Patient Referral

Decorated Animal Pumpkins: Activities for Dementia Patients

animal pumpkin craft

Crafts are a wonderful activity to do with a loved one with dementia. In this blog series, we’ve listed a wide range of reasons.

Crafts help with coordination and dexterity. Crafts can give someone with dementia a sense of accomplishment. Crafts help acclimatize people with dementia to changing seasons and prepare them for upcoming holidays. While these benefits are all wonderful, the greatest benefit of doing crafts with a loved one with dementia is the opportunity to connect and engage in an uplifting way. It’s good for them, and it’s good for the person working alongside them.

This month, we present a simple craft that can easily be scaled up or down based on the abilities of the people creating these pumpkin decorations. If your loved one is able to handle scissors, they can cut out their own shapes for decorations. If they find the foamboard backing difficult, you can switch to glue. You can even scrap the foamboard altogether and dig out some old accessories from Mr. Potato Head. Whatever works!

The goal here isn’t a perfect pumpkin. The goal is some time together where you forget daily frustrations and just have a little fun.

Decorated Animal Pumpkins

What You’ll Need: 

  • A pumpkin (can be real or fake)
  • Adhesive foamboard is a variety of colors
  • Scissors


  1. Cut shapes from the foamboard to create eyes, hair, whiskers, and other facial features.
  2. Remove the adhesive backing and attach to the pumpkin.

 See more activities for dementia patients.

Caregiver Tips

  1. While doing activities with a loved one with dementia, engage them in conversation. Play music they enjoy softly in the background to create a positive mood.
  2. Even though your loved one may not remember names or things that happened in recent days, they may still remember their childhood. Ask about favorite colors or clothing they used to wear.
  3. Activities for people with dementia have the best chance of success early in the day when your loved one is well rested. If they don’t want to participate or get frustrated, don’t force it. Try again another time.
  4. Remember that the goal is to have an engaging activity with your loved one with dementia. Don’t worry about the end result.


Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to support patients with dementia and their families. Please call us at 1-888-564-3405 to learn more about how our unique care programs help provide a higher quality of life for dementia patients while helping caregivers avoid burnout.


If you found this information helpful, please share it with your network and community. Copyright © 2020 Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care. All rights reserved. 


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