Activities & Crafts for the Elderly

Updated July 20, 2017

Retirement centres and nursing homes use activities and crafts to exercise the mind, create opportunities for social interaction and increase overall satisfaction. Elderly parents or friends who still reside at home can also benefit from a structured activity or craft project. Organise an activity that corresponds with ability level to encourage people to stay engaged and healthy.

Baking Cookies

Invite people to participate in a bake-off. Set up the ingredients and recipes for several kinds of cookies. Divide the group into two teams and see who can bake the most cookies in an hour or two. For an activity without competition, ask people to help you add the cookie ingredients, mix the batter and put the cookies on a baking tray. For even less intensity, buy premade dough and ask participants to tear off the dough and put in on a baking tray. They can also ice the cookies after they cool. Close to Christmastime, set up a "cookie bar" with a variety of cookie toppings.


Invite people to use pictures of themselves and their families to make a scrapbook. You can take pictures of people participating in activities and pass them out for this craft. Buy scrapbook paper, stickers and decals and let people select a combination for their own scrapbook. They can write in memories, notes, names and dates with coloured or iridescent pens. Get creative with other supplies, such as fabric or ribbon. Once the scrapbook is complete, have it professionally bound, use a brad or buy a store-bought scrapbook and insert the pages.

Pressed-Flower Crafts

Ask people to bring in flowers from their gardens to use for this project. Press the flowers between layers of paper and press the paper inside a large book. Let the flowers dry for a few weeks. When the flowers are pressed and dried, remove them from the book. Use them as decoration for a variety of craft projects, such as jewellery boxes, pictures frames or greeting cards. Use tacky glue or hot glue to attach the flowers.

Create a Mosaic

Cut out small pieces of paper of different sizes and colours. Use plain paper, coloured paper or pages from a magazine. Give each person a sheet of white paper and ask them to glue the small pieces of paper onto the paper to create a mosaic. They can try to create a picture, such as a flower or an animal, or just make a colourful design. Give them other details to add to the mosaic, such as small beads or glitter.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Pauline Lovingood began writing professionally in 2011. She writes about health, fitness, medicine and travel for various websites. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts in health and human Sciences.