Spring is a favorite time of the year for children, birds, dogs, lovers, athletes-in fact, just about everybody! Listen to the sentiments of poet Richard Hovey: Spring in the world! And all things are made new! Nature awakens and puts on a glorious show: migrating birds return; trees begin to bud; bulbs begin to sprout; animals emerge from hibernation; daylight hours increase; sunshine abounds.
Spring is also a time of renewal and rebirth in our homes and heart. Ask your participants: What do you remember about spring growing up? What images do you associate with the season? Often the spring season spurs changes in our lives. It’s the perfect time to clean out and to try something new and refreshing. Talk about some of these changes with your group.
- Changes in the home: new recipes; new home decorations; spring
- Cleaning and beautification projects.
- Changes in people: new attitudes and outlook; new wardrobe; new diet/exercise; new hairstyle.
The Rites of Spring
“See! The winter has past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season for singing has come.” – Song of Solomon 2:11-12
Spring is a season of rites and rituals. Families often celebrate the transition with some familiar activities. Ask your group members to complete the following sentence: Every spring our family . . . Did they mention these:
- watching for the appearance of robins and nesting birds
- attending the opening day of baseball
- planting vegetable and flower seeds
- cooking barbeque on the outdoor grill
- enjoying a cherry blossom parade
- cutting grass for the first time
- flying a colorful kite on a breezy day
- sampling Grandma’s spring rhubarb pie
To produce a sense of nostalgia, pass around objects related to spring, e.g., birdhouse, baseball, garden seeds, watering can, kite. Encourage participants to share seasonal memories related to these objects.
Encourage your senior adults to spring into action and enjoy the benefits of physical activity. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and enjoy exercising with a buddy! Companions will keep your group motivated to exercise.
Invite a nutritionist to talk about a healthy, balanced diet. For sensory pleasure, bring in some fresh young spring vegetables for your group to taste .Try asparagus, spring onions, baby carrots, and new potatoes. Or, relish a bowl of fresh berries.
Here’s a spring activity especially for the men in your group. Pass around photos of historic cars and talk about the changing designs of the automobile. Auto buffs can reminisce about popular models (ex: 1927 LaSalle roadster, 1932 Chrysler Imperial custom limousine, 1938 Buick “Y-Job”, 1951 Studebaker Starlight coupe, or 1956 Ford Thunderbird). Chat about washing and waxing the family car on a warm spring day or attending a vintage car show with a friend. With opening day right around the corner, why not plan a trip “to the old ball park” with your group. Don’t miss the opportunity to talk about transportation to the stadium. Which automobile will they choose for the trip? Spring is also a time, according to Tennyson, when “a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Encourage reminiscing about the days of dating and romance using the family car.
Spring is a good time to get a new pet. Puppies are a favorite choice among families. Your group members will enjoy sharing memories of their first dog. For fun, listen to Patti Page’s popular rendition of “How Much is That Doggie in the Window?” Ask your group about the old adage – a dog is man’s best friend. Discuss the benefits of owning a dog (e.g., companionship, exercise, responsibility). Ask: How do family relationships benefit from the presence of a pet? Compile a list of most popular names for a dog.
For a culminating activity, read some traditional poetry on spring. You’ll find delightful verse to celebrate the season of rebirth by Gerard Manley Hopkins, Robert Frost, Sara Teasdale, William Shakespeare, Robert Browning, Amy Lowell, John Greenleaf Whittier, and e.e. cummings.
SPRING FLOWER SCRAMBLE
- s u c c r o – crocus
- f f l i d d o a – daffodil
- n o d d l e n a i – dandelion
- c a l l i – lilac
- s a n p y – pansy
- c a h y t h i n – hyacinth
- z a e a l a – azalea
- p i l u t – tulip
- y l l i – lily
- e s r o r i m p – primrose
THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH
Attitude is your own personal choice. Sustaining a positive attitude on the job will reap many benefits.
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” ~ Winston Churchill
“SPRING CELEBRATION” written by Sue Hansen. © 2005 ElderSong Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reprint Policy: To reprint or republish all or portions of this entry, you must acquire written permission and agree to link back to the original source. Please contact us at [email protected] to obtain permission.