Winter Crafts - Crafting Fun for Seniors
Cold, snowy winter months may not be everyone's cup of tea, though
wintertime does provide for some of the finest crafting opportunities of
Fall and Thanksgiving have just passed, and everyone is getting ready for winter holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah, followed close on its heels by New Year's celebrations.
Craft ideas for this time of year provide fun, laughter, and enjoyment. Best of all, crafting with a loved one or in groups promotes companionship, camaraderie, and enables Mom or Dad to share their joy of the season with others.
Ask your loved ones the types of winter crafts they used to make growing up, or how they decorated their Christmas tree or their home, and you're likely to receive dozens of different answers. Encourage your elderly loved ones to continue with family traditions, creating lovely Christmas decorations or winter crafts that can be enjoyed by children and grandchildren for years to come.
Easy Christmas crafts designed out of felt may provide hours of enjoyment for seniors, even those experiencing arthritis, mild dementia, or lack of concentration. Felt stockings, mittens, and tree ornaments are just a few of the craft ideas of Christmas themed crafts to make in the wintertime using inexpensive supplies. Cookie cutters and foam crafts pressed into dye pads can be used by seniors of all capabilities to decorate Christmas cards and decorations. If Mom or Dad lives in a nursing home or assisted living facility, suggest a game with prizes for the seniors who provide the best door decorations.
Such an activity encourages imagination and, with the help of nurse's aides, nursing staff, or other support personnel, individuals in nursing homes and long-term care centers can get in on the fun.
Using craft supplies found in any home or nursing home, encourage seniors to enjoy the fun and delight in creating a variety of winter crafts for use in the facility, at home, or to give away as gifts. For example, sugar cube igloos are fun to make (with supervision with the use of a hot glue gun when necessary). Simply cut off the top portion of a Styrofoam cup and glue the bottom of the cup to the middle of a paper plate.
Cut the remaining upper portion of the cup in halves and then glue the "U's" upside down to create the entrance to the igloo. Smear glue over the entrance and the remaining cup portion and attach sugar cubes around the base and along the top of the igloo entrance. You can also create this craft using miniature marshmallows.
Encourage the creative and artsy side of seniors with painting on coffee cups, mugs or dishes. Craft supplies such as unfinished ceramic dishware is available not only in large retail and hobby stores, but local ceramic arts and craft businesses in your community. These have grown quite popular in many areas. For a small fee, ceramic pottery can be painted and professionally fired at such facilities. After seniors have painted decorations on their cups, take them to the ceramic store and have them fired, and when they're done, take their beautifully glazed and colored cups or dishes to give away as gift and mementos.
There are dozens of web sites on the Internet that offer craft ideas for winter crafts. Many are geared toward school age children, which often make them perfect choices for seniors dealing with stiff fingers caused by rheumatoid arthritis or those diagnosed with varying degrees of dementia.
Crafts brings loved ones or small and even large groups of people together as a group to enjoy talking about Christmases past, New Year's celebrations decades ago, and create a sense of belonging and togetherness among residents.
If Mom or Dad lives home alone, encourage them (with your help and support) to teach a Girl Scout troop or a neighborhood after-school group how decorations were made when they were little. During the depression and war years, Christmas decorating utilized inexpensive craft supplies and tons of creativity. Encourage Mom or Dad to remember some of those decorations and times they spent as children themselves preparing for the holidays. Chances are, they'll be excited at the prospect of doing so again.