This month, our regular columnist Jan Millward, shares her ideas for a busy, happy May, including seasonal activities, spring games and crafts and plenty of sunshine inspiration….
“Cast not a clout ’till May be out”
Spring has sprung, the grass is ris,
I wonder where the boidies is
The boid is on the wing,
But that’s absoid
From what I hoid
The wing is on the boid!
I hope you are all poised with your Union flags ready to welcome the new Royal baby! It is always worth checking out the Sunday supplements after the event for free magazines related to Royal family. Squirrel them away afterwards in a Royal memory box. Have your flags and bunting on stand-by and dust off the posh cups and saucers when the happy news arrives! Your residents will love to celebrate and discuss names and all the finer details, and it’s a great moment for some reminiscence of their own, talking about their memories of their children as babies, and how they all did it then.
The cuckoos should be arriving in May, listen out for the call. Also in May:
DATES FOR THE DIARY
- 1 May – May Day: A traditional Spring holiday in the UK calendar. And, while I wouldn’t recommend anyone skipping naked through the meadows at dawn to bathe in the morning dew (an old custom where maidens in Ireland would roll in the dew to ward off wrinkles and sunburn!), if you do, make sure you have a robust Risk Assessment in place! But in all seriousness, this is the day for a bit of Maypole dancing, traditional song and Morris dancing. It is possible if you have the funds, to purchase a collapsible Maypole that can be used indoors or see if your local primary school has one that you can borrow.
- 8 May – VE Day (Victory in Europe): Another perfect excuse for a party. Get out the red, white and blue bunting, patriotic and wartime song sheets and the corned beef sandwiches and enjoy the day. If you can organise it, long trestle tables and being outdoors will create that feeling of a street party too.
- 18 May – The FA cup final. Try and get it on the television, make it a special occasion, especially for the gents. Provide refreshments and maybe arrange a fish and chip supper (in newspaper) and provide a glass of beer or shandy. A game of chair-based football with balloons is a great activity before or after the game too. Discuss which teams they support and their memories of playing football.
- 21 May – Chelse Flower Show: Much of the Chelsea Flower Show is televised, use it as an excuse to kick start a gardening club, there are some great tips here. Discuss your space and follow your residents lead to plan planting and garden design. Even if it is just a window box! Use it as an opportunity to visit local garden centres and look out for the NGS (National Garden Scheme) yellow book which lists open gardens local to you. Growing produce for the kitchen is very rewarding too. Try growing some beans or herbs. You could also have a sunflower growing competition. Leave watering cans out in the garden during hot weather and encourage your residents to help out by watering.
Flower Press: Try pressing some daisies either in a flower press or in a heavy book. When they are dry, they are perfect for using when making cards or bookmarks (use the laminator to finish the bookmarks).
Accessories: Make a daisy chain or have a go at making a fascinator using hairbands, feathers and flowers. There are lots of ideas on Pinterest and YouTube.
Taking off the petals: Rember the simple fun of ‘He loves me, he loves me not’?
Spring Wedding: May is the time of year for a spring wedding! Hold your own wedding fair. Get staff to bring in their wedding dresses, bridesmaid or prom dresses. Practise making posies out of spring flowers and have a fashion parade. Have a glass of bubbly and a piece of cake.
Reminisce about wedding days: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence for my shoe”. Remember the old traditions like keeping the top tier of the wedding cake for the christening and the bride not seeing the groom until the wedding day. How did your residents do it? Think about Royal weddings. Which ones can your residents remember seeing, either on the TV or in person? Do they have a picture of their own wedding that they would like to share?
Songs to sing:
- Get me to the church on time. (I’m getting married in the morning) This song is from the film “My Fair lady”, a great film to show your residents!
- “Daisy, Daisy”. But did you know there is a second verse? “Harry, Harry, here is your answer true, I’m not crazy all for the likes of you, If we can’t afford a carriage, there won’t be any marriage, cause I’ll be damned if I’ll be crammed, on a bicycle built for two.”
- What songs or hymns did they have at their wedding?
Jan Millward is a freelance activities coordinator and has worked in care for the last 15 years, most of which she spent working as an activity coordinator in a home in Dorset with an outstanding CQC rating.