For October activities, we are all well versed in celebrating harvest festivals, Halloween and autumn. But what else is happening this month?
October can be quite a difficult month in the activity coordinator’s calendar. Summer is over and it’s still a long haul until Christmas. As the days get shorter, Jan Millward has some inspiration to bring a bit of sunshine back, and shows you how to create simple activities out of special days or anniversaries.
1 OCTOBER: JULIE ANDREWS’ BIRTHDAY
Start the month with a bang and celebrate Julie Andrews’ birthday. She was born in 1935 and many will remember her for her role as Mary Poppins, and Maria in The Sound of Music. Many will find the music familiar and fun, and both movies are great for a singalong session. Incorporate simple chair-based exercises and hand movements to match the music.
Suggested Craft: Feed the birds! Thread Cheerios on to pipe cleaners and hang them outside windows.
4 OCTOBER: GRANDPARENTS’ DAY
A great opportunity to invite younger family members into the home (Covid restrictions permitting of course). Set up some fun games, such as skittles or crafts, that they can join in with. You never know, you may end up with some new volunteers!
7 OCTOBER: SIMON COWELL’S BIRTHDAY
Celebrate Simon Cowell’s birthday with your own talent show – include costumes, a microphone and plenty of clapping along. Get staff and family members to join in. Can you get some of the residents to be the judges?
16 OCTOBER: WORLD SINGING DAY
Celebrate the joy of voices raised in song – can you all vote on your favourite musicals and have a week of musical screenings? Or invite local church or school choirs in for a concert. And don’t forget to book your favourite entertainer for a singalong.
21 OCTOBER: NATIONAL APPLE DAY
Take a trip to a local orchard, or even to your care home garden, collect some apples and share apple recipes for cake, crumble and pie. Then cook together and enjoy with a glass of cider or a cup of tea.
25 OCTOBER: PABLO PICASSO’S BIRTHDAY
Picasso was born on this day in 1881. Get the paints out and have prizes for guessing the more abstract paintings!
27 OCTOBER: TEDDY ROOSEVELT’S BIRTHDAY
Teddy Roosevelt was born on this day in 1858. He was the 26th president of the USA, but many know his name because it was he who gave Teddy Bears their name. Bring in teddys and reminisce about favourite toys; or maybe organise a Teddy Bears’ Picnic. Make sure to get residents involved in the planning as well as the celebrating – making lists, packing picnic hampers, folding blankets, etc.
AND ALSO THIS MONTH
Get Crafty: Now is the time to plant bulbs in pots ready for Christmas fairs. Christmas has a habit of creeping up quickly, so use this month to start making saleable items for your fair.
Get Polishing: It’s worth investing in, or asking for donations of, brass ornaments and have a session polishing and reminiscing. Put newspaper down on the table first and wear suitable clothes for polishing.