Many of us enjoyed crafts when we were younger and as we grow older we often get back to the things that made us happy and oftentimes, that includes crafts and similar activities.
Crafts provide so many wonderful benefits for older adults.
- Hands on tasks can help to enhance and strengthen motor skills and improve dexterity
- Working on crafts in a group setting can help to combat loneliness and depression
- Working on an activity or project can help to reduce stress, ease anxiety and provide purpose
- Studies have shown that crafting can enhance cognitive skills
A research study in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences found that seniors who participated in crafts like pottery and knitting had a lower risk of developing mild cognitive impairment. And in a Psychological Science study, seniors who learned how to quilt or do digital photography showed improved memory function.greatseniorliving.com
You may want to consider creating an Activity Calendar for craft projects as well.
All these benefits and more can work together to make the daily life of any senior (and their caregivers) more meaningful and fun.
Below are a few craft ideas and products that we put together specifically for seniors but of course, these can certainly also be enjoyed by most anyone of any age.
In fact – doing crafts together is an excellent way to bond with each other!
What To Look For When Choosing Craft Projects For Older Adults
Every senior person will have their own set of cognitive and physical challenges so choosing the right types of crafts to do with them is very important.
If an activity is too difficult, they may become agitated and frustrated not only with the task but with themselves so here are some tips on how to choose the right type of crafting activity for your senior loved one.
- Avoid projects with small beads or that require threading a needle if dexterity or loss of tactile sensation is an issue for them.
- Look for craft projects that uses any skills they may have experience with such as painting, sewing, knitting, etc.
- Know that you may have to spend time with them working on the crafting project to explain it or demonstrate it, etc. It may seem simple to you but may not be for them.
- Be prepared to be patient (and remind your senior loved one to also be patient with themselves) as they learn and/or work on a project.
- Avoid taking over the task for them and instead focus on how to possibly make the task easier for them.
- Use music, a hot drink, etc. to make the environment soothing to encourage a laid-back pace.
- You may want to avoid projects that require objects that may be dangerous such as glue guns, knives, needles, etc.
- If there are written directions to follow you may want to scan them into a computer and increase the size of the font to make it easier to read.
- You can use Youtube videos to demonstrate how to do a craft – visual demonstration is sometimes much easier to follow than verbal instructions.
Easy Crafts For Seniors
Here is a list of some easy crafts that seniors (and you) may love.
Craft Crush Paper Bowl Kit
Requires some dexterity – the ability to pick up and hold thin paper objects.
Paint Your Own Stepping Stone
If dexterity is a problem I would recommend to replace the brushes that come with the kit with ones that have larger handles or add Mouldable Glue or Foam Tubing to these brushes to increase the size of the handle.
Other easy crafts for seniors could include…
Easy Crafts For Seniors With Dementia
Metallic Rock Painting
Activities that are repetitive oftentimes work well with seniors who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Large Lego Blocks
Putting objects together like blocks or pipes or even nuts to bolts can all work well with seniors with dementia.
Other crafts for seniors with dementia can include…
Crafts For Seniors With Limited Dexterity
Birdhouse Craft Bundle
Again, if the brush handles are too small – get larger ones OR add foam tubing or mouldable glue to these handles.
Handling dough to make cookies or a pie can be a fun activity for anyone with limited dexterity.
Other crafts for seniors with dexterity issues…
Tools To Help Make Crafting Easier For Seniors
- large knitting needles
- magnifying stands
- crafting table (having a dedicated spot for crafting)
- adjustable height chairs
- crafting aprons
What Activities Are Good For Seniors?
There’s no doubt that being active is good for the human body and soul. But what activities are actually best suited for older adults?
The best types of activities for seniors must first be ones that they can do safely. Second, they should be ones that stimulate them physically and/or cognitively. Third, they should help to promote socialization with others, if possible.
The type of activities that could be good for you or a senior loved one may include…
- Walking (this is always important if it can be done)
- Chair Yoga
- Board games
- Video games
- Education such as online college for seniors
- Host parties with movie themes
- Helping friends and family
- Tutoring children
- Learning a musical instrument
- Learning a new skill (i.e., cooking, home design, gardening, etc.)
- Become a substitute teacher
- Become a mentor for children or a small business
- Participate in 30 day challenges
- Write your story (a great gift for grandchildren)
- Learn a new sport (i.e. golf, pickleball, etc.)
- Become a scrabble champion
- Build a computer
- Learn to quilt and join a quilting group
- Volunteer at your local theater
- Volunteer at your local animal shelter
- Become an animal foster parent
- Make your own wine and/or beer and host parties
- Learn photography and join photography contests
- Research and document your ancestry
- Write down your bucket list and start marking them off
- Join a book club
- Make a family cookbook
- Become a senior intern at a local company or charity
- Take computer classes
- Discover podcasts
- Look for a fun part time job
- Finally declutter your home!
- Start a Youtube channel (it could be fun)
- Join or start a neighborhood watch program
Finally, activities can be anything that you find purposeful, that provides you with satisfaction and if it can benefit others – well that would be the cherry on top!
So go on and start something new today!