Written by Active Minds on Tuesday the 14th of August 2018.
Whilst we continue to enjoy the very un-British summer we are having this year, take the opportunity to encourage your loved one to participate in outdoor, summer activities. Being outside, for even a short period of time, has huge benefits, including exposure to vitamin D via the sun’s rays, which helps keep the brain, bones and muscles as healthy as possible. Outdoor activities also provide opportunities to socialise with others, reducing isolation and depression. But please do be mindful of the heat, keeping out of the intense midday sun, and ensuring that everyone is fully hydrated and protected.
Here are a few summer activities you and your loved one may enjoy:
Armed with a bird book or even large printouts of popular British birds and perhaps a pair of binoculars, set up a comfortable chair in a shady part of a garden or a park. Spend a leisurely afternoon looking for birds, ticking off any that are spotted in the book. To add an extra element to this activity, why not try a craft idea – a homemade cheerio bird feeder to encourage the birds to flock to you.
This activity is great as it combines gentle exercise as well as a sensory element, as fruit is picked, smelt and tasted. You can either go to a designated fruit picking farm, where you pay a small fee to pick punnets of fruit, or if you know of an area with fruit growing, you can head there with a Tupperware box. Once as much fruit as they wish to pick has been collected, then you can head back and perhaps use the freshly gathered fruit to make something to enjoy later in the day, maybe an Eton Mess or a cake.
A fantastic group activity which can include a competitive edge if desired, by dividing the participants into 2 teams. There are plenty of suitable lawn games to enjoy, including croquet, boules and ring toss, all of which can be adapted to be enjoyed seated if needed.
Take a colourful kite to a local park or beach and start flying it. Once the kite is in the air, allow your loved one to take control. They can do this whilst seated, but ensure you are nearby so you can help out if needed.