Jolly July

Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots, and gillyflowers.

Jan Millward, one of our regular activity coordinator columnists, shares her top tips for a warm and sunny July…

I hope you are having a wonderful summer, jam-packed with fun. July is a very busy month on the sports calendar, with many exciting events on the TV, and lots of opportunities to get your residents outside and enjoying some gentle exercise and fresh air. And, good luck to those organising fetes and fairs!

Here are some things to look out for this month:

1-14 July: Wimbledon

Ample opportunities for activities here. Try balloon tennis – and don’t forget the strawberries and cream! Discuss the tennis greats, and famous tennis moments, such as ‘who can recall the fabulous day when Virginia Wade won the ladies’ final’? And what about John McEnroe – “you cannot be serious” – and Cliff Richard singing when rain stopped play? Keep your residents informed as to when important matches are being played with a schedule pinned to the lounge noticeboard, and organise a refreshment trolley to keep everyone hydrated!

7 July: Fifa Women’s World Cup Final

Who will be in the final? Talk about how women’s football is now getting a better status, and get the ladies and gents outside, practicing passing the ball – they can even try this sitting down. Did any of your residents play a team sport? Have a go at ‘spot the ball’ – print off a picture of a football match with the ball removed. Get your residents to put a sticker on the place where they think the ball may be.

628 July: Tour de France

Do you have a pedal foot exerciser? Give it a go. Reminisce about bicycle bells, pumps, puncture repair kits, and saddle bags. And don’t forget to sing ‘Daisy Daisy’!

12-14 July: British Grand Prix

Remember the greats such as James Hunt and Jim Clark. Why not have a ride out with some of your gents to a local car museum or show?

15 July: Cricket World Cup Final

Have a go at French cricket, with a soft ball if you don’t want to break any windows! This year it is being held in England so there will be plenty of coverage and memorabilia around. Make sure to have a schedule of matches available, and cater them with a cold beer and sandwiches. Take any interested residents to watch a local cricket match.

18-21 July: The Golf Open, Windrush

Try pitch and putt on your lawn.

21 July: Netball World Cup

Use a lightweight beach ball to try and score into a net, or even a bucket placed in the middle of the floor. Did any of your residents play netball?

And finally, school ends for the year this month, with Sports Day being a big feature for children everywhere. Why not hold your own Sports Day!

You don’t need to do three-legged races or sack races, but you could have great fun inventing your own games.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Put hoops on the lawn and throw bean bags into the centre – nearest to the middle wins.
  • Wheelchair egg and spoon race!
  • Potato game – have a bag of potatoes and try to get them into a bucket.
  • Use whatever sports equipment you have – boules, plastic skittles, hook-a-duck, or invent a few of your own!
  • Award stickers for first, second and third places and give out small prizes.
  • Have lots of drinks, suncream, hats and shade available.
  • Make a day of it and have a picnic on the lawn!

Craft Activity for July: Make a wind chime

Get crafty in the garden and use up some old bean canes to make this fun windchime. It needs a bit of preparation, but it is a great craft idea. You can use old canes, or they only cost about 50p each at a garden centre.

You will need:

  • Bean canes cut into lengths, each one an inch shorter than the last. Drill a small hole through one end of each cane.
  • A broom handle, or length of wood, with holes drilled through it, one inch apart.
  • Fine string.
  • Paint.
  • Felt-tipped pens.
  • Varnish.
  • What to do:
  • Once you have prepared your canes, number them in order of length with a permanent marker, so that you know which order to hang them in.
  • Give your residents a cane to paint and decorate as they wish.
  • When dry, add a coat of clear varnish.
  • String your canes on to the broom handle and hang up in the garden!

You can also paint whole canes and make colourful mini totem poles to decorate your garden!

Jan Millward has worked in care for the last 14 years, most of which she spent working as an activity coordinator in a home in Dorset with an outstanding CQC rating. She recently made the decision to go freelance and now works at numerous local homes offering activities sessions with a strong focus on reminiscence. She also recently joined The Daily Sparkle team in an essential capacity as an advisor, sharing her activities experiences and working with us to develop and improve our resources.