This is an activity with relatively easy instruction and safe materials depending on your choice of glue. (Using child-safe glue is a safe bet.) You can purchase bird feed or make your own at home as another activity. This activity can also initiate conversations about birds or you can take a walk and look for birds.
There are great instructions at the Creative Cubby website or follow the instructions below.
The Multi-Colored Bean Jar Decoration is a fun way to create a decorative element for the home. More importantly, the craft project also involves touching and sorting the beans, which keeps the hands busy.
Memory boxes can be a great way to link a person to what they love from their past, helping to restore a person's identity. Some reasons memory boxes are useful:
Help your loved one create a box of memories they can enjoy on a regular basis. When you search for keepsakes, you may find special items you did not realize the senior still had. You can put anything you like in a memory box. If your loved one is able, it is encouraged that he or she participates in the selection of items. You can use any style of box and even make an additional project out of decorating it.
Matching can be fun, and helps to engage your loved one in a mental activity.
Have your loved one match the different patterns or colors of fabric. Make piles out of each kind of fabric.
You can create your own matching game or purchase an already made one. If your loved one enjoys sewing and can still do some stitching, you can make the pieces yourself or have him or her help. For those who cannot sew, fabric choice and pattern tracing is a great way to help.
This practice helps you focus on where you would like to be, and removes you from your daily stresses.
Find a quiet and relaxing space, and sit in a comfortable position. Start by focusing on your breath; breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Clear your mind, and visualize a safe and calming scene. For instance, you can envision a place where you can relax and be at peace, or you can envision yourself acheiving something that you have been wanting to do.
Making a list of things you are grateful for can help you refocus on the things that matter most.
Write a list of things you’re grateful to have in your life and display it somewhere you can see it often. We have a tendency to focus on the negative, so remind yourself of all you are grateful for.
Deep breathing can be done anywhere and at anytime, and can help you relax and refocus.
Turn your attention to your breath. Breathe in through your nose for a count of four. Exhale for a count of four. Repeat this process rythmically until you feel your body and your mind have calmed.
This paper clip fishing game can be fun.
Scatter paper clips on a table and have your loved one pick them up and put them back into a container.
Poems are a great way to engage your loved one and may help them remember stories and tales from when they were younger.
A poem or a book of poems.
With prompting, your loved one might remember a poem from long ago, or may simply enjoy hearing you recite to them.
If you are feeling particularly creative, can also recite a poem pretending you are a diffent person or using a different accent. Some people may know some poems or rhymes off the top of their heads. Others may need some resources. Ask your local librarian for assistance if you are having trouble finding a poem to share. Some suggestions include a Dr. Seuss book that they read to a child, "The Night Before Christmas," or a traditional poem that rhymes. A good example is this poem by Eugene Field:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe —
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!
Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.
The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea —
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish —
Never afraid are we
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.
All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam —
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'Twas all so pretty a sail
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea —
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,\nAnd you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Magazines and books are a great outside source of entertainment.
A book, magazine, or audiobook.
Either read a book or magazine aloud to your loved one, or let them flip through one on their own. If your loved one doesn't mind headphones, an audiobook, either on a smartphone or tablet, might be perfect. You can get audiobooks free from your local library or from Audible by Amazon when you purchase an Audible Membership.