Patient Referral

Crafting with Dementia Patients: Terrarium Village

dementia craft suppliesAs winter's chill sets in after the holidays, it can be challenging to come up with indoor activities to engage someone with Alzheimer's and other dementias.


Beat the winter blues by creating an imaginary world in a terrarium that is an easy-to-care-for and charming decoration.


Using small decorations and stones helps to improve dexterity, while the activity includes social involvement, which has been shown to improve and reduce behavioral symptoms in dementia patients such as agitation and restlessness.


What you'll need:

  • undefinedJar

  • Succulent plants

  • Decorative sand

  • Decorative pebbles

  • Miniature Decor (available at craft stores or anywhere doll house accessories are sold)



  1. Add a layer of decorative pebbles to the jar.

  2. Add an inch or two of decorative sand.

  3. Arrange the succulents at a variety of heights. Small stones can help to anchor them.

  4. Use the miniatures to create a fairy garden or tiny village scene around them.


Special tips:

  1. Terrarium Village - Alzheimer's CraftIt’s easy to take care of succulents. Read the instructions for the type you select, but most require minimal watering in winter (once a month) and more frequent watering in summer (once a week, depending on conditions). A good rule of thumb is to water only when the soil is dry.

  2. Get your loved one involved by starting the activity yourself and asking them to join in.

  3. Be flexible and don’t criticize. Enjoy the activity even if the end result isn’t perfect.

  4. While doing the craft, play music they enjoy and engage them in conversation.

  5. Activities have the best chance of success in the morning between breakfast and lunch when your loved one is well-rested. If they don’t want to participate or get frustrated, don’t force it. Try again at another time.


See more dementia craft ideas on our Pinterest Board.

Do you have a love of crafts? To learn more about sharing your talents as a Crossroads Hospice volunteer, please call 888-564-3405 or submit a volunteer application on our Facebook page.

If you found this information helpful, please share it with your network and community.
Copyright © 2015 Crossroads Hospice. All rights reserved.

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