• Simon O'Donovan


This week we have an activity based on numbers and counting. Don't worry, we won't be doing sums or multiplication tables with the group, rather we will be stimulating memory and recall through questions, music and games all centred around how we use numbers in our everyday language and culture.

It may be necessary to simplify some of the questions so as to make them more appropriate for the ability level of your group.

What counting instrument do toddlers commonly play with? An Abacus What two words are normally used when calling the number "one" in a game of Bingo? Kelly's Eye What is a Doppelganger? The double of a living person What is a Double Entendre? A word or phrase open to two interpretations, one of which is usually risqué or indecent. (Think 'Carry On' films!) Can anyone do the hand signal associated with 321 - Dusty Bin? (A quiz show hosted by Ted Rogers.) Who were the Three Musketeers?

Portos, Aramis and Dartagnion

What did the Three Wise Monkeys advise?

SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL What is Morse Code for SOS? Dot dot dot Dash dash dash Dot dot dot Or ...---... Who wrote the 'Famous Five' novels ? Enid Blyton Who were the Six Wives Of Henry The Eighth? King Henry VIII, To six wives he was wedded. One died, one survived, Two divorced, two beheaded. Boleyn and Howard lost their heads, Anne of Cleves he would not bed, Jane Seymour gave him a son - but died before the week was done, Aragon he did divorce, Which just left Catherine Parr, of course! What toy was popular in the 80s which involved turning columns and rows on a cube to align colours? Rubiks Cube How many sides does a cube have? 6 What are the Seven Deadly Sins? Envy, Gluttony, Greed or Avarice, Lust, Pride, Sloth, and Wrath Which is the only Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World which still exists? The Great Pyramid Of Giza The others were The Colossus Of Rhodes, The Hanging Gardens Of Babylon, The Lighthouse Of Alexandria, The Mausoleum At Halicarnassus, The Statue Of Zeus At Olympia and The Temple Of Artemis At Ephesus (If anyone got any of those give them a bonus point!) What about the Seven Wonders Of The Modern World? Chichen Itza, Mexico - Mayan City. Christ Redeemer, Brazil The Great Wall, China Machu Picchu, Peru Petra, Jordan The Roman Colosseum, Italy The Taj Mahal, India (Has anyone visited one of these, or would they like to?) What number football shirt did Stanley Matthews always wear? 7 How many points are awarded for a (converted) goal in rugby union? 7 How many finger holes are there on a recorder? 8 Where did the Hogwarts Express travel from to Harry Potter's School?

Platform 9 3/4, Kings Cross What are the Twelve Days Of Christmas? A Partridge In A Pear Tree 2 Turtle Doves 3 French Hens 4 Calling Birds 5 Gold Rings 6 Geese a-Laying 7 Swans a-Swimming 8 Maids a-Milking 9 Ladies Dancing 10 Lords a-Leaping 11 Pipers Piping 12 Drummers Drumming How does the rhyme about Magpies go? One for sorrow, Two for joy, Three for a girl, Four for a boy, Five for silver, Six for gold, Seven for a secret, Never to be told. Eight for a wish, Nine for a kiss, Ten for a bird, You must not miss. Can anyone remember the song Ten Green Bottles from their childhood? SINGALONG How many years did Tony Blair serve as Prime Minister ? 10 (1997 to 2007 - What did people think of him and how he compares to Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of The Labour Party?) Which space mission landed on the moon on 20th July 1969? Apollo 11 (Neil Armstrong was first to step on the moon, followed by Buzz Aldrin. Michael Collins piloted the command module. "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.") What are the Twelve Signs Of The Zodiac? Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius.

Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn.

Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius.

Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. What are the Twelve Zodiac Animals Of The Chinese Calendar? Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. 2018 is the year of the Dog. What number on the Beaufort Scale represents a hurricane? 12 What scale measures earthquakes? Richter Scale What is a Bakers Dozen? 13 How many pounds are there in a stone? 14 Treasure Island, in the pirates song 'Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum' how many men were on a dead man's chest? 15 Abba's 'Dancing Queen' has which number in the first verse? 17 What is said to be the 19th hole on a golf course? The Club House 'The Lord Is My Shepherd' is which number Psalm in The Old Testament? 23 Over what distance, in miles, is a Marathon run? (nearest guess) 26 miles 385 yards At what age did Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain all die? 27 How many stars are there on a US flag? 50 (states) How many cards are there in a Standard Pack Of Cards? 52, excluding jokers How can you make the words SHELL OIL using numbers on a calculator? (Upside down) 710 77345 How many years are celebrated in a traditional 'Pearl Wedding Anniversary'? 30 How many black squares are there on a chess-board? 32 Who wrote the thriller 'The Thirty Nine Steps'? John Bucan What number is the "answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything" in the 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'? 42 What is the code for international direct phone calls to the United Kingdom? 44 How many Heinz varieties are there? 52 Herbie, the VW Beetle wore which number on his bonnet? 53 Which character is the villain in the book '101 Dalmatians'? Cruella De Vil How old was the Queen Mother when she died in 2002? 101 How many days do you have to claim a National Lottery prize? 180 In Monopoly, how much does it cost to get out of jail? £200 (of course, it costs nothing if you have a 'Get out of jail free' card!) At what number Baker St. Did Sherlock Holmes live? 221b In money terms, what is a 'monkey'? 500 How old does the Bible say Noah was when the flood waters came upon the earth? (nearest guess) 600 How is 2018 represented in Roman numerals? (tough question!) MMXV111 Can anyone remember any of the lyrics from the children's rhyme 'One two buckle my shoe'? One, two, Buckle my shoe; Three, four, Knock at the door; Five, six, Pick up sticks; Seven, eight, Lay them straight: Nine, ten, A big fat hen; Eleven, twelve, Dig and delve; Thirteen, fourteen, Maids a-courting; Fifteen, sixteen, Maids in the kitchen; Seventeen, eighteen, Maids in waiting Nineteen, twenty, My plate is empty. How many peanuts are there in a Marathon? None, they're called Snickers (sorry!) Who wrote the thriller 'And then there were none'? Agatha Christie (an appropriate last question, possibly?) MUSIC ROUND Deck Of Cards - Max Bygraves What are the four suits in a pack of cards? HEARTS, DIAMONDS, SPADES & CLUBS If - Bread Who wrote the poem 'If'? RUDYARD KIPLING • The full text of this poem follows below. My Lucky Number - Lene Lovich Go around the room and ask whether people have a lucky number Three Steps To Heaven - Showaddywaddy Which artist originally had a hit with this song?


December '63 (Oh What A Night) - Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons What musical currently touring is about the life and work of Frankie Valli? JERSEY BOYS Three Times A Lady - The Commodores Who wrote this song? LIONEL RICHIE When I'm 64 - The Beatles How old is Sir Paul McCartney? 75 - Date of birth 18th June 1947 (I bet 64 doesn't seem that old any longer!) Thunderbirds - TV Theme When we were children, what place associated with this show did 'Blue Peter' have us all make? TRACY ISLAND 9 to 5 - Dolly Parton What sized breasts has this legendary country singer had insured for $600,000? (She's quite open and proud about it, so I think this is an okay question!) 40DD Magnificent Seven - Film Score Who starred in this 1960 Western about a group of American gunslingers hired to save a Mexican village


Eight Days A Week - The Beatles In 'The Book Of Genesis', what did God do on each of the first seven days of creation? DAY 1 - NIGHT AND DAY, DAY 2 - SKY AND SEA, DAY 3 - LAND AND VEGETATION, DAY 4 - STARS, SUN AND MOON, DAY 5 - SEA CREATURES INCLUDING FISH AND BIRDS, DAY 6 - ANIMALS AND MANKIND, DAY 7 - GOD RESTED At Seventeen - Janis Ian What is another name for the card game Solitaire? PATIENCE Knock Three Times - Tony Orlando and Dawn What was their other hit single about a bow of coloured silk? TIE A YELLOW RIBBON ROUND THE OLE OAK TREE Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley And His Comets (Haley's Comet, get it?) Name as many different kinds of clockfaces or timepieces as you can? GRANDFATHER CLOCK, CUCKOO CLOCK, CARRIAGE CLOCK, GENTLEMANS POCKET WATCH, WRISTWATCH, SUNDIAL, ATOMIC CLOCK, TALKING CLOCK Six Million Dollar Man - TV Theme What was the cost of Steve Austin, TVs Bionic Man?


Eight Miles High - The Byrds What was the fastest passenger jet in service? CONCORDE (WHICH FLEW AT MACH 2.02 OR 1,354 MPH) Telephone Man - Meri Wilson What number would you ring in an emergency? 999 (101 is Police non emergency) Three Little Birds - Bob Marley & The Wailers What album did this song appear on which is named after a book of The Old Testament? EXODUS Another One Bites The Dust - Queen Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara 5th September 1946 in The Sultanate Of Zanzibar. What is Zanzibar known as today? TANZANIA ABC - The Jackson 5 What is the letter Q worth in a game of Scrabble? 10 POINTS

Take Five - The Dave Brubeck Quartet What lead instrument is being played on this song? SAXOPHONE (This last song takes the session nicely into a break.)

Some ideas for practical activities: The Six Nations Rugby Tournament starts this weekend. Perhaps ask members to paint flags and emblems to make a scoring chart and make a weekly update. Maybe start a book (probably best not to exchange money!) to see who guesses the Championship Winners correctly. Play a game of Hopscotch (ask permission to chalk or tape the correct pattern) Play a game of Jacks Play a game of Marbles Play a game of Dominoes Play a game of Snap Play a game of Pairs You might need to look up some instructions on YouTube. Maybe have a few of these games on the go... Remember it's all about the fun and taking part. It's not about winning. Though some prizes to share always go down well! Perhaps finish with a game of Bingo. Here a link to some common phrases to use when calling out the numbers - If Rudyard Kipling If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too. If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools: If you can make a heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!" If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!

About Me

Simon O’Donovan MBE has worked in NHS Wales for most of his adult life, supporting people with dementia, their carers and families and developing and improving services to benefit this client group. 

He recently retired from working as a Community Mental Health Nurse within a Young Onset Dementia Service and continues to contribute to weekly CST 'Friendship Group' sessions as a volunteer co-facilitator.


He has been keeping a weekly 'Young Dementia CST Blog' to share and archive tried and tested activities resources, with the ultimate aim of providing an 'off the shelf' resource library of weekly themed CST sessions which can be used on rotation throughout the year. 


The main aim of this website is to share experience and resources freely, in order that others can dip in and out and use some or all of the materials provided in their own CST work. Thus it is hoped, facilitating and supporting the provision of uplifting and enjoyable sessions that optimise people with dementia's quality of life.

This site is not owned by or affiliated to any organisation. It’s a personal commitment, a not for profit exchange of ideas and a resource library which aims to enable more widespread use of CST approaches for people with dementia. 

To this end, 'Guest Blogs' are VERY welcome, but bearing in mind that no images of clients are to be used without their express written informed consent.

Please note that some images are reproduced on this blog from the internet under the 'fair use copyright' principle, in that they will only be used for educational purposes with disability groups and in no way will be linked to profit making activities.


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