Six Group Activities for Friends over Forty

More and more people are texting or tweeting their messages in as few words as possible and knowing less and less about individuals they care about.

For this decline in face to face communication, Harvard Professor, Robert D. Putnam prescribes an increase in social capital--the collective value of social networks.

Some resurgence in group activities like club meetings and having friends over will make the individual and the community happier and safer.

Source

Someone has to initiate the idea of a gathering, and available suggestions for group activities might make that individual more willing to follow through. The activities listed below are geared toward happy, healthy conversations, and can be streamlined to fit the group.

There is no hard and fast rule about the age group, but adults near and over forty usually need a push away from the busy schedules of office responsibilities and home management, including the transportation of preteens and teenagers to school and extra-curricular activities. They also enjoy talking the language of their peers.

They can have lots of fun, laughter and stress release by participating in these group activities.


(1) Banana Entry

for relaxation and casual conversation

The planner announces a special fun gathering, and an admission fee—one ripe banana.

On arrival, each attendant puts the banana in a basket or container of choice, which is placed near the front entrance, and takes a number. Without any ritual, the bananas are picked up while individuals greet each other, settle in and anticipate the fun.

Soon, servers appear with banana splits complete with a variety of fixings. The fun begins as individuals speak in the order assigned by their numbers, to tell:

their original thoughts on why the banana was requested;

any funny story they know about bananas.

Conversation continues on any other fun topic prearranged by the host or proposed by the comedian(s) in the group.


(2) From There to Here

for sharing motivation to move forward

Participants bring old pictures of themselves to display as in a show-and-tell. Each individual gets a chance to tell the group, where he or she was spiritually, or emotionally, socially, academically, financially (the individual’s prerogative) in the picture; and briefly report on anything significant that made them leap or stumble from there to here (their present circumstances).

Make room for appropriate jokes from the speaker and interjections and questions from the listeners. Have fun with the historical and reports of transformation.


(3) Model a Story

to inspire and help participants know each other better

Participants walk down a makeshift runway, wearing outfits or accessory items of social, emotional or spiritual significance. Each participant writes a personal narrative in advance to be read by a golden-voice, good reader.

Each story must be about a significant event to which the participant wore the outfit or article; or a story about something unexpected but meaningful which happened while the model was wearing the item. For example, it could be something worn when a sweetheart proposed, or when the wearer had an aha moment, or it could be a special gift from a friend.

The model is free to add whatever dramatic flair he or she wants, while walking down the runway. Keep the narratives upbeat, pleasant, humorous where appropriate for a good-feel, inspirational session.


(4) Movie Lines and Actions

for intentional fun and memory exercise

Each person gets a turn to do the acting. The group leader demonstrates the activity, and then allow the person who responds correctly to the clues to take the stage.

Sample Movie Lines

“Let me get the cheese cake and we’ll talk.” Blanche Devereaux in Golden Girls.

“Excuse me, sir, I don’t know your signal.” Maria in The Sound of Music.

“I loves Harpo, God knows I do. But I'll kill him dead 'fo I let him beat me.” Sofia in The Color Purple

Here are the instructions for the person who is acting:

a) Name the movie (or sitcom) you’re thinking about.

b) Mime the action that suggests the character who spoke the line you’re thinking about. Have participants guess.

c) Continue miming until someone quotes the line (doesn’t have to be perfect, but close enough).

Choose popular movies most people may have watched, and memorable lines spoken by characters most people may know. If one person in the group knows most of the lines, that person can share the acting opportunities with others. If the event is announced beforehand, participants can find lots of great lines on YouTube.


(5) Neighborhood Prayer Walk

for divine intervention and protection from evil

Photo by Kevin Phillips
Photo by Kevin Phillips | Source

These days when so many lives are endangered by the wicked actions of others, prayers for innocent, family and community members cannot be too many. Most individuals over forty have children, other relatives and friends about whom they care deeply. Why not combine some powerful prayers on their behalf of their loved ones?

While the entire group takes an early leisurely walk around the neighborhood, teams of two or three can walk together and share prayers for the protection of themselves and those within the neighborhood, and extend those prayers for the protection of loved ones who live outside the area. At the beginning and at the end of the walk, the group assembles and prayer is offered by one or two members for the effectiveness of their efforts.


(6) Tributes

for group and subgroup bonding

How often do you meet with a group (include family gatherings) for social activities?

  • Never. I don't have the time
  • Never. I don't like gatherings
  • Once a year
  • More than once a year
  • Regularly
See results without voting

Paper and pencils are needed for this activity, and each person has a chance to contribute to the conversation about what is to be written.

Write numbers 1 to 12 on paper (each number representing the calendar month) and fold them so that the numbers are hidden. Divide the group according to birth months, and have one individual from each group pick a number (not corresponding to the birth month of his or her group). For example, the group born in April can pick any number except 4 and the group born in December can pick any number except 12.

Individuals in each group, work as a team to write a tribute (75 to 100 words of prose, or 6 to 8 lines of poetry) to the people born in the month represented by the number they select. Make the tributes funny but affirming. Assign a reader from each group to read the tributes in whatever order the group decides. Teams deserve to be applauded twice—once for their compositions, and again for receiving worthy tributes.


Certainly, other group ideas will come to mind when participants begin to enjoy their occasional group activities with church friends, family members, fellow workers or neighbors. It's not just a need, it's a social benefit.


© 2015 Dora Isaac Weithers

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Comments 50 comments

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 11 months ago from The Beautiful South

This really would be great Dora if you could get people away from texting long enough. That is getting to be like a disease if you ask me. There are families in the same household that text each other instead of yelling or walking to the next room.

I remember once how I was tied to cigarettes years ago and now it seems that is the very habit texting (or talking) is...just always there keeping people over indulging in a very bad habit.

Great message as always.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 11 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to another great year in 2016, MsDora. You always have such great ideas to share. They certainly do beat tweeting. Thanks for sharing these ideas with us. Great stuff!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

How very fun! Great ideas for group activities, Dora. I'll file this away and use it soon. Bev will be very excited about this as well.

Happy New Year my friend.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Very cool. There is treasure in each one of us. It is nice to have some structure to let our treasure shine. I will likely give one of these a try.


Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 11 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan

Great ideas to get together with others. A much needed HUB. Well done, Dora.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 11 months ago from Central Florida

These are all unique, engaging activities, Dora. At a place I used to work, we'd shut down at 4:00 on the first Friday of each month for happy hour. Drinks and munchies were provided. On one occasion everyone was to bring in a baby picture. All the photos were placed on a board and each person had to guess who was who. The winner won a prize.

On another Happy Hour Day, we each went around the room and gave a brief description of a co-worker and we had to guess who it was. When "flower child" was spoken, everyone knew it was me. I was tickled with that label. Anyway, it was a fun way to de-stress at the office and get to know each other better.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 11 months ago from England

Hi MsDora, what great ideas! love the acting out one, and the prayer walk too! I don't tend to have many friends these days as they have all moved away or sadly passed on. Two of my best friends have gone, so I need to join new things, these are great ideas to get on with, hope you had a wonderful Christmas, nell


word55 profile image

word55 11 months ago from Chicago

Great ideas here. I meet for my brothers' birthday group 6 times out of the year. It's a good family thing to do. Good way to share Dora. Happy New Year!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Jackie. I've seen some young addicts on the Dr, Phil Show who cannot help themselves. I've had to learn texting because that's how I'll get an urgent response from some of the younger generation, otherwise I can surely do without it. Thanks for your input.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks Bill, for the New Year wishes. I pray the same goodwill to you and your family. Thanks also for your continual support.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Billybuc, I'm excited to learn that you and Bev might use these ideas. Thanks for your encouragement.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Eric, I love your commentary. Hope you do try at least one of these ideas. Thanks for your continual support.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Reynold, you encourage me. Thank you for your comment.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Shauna, I love the happy hour idea. Your employers have the right idea. Imagine de-stressing in the workplace. I bet you still smile at the memory of the "flower child" title. Thanks for sharing.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Nell, I hope you find some new supportive friends. Introduce them to "Movie Lines and Action" and "Prayer Walk." Thanks for your input here and always.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Word, that's really a neat thing you do with your brothers. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing.


shprd74 profile image

shprd74 11 months ago from Bangalore

Thank Mcdora,

Like the graduation time of students. 40+ too is a make or break time of the middle age.

I just turned from 40 to 41.

I'm feel stuck in between,

between the past achievements, present disillusionment.

future endeavours, under consideration,

neck deep in confusion.

But is also a great time to relax and get together and do what was missing. I have started writing that has become kind of passion over 4-5 months.

Timely Hub. Thanks.

- Hari


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Hari, I appreciate the thoughts you shared. This is the kind of discussion which could also benefit a group. Thank you.


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 11 months ago from United States

Nice ideas MsDora and important to a well rounded social get together.

This is something we need to really focus on these days. whonu


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Whonu. If we would make the time for these activities, we could benefit in more ways than we imagine.


swalia profile image

swalia 11 months ago

Interesting fun ideas! Technology has really taken us away from meeting people in person. I am a part of an NGO and time to time, I attend the meetings and participate in the volunteer projects. Nothing better than actually meeting and talking to people!


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 11 months ago from london

Well written and thoughful Hub. I like the sharing of the photos idea, and the neighbourhood walks. A great idea! We do meditational walks sometimes, and I do an interfaith walk for Peace once a year.

Hope that your mother is not too bad at this special time, and that our Lord increases your blessings for 2016. Much Love.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Swalia, wish I could could your last sentence for everyone to hear. Thank you for your contribution.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Manatita, my mother and I are doing well, thank you. Glad you like those ideas; you are ahead meeting people face to face. Thanks for your comment.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 11 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

These are awesome ideas! Sometimes it is hard to come up with meaningful activities for groups, especially when several age groups are involved. We get together on special occasions with family, and other times with organizations we are members of. It helps a person to not feel so alone in the world when we have other people to rub shoulders with.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Denise. There's another reason to engage in group activities--loneliness. Connectedness is essential to our well being.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 11 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

These are great ideas. Thank you for the inspiration. It certainly seems that there is less social interaction between people today than even a short time ago. It's a great shame.


DDE profile image

DDE 11 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Awesome idea! Always useful and interesting from you. Ideas that would certainly improve occasions.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Alicia, thank you for your affirmation. Hopefully, those of us who care can be intentional about creating opportunities for social interaction.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thank you, Devika. Hope we can initiate some of those occasions in the New Year.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 11 months ago from Shelton

Yes MsDora, I can get into some of these .. Super ideas... bless you for sharing .. Happy New Year!!!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Happy New Year Frank, and thanks for your continual support throughout 2015.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 11 months ago from USA

Great ideas here. It's definitely a transition time with kids leaving and establishing their own lives. Middle agers and better need to stay connected and keep things creative.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 11 months ago from southern USA

Wonderful suggestions here, MsDora, to keep us engaged with real people! We are slowly becoming an isolated society in our little world of texting and such. I love the neighborhood prayer walk! That is so awesome. I may start one in this New Year.

Sharing

Happy New Year and continued blessings


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 11 months ago from Stillwater, OK

These might be good ideas for activities at a retirement home, too. Great thoughts!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Flourish, thanks for your affirmation. Connectedness is even more important after the empty nest.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Faith, Happy New Year, and thanks for your comment. Best to you with your plans for starting a group.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Deb, thanks for the idea. The retirement homes desperately need the group activities. Happy New Year!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 11 months ago from the short journey

Getting together in groups does indeed have the potential to make individuals and communities happier and safer. Ideas for activities are a real encouragement to anyone wanting to initiate the gatherings and you've offered some neat options.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 11 months ago from The Caribbean Author

RTalloni, thank you for your affirmation. Hope you find some of the options helpful, or worthy of sharing. Happy New Year!


aesta1 profile image

aesta1 10 months ago from Ontario, Canada

Enjoyed a gathering lately when the hostess organized several games and we all enjoyed it. Next time we have a get together, I'll use one of two of these activities.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 10 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks for sharing, Mary. Happy for you and members of your gathering. Hope you enjoy the other activities you try just as much.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 10 months ago from California

Great ideas for activities Dora--I would add music making--we regularly have a salon night--people bring some food to share--then we all start by singing together--and then some people sing, some play, some recite poetry or read something--it is lots of fun


Besarien profile image

Besarien 10 months ago

Hello MsDora! This is a wonderful idea for a hub and your organized activities sound like a lot of fun. I particularly love the idea of the prayer walk. Great way to get healthy and make your neighborhood safer and stronger in every way possible. Blessings of the new year to you and yours, Besarien


MsDora profile image

MsDora 10 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks for your input, Audrey. Music is surely a welcome activity; recitations also. I appreciate you sharing these ideas.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 10 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Thanks, Besarien. Happy New Year to you and yours also. Yes, I can how the prayer walk can have great social and spiritual results.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 9 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Very interesting and fun activities to do. You always have such useful suggestions.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 9 months ago from The Caribbean Author

Rajan, you're so kind. Glad you find the activities interesting.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 8 weeks ago from Long Island, NY

This gives me some great ideas. I always get together with a group of my friends. We mostly go hiking and meet for dinner in various restaurants. We even have met for karaoke events.

Sometimes we dream up fun things to do together for party get togethers, usually things that are somewhat educational. However, Dora, you have definitely described some interesting ways to interact with one another in a group setting that's totally different and fun.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 7 weeks ago from The Caribbean Author

Glenn, so glad that you find these suggestions interesting. Hope they satisfy when you try them. Thanks for sharing about your friends and you. Best to the group going forward!

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