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Topic: Help! Help! Nursing Home Craft Projects.  (Read 1968 times)
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« on: December 12, 2007 09:27:49 AM »

My boss and I are trying to figure out some craft ideas for senior citizens in a nursing home. We want to volunteer our time to provide some easy craft projects. Some of these men and women are not able to use their hands very well, so the projects would need to be pretty easy to handle. The only two things I can think of are popcicle frames and collages. If anybody has any ideas, I would be eternally gratefull!

Allie B

« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2007 01:29:32 AM »

a thought.. make picture collages of themselves. Get small frames 5"x7" and (beforehand) ask them to collect some pics of themselves. Use a piece of sturdy paper ,to fit frame size, and glue the pics onto it. Pics are cut out of faces etc and then all placed onto the paper and framed. They could have childhood pics or a home or vacation spot, an animal etc... it would bring back memories to them and be alot of fun to share their lives!
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2007 10:58:18 AM »

How bad off are their hands? Can they cut things with scissors or would someone else need to cut? Also would yarn needles be too hard for them to handle? Because there are some long stitch projects that they might be able to do if they can handle a yarn needle. Also, painting is very popular with some of the retirement centers near where I live so that might be a possibility. Also if you know of a good place that carries tiles, tile mosaics are another popular craft. A lot of the retirement homes near here have classes held there on various subjects from painting, plant care, cooking (microwave and crock pot for those less able), crochet, knitting, and there are even dancing and yoga classes. It just depends on their capability. Might even try macram. My grandmother did that for the longest time. Used to make plant holders. What are their capabilities if any? Might give me an idea on what they can work with.
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2007 10:01:00 PM »

Truthfully, I do not know their capabilities at the moment. My boss just told me that some of them have arthritic hands that don't work so well, so I was thinking something real easy but exciting so that I can see what they are able to do. Once I've done the first project, I'll have a better idea of what not to do. I like all of your ideas, but I think a collage seems like it would be a good one to start with. Maybe have the pictures be of family and friends. Please keep any suggestions coming, 'cause I want enough projects to continue doing it Smiley

Allie B

« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2008 11:39:30 AM »

Great idea to do crafts with them...everyone needs a creative outlet!  I would try to find things that they may be able to use or give as gifts. Look around their environment to see what they use that could be embellished. Some ideas for you-
*Make cards and/or stationary using rubber stamping. (This age group probably still likes to send letters.)
*"Make" soap...with soap molds and meltable craft glycerine soap...they can decorate it with colors, adding trinkets inside, etc.
*They may be able to make a tied together polar fleece blanket or pillow.
*Are there windows where they can see birds and squirrels?  Maybe it would be fun to make a bird feeder...like elementary school kids would do.  Could be made with nature elements (pinecones covered with solid shortening and rolled in seeds) or with recycled things (such as milk or soft drink containers.)
*Do they have the option of decorating their doors...maybe a seasonal decoration such as a wreath.  This could give you an idea each season or month for them.  Or do they have message boards on their doors?  They could be decorated too.
*They could decorate inexpensive canvas tote bags.  Two easy ways to decorate would be 1) iron on crayons-they can color their design on a piece of paper and then iron it on...or they can color right on the bag, cover with paper and iron to set; 2) fabric paints or markers
*Use sculpty type clay to decorate something they would use such as a pen or a small mirror.
Have fun!
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