This is a simple and effective activity to try with residents living with dementia.
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This is a simple and effective activity to try with residents living with dementia.


  • Promote recognition of colors
  • Maintain motor skills


  • Clothes pegs (clothespins) in 4 colors - at least 15 of each colour
  • 4 plastic containers painted or covered with fabric in respective colors
  • One tray


  • Place pegs on the tray in front of resident.
  • Place open containers in front of the tray.
  • Demonstrate by placing a peg of each color in the corresponding container.
  • Do not hurry or interrupt resdients, just encourage them and lend a hand when needed.

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Sally 23rd Aug 2019 Activities Coordinator
I know longer work in an Aged Care Facility but I used to spend some time doing Art in the Dementia wing. I had one lady who used to love to sort. Each Wednesday afternoon I used to arrive with a draw full of multi-coloured toothpicks. I'd say "look at this!! someone has got into my draw!. These are no use to me. I need to have them organised into colour groups." She'd say to me. "Don't worry love, I'll fix this " 1/2 hr later she would present me with six containers each of a different colour. Priceless.
Solange 24th Aug 2019 Diversional Therapist
Excellent activity Sally, Thanks for sharing.
Sharon 8th May 2016 Activities Coordinator
I work as an activities Coordinator at a rest home. We have a few female residents, with mild dementia, who believe there is nothing wrong with their minds. I have found that giving them more meaningful tasks to do, involving sorting, is very successful. This has included: sorting buttons by colors (supervision is necessary if the people tend to put items into their mouths); sorting cotton reels in the sewing box; and sorting and winding balls of wool. This is also helpful to me as the cotton reels and balls of wool quite often become tangled with frequent use.
Veronica 9th Oct 2015 Diversional Therapist
That is a great idea with the pegs. I would never have though of that. Thanks for sharing
Solange 7th Nov 2010 Diversional Therapist
You can also use discarded game tokens, or children's wooden building blocks; as long as they have a fair size so that if placed in the mouth there no danger of choking.
Pauline 7th Nov 2010 Activity Officer/AIn
This works really well with High Care Dementia residents I also use pegs of different colours as the residents are able to work out that they can peg the pegs onto the sides of the baskets they use and the activity lasts longer. Pauline
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