Benefits Of Art Part 2 – Five Art Projects For Seniors
Posted by Mike McQuinn on March 6, 2016 | no comments
In the first part of this post, we talked about the benefits that your loved senior can receive from learning to express themselves via art. Now it’s time to look at the kinds of projects that may be appropriate for your aging loved ones, and how to make a beautiful piece of art that they will be able to enjoy producing and that they will enjoy keeping around after its done.
The senior in life your life is likely to want to retain their independence and to be able to do this project more or less without the help of people around them, so the list of art projects will be things that are simple and don’t require a lot of specialized equipment. For example, there are glass blowing classes and kits that are designed entirely for seniors, but they require superheating glass, which requires a lot of supervision, so it won’t be in this list. The point of this list is to find a way for your senior to express themselves that will be easy to do and not require special equipment or for there to be someone constantly watching over them.
With all this in mind, here are just a few ways that you can help the beloved elder in your life to express themselves.
Painting is a simple activity and a great way to express oneself. Not just that, but it is something that can be done anywhere, including in the great outdoors. There are some painting classes that are designed around seniors and are actually held outside in beautiful areas with amazing vistas, to inspire them.
The best part about painting is how little the senior in your life actually needs in order to be able to use the canvas to express themselves. They will need a canvas, stretched over a frame, for them to paint on, and an easel to place the canvas on while painting. They will need an assortment of paints, which you can get at almost any store (preferably non-toxic). They will need four or five brushes of varying width, wide brushes for backgrounds and the like, thin brushes for fine details. They will also need something to place the paints on, and two cups, one to place clean brushes in, the other to place water in to wash off the brushes.
Knitting is a bit more complex, but it definitely works the fine motor skills, and it’s an activity that allows the mind to settle into a pattern (knit one, pearl two, repeat). A great positive benefit is that the things that your elderly loved one knits can be utilized, and knitting can be done anywhere (including on an airplane).
To knit, all your loved one needs is imagination, colored yarn, and knitting needles. Simple, easy to get, and something that they can do anywhere, and at the end they can have a blanket, a sweater, scarves for the grandkids, anything!
Felt is a soft material that can be used to make anything that the mind can imagine. Using felt, they can cover everyday objects with beautiful designs and make them their own, or they can create artwork by utilizing the felt as a background and pasting other colored pieces of felt on top of it.
This is another great project for the elderly because it requires so little. They’ll need the felt, of course, in a variety of colors, and they’ll need something to put the felt on (for example, a glass jar, with felt, then an electronic candle or an actual candle put inside of it, can be a beautiful lamp for years to come). This will also require the use of scissors and some sort of adhesive (Elmer’s glue will work just fine). Be sure to help your senior with the cutting of the felt, especially if their motor skills are not quite what they used to be.
Polymer clay crafts
Polymer clay is sold in blocks or rods, and they can be used to spruce up a picture frame, a glass, or to make sculptures out of. It’s another one of those very easy to work with materials for crafting.
A great benefit to working with these polymer clays is that they’re not nearly as messy as normal clays. Some versions will harden without the need for heat to be applied, while others will require the use of an oven set at a low temperature to harden the clay. Either way, these clays can be a fun way for your elderly loved ones to express themselves and create a work of art they can enjoy for years to come.
Photography and Collages
The advent of many devices that can be used as cameras, from actual cameras to mobile phones and tablets, means that your elderly loved ones can take pictures anywhere that they go. And sure, they could then take those photographs and put them in frames, or they could make a collage.
Again, simple, requiring little supervision, and requiring few materials. You’ll need a printer that prints out photo-quality pictures (or to get them printed at a kiosk in any grocery store or department store), you’ll need scissors, you’ll need something to paste the pictures to, and you’ll need some sort of adhesive paste. That’s all your elderly loved one will need to create works of art around the photographs they’ve taken.
These are all great ideas for a fun day of activities with your favorite senior citizen, and they will leave you both with a work of art that you can enjoy for years to come.