Nursing Home Sets Up Life-Size Game Of “Hungry Hungry Hippos” For Folks To Play While In Lockdown

Using plastic playpen balls and plastic baskets attached to broom handles as “hippo mouths,” residents at the Bryn Celyn Care home in Maesteg, Wales are playing a life-sized version of the classic kids’ board game Hungry Hungry Hippos. The video they posted has received over 250,000 views on Facebook.

Residents really enjoyed playing a new game today Hungry Hippos. Lots of laughter to lift morale of the team and residents! 🦛😀❤️

Posted by Bryn Celyn Care Home on Friday, March 20, 2020

The nursing home was forced to suspend visits from loved ones on March 12 when the UK added nursing homes and care facilities to the list of businesses on lockdown.

“Everyone in the home team and residents are worried about the virus,” said general manager, Michelle Williams, “But we are staying positive and doing what we do every day, which is supporting our residents, and keeping it as normal as possible.”

life size hungry hippos nursing home game
via Facebook 

The Bryn Celyn staff has tried to keep morale high among the residents. When their on-site hair salon closed due to lockdown procedure, a member of the housekeeping staff with a talent for hair established a hairdressing day.

“The lifestyles team here at Bryn Celyn are always coming up with fun and exciting ways to keep the residents entertained,” a facility representative told TODAY. “This activity really raised morale in the home and had all the relatives and team members laughing.”

Not even a little thing like a lockdown will stop our ladies visiting our salon at BrynCelyn. Teamwork at its best. Thank you Kath for making our ladies feel special. Just before Mother’s Day too. 💗

Posted by Bryn Celyn Care Home on Saturday, March 21, 2020

And residents are keeping busy with board games and activities like cooking, crafts, quizzes, workout classes, and of course, Life-Sized Hungry Hungry Hippos.

life size hungry hippos nursing home game
via Facebook

The object of the board game version is for each Hippo to gobble up as many marbles as possible. At Bryn Celyn, four residents paired with four staff members can play at a time. When the game begins, the residents race to catch as many colorful plastic playpen balls as they can.

“There will be some tough times ahead, but I know with the team we have we will get through it together. Keep it up,” Williams wrote on Facebook.

Thank you for all the wonderful comments about our Hungry Hippo’s video. BrynCelyn is a fantastic place and this is down...

Posted by Bryn Celyn Care Home on Saturday, March 21, 2020

As of now, all residents and staff at the home are well and no one has been infected with the virus. Williams says the staff aims to keep it that way by taking “stringent infection control measures.”

Written by Susan LaMarca