Ideas for Senior Citizen Activities

Age-appropriate craft activities can promote health and happiness.
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Arts and crafts are an enjoyable activity for any age; however, selecting the right project as senior citizens presents a unique challenge. As we age, our minds continue to be inspired by creative endeavors, while our bodies can sometimes present us with limited choices due to mobility issues. That doesn't mean you have to resort to simplistic, preschool crafts, though. The key is to find the correct balance between comfort and inspiration.

1 Pinecone Bird Feeders

If you find bird watching a relaxing hobby, you may enjoy creating a pinecone bird feeder, which you can do with nothing more than a pine cone, some string, vegetable shortening and bird seed. Tie the string to the top of the pine cone so you will be able to hang your feeder. Use a spoon to generously apply the vegetable shortening to the outside of the pinecone. Then roll the pinecone in the bird seed until it is fully covered. Finally, hang the bird feeder on a tree.

2 Cornhusk Dolls

Corn husk dolls are a tradition handed down for generations.
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Cornhusk dolls are simple to make, and when you have finished, you can give them as gifts to grandchildren or other visitors. You will need approximately seven cornhusk layers, dried and squared at the ends, along with yarn, felt and craft glue. First, soak the cornhusks in water for about 20 minutes before crafting time. When they are soaked and pliable, layer four husks on top of each other. Next, tie yarn around one end, leaving about 2 inches in length. Fold each of the four ends down and secure them to the body with more yarn. This action will create a ball, which will be used for the head. Tie another piece of string around the center for the waist of the doll. Now, put that aside for a moment and take a single husk and roll it into a tube. Insert the tube into the center of the chest area and pull through so that the tube is the arms of the doll. The lower portion of the doll can either be a dress or be separated and tied into legs. Decorate the doll with felt for clothes and hair.

3 Scrapbook Frame

A scrapbook frame is like a page in a scrapbook: embellished photos with descriptions and decoration. The finished page is then framed and hung on the wall. You can take photos from a great day and make a memory out of them for yourself or for family and friends. You will need photos, a frame, double-sided tape, markers and card stock. First, cut a sheet of card stock to fit the size of the frame. This will be your page. Cut the photos into shapes, eliminating undesired portions of the image. Use the double-sided tape to attach the photos to the page. Cut the card stock into paper flowers, hearts, banners or other embellishments. Use the markers to describe the photos, insert dates and detail relevant information.

4 Fleece Blankets

For a simple craft project with a useful end product, consider making a fleece blanket. You will need two equal cuts of fleece fabric (ideally 8 feet by 5 feet, one patterned and one solid), scissors, a yardstick and a fabric pen. First, turn each piece of fleece upside down so the wrong side is facing you. Measure 4 inches from the edge of each side and use the yardstick and fabric pen to draw a line down the length of each side, 4 inches in from the edge. Use the scissors to cut strips 1/2 an inch thick all along each side of the fleece -- like fringe. Place one fabric on top of the other with the pen-marked sides facing each other. Tie the blankets together by the strips using a simple shoe-tying knot without the loop bows.

Diane Todd holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from North Carolina State University and is a former video and web producer for a North Carolina multimedia agency. She also spent several years as a media specialist/graphics designer for the Cumberland County school system in Fayetteville, N.C.