Following the success of our 4 week pilot of a nature based Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) programme we have decided to run the full 14 week programme. This week we welcomed lots of lovely new faces to our first session. Each week has a different theme and this week it was games. We talked about different outdoor games and their various components and then set about making up our own game using a selection of props.
What followed was a lot of laughs, competitive spirit and just a touch of cheating!
It made me realise that you don’t have to conform to existing rules and traditional games if you want to do something fun outside with the person you care for. You can tailor anything to suit your space, ability and equipment. We finalised the rules as we went and made sure we catered for all abilities. We soon forgot about the chilly weather as we got a bit of gentle exercise plus keeping score helped that all important cognitive stimulation.
Top tips for playing outdoor games
You don’t need lots of fancy equipment – work with what you’ve got, an old tennis ball, some rope, sticks, pebbles all make ideal game props.
Start simple – Its easier to start with a very simple concept such as rolling a ball onto a target and then build in the complexity if you wish. You can add scoring, different targets and objects to roll the ball.
Set the time – It may help to set out how long you will play for at the beginning, it can help provide focus and a natural finish rather than the game fizzling out. Perhaps you could have 4 rounds or goes each then re assess to see if you want to play on.