What Are Some Creative Activities for Nursing Home Residents?


Quick Answer

Creative activities for nursing home residents include arts and crafts, storytelling, making music, baking and gardening. Adaptations to the activities and working in groups enables residents with physical or mental limitations to actively participate in them.

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Full Answer

Traditional art activities such as drawing and painting can use a still life arrangement or a human model, or residents can create scenes on a blank canvas. Thicker pencils, chalks and paintbrushes can accommodate those with arthritis or poor motor control. Abstracts that focus on use of color rather than rendering forms can be fun for everyone and easier for those with low vision or mental impairments. Adult coloring pages are another option.

Salt dough projects include figurines, cups, brooches and Christmas ornaments. The edible dough is inexpensive and safe to use. The nursing home kitchen oven is sufficient for firing items. Paper crafts such as collages and scrapbooking are simple designing, cutting and pasting tasks. Projects can use themes such as the seasons, or they can be memory collections.

Quilting, knitting, crocheting, needlepoint and cross-stitch are traditional needlecrafts that can be quick, one-session items or long-term projects, from pillows and wall hangings to tote bags and blankets.

Storytelling activities include sharing anecdotes, collaborating on a group story to present, writing stories and even performing skits from them. Making music can be a songfest. Residents who can play an instrument might form a house band, with everyone else clapping or tapping along.

Baking cakes and cookies lets people work in teams. Some do the measuring, while others do the mixing. Everyone gets a chance to frost and decorate at the end. Gardening activities may be as simple as tending a potted plant or arranging flowers in a vase. They can also involve growing plants from seedlings and creating terraria in large jars.

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