Activity cards

Outdoor walks and wordplay

Outdoor walks and wordplay

Designed to encourage fresh air and a change of scene, whilst stimulating memory and creativity through wordplay. 

Materials Required:

  • Series of questions to ask around gardening, landscape weather i.e.
    Seasons – what does spring remind you of? Point to flowers and ask which are favourites
    Is there a herb garden in the grounds? If not, prepare sprigs of rosemary, sage, lavender, to give to residents to smell (be sensitive, as not everyone still has their sense of smell or taste). 
  • Warm coats.
  • Note books and pencils/ pens
  • Poetry – can listen through the website to the poem being read shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? William Shakespeare
    Wild Nights, Emily Dickenson
    Printed large text –see if any of the residents would like to read? 

Step by Step Guide: 

The activity can take place in the garden or out for a walk (if possible) with individual residents, or part of a small group with support. 

Often the part that takes the longest is encouraging residents to go outside, so it’s worth having an incentive tea in a flask and tin of cakes. A shed or greenhouse is ideal to sit in after a wander around the grounds/ garden. Otherwise prepare chairs or a bench area with a nice view (if possible) to sit down and have your tea and discussion. 

If the weather isn’t great and you need to keep moving because it’s too cold, try and draw the resident’s attention to particular plants, comment on the weather as you move around the space.

  1. Once you’re out and about in the garden/outside the home, walk around beginning conversations look at the surroundings
  2. use the seasons and weather to draw out memories – times when it rains, sunshine (holidays) etc.
  3. use plants to talk about growing or food – flavours in food, what people used to grow, perhaps residents had pets or kept pigs and allotments.
  4. Find somewhere to sit down and drink your tea and cake – a garden shed or greenhouse or just a bench
  5. write down key words or phrases that the residents tell you relating to the garden and weather etc.
  6. Once back inside you can sit back down as a group/individuals and start playing with the words to make a poem. Write down individual words and cut them out, they can be moved around by individuals to make their own poems

Ideas for Further Activities With This Idea:

The activity can continue as a group using the words to make poems, or stimulate reminiscence through discussions around gardening, growing food, what people like to eat, favourite flowers etc.

Use the opportunity to collect leaves and plants from the garden which can then be used for painting and drawing, making still lives of flowers etc. leaf rubbings 


Ways to adapt for less able residents:

If residents can write or draw themselves, fantastic, but often it is easier to capture the words, conversations and stories yourself and then read them back. 

Ways to adapt from group to individual and vice versa: 

If individual then you have lots of scope to make a personal poem, or as a group it could be a series of poems or one group poem to remember about the day.


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