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If you are a senior or an elderly person, and you want something fun to do in your spare time, then this article is for you. We will be sharing with you many different adult crafts and activities that cover a wide range of skill levels and interests. There are so many ways you can have fun, which can also bring out your creativity and keep your hands busy. These crafts for seniors are easy to make and fun to do, and include woodworking, scrapbooking, knitting, and lots more.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Purpose of Craft Activities for Seniors
- 2 Easy Crafts for Seniors
- 3 Coloring and Painting Crafts for Seniors
- 4 Photo Crafts for Seniors
- 5 Crocheting, Sewing, and Knitting Crafts for Seniors
- 6 Special Holiday Crafts for Seniors
- 7 Crafts for Seniors Suffering From Dementia
- 8 Easy Fall Crafts for Seniors
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions
The Purpose of Craft Activities for Seniors
The main purpose behind arts and crafts for seniors is for you to have creative fun and keep your mind and hands active. However, you also want something easy to do and inexpensive. You might want to try and look for a group or class, where these group activities like crafts for seniors are offered. Or you can just enjoy these arts and crafts for seniors with your grandkids, some of the other members of your family, or even a friend or two.
Whatever you decide, it is important to keep your mind and hands busy, and what better way than arts and crafts for seniors?
Crafts for seniors can help with things like focus, as you are busy at the moment with what you are doing. Crafts also provide a sense of purpose that you have accomplished something. This can have a huge impact on any senior’s mental and physical health, helping you to manage any feelings of depression or anxiety. Practicing easy crafts for seniors keeps you dexterous, allowing you to use your hands, which contributes to a sense of losing your independence.
When you are actively involved in crafts for the elderly, you will discover your immune system improving, which normally deteriorates as you age, leaving you in a position where you will be more vulnerable to illness. If this is what it can do for you then it is worth a try to keep you healthy. It does not matter if you are suffering from Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia, taking part in some form of craft project for seniors is essential for wellbeing. However, all the activities they are going to be part of, have no wrong or right way. So, they can enjoy what they are doing without too much fuss. These types of crafts for elderly members can help boost their self-esteem and will help in stimulating the brain to improve cognitive functions, and memory and combat any symptoms of dementia.
Crafts for elderly members are ideal alternatives to medication, as they can reduce their agitation, increase the quality of their lives, and distract them from any difficult behavior. However, you need to ensure that the creative activities are completely safe, in other words, there are no small objects that can be swallowed or sharp items that can hurt.
Getting involved in any form of art, like painting, sketching, dance, music, or pottery, can contribute to your well-being as you will learn to explore your inner thoughts and emotions. You will then discover that you pay fewer visits to the doctor, you may even have to reduce your medication, you will have less risk of falling, and feel more socially connected and much happier.
Art will also help you to express your feelings and things that are difficult to talk about, increase memory and motor skills and test your hand-eye coordination, as well as improve your physical health.
Crafting Ideas for Seniors
When you are looking for arts and crafts for seniors, sometimes your fingers and hands may work a little slower than when you were younger. So, you need to use a bit of patience and try not to rush things or get agitated when it takes a bit longer than what you expected.
This also means that craft activities for seniors pose some physical limitations, but that should not stop you from enjoying these experiences. Today, if you make knitting your craft, you can get larger knitting needles and there is a yarn that has a heavier gauge. For the woodworker, power tools may be out of the question, but you can always sit comfortably at a table and assemble projects from a kit, and crafters that have impaired vision can easily make use of a magnifying glass. Let us now consider some of these crafts for the elderly, so you can choose which one will be best for you.
Easy Crafts for Seniors
Let us begin with some easy craft projects for adults or the elderly. You may be interested in a project that makes use of paper, wood, glass, paint, beads, flowers, or any other material that you can easily lay your hands on.
Some of these easy crafting ideas may be just what you have been looking for.
A suncatcher is an ornament, similar to a wind chime, that you can make in different shapes and sizes, using pieces of glass, metal lids from storage jars, beads, or anything that will catch and reflect the light. You can make use of one or join a whole lot together, and then place them in a window or hang them from the ceiling where they can pick up rays and reflect them into the room.
Clay Charms or Jewelry
By making use of some molding clay, you can make your own unique charms which can be a perfect gift for your grandkid’s birthday. For this project, you can use some polymer clay, but you will have to cure it in the oven at the correct temperature for at least 35 minutes.
Alternatively, you can use some air-dry clay that is soft and malleable and dries at normal room temperature in about 24 hours.
Gather some small flowers from your garden and lay them down between two sheets of wax paper. Now place them inside a heavy book or place the heavy book on top of the flowers, and leave them overnight. In the morning they should be fairly flat and then you can laminate them or use them just as they are. They are ideal for decorating greetings cards, coasters, bookmarks, photo frames, and many more uses.
By using an ordinary safety pin, you can take some small brightly colored beads, feed them carefully onto the safety pin forming your own pattern, and you would have created your own unique broach that you can wear with pride on any occasion.
There are also many other beaded jewelry ideas from necklaces as well as earrings and beaded rings.
Coloring and Painting Crafts for Seniors
It does not matter how old you are or what the state of your physical or mental health is, everyone can enjoy themselves by using paintbrushes or markers. As you begin to concentrate on the colors and patterns, your mind will begin to calm and give your brain a short break from everyday cares and worries. Research has discovered that this activity can have a soothing effect on your body, almost the same as meditation. So, with that in mind, let us consider some of these coloring ideas for seniors, and maybe one or more of them will appeal to you.
This idea is great for seniors, as it is simple and very cost-effective. All you need is a mason jar, some coffee filters, and a small palette of watercolors. Decide on what pattern you want, then paint it on the coffee filters, attach them to the mason jar and you have just created a beautiful luminary that you can place inside or outside the house.
Also, if the mason jars still have their lids, you can create your own special sun catchers.
Coloring Books for Seniors
It is not true that coloring books are just meant for children to enjoy, adult coloring books are becoming more and more popular with the seniors. This type of idea will relieve your stress and relax you, and at the same time, help you to create something beautiful that can also last for a long time. If you are suffering from impaired vision, no problem, as there are also large-print coloring books available.
Geometric Tape Painting
This is also a very interesting and easy idea for seniors, as all you need is some painter’s tape and a canvas or a piece of metal or plastic. Take the painter’s tape and stick it onto the canvas, plastic, or metal in any geometric pattern that you want, and then paint between the taped lines. Once finished, you can remove the tape, and left behind is an amazing geometric pattern.
You can also use some paper or a piece of board, but then you will have to use a metal or wooden ruler to make your geometric pattern as the tape will tear the paper or board when you remove it.
Some Other Painting Ideas for Seniors
There are so many other ideas for painting various objects that are easy and can be done by anyone. You can take some small, smooth, and clean rocks and paint whatever pattern you want. These can then be used as garden markers, door stops, and much more. If you live in an area where pine trees grow, you can collect some pine cones and using some spray paint, transform them into ornaments that will look great in your home.
Photo Crafts for Seniors
Using some of your favorite family photos, you can incorporate them into a personalized project that you can be proud to show any of your friends. Most seniors have boxes full of photos that are stored away in a closet or attic gathering dust, maybe this is a good opportunity to put those photos to good use. This can also be done as craft projects for adults of all ages.
Maybe the photos are stored on a flash drive, computer, or smartphone? These can also be put to good use by merely printing them out, which you can do yourself or you can have them printed out in many of the major stores. Let us now consider some different ideas.
This is one of the best ways for you to preserve those special photos and memories. You can buy a scrapbook or create your own book. You can start by placing the photos of your choice in the book. You can then add extra loose paper with various designs and patterns to your book, as well as stickers, ribbons, or any other embellishments you choose for decorating the pages of your scrapbook.
Take a piece of wood, corkboard, or canvas and arrange some of your favorite photos in a unique pattern, then fix them on the board, using some adhesive or double-sided tape.
Attach a piece of cord or string to the back and look for a place on the wall in the passage, dining room, or bedroom, and hang it there as a showpiece of your favorite family photos.
This is a unique way to have all your favorite photos on display for everyone to see. In many homes, you are sure to find a gallery of family photos on display on the fridge. This is an ideal spot, as everyone comes into the kitchen at least half a dozen times a day and will see your photo magnet gallery.
Some Other Photo Ideas for Seniors
If none of the above ideas appeal to you, then what about a photo cube, where you can attach some of your favorite photos in a cube, that you can make from some cardboard. This is a great idea for a small area and can be used as a conversation piece.
Maybe you can use some of your favorite photos to transfer to some coasters, and you can have them on display at your next social gathering.
Crocheting, Sewing, and Knitting Crafts for Seniors
Needlecrafts appear to be a very popular activity with the seniors, as the equipment you need is minimal, and you can also do it while sitting in your comfortable armchair in your living room. The beauty of these needlecrafts is that you can still enjoy them in your old age. A survey has shown that two-thirds of the knitters are over 60, and many of them continue into their eighties and nineties. Let us now consider some of these needlecrafts that you can try.
Many of us have pieces of different kinds of fabric lying around that are left over from some sewing project. You can take these fabric pieces and sew them into the form of a small bag, then leaving a small opening on one side, you can fill it with some long grain rice and sew it closed. The bag is now ready to be popped into the microwave oven, heated, and applied to any of those aches and pains that bother you.
If you have some essential oils handy, use them on your heating bag to enjoy some aromatherapy as well.
You may have a lot of old material lying around, like old shirts, wedding dresses, military uniforms, or baby blankets. This is a great idea to use them for something that will bring back many of those old memories. All you need to do is sew these old pieces of material together and stuff them with some foam pieces to form a quilt that will be loved by the whole family.
Often when making a cup of coffee, or tea, the cup remains fairly hot, and you may not be able to hold it properly. Take some soft wool yarn of different colors and knit or crochet a coffee cozy that fits snugly around your cup or mug.
This allows you to hold it without it burning your hands.
Knitting Ideas for Seniors With a Difference
If you want to help others with your gift or talent for knitting, why not knit some blankets that can be given to children that are in need. You do not have to do it alone, get a small group together and the project can be completed much quicker. You can also knit a few squares and join them together, and this can be donated to a local children’s hospital, where the sick child can get some comfort from your handiwork.
Special Holiday Crafts for Seniors
There are many special holidays in a calendar year, where you can do special craft projects for seniors. These can include Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Halloween. All it will require from you is some different materials and a little of your time, and it can bring joy and happiness to many.
This is also a great time for a family to be together as they enjoy these special days.
Christmas Crafts for Seniors
Take some different colored felt pieces and cut them out into any shape you want, like a Christmas tree, or bells. Form this, you can then make your own Christmas ornaments. Now take these different colored cut-out pieces and lay them on top of each other to make up the shape you want, and stitch them or glue them together. To give it an extra special effect, you can weave some colored beads or ribbons in areas where they can stand out. You can also easily recycle some corks to create a unique and beautiful Christmas wreath.
Take some old mason jars and fill them with some potting soil, then place a candle in the sand and you can make your own Christmas candles. For decorations, you can use paper, ribbons, lace, or string, and you can use some watercolor paints to complete the decoration. These are only a few suggestions for Christmas crafts for seniors.
Thanksgiving Craft Ideas
Using different colors of paper or light board, cut out the letters “Thanksgiving” and join them together to make a banner. You can then hang it where it will be seen by everyone. Another idea is to gather some large dry leaves from the garden, write out the names of the guests on a piece of paper, stick them onto the dried leaves and place them on the table. You can also gather some large dry leaves from the garden, and using Mod Podge, join them together forming a leaf bowl.
Fill the bowl with some of the pine cones that you have painted, and this can form an ideal centerpiece for the table.
Easter Craft Ideas
The old favorite is always a hit and can be enjoyed by the whole family, and that is painting Easter eggs. For this craft, you will need some hard-boiled eggs, small smooth stones in the shape of an egg, or you can make your own eggs out of some cardboard. Then you need some paint as well as brushes, and then you can start with the fun part. However, instead of just painting, why not create a sparkling egg using different colors of glitter or create a marbles egg by swirling the paint in different patterns or designs.
Halloween Craft Ideas
Halloween should not only be fun for kids, so why not include the seniors? Crafting is great for easing depression and Halloween crafting can be fun and something that can be enjoyed by the whole family. The Halloween crafting ideas we have selected below are ideal for seniors that suffer from Dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Maybe there are a few apples that are not so fresh, take them and cut them in half. Now you can use them just like that, or you can carve any type of form or shape in the apple and then dip it into some colored paint, and you have a stamp that can be used on any surface.
Making Halloween slime is not only fun for the kids but is also great for seniors. You can whip up your own non-toxic slime by mixing liquid starch, watercolors, and school glue, which you can use on any of your Halloween objects. You can make your own skeleton by taking some black paper, bending some white pipe cleaners into the shape of a skeleton, and gluing them onto the black paper.
Crafts for Seniors Suffering From Dementia
Seniors with some form of dementia have a great need of feeling wanted, and also need to have some fun and enjoy their lives. You can take some simple household items and use them as materials for crafts with seniors with dementia. Let us consider a few of these craft ideas that are suited for seniors with dementia.
Attaching Pipes and Fittings
It is often the case, that many male seniors have been the ones that were always the handyman around the house, but now they seem to be robbed of this experience. Why not buy some PVC pipes and metal fittings, like elbows and t-joints, and let them join them together as best they can.
This can help to remind them of those pleasant activities that they used to do when they were younger.
Buy some inexpensive artificial flowers and a plastic vase, and let the seniors have fun arranging the flowers however they want to. This can be very relaxing and also stimulating for their minds, and they will also get a sense of fulfillment and achievement with their own creative flower arrangements. This can also fall under great craft projects for adults in general.
Playing With Playdough
Everybody can have fun kneading playdough, and it also is a means of relaxation for all seniors of all ages. You can also include essential oils to help provide even more benefits. Then get some old cookie cutters from the kitchen and watch them as they enjoy themselves cutting out all kinds of shapes.
If you want to ensure their complete safety, you can make your own homemade dough.
Easy Fall Crafts for Seniors
Autumn is the best time for a lot of the crafting ideas, mainly because of the season change, bringing in the most beautiful colors, like golden yellows, coppery browns, and rusty reds, which can give you the inspiration you need. Fall is also a great time for crafting as it is rainy and cold outside, so you can relax next to a warm fireplace and enjoy the therapy it offers.
Most of the easy fall crafts for seniors have nature as their theme, and you can also make use of the elements from nature. You can pick up some dried leaves or fallen acorns or pine cones to use for your crafts, as well as pumpkins, nuts, or fruits can also be used. Other fall crafts can include decoupage, embroidery, wreaths, sewing, paper crafts, and lots more.
In this article, we have only given you a few ideas for crafts for seniors, but there are many more. So, with all these ideas, there is no reason to sit in an armchair all day and do nothing. Start activities that will stimulate their minds and also help them to relax, be free from stress as well as have fun.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Some Activities That Seniors Over 70 Can Do?
Many people over 70 years old are still fit and active and regard bingo evenings as slightly boring. They need to keep active, so joining an exercise club or walking group is a good idea. However, they can also do all kinds of easy crafts for seniors as well as take art classes or field trips, and can they also enjoy music or pet therapy.
Why Is It Good for Seniors to Partake in Crafts?
When seniors engage in creative activities, it will positively impact their social, motor, and cognitive skills. Crafting is also ideal for relieving anxiety and stress, and most of the activities are inexpensive and make use of ordinary items that are already in your home.
What Crafts Are Available for Seniors With Dementia?
It does not matter what the mental state of the person is, they can all be creative in some way or another. Creative ideas will challenge certain areas of the brain and reward them with an emotional connection. However, you need to be aware of their abilities, skills, and interests. They can easily produce items that are beautiful and can even be given as gifts. For example, arranging flowers, playing with dough, and anything that will challenge their minds.
How to Keep a Senior Entertained?
There are many ways that you can keep a senior person entertained, even if they are confined to a chair. Some things they may find interesting are spending some time reading books that appeal to them, exploring new hobbies, enjoying craft activities for seniors, spending some time outdoors, playing games with the family, or enjoying a TV show, a movie, or some music.