Senior woman painting on easel
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5 Easy Summer Crafts for Seniors in Assisted Living

When you hear the term “arts and crafts,” what do you think of? 

Do you automatically revert to an image of your art teacher back in grade school with various crafting materials spread about? Most people go straight to this image, too.

However, arts and crafts aren’t limited to just children. People of all ages enjoy crafting as a hobby – teens, young adults and especially senior citizens.  

Craft activities for seniors offer numerous health benefits in addition to just passing time, such as improved motor function, stress relief, sharpening the mind and enhancing social connections. 

The Benefits of Arts and Crafts for Seniors

One of the major perks associated with assisted living is the fact that social engagement opportunities and the ability to build connections are incorporated into the programming.  

Assisted living allows senior citizens plenty of ways to sharpen their social skills naturally through daily activities with other residents, mealtimes and staff interactions. 

While social skills are enhanced through the act of arts and crafts for seniors, other benefits have been directly linked to the engagement of creative activities, such as: 

  • Enhancing cognitive ability. Crafting keeps the mind engaged, therefore, strengthening the brain. This is especially true for crafts in the form of knitting because the brain is focused on patterns and repetitive activity. 
  • Decreasing anxiety and feelings of depression. When seniors dedicate time to creative activities, the brain releases the hormone dopamine, which is known to produce feelings of pleasure. This helps to combat feelings of depression. 
  • A sense of accomplishment. Having pride in a finished product or achieving a sense of personal accomplishment can be an indescribable feeling. For seniors who have maybe lost the ability to do familiar activities, achieving this “job well done” sensation can be supremely beneficial in the way of self-confidence.  

A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found a positive correlation between the health and well-being of seniors and regular participation in recreational activities and arts and crafts. 

While there are many creative activities out there for aging adults to get involved with, below you’ll find a list of 5 easy and carefree craft ideas for seniors.

1.    Sewing, Knitting, Crocheting – OH MY!

Sewing, knitting and crocheting are ideal craft activities for seniors for so many reasons.

First, they’re low maintenance and you can do them from almost anywhere, but most prefer to enjoy this craft while lounging in an armchair. 

The benefits are also immense when it comes to cognitive ability because when your fingers are moving in the same patterns consistently, your brain is recognizing and maintaining that action every single time you participate in needlecraft.

When you’re knitting or crocheting, you’re doing so with a particular creation in mind. Listed here are just a few fun and easy needlecraft ideas: 

  • Pillowcase
  • Throw pillow
  • Book cover
  • Dishcloth
  • A cozy for your coffee
  • Memory quilt  

2.    Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking is an activity high up on the list of beneficial art projects for seniors. Scrapbooking is simple, you probably already have most of the materials and it’s timeless.

Scrapbooking is a wonderful avenue for reliving memories, it gets your creative juices flowing and it’s something you can do with children and grandchildren. 

Items typically needed for scrapbooking are ribbons, stickers, loose paper, tape and of course, pictures! 

Let the memories flow as you use your hands to sort through materials and pictures that otherwise may have lived in a dusty box as opposed to creatively organized into something you can share with friends. 

3.    Suncatchers

When it comes to summer crafts for seniors, a suncatcher is a brilliant idea. Suncatchers are creations that can be hung in any window, and when they catch the light, their appearance can change and send sparkles throughout the entire room. 

The materials needed to create a suncatcher are:

  • Colored glass stones or beads
  • A pin or needle
  • Clear glue
  • Mason jar lids 
  • Scissors 

Suncatchers are such a simple craft but yield beautiful results. They can brighten any day or improve any mood. 

4.    Painted Pots and Painted Rocks

Among easy crafts for seniors is the act of painting. Painting is not just limited to a canvas but can expand to multiple types of surfaces. Pots and rocks are notable items because they pair up rather well.

If you’re a fan of houseplants, adding some spice to terra-cotta pots freehand or via stencils can enhance the look of any flower. Rocks can be painted into markers or ladybugs, or if you don’t want to include rocks in your garden, they can always serve as a colorful paperweight!

The patterns and colors associated with painting can provide health benefits, such as increased focus, anxiety relief and meditative relaxation. 

5.    Craft A Recipe Book 

If you have a love for cooking or access to family recipes that you’ve enjoyed over the years, you can take those recipes and formulate a creative book to keep them all in. 

Out of all the art projects for seniors, this makes for a fun and memory-filled craft for you as well as a showcase that can be passed down through generations. 

You can write down all your favorite recipes on sheets of paper and then bind the paper with yarn for a unique touch. If there’s a certain memory you relate to a specific recipe, then jot that down as well so that you and the entire family can reminisce for years to come. 

We Empower Lives at Bright Oaks of Aurora

At Bright Oaks of Aurora, we’re dedicated to joy-filled living and supporting our residents however we can. 

We offer a variety of services to keep residents engaged and on track to living a life of joy and purpose. Our professional and caring staff assist residents with tasks associated with daily living, such as dressing, bathing, medication management and so much more. 

If you’re interested in getting to know us better or have questions about senior living, please schedule a complimentary consultation today.