As we get older, we may find ourselves returning to the things that made us happy when we were younger – including arts and crafts and other activities.
For seniors, crafting can be a great way to stay active and engaged. It can also be a perfect time to engage in a social activity, providing an opportunity to connect with others.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to crafts for senior citizens. In this article we’ll give you 65 wonderful ideas for fun crafts that you can pursue.
The Benefits Of Crafts For Older Adults
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, depression and improve social connections.
- Crafts can help most anyone to develop new skills.
- 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.
These calendars can be a great thing for caregivers and family members who are looking after their senior parents.
Check with your local craft store, they may have scheduled craft classes that you can attend.
All these benefits and more can work together to make the daily life of older people (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 a fun 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 creative activities for them to do 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.
- If a senior loved one suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, use a craft that is within their skill level.
- 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.
- Be cognizant of the cognitive function capabilities of the person doing the crafts. If a project is too difficult, it may just cause frustration and anger.
- Finally, choose a fun project that they would enjoy. Or better yet, have them choose what craft activities to work on.
Easy Crafts For Seniors
Here is a list of some easy crafts that seniors (and / or you) may love.
Craft Crush Paper Bowl Kit
Requires some dexterity – the ability to pick up and hold thin paper objects.
Paper flowers are such a fun and pretty easy craft activity. The finished product can be a wonderful accent piece in any room of your house.
Make Your Own Greeting Cards
These days, not many of us receive greeting cards but when we do, it seems to be such a great treat. So why not surprise a loved one even more by sending a unique, handmade card!
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.
Christmas Tree Ornaments
There are all kinds of Christmas tree ornaments that you can make! This kit is just one of the many that are available. You can find even more by clicking here.
Mason Jar Crafts
Put those mason jars to good use! These beautiful lights can turn a mason jar into a beautiful glowing night light! What a great idea.
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. They can be a great activity for both seniors and family members.
Place them by your front door or in your foyer for a fun way to greet your guests.
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
For some older adults, handling small pieces is not easy and crafts that require this can just end up being frustrating.
So look for projects that use simple materials that are easy enough to be picked up and handled.
Birdhouse Craft Bundle
Again, if the brush handles are too small – get larger ones OR add foam tubing or mouldable glue to the handles.
Handling dough to make cookies or a pie can be a fun activity for anyone with limited dexterity. And the best part is that you get great cookies to snack on!
Other crafts for seniors with dexterity issues…
Tools To Help Make Crafting Easier For Seniors
We all know that any project is made much easier with the right tools. So here are some that you may want to have on hand when you are beginning to craft for a hobby.
- large knitting needles
- magnifying stands
- acrylic paint
- essential oils
- spray paint
- painter’s tape
- sewing machine
- terracotta pots
- coffee filters
- tissue paper
- 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 (these are so much fun)
- 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
- Organizing group activities to create care packages
- 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! It’s a wonderful way to spend your time.