Loose Valley Care Home residents enjoy an adventure down under

We had a great time travelling ‘Down Under’ with our residents at Loose Valley Care Home in the Nellsar virtual minibus on Monday 14 February.

Armchair travel

When it comes to exploring this incredible world, armchair travel has become important to us at Loose Valley. Unable to travel, we’ve been attempting to see the world from our own Home.

Nellsar created a plan last year to cruise once a month to different places around the globe entitled ‘Around the World with Nellsar Cruises’ and that took us to such far off places as Hong Kong, Spain, Italy, Caribbean, India and France.

Then we enjoyed some staycation fun with ‘Carry on Camping’ – going to London, the Scottish highlands, Wales and Ireland.

So we were really excited to jump back into travel and learning about the world through our activities.

Australia here we come!

One place Paula from our Recreation and Well-Being Team has really wanted to go is Australia. Only one of our residents, Paulette, has ever travelled ‘down under’ – so we decided to transport her back there!

Our Nellsar minibus was ready to go and decked out with flags, bunting, number plate and of course some passengers! Crocodile Dundee was in the back seat with his crocodile, joined by a koala, wombat and kangaroo waving their Aussie flag! Our driver, in his cork hat, took us through the Outback.

A lot of cardboard was required for this activity! Paula created an array of native Australia creatures including crocodiles, quokka, koala, dingo, kangaroo, emu, wombat, platypus, sheep, snakes and spiders no less! All printed out and glued onto the cardboard, our residents loved them and couldn’t wait to pose with them.

The favourite was the smiling quokka – a very cute and unique marsupial also known as a short-tailed scrub wallaby, which is about the size of a small cat.

Games down under!

Our residents took it in turns to play a game of beer ping pong; 10 red plastic cups and 10 ping pong balls, they each took a turn to aim the balls into the cups.

The balls were bouncing everywhere on target as well as the floor! Maureen had the bright idea of using the didgeridoo as a tool to aim the ball into the cup, which was very impressive! Barbara also used a didgeridoo and pretended to blow down it and make the sound, which was hilarious!

At the end of the game, the balls were counted and numbers under the cup were added up – 1st, 2nd and 3rd places won a prize. Great fun!

Next was the kangaroo game, just like ‘Buckaroo’ but with a kangaroo instead; you had to add baggage to his back and ears and he is ready to jump at any minute! A classic balancing game that filled us with suspense and surprise, especially when he kicked up and sent everything flying…much to our residents’ delight!

Songs and sayings

During the day we enjoyed classic Aussie songs such as ‘Waltzing Matilda‘ and we also had a good laugh learning some lingo and sayings;

G,day mate!
You drongo
You little ripper
We’re up the creek
Gone walkabout
No worries, mate

In the ‘arvo’ (afternoon!) we looked at a scrapbook Paula had created, which included information all about Australian history, Aboriginal tribes, Royal Flying Doctor Day and Captain James Cook landing in Botany Bay and deciding to travel further up the coast and land on what today is Sydney. Our residents found it so informative and loved the book, which they can look at any time.

It really was a holiday of a lifetime and we’re going to send some postcards to our families of our adventures down under, via whatsApp and also interactiveMe which we have just started using at Loose Valley.

What a brilliant adventure!