Senior citizens, particularly those in nursing homes, enjoy crafts. Craft time is often looked forward to, especially for those needing little assistance with their care. Crafts are a great way to alleviate boredom and also a good way to stay active. In addition, craft time also affords senior citizens the opportunity to socialize with each other – another important aspect of leading a rich and fulfilling life in the golden years.
Senior citizen craft ideas can include a seasonal theme. For instance, for just a few dollars, blank foam door hangers can be made into a wonderful piece of art. In nursing homes, space is at a premium so smaller crafts may be preferable. A craft that attaches to the door helps to keep living space clutter free and also makes the area homey. Make a Thanksgiving door hanger with the following crafting supplies:
- 1 autumn colored (red, orange, yellow) foam door hanger
- Glue or glue dots
- brown, red, orange, green and yellow construction paper
- Googly eyes
Draw a turkey on the brown construction paper. For a turkey facing outward, draw a gourd shape. For a profile view, draw around the senior citizen’s hand. Next, cut feathers for the turkey by cutting out skinny feathers, similar to how bay leaves would look. On the back of the turkey shape, glue the feathers in alternating colors so that the turkey has full plumage. Next, glue the turkey itself to the foam door hanger. For the front facing turkey, use googly eyes and a piece of the orange construction paper cut like a beak. Don’t forget the waddle, which can be made by using red construction paper. If using the profile turkey, only one googly eye is needed.
For a non-seasonal craft idea for senior citizens, consider having them assemble their own calendar using the photos that family members leave behind for them to enjoy. Many word processing programs come with a calendar wizard built in or use one of many free calendar printing sites available on the Internet. Senior citizens often like to reminisce about their past, so using old photos or even school pictures of their children can make this craft more memorable. To make a calendar craft, these supplies are needed:
- Monthly calendar, printed from a word processor or online site
- Family pictures and/or pictures of friends
- Glue or double sided tape to secure pictures
- Stickers, crafting stamps, glitter or other stock embellishments
Assemble the calendar by alternating a blank page with the corresponding month, with the blank page being on top. On the blank page, secure a photograph in the middle of the page. Next, using stickers, crafting stamps or other craft supplies, decorate the blank page. Another great idea is to use old magazines and make a collage upon which the picture is secured. Next, on the blank calendar, write in information about any special dates. On dates such as Thanksgiving, Easter, Halloween or Christmas, place an appropriate holiday themed sticker on the holiday’s date. Complete with birthdays, doctor’s appointments, or dentist appointments.
It is so important to keep senior citizens involved in life activities and taking the time to make crafts with them can only add to their enjoyment of life. For children, making crafts with their elderly relatives can be a fun way to spend time together that they will remember in the years to come.