It can be difficult over the winter months to motivate ourselves, let alone care home residents, to spend time outside. However evidence shows that time spent in nature can effectively reduce stress, anxiety and depression as well as improving mood and behavior.
Meaningful activities like gardening can help to motivate residents to get outside to gain these health benefits. So put on an extra layer and tackle the winter blues by supporting residents to interact with nature with our fun and engaging gardening and green craft activities.
These activities can be carried out indoors / out and be used as tools to motivate residents to step outside.
1. Look forward to delicious home grown new potatoes
Tasty and nutritious potatoes are easily grown in a bag on a patio or balcony and can be planted this way from March.
‘Chitting’ potatoes, to prepare them for planting, can be done indoors and is a good activity for people with poor eyesight or limited dexterity. Planting potatoes is an activity which often brings back memories. Bringing residents into contact with soil provides sensory stimulation as well as having proven health benefits.
Potatoes grown in a bag only need a few minutes attention each week helping to provide a sense of achievement while they grow and providing something for residents to care for and nurture.
2. Make the most of windy days by making and flying a kite
Our bright, colourful homemade kites are great fun and straightforward to make. This creative activity is excellent for encouraging reminiscence of flying kites as a child or with children.
Once the kites are complete they provide a great motivator for stepping outside into the garden to get the benefits of some fresh air and (if we’re lucky) Vitamin D from winter sunshine.
3. Prepare for spring by making willow climbers for fragrant sweet peas
Willow weaving helps maintain manual dexterity and is a good sociable activity for staff, volunteers or family members to work together with residents on.
Willow climbers can be used to grow fragrant sweet peas in the summer. Sweet peas create a lovely colourful display and provide sweet smelling decorations for lounges or bedrooms.
Step by step instructions for how to deliver these activities can be downloaded for free from our website
If you would like to find out more about how to run a programme of therapeutic gardening activities for your residents please call Growing Support on 07581 281 578 or email firstname.lastname@example.org