13 Fun Activities for Stroke Patients That Boost Recovery

13 Fun Activities for Stroke Patients That Boost Recovery

Fun activities for stroke patients are a great way to keep motivation high.

If your motivation to recover is getting low, try switching things up by adding some of the following activities to your day.

The best part is that these activities double as informal stroke rehabilitation, which means that your brain heals while you’re having fun.

Talk about a win-win!

Now, let’s get into the list.

Mellow but Fun Activities for Stroke Patients

Let’s start off with some mellow activities that you can do while sitting down.

1. Lumosity

Lumosity is a fun cognitive training app that challenges you to complete various puzzle-like games – and it’s actually quite fun to use.

Brain training games like Lumosity can help improve your cognitive skills and help prevent (or even reverse) post-stroke dementia.

2. Sudoku

Is Sudoku, a math-based puzzle game, actually fun? We’ll let you decide on this one.

Sometimes sudoku can be so challenging that it’s just plain frustrating, but they do make “easy” versions of the game.

We recommend this challenging-but-hopefully-fun game because it’s an excellent cognitive skills trainer.

3. Stream-of-Consciousness Writing

Writing can be a fun way to challenge your critical thinking and language skills.

Writing can be particularly challenging if you have aphasia though. Luckily, practicing writing will help you get better at it.

You don’t need to take it too seriously either. Try doing a “stream of consciousness” writing session where you simply write down everything that comes to mind.

(That way it can also double as therapy!)

4. Painting

Painting is an excellent creative activity that can help you practice your fine motor skills.

Again, you don’t have to take it too seriously. You can make something simple or even just make a mess (and call it “abstract”).

5. Reading

Reading can be a fun activity for stroke patients that helps exercise your cognitive skills.

If you have aphasia, this can be quite challenging, if not impossible. But as you work on improving your aphasia, it’s a good idea to challenge yourself to read. The more you practice, the better you will get.

Active and Fun Activities for Stroke Patients

If you have the energy, try these fun activities that require a little more physical effort.

6. Yoga

Yoga can be an amazing activity for stroke patients to try.

Yoga is great for stroke recovery because it fosters your mind-body connection, which is very important! It’s also a great form of physical therapy.

We recommend starting with a Level 1 class. If that’s too challenging, work with a yoga teacher 1-on-1. They can tailor a safe practice just for you.

7. Tai Chi

Tai chi is another fun activity for stroke patients that also doubles as physical therapy. We have some tai chi exercises on the blog that you can try at home.

8. Gardening

We know a stroke survivor named Lydia who refused to stop gardening after her stroke.

While it was very strenuous work, Lydia credits her hobby to her robust recovery, likely because she loved it so much that she did it for hours.

Serious motivation like that is the huge benefit of having fun during recovery.

9. Dancing

The more you move your body with massed practice, the more your movement will improve.

And while repetitive practice has its place (i.e. in your stroke rehabilitation exercise regimen), dancing doesn’t have to be so cut-and-dry.

Just dance and do what feels good, even if it looks really weird. In fact, the more fun you have, the more therapeutic it will be!

Read: Dance Movement Therapy for Stroke Recovery

10. Wii Gaming

If you enjoy video games, then we recommend trying out Wii. It’s an interactive, virtual gaming system that requires you to move to play. For example, you can use the controller to “throw” a bowling ball down a lane by making the movement with your arm.

Wii doubles as physical therapy. And since it’s fun to use, you’re already winning.

11. MusicGlove

If you want to play an interactive game that was specifically made and tested for stroke recovery, then give MusicGlove a try. It’s like Guitar Hero for your hand, and it’s a lot of fun to use.

In fact, patients are guaranteed to see improvement within just 2 weeks because of the highly motivating nature of the device.

12. Cooking

While cooking might have once been a ‘mindless task,’ it is anything but mindless during stroke recovery.

Try to slow yourself down and treat your time in the kitchen as informal therapy. Pick a simple recipe, and try your best to make it.

13. Photography

Photography is both relaxing and creative, making it a fun activity during stroke recovery. Plus, point-and-shoot helps you work on your fine motor skills.

Add Fun to Your To-Do List

Which of these fun activities strikes your interest? Pick a few and add them to your to-do list!

When your to-do list actually contains things that you enjoy – not just boring chores that need to be done – you’re much more likely to do them.

So reignite your motivation for recovery by making your informal therapy more fun!