Posted on Friday, 13ᵗʰ December, 2019
Get your residents into the spirit of the season with a gift creation activity.
This Christmas, plan a card and gift-making activity as a fun way to spend a morning or afternoon with your residents. Invite family and friends to take part in the activity.
It always feels special to receive a homemade card from a loved one. Your residents will enjoy working on cards for friends or family members.
Stick with plain, bold shapes which are easier to work with. You may wish to pre-cut stars, Christmas trees and angels out of different coloured paper to help people get started.
Instead of asking seniors to cut out intricate shapes, provide different sizes to work with so they can create a layered effect. If family and friends are coming, provide scissors and shape ideas so they can help.
Glue can be challenging; glue sticks require a firm hand and pots require dexterity and can be messy. Make the decision based on who is around to help.
Stickers add interest without the need for glue. Gold and silver stars look lovely, as do Santa images and reindeer. Smaller stickers may be difficult for older hands so stay close to lend a hand, get family members to assist or ask the more able residents to help those who have difficulty pulling stickers from sheets.
Glitter is another winning touch for Christmas cards. Again, those who are less able will need help from someone who has a steady hand. Clear glue sticks are probably the easiest way to create a sticky surface for the sparkles to adhere to.
Play some Christmas songs and albums while you make your cards. Favourites include Bing Crosby, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Barbara Streisand and Celine Dion. If you can stream from your Spotify account, there are some lovely Christmas choir compilation albums which include tracks from the London Philharmonic orchestra, St Paul’s Cathedral Choir and the London Regency Choir.
Edible gifts are always a welcome gift at Christmas and will go nicely with homemade cards.
One favourite is shortbread biscuits. Have the kitchen prepare dough, then your residents can use cookie cutters or break off pieces to be moulded into crescent shapes.
Another idea is to create round, flat ‘pizza’ shapes and then use a pizza roller to cut the shortbread into pie-slice pieces, or traditional rectangle shapes.
Shortbread is often dusted with icing sugar after it is cooked and has cooled. This is a simple activity which anyone can participate in.
Gingerbread shapes, mince pies, candy canes or bite-sized Christmas puddings are other ideas for sweet treats as gifts.
Homemade Christmas cards and treats combine to make a lovely gift for family or as a thank you for other visitors like allied health practitioners. Supply gift bags and help your residents write a message inside their cards. Those with dexterous fingers can tie ribbons as a finishing touch.