Craft Activities for Elderly Nursing Home Residents


Nursing homes have activity directors that work with the residents offering a variety of activities including crafts. Due to the variety of conditions that the population in the nursing home has, it is often difficult to come up with crafts that all the residents can do. Planning your crafts carefully will assist the residents to be successful in their craft endeavors.

Craft Activities for Elderly Nursing Home Residents
(Luz Diaz/Demand Media)

Craft ideas for patients with arthritis, dementia and visual impairment should include tactile elements. Finger paints alone are a great idea, and adding some fine sand to the paints will add another tactile element to the paints. Whether the residents paint on paper or on wooden craft items, they will enjoy the different textures used.

Paper can be purchased that has a variety of textures. Making a tactile picture book with those papers and will be a great use of the papers. Cutting or ripping the textured papers into various shapes to make collages is another great activity.

There are several types of clay that can be used in an activity room: clay that hardens on its own, clay that is baked in the oven, and clay that remains moldable. Beads are another great activity that everyone can enjoy. Beads come in a variety of sizes, colors and textures to make a large variety of crafts.

Luz Diaz/Demand Media

Some residents enjoy coloring and a variety of coloring pages are available to have on hand to deliver to individual rooms as well as in the activity room.

There are some creative uses for crayons that have been broken by use. When the crayons break and are too small for the residents to use them anymore, remove the wrappers from the crayons. Place the crayon pieces into a bowl and place into the microwave until melted. Use chocolate molds you can purchase at a craft store. There are a variety of themes that can be chosen to represent holidays and other fun shapes. Add the melted crayon pieces into the molds and keep in molds until cooled. Pop the crayon shapes out of the mold. The recycled and reshaped crayons can be used by the residents to color again.

Luz Diaz/Demand Media

Mugs can be purchased along with ceramic paints and markers to make decorative mugs. Purchasing or making plain canvas tote bags is another idea for all levels. Paint, markers, ribbons, beads and scraps of fabrics can be used to decorate the bags. Small flower pots painted and planted with pansies, marigolds or daisy is a fun activity for spring and summer. Making Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s and Halloween cards is a fun way to share the holiday spirit with others. Making stockings or mittens at Christmas time for the resident doors is an easy craft to do with scraps of fabric and trims.

Planning your crafts to coordinate with holidays will allow the residents to have decorations for the holiday or for great gift for family members. Most residents are unable to purchase gifts and making crafts in activities they can give away is can be an esteem builder for the residents.

Luz Diaz/Demand Media
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