Jan Millward shares some of her ideas for an August filled with holidaying at home, fish and chips in the garden, art projects to do together and activities to support your local businesses…
Hopefully, when you read this, lockdown will be continuing to ease off gently, you’ll be benefiting from having visitors to the home again, and experiencing the joy of residents seeing friends and family. I have seen some great adaptations in local care homes recently – one has built a summer house in their garden with a perspex screen, allowing families to visit in a safe way, even if it’s raining!
Elsewhere, ice cream vans have visited, and many singers and performers have adapted to sing outdoors. Every care home has slightly different policies, but each one always has the safety of their residents at heart.
For August, we’ve been thinking about holidays and helping out where we can.
WISH YOU WERE HERE?
Many people will have chosen to holiday in the UK this year for obvious reasons, so why not emulate the holidays of yesteryear and bring the seaside to your home? Many of you may already have decked out your gardens with a seaside theme and enjoyed sitting outdoors eating fish and chips – and if you haven’t, there are still plenty of sunny weeks left, so get busy!
Here are a few other ideas to tie in with the holiday theme…
Hi-de-Hi! Many of your residents will have enjoyed watching this programme. And some may have experienced a Butlins or Pontins holiday. Include some 1950s-style holiday fun by holding a knobbly knees competition, a glamorous granny or maybe a holiday prince and princess competition. Think about old-time dancing, a whist drive, a singing competition (karaoke), art and table decoration competitions such as design-your-own postcard (encourage a bit of friendly rivalry between tables), and if lockdown allows, organise a mystery trip out! Also try a round-the-world quiz. Describe famous landmarks in each country, starting off with hard clues and gradually making them easier, getting everyone to try and guess where you are.
Hydrate! Mix up your own non-alcoholic cocktails using different fruit juices with lemonade, and add fresh soft fruit such as strawberries. Alternatively, make delicious milkshakes by liquidising fruit and whizzing it up with milk and ice cream.
Use your senses. Allow residents to paddle in a paddling pool, run their hands through a bowl of sand, listen to a CD of waves and seagulls, try different toppings for ice cream, and enjoy the smell of fish and chips wrapped in paper.
Pebble snakes. In our local parks, people have started creating pebble snakes. One person paints the snake’s head and then other pebbles can be added to create the snake’s body. It can be as long as you want – it could even stretch right around your garden – and visitors such as grandchildren could paint their own and add them to the snake. Be as inventive as you wish!
Relax. Print off or draw a simple hot air balloon and basket. Design your own balloon and form a collage on a background of blue and green display board (sky and grass). You could also make them 3D by applying papier mache to a balloon, painting it white and then decorating it. Add a cardboard punnet for the basket and hang up from the ceiling!
Harvest time. In August, farmers are very busy harvesting their crops before the autumn rains. Talk about harvest time in days gone by, how the whole village would turn out to help, and how people would travel to do seasonal harvest work such as the hop pickers in Kent, and fruit picking in places such as the Vale of Evesham. Buy in a sack of peas in their pods from your local greengrocer and shell them in a group. Talk about making jam and chutney. You could make some mint sauce if you have mint growing in your herb patch – the smell is wonderful! Try it with roast lamb or put a bit on top of the peas after they are cooked.
Stay well. x