what fits best).

*Memory: Stack up all of the presents and see if they can remember what they wrapped first, second, etc.

*Sentence completion tasks such as “When my son was little, all he wanted was a…” or “I never will forget the time I got a …”

*Reminisce-This article on Group Reminisce Therapy gives a good definition of reminisce therapy and the SLPs role in reminisce activities. Imagine the possibilities of wrapping up used toys or clothes in boxes in a memory care unit!

Please share what skills you would work on in the comments below. PT and OT are welcome to comment with their strengthening and balance activities as well!

For free Christmas-themed activities please check out these posts:

Ever wonder what your patients do after you go home? Read this post for a good laugh:



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