Jan Millward, one of our regular activity coordinator columnists, shares her top tips for a busy, happy June.
This month we welcome June – which I always think of as flaming June, bright and alive with warmth and colour! June brings longer nights, warmer days and so many flowers in the garden.
“June brings tulips, lilies, roses,
Fills the children’s hand with posies.”
One of our themes this month is singing about the weather, a very British pastime. I love this song which was often sung as a round:
“I hear thunder, I hear thunder
Hark, don’t you? Hark, don’t you?
Pitter patter raindrops, pitter patter raindrops
I’m wet through, so are you!”
- Other songs about the weather include:
‘I’m Singing In The Rain’. (Try showing the film which will be very familiar to many.)
‘June Is Bustin’ Out All Over’. (From the musical Carousel, a great film to show if it’s miserable weather!)
- ‘You Are My Sunshine’.
- ‘Oh What A Beautiful Morning’.
- ‘The Sun Has Got his Hat On’.
- ‘Here Comes The Sun’.
- Make a rainmaker – simply part fill a long cardboard tube with rice or dried beans. Crumple up some aluminium foil and put some at either end of the tube. Seal the end and listen to the rain by turning it back and forth! A perfect addition to your basket of musical instruments.
In the Garden
Hopefully you will be busy in the garden and getting your residents out and about. Try and leave some simple jobs for your residents in the garden.
- A half filled watering can near some pots turns a stroll into a purposeful event.
- Deadheading is a simple satisfying task.
- Leave trowels out for weeding raised beds.
Pick up rose petals and put them on a tray to dry. (Use to make potpourri or confetti, especially if anyone in the family or a staff member is planning a wedding.)
- Put up a washing line in the garden and leave a peg bag and flannels to hang out to dry.
Also, look out for open gardens in your area or design and plant your own sensory garden.
Dates to Note:
4 June: Eid – the end of Ramadan. A very important date in the Islamic calendar and you can help support your residents to celebrate – those who wish to. The end of Ramadan marks the end of the period of fasting and on this day Muslims celebrate. They start with morning prayers, put on their best clothes and give thanks to Allah. They also exchange gifts and decorate their homes. Why not organise a feast day in your home? Ask your residents what they would like to eat and share in their celebrations.
6 June: The 75th anniversary of D-Day. There will be many televised events and services to look out for. Use your life history work. The numbers are dwindling fast now, but if you have any servicemen who were actively involved in D-Day in your home, they are entitled to receive the Legion d’honneur medal from the French Government. You need to apply following this link. If your resident qualifies, the medal will be sent in the post and then you have the opportunity for a representative from the French Consul to come out and officially present it. You will find relevant armed forces will be happy to come out and make the day a very special one.
8 June: The Queen’s official birthday and the Trooping of the Colour. This is usually televised in the morning, with the Queen arriving to take the salute at around 11am. Make an event of it and invite everyone out to the lounge to watch. Put the bunting up and get out the flags! If you have time the day before, ice some red, white and blue cakes for tea break and don’t forget to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Her Majesty! In the afternoon organise a royal tea party and have a sing-song of all the old patriotic songs such as ‘Land Of Hope And Glory’, ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘I Vow To Thee My Country’. And don’t forget ‘The National Anthem’.
16 June: Father’s Day. As you’ll recall from our March post, not every man will be a father, but everyone will have had a dad. Reminisce about their fathers. What did they like to drink? Did they smoke? What were their hobbies? What sports did they like? What were their occupations? Have a special brunch to mark the day. Make up little gifts for the dads – bags of fudge or homemade cakes, or maybe a ticket for a trip out. Organise games that they might have enjoyed, or try golf putting on the lawn, darts, boules or card games. Find out their favourite drinks and organise a pop-up bar with snacks.
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.