Making art is fun! However, it can be pretty troublesome for seniors with limited mobility or dexterity, as arthritis and stiff fingers make it impossible to grip and move their hands freely.
Did you know there are plenty of art projects your parents can safely enjoy despite their joint stiffness? Besides benefiting their joints, it is a great way for seniors to refine their motor skills and learn something new every day.
Read on for our list of the top 6 accessible art projects for seniors with limited mobility.
6 Uplifting, Accessible Arts Projects That Seniors with Limited Mobility Will Love
Arts Projects to Help Seniors with Limited Mobility Reignite Their Creativity
Discover our curated list of 6 art projects for seniors with limited mobility.
Diving into the world of watercolor is more than just splashing the colors. Introducing seniors to a kind of art can also benefit their health in the long run.
Watercolor is an enriching activity for seniors with limited mobility to make good use of their free time while loosening up their stiff hands. Of course, art always has no limitations. But watercolor painting is a true blessing for seniors having problems moving their hands because it gives them newfound freedom in making their creative marks.
Why painting with watercolor? Watercolor requires no perfect lines, meaning seniors undergoing physical therapy can set their worries aside when taking up a brush. In a way, it helps them refine their deteriorating motor skills and enhance their coordination levels. Painting with brushes is therapeutic because it engages seniors’ minds while increasing their cognitive functions. Watercolor also brings seniors happiness, satisfaction, and pride when they finish their painting goals.
Despite the messiness, clay modeling is one of the art projects for seniors with limited ability to redevelop their motor skills and dexterity. Much like other art forms, it is a one-of-a-kind outlet for seniors to let their imaginations roam free. With no rules to fit in, this art project gives seniors greater satisfaction when shaping a piece of clay into whatever comes to their mind. It can range from functional items such as vases, bowls, cups, and small trays to just-for-fun items or decorations like animal figures or abstract sculptures.
Sometimes, clay modeling can be as simple as rolling clay into a thin slab, cutting out your desired designs with cutters in various shapes (star, moon, ginger cookies), making holes with a skewer or a straw, air blowing or baking according to the directions, and painting them with acrylic paint once they have cooled off. When the holiday arrives, these hand-made ornaments make a sentimental gift for loved ones or cute decorations on your Christmas tree or fireplace.
While blow painting is typically something that only kids do, it has become popular among many senior adults seeking extra creative platforms for entertainment and skill growth. Blowing color paints is fun, easy to work on, and requires little preparation. You only need cardboard, droppers, straws in different sizes and some liquid color paints. Thin your paints by mixing them in water, transfer 1-2 drops of paint to papers with a dropper, and begin blowing the paint through the straw.
One of the major perks of blow painting is that some seniors may find holding a straw more manageable than regular brushes, especially if they have joint stiffness. Using your breath to splash the colors here and there makes blow painting a super entertaining activity. This is because they no longer have to worry about how their paintings will turn out; just let the colors go with the wind and mix together! In the end, arts and paintings are all about imagination, and your parents can create something beautiful that is worth a spot on their gallery wall — out of their breath!
In addition to improving mobility, scrapbooking is an exciting art project for seniors to retell their lives visually and preserve family memories for generations to come. Gone were the days of staying dusty in the attic. Your parents’ lifetime collection of keepsakes, such as letters, photos, postcards, travel souvenirs, and other precious memorabilia, now have the chance to shine — all through a scrapbook!
Sticking images to blank pages is a straightforward yet sophisticated way for seniors lacking creative skills to showcase the life they used to experience. There are countless themes for a scrapbook. It could be about your parents’ past road trips across the states, adventures beyond the border, coffee/park dates with friends, or places they hope to visit one day.
After getting basic supplies and identifying the story to be told, help your parents sort out their keepsakes and choose a color palette and stickers based on the conceptualization. An initial layout will be discussed to ensure all elements fit on the page. Once the discussion is all done, glue the pictures onto the page, and remember to add some embellishments for a bling-bling effect, such as stickers and glitters.
Geometric Tape Painting
As an easy-to-do art project, (geometric) tape painting is another fun art activity that is making a comeback among seniors with limited mobility. When painting with tape, the possibilities are tremendous with just a few staple supplies: canvas, tape, color paints, and brushes. Tapes come in different sizes and widths, hence various results, so help your parents choose the ones that fit their vision the best.
Help your parents get their hands on the canvas with simple shapes, like squares, triangles, and diamonds, then advance their levels with intricate designs like a chevron. Mix all geometric shapes to create abstract illusions if they are up for a challenge. The best thing about geometric tape painting is your parents can forget about how their shaky hands may cause them to color outside the lines — literally and figuratively!
Another wonderful art challenge seniors can get their hands on is making mosaics. As a meditative activity, seniors can unwind while producing unique paintings with colored stones, glass, wood, or ceramic.
Help your parents cut out or choose large pieces of material if your parents struggle to pick up the pieces or have poor eyesight. Other than that, you can purchase a wide variety of mosaic kits available online or in physical craft stores like Michaels; they also sell supplies needed to make a mosaic, such as ceramic tiles, adhesives, fiberglass mesh, cement, grout, safety shears, and more, depending on what designs your parents aim to create.
Some mosaic ideas for beginners include coasters, vases, flower pots, photo frames, candle holders, serving trays, etc. Once your parents have mastered the art, let’s challenge them to make something bigger with a mosaic design like a coffee table! Check here for how to make a mosaic.
Unlock Creativity in Seniors with Limited Mobility at 12 Oaks Communities
Art and creativity make their appearance in various shapes and forms throughout life. And there is always something for everyone, regardless of age. When seniors’ mobility isn’t as functional as it once was, finding a fun art project to work on might be a challenge. But not at 12 Oaks!
At 12 Oaks managed senior living communities, we work hard to curate fun and easy art projects for seniors with limited mobility to keep their cognitive functions active and improve their dexterity while encouraging them to express their artistic sides. These easy-to-do, senior-friendly art projects are perfect for creating long-lasting happiness and memories that will make them smile from ear to ear.
From water coloring and blow painting to decorating a scrapbook and making a mosaic, your parents can genuinely feel comfortable and happy in a family-like atmosphere created by our dedicated team.
If you have questions about art projects for seniors with limited mobility or any topics discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks Senior Living Communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.
For questions or to schedule a personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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