5 warming activities for older people to enjoy
Read the poem ‘Winter’ in ‘Now tell me – how about you?’ available from Amazon. The poem is also on our DVD, ‘Now Just Press Play,’ with extra reminiscent material, available from this website.
‘Do you remember waking up
When snow had fallen in the night?
How quiet it was outside the house
When the world turned wintry white.
Do you remember how light it was
Before pushing the curtains back?
And seeing icy fern pictures
Jack Frost’s filigree track.
Do you remember how bitter it was
As you reluctantly got out of bed?
Noses cold in the Arctic air,
Chill lino under your tread.’
After you have read this poem you will enjoy thinking about winters in the past.
If you are reading this in a care setting, reminisce with your group and see if any particular lines are stimulating memories.
It can be useful to have some vocabulary prepared ready to use.
The words and phrases will mean different things to different people.
Here are just a few to get you started in our Pick ‘N’ Mix selection. Can your group or relative add some more?
Pick ‘N’ Mix
Winter, snowman, snow, frost, scarves
Woollies, icicles, snowballs, ice, boots
Skidding, sliding, skating, trekking, playing
Sledging, throwing, falling, skiing, building
Stunning, ghostly, gleaming, glistening, frosty
Beautiful, dangerous, exciting, breathtaking, adventurous
Read ‘Firsts’ in ‘Now share a verse…’ available from Amazon
Firsts (Verses one to five only)
‘I remember lots of firsts,
I’ll tell you them, in this verse.
The first words I heard in a whirl
Were ‘Congratulations it’s a girl!’
Months later, my sister Ruth,
Was the first to spot my first tooth.
My first very tiny shoe
Was shiny, in midnight blue
The first pet I ever had
Was a spaniel, we called him Lad.’
After you have read the poem you will be able to reminisce about the ‘Firsts’ in your life.
If you are reading this in a care setting, talk about New Year celebrations, resolutions and first footing.
Write the following titles on pieces of card. The young and the ‘young at heart’ could pick a card out of the hat and talk about the title on the card.
My first toy
My first day at school
My first bike
My first book
My first hobby
My first car
My first holiday
My first pet
My first comic
My first girlfriend/boyfriend
My first pair of long trousers
My first record
My first kiss
My first job
My first home
My first dance
3. A night out
Read ‘A night out’ in ‘Now tell me – how about you?’ available from Amazon
A night out (Extract)
‘We liked to go out on a night
A change from the wireless voice
Some outside fun, laughs a ton
We had a little choice…
On Monday to the cinema show
We could view a film or two,
Some dashing stars, in fantastic cars
Even though you had to queue.
On Tuesday it could be the Bingo
With pencils poised on pads,
‘Clickety click, it’s sixty six’
Losing is not so bad…’
After you have read the poem think about nights out you have enjoyed.
If you are reading this in a care setting talk about years ago when people were not glued to their TV screens. People were not glued to their television screens although the wireless was very popular. Going to the cinema, the pub or a whist drive was an enjoyable thing to do. In the 1960s if people went out for a meal, they often enjoyed a T-bone steak accompanied by a glass of Liebfraumilch.
Questions to ask your group to get conversation flowing:
What was your favourite night out?
What was your local cinema called?
Who was your favourite film star?
Where did you go to dance?
What was your favourite dance?
What card games did you play?
What sports did you play?
What plays / pantomimes / musicals did you see at the theatre?
Did you have a favourite restaurant; tell me about it please?
Did you like to go out for a walk? Where did you go?
Other poems in our books that can be read for this topic are: ‘At the pictures’ in ‘Now tell me – how about you?’ or ‘Dancing Queens’ in ‘Now tell me more about you…’ all available from Amazon
Read ‘Hobbies’ in ‘Now share a verse…’ available from Amazon
‘Knitting, knitting plain or purl,
Following the pattern in a whirl,
Whether a scarf or a warm woolly hat,
A jaunty jumper, a cuddly cat.
Clicking the needles, the wool in a ball,
Choosing colours for a baby’s shawl.
Knit one, purl one, stitches in a row,
It’s lovely to see the garment grow.
Painting, painting, I like to stand
Next to my easel, brush in hand.
Watercolour, oil or even pen,
I sketch out an outline and then
Fill in the colours, the sky and the sea,
Watching the shade for flower or tree.
Landscapes or portraits are framed in time,
Hung on a wall they look so fine.
Reading, reading a very good book,
Opening the cover and taking a look.
Thriller, adventure, a romantic tale,
The story of a lion or a very large whale.
A troll, a dragon, a beautiful fairy,
Helpless heroines and creatures scary,
Handsome heroes, police solving cases
Transported through print to imaginary places.’
This is a wonderful topic for you to reminisce on cold wintry days. Ask your group to talk about their favourite pastimes. You may find you have some keen knitters who may bring in warm blankets and scarves. It is great when people show things from a favourite hobby. We have seen beautiful embroidery work, photos of large fishing catches, clever art work and been read some excellent poems. Take photos of these and make an album of achievements. Those who have a musical hobby may play something for your group. Relax and listen – and even better sip a hot chocolate made to someone’s favourite recipe.
Another poem to use is : ‘On his hobby horse’ in ‘Now tell me – how about you?’ available from Amazon
5. TV Times
Read ‘TV Times’ in ‘Now tell me more about you…’available from Amazon
TV Times (Extract)
‘Black and white pictures all around,
Tiny screen, muffled sound,
The TV box was a joy to all,
We gathered round at Bilko’s call.
‘I Love Lucy’ was the best,
A redheaded damsel in distress.
How we laughed at Mr. Ed,
The Clampetts with hillbilly Jed.
Sam the Witch twitched her nose.
Ironside, Dragnet, famous crime shows.
‘Green Acres was the place for me’,
All American programmes on our TV.’
After you have read this poem you can reminisce about television programmes in the past.
Whilst you are reading this many people will remember that sitting in front of the fire on a snowy winter’s day was made even better by some good television programmes.
Discuss favourite TV programmes, past and present, with your group. Find pictures of them on the internet. Many old programmes or extracts can be found on YouTube and would be fun to watch together. The old signature tunes can trigger many memories.
Above all with these winter warmers – have fun!