Indulge your inner Victor Frankenstein and whip up something spooky and fun for Halloween! This annual celebration of all things macabre presents a great opportunity for seniors and caregivers to unleash their creativity and express their imagination. Paint, color, brainstorm ideas, and get tactile with Halloween crafts that are suitable for seniors and people of all ages.
There is also a bonus treat: crafts for seniors have a variety of health benefits. For instance, making crafts reduces stress, which results in a better immune system and lower blood pressure. Other benefits include improved cognitive function, a boost in self-esteem, improved motor skills, and pain relief.
3 Spooky Halloween Crafts for Seniors and Caregivers
Crafting is an activity that can improve the health of both caregivers and seniors alike and is also an activity that can be enjoyed together. Since health conditions such as arthritis can impair a senior’s ability to make crafts, it is helpful to have the assistance of a home caregiver. From decorative pumpkins to silly ghosts, these three Halloween crafts for seniors and caregivers are delightfully frightful and a great way to have some fun. So, let’s get started!
Did you know that the first people to use scarecrows were the Egyptians? They were used to protect wheat fields along the Nile River. While you may not have crops to protect, you can still partake in the tradition by making a mini scarecrow of your own.
Many craft stores or online sites such as Amazon sell prefabricated scarecrow cutouts made from wood. Decorate with paint, markers, or colored pencils. Add some flare by including sequins, buttons, googley eyes, or other fun accessories.
Make a scarecrow from scratch! You will need hay, rubber bands, doll clothes or fabric, yarn, scissors, burlap (or something similar), and materials for decorating the face. The Art and Education company Dragonfly Designs has simple step-by-step instructions on their website.
PUMPKINS & JACK ‘O LANTERNS
The tradition of making Jack ‘O Lanterns originated in Ireland, with the purpose of warding off evil spirits. Hundreds of years ago, people would carve turnips, gourds, and even potatoes! But in modern times, most people stick with pumpkins.
Decorate a pumpkin using markers or fabric paint. Glue on extra decorations, such as glitter. Don’t forget to include the added fun of picking out a pumpkin together! There are all sorts of pumpkins to choose from. White pumpkins work best if you are decorating instead of carving.
Carve a pumpkin. The first step is choosing a suitable pumpkin. The pumpkins that are best for carving are the Autumn Gold, Wolf, and Gold Rush varieties, although many places will simply label these as “carving pumpkins”. Remember to check for mushy spots and select a pumpkin that has a sturdy stem. The second step is choosing a design. You can design your own or use a stencil (which are easy to find online). Next steps are to cut off the top, clean out all the guts and seeds, and then trace the design onto the pumpkin. The last step is to get carving! Once you are finished, you can put in a candle, turn off the lights, and see your creation come to life.
The ghost has long been an iconic symbol of Halloween. Ghosts come in many forms — from the friendly Casper types to the spooky, haunting ones that go bump in the night. Seniors and home caregivers can make ghosts that are spooky, scary, friendly, or silly. Brainstorm some ideas together and have fun!
Paper ghosts are the easiest ones to make. Simply trace the outline of a ghost onto a blank piece of paper and decorate with colored pencils, markers, or crayons. You can cut out the ghost after and glue a popsicle stick to the back, so that the ghost can be held like a puppet.
Make a hanging ghost that appears to fly through the air! Take a square piece of white fabric and sew a string through the middle (which you will use to hang the ghost). The next step is to scrunch up a paper towel into a ball and place it in the middle. Then secure the fabric around the ball with a rubber band, string, or decorative ribbon. Use a marker or fabric paint to draw on a silly or spooky face. Then find a place to hang your ghost!
How to Have a Safe Halloween
It is important to keep in mind that Halloween can be a scary time for seniors who have health conditions such as dementia. Home caregivers can help by ensuring the seniors in their care are not alone on Halloween and that the Halloween decorations are not frightening for them. Besides the risks of being home alone, some seniors — especially those with dementia — might get spooked by all the unusual activity on Halloween. Strange noises, children in costumes, or knocks at the door can be frightening for people who get easily confused. These seniors will probably feel safer when someone they know and trust is in the house with them.
If you or a loved one is looking for the support of a home caregiver, please contact Alegre Home Care. We have been serving seniors for over 25 years. In those 25 years we have found there is no substitute for real experience. Reach out to us with any questions at one of our Northern California locations.