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With the days getting brighter and Easter fast approaching, you may be looking forward to spending time with your Grandchildren over the Easter holidays in your over 55 community. Now, we all love going to granny and grandpa’s for time-honored Easter egg hunt in the garden of your luxury retirement village, but if you wanted to spice things up this year we’ve got some great craft ideas to keep the grandkids busy and entertained.  

 Plant Pot Bunny Rabbits 

 This is a quick and easy craft that you can enjoy from the comfort of your luxury retirement flat. The “plant pot bunny rabbits” just require some paint, two small clay pots, googly eyes, a pen and some pipe cleaners to come to life!  

All you have to do is take your two pots glue them together (with the top one upside down and let the little ones decide what fun colour they want their bunny to be.  

Next, after they have gotten paint all over the wipe-clean table cloth, leave it to dry before sticking your googly eyes on the top half of the bunny.  

Whilst you wait for the eyes to dry, under your supervision, let the grandchildren cut some ears out of cardboard, for a classic look white and pink is always a hit. After that, take the card and cut a mouth so your bunny can eat all the carrots and, of course, a nose for the bunny to smell out any chocolate nearby! 

All bunnies need whiskers so take the pipe cleaners and bend them to look like some whiskers for your Grandchild’s new little friend! Finally, stick the whiskers nose, and mouth together and the bunny ears on top and you’ll see him come to life.  

This simple table top craft would be perfect to enjoy on a wet day from the comfort of your retirement apartment. 

Painted Eggs 

 …this might sound like a disaster waiting to happen but we promise that the last thing we want is for your retirement living apartment to be covered in egg yolk. Therefore, we would suggest buying some small plastic eggs for the grandchildren to play around with and paint with any persona they choose. All you’ll need are small plastic eggs and some acrylic paint in colours of your choice. Pick two fine brushes and get painting your little egg people making up stories about them along the way!  

Chocolate Cornflake Cakes  

Would Easter really be Easter without a mini-egg Cornflake cake? It absolutely wouldn’t and with fully integrated kitchens in all of our retirement living apartments, there is no better place to bake!  

So grab your oven gloves and make Easter snacks that the whole family will love! 

Recipe

 225g/8oz plain chocolate, broken into pieces 

2 tbsp golden syrup 

50g/2oz butter 

75g/2¾oz cornflakes 

36 mini chocolate eggs 

Line a 12-hole fairy cake tin with paper cases. 

Melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering  

water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Stir the mixture until smooth. 

Remove the bowl from the heat and gently stir in the cornflakes until all of the cereal is coated in the chocolate. 

Divide the mixture between the paper cases and press 3 chocolate eggs into the centre of each nest. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour, or until completely set.  

(Recipe from BBC Good Food)  

  

From food to crafts we hope we have given you some useful ideas to keep grandchildren entertained this Easter. At Burghley Retirement Living we believe life should be about doing the things you love without the stress of the small things and our maintenance and groundwork service means that you’ll have plenty of time to entertain little ones in your retirement living apartment all year round! 

Grandmother with bunny ears entertaining grandaughter at Easter in retirement apartment

 

 

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By Maggie Wilkinson 

 

It’s always useful to have a little project up your sleeve for when the little ones come to visit and need some relaxing indoor entertainment in your retirement flat.   

Children love to do creative things, so here’s something to do on a rainy day from the comfort of your lifestyle village, without making too much mess in your lovely apartment – meet Cressida the cress head and her friends! 

Children as young as four can enjoy this project, stick-on eyes can be fun, and older children love to get creative with the detailing and character of the faces… 

To make this project, it’s good to get the preparation done ahead of time so the kids can get stuck in straight away and everything is to hand. 

Requirements: – 

  • Save some eggshells, and when you crack them open, cut as neatly as you can close to the top or the bottom of the egg. Your choice will influence the shape of the final face. Wash them and let them dry out. 
  • An ordinary pencil for each child and coloured pencils, or fine liner pens, felt tips; an assortment provides choice. 
  • Some plastic sheeting or newspaper to protect your work surface 
  • A small bowl of compost 
  • A packet of cress seeds and a small saucer 
  • A teaspoon for each child  
  • An egg cup for each “Cress head” 
  • A square of kitchen roll for each, or scraps of fabric 
  • Water to moisten the compost. 
  • Egg boxes if taking home 

 

 

Method: – 

Get each child to draw a face on their eggshell. It’s companionable to work alongside, as it gets them going and gives them confidence. 

When they’re happy with the features, and have doodled a bit of hair maybe, let them colour in with the pencils, or whatever they choose. 

When the colouring is dry, put half an inch of water into the shell, and show them how to nearly fill it with compost, using a teaspoon. 

 Show them how to drip water in slowly, so the compost doesn’t spill out, then firm it in carefully so as not to break the shell or spoil the art work. 

Get the kids to open the cress packet and tip the seeds onto the saucer. 

Show them how to sprinkle the seeds onto the soil virtually covering it for a thick head of hair! 

Tap another teaspoon of compost to cover the seeds, and drip on more water. 

Fold the kitchen paper or scrap of fabric into four and tuck it into the egg cup to make a decorative neckerchief. 

Park the eggshell into the egg cup, or if they are going to take them home, place them into an empty egg box for transport. 

The cress will need a careful water each day, and after four or five days on a sunny windowsill, the cress “hair” will start to grow, and the longer it gets, the more characterful and quirky the head will be. 

It’s good to use real soil because it teaches them about seeds, growing food and when it comes to hair cut time, there’s another opportunity for a secondary activity…lunch! 

How about boiling some fresh eggs to mash with a bit of mayo, and an egg and cress sandwich could be on the menu! 

Have Fun! 

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By Simon Oakley 

 

The Thornton-Cleveleys area is an ideal place for senior living communities as you can access nature within a short distance, whether it be nature reserves, long walks or just admiring plant and animal life. Here are some locations that showcase the best of nature in the area. 

 

Marton Mere Local Nature Reserve 

The first location worth exploring is the Marton Mere Nature Reserve in Ormskirk because of the rich diversity it offers and the native plant life. Managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, you can find plants such as the endangered whorled caraway, golden dock, tubular water dropwort, early marsh orchids, the large-flowered hemp nettle and purple ramping fumitory, all native to the nature reserve. 

This offers a paradise for wildlife throughout the year as different species settle in the area. For example, in the spring you can see wildflowers and birds nesting whilst during summers your see insects such as butterflies and dragonflies appear. 

If you have the spare time, then why not get up and personal with the wildlife in the area. You can get involved in activities such as a canoe safari and pond dipping giving people the opportunity to see nature and wildlife up close. 

Click here for more information

 

Wyre Estuary Country Park 

The Wyre Estuary County Park is another good place to visit as you can experience nature in a relaxed setting. Walks and picnics are a great way to just sit and enjoy your surroundings or you can sign up with local rangers at the park to go on fun tours and gain an insight into what makes the park special.  

The country park is ideal if you enjoy watching birds in a natural environment or if you admire different tree varieties. It’s a great place to visit to just explore your environment outside of your independent living communities. 

Click here for more information

 

Rossall Beach 

Living at Royles Lodge means you are only minutes from the Lancashire Coast. Rossall Beach situated a mile from the Cleveleys Beach is worth a mention because of the natural landscape that allows nature to thrive. If you walk along the beach, you will experience birds flocking along the sandy beaches and marine life along the coast. There has been rumours that even seals can be seen occasionally.  

In many ways, it is perfect for a late evening walk as you can watch the sun descend along the coast at sunset.  

Click here for more information

 

All of these places are a great change of scenery for those living in luxury retirement villages, when friends or family come to visit why not take them for a little trip outside of your senior living communities. 

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By Kirsti Randazzo

 

It can be tough to bond with your grandchildren in a time when technology is their main form of entertainment.

Have you ever considered using technology to bond with your grandchildren?

This game used to be done without assistance from technology but, by asking your grandchild to set up their phone to record this on video, you accomplish both getting the phone out of their hand and capturing a cherished memory of you that they will have forever.

 

To start this game, grab a large bowl and two sheets of blank paper.

 

Cut the paper into strips that you can write questions on.

 

Take half the strips for yourself and give the other half to your grandchild – or grandchildren.

 

Tell them to write down any question they might want to know about you or your life. The questions can be as simple as what is your favourite colour or as deep as what is your best childhood memory?

 

When you have all finished writing your questions, fold the pieces of paper and put them in the bowl.

 

This is when it is time to start recording. Have your grandchild prop the phone against something and make sure you are both in view. Now the fun can begin!

 

Take turns drawing questions from the bowl.

When you draw, make sure to answer with as much detail as possible. Even if the question seems mundane, your answer might stick with your grandchild for life.

Really listen to your grandchild’s answers too!

 

This is such an easy way to make memories that will last a lifetime.

It is also a great way for your children and grandchildren to learn who you were before they were around!

We often forget that people lived full lives before we knew them. Your children mostly know you as their parent. Your grandchildren mostly know you as their grandparent.

 

This is a great game to play with your children as well. If your grandchildren are too young to play this game, you could also spend your free time answering your prompts on your own.

Purchase a beautiful notebook and write a question at the top of each page. Whenever you are feeling bored or lonely, turn to your notebook and write your answers.

When you fill the book, it can make an amazing birthday or holiday gift for your loved ones.

In the fast-paced world we live in, it can be hard to connect with loved ones. Don’t be afraid to get creative in the ways you bond with your family. It’s never too late to share you story or ask others to share theirs. In the winter months when you are stuck inside anyways, don’t be afraid to ask your family to play this game.

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By Maggie Wilkinson. 

 

Retirement is a such a golden time, a time to reflect on not only what you want to do, but also, realising just how much you have to give. 

Grannies and Grandpas are the superheroes of this stressful world - the most wonderful asset a family can have, and now you have settled into your amazing retirement village, the grandchildren can come for days, mornings, maybe afternoons – on a regular basis, and you will be giving them the most precious gift there is. Your time.   

 

It’s very special for children with siblings to revel in one-to-one time with a grandparent, and now, you can offer that, and perhaps they can take turns. 

When an older person has a close relationship with a youngster, a marvellous exchange can take place; you get to see the world through their eyes, and they see it through yours! 

Both sides will love the talking, you’ll learn so much.  

 

Your stories and memories will make them smile, they won’t believe the way things were, back in the day, and how you got through somehow, and went on to have happy families. 

They would love to look through your photograph albums! And you will enjoy hearing them chatter about their friends and their schools, you will have a revolutionary insight into their world.  

 

You are an incredible gift for busy, young parents, who are probably juggling a house, jobs, pets and the children. 

You remember how that was… what a joy for them to know that they can bring the children over to you at your senior living home and know that their little one is going to be nurtured in a peaceful happy oasis with unique you.

And, the gift is returned in several ways.

They will help to keep you healthy – the germs young children come into contact with, playing, eating and touching, will actually give your immune system a boost, and help you to stay well.   

 

Research has also shown that spending time with grandchildren is truly rewarding, because it makes you happy, and that’s the best antidote to depression there is. 

The time you share will fill the odd gaps children experience these days, you can teach them the little life skills that schools no longer have time for, and things parents find hard to fit in.  

Little things are big things: Empower them!  

Depending on your grandchildren’s age, these can be great examples of bonding activities: 

 

  • Teaching them how to tie their shoe-laces 

 

  • Showing them how to lay the table (make a little posy to pretty it up) 

 

  • Cooking, baking, preparing a salad, hulling strawberries 

 

  • Button pictures, sew on a button, showing them how to thread buttons on string 

 

  • Drawing and painting, colouring – always a pleasure 

 

  • Stories, songs & poems  

 

  • Taking photographs 

 

  • Teaching a musical instrument 

 

Children naturally want to help, to be part of things, but at home there isn’t always time to indulge that, and parents often take for speed.

But you are time-rich and can enjoy showing them all sorts of things, at your leisure within your independent senior living. 

 

You don’t need to buy lots of expensive toys, they will be happy just to play. This is the importance of Grandparents! Lastly, don’t forget to laugh, and be daft, they really love that!

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