Craft Ideas for Senior Citizens

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Contributing Writer

    There are a number of great craft ideas for senior citizens to do--even those with physical and mental limitations their ages or conditions may have imposed on them. The key is not to limit your imagination when planning the craft sessions.

    Preparation

    Planning successful crafts for all participants requires the crafts to be set up in levels of ease of completion. There are some participants who can complete the entire project on their own, and there are some who need assistance along the way. The way you explain this to your participants will make or break their success in the process.
    There are three categories to place the projects into depending on skill level. While the titles are commonly used, the definitions for these titles are vastly different for this age group.
    Beginner: This is the category where you will have to complete most of the project for the participant who has physical or mental limitations that makes most tasks difficult.
    Intermediate: This group can do most of the tasks, but may need large amounts of instruction, hands-on instruction or a few of the harder tasks done for them.
    Advanced: These are the participants that are able to do most, if not all of the project on their own.
    This categorization should not be offensive to the participants, but it tells the participants that help can, and should be asked for, if they need it.

    Creating Something Unique

    Beadwork is very popular for all ages, including senior citizens. Making or designing their own beads can be a very rewarding experience. Provide plain wooden beads of various sizes and shapes, and stain or paint for the crafters to create their own colors and designs before they begin beading their necklaces or bracelets.
    There are some very easy patterns for making simple gifts out of fabric that can be utilized by this age group. Carry-all bags and purses that can be made out of a variety of fabrics are fun gifts for grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
    Design a notebook or journal covers out of fabric and other craft supplies for great gifts for staff, family and friends. These notebooks or journals can easily be turned into a scrapbooking project.
    Model airplanes, cars and trucks are fun for the men in the group. This is something that may require assistance, but it is a craft that can be worked on over a period of time.
    A group project that is perfect for men and women to work on is a checker set. Pick out two different fabric colors and sew the squares into a checkerboard. In the craft supplies, find objects or shapes that seniors want to make their checkers out of and have them paint the pieces. If diminishing eyesight is a common problem among your senior citizens, paint equal numbers of checker pieces contrasting colors. The checkers and the board piece are great gifts and easy to roll up and carry.

    Unlocking the Creative Side

    If you make an effort to prepare ahead of time to ensure proper supplies are present, creativity will surround everyone, and the desire to find their inner Monet will come out in force.