The holidays are a time for bright and festive decorations, trimming the tree and sipping eggnog. Organizing Christmas crafts for seniors can be an easy way to connect with the entire family. Spending some quality time with loved ones during the holiday season can make a big impact, especially for seniors living in nursing homes or those who are experiencing mobility issues, dexterity challenges, a decline in vision or dementia/Alzheimer’s disease.
Christmas Crafts for Active Seniors
Active senior citizens with minimal physical or mental impairment can easily participate in making multiple Christmas crafts. Try some of the following when decking the halls:
Easy Garland and Pine Cone Table Topper
This is a simple centerpiece that seniors will enjoy making. Simply buy a long strand of garland from your local nursery. Make sure it is long enough to run down the entire length of the family dining table. Seniors can choose to purchase artificial pinecones, but why not take a walk outside and collect some real pinecones? It is a great activity that everyone will enjoy, plus walking is great exercise for seniors. Be sure to collect pinecones of all sizes and shapes. Once 10 to 12 pinecones are collected, seniors can use them as rustic toppers placed within the garland.
Old-Fashioned Cranberry and Popcorn Garland for the Tree
Most seniors can remember decorating their Christmas trees with these lovely popcorn and cranberry garlands. For this craft, seniors will need the following items:
- Unbuttered popped popcorn (place in one large bowl)
- Fresh cranberries (place in one large bowl)
- Embroidery or other heavy thread
- Large sewing needle
Seniors will begin by cutting their heavy thread into lengths of about 5-feet each. They can be easily connected at a later point to make longer garland strands. Once cut, simply thread the needle and then thread one single cranberry down to the end. Knot the thread around the cranberry, forming an anchor.
Thread the popcorn and cranberries in whatever pattern is pleasing, using one cranberry then one popcorn, or two cranberries then one popcorn. Be sure to leave enough thread on the end to tie another cranberry anchor when finished. If longer garland strands are needed, simply leave an extra bit of thread beyond the cranberry anchor, allowing it to be tied to the next strand.
Felt Stocking Decoration for Seniors with Advanced Dementia
One of the easiest Christmas craft ideas for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s is decorating felt stockings. This can be done at a kitchen table, in a wheelchair or even while laying in bed.
Purchase a felt stocking from a local craft store and then gather supplies for decorating
the stocking. Consider using some of the following decorating supplies:
- Fabric and felt scraps
- Christmas themed stickers
- Magic markers
Depending on physical abilities, seniors can use the decorating items of their choice. Once finished, let the decorations dry completely before hanging up the stocking. Once the stocking is complete, place it on the wall and enjoy!