Leaf Bowl Craft: Activities for Dementia Patients
Early fall is an interesting time of year. The days may be shorter, but the temperatures are usually still pleasant enough for an outdoor activity. Make the most of that transition by engaging your loved one with a craft that brings the outdoors inside.
Planning activities for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other dementia is a fun way to connect with them. As you work on the craft, share stories from your youth and encourage them to tell stories from theirs.
A craft like this fall leaf bowl doesn’t require any special skills. It can be done in one morning or stretched out over a few days depending on what works best for you and your loved one.
Leaf Bowl Craft
What You’ll Need:
- A sturdy leaf
- Air-dry clay
- A clay roller or rolling pin
- A plastic modeling tool or knife
- Acrylic paint
- Roll out your clay to the thickness you wish for your bowl.
- Place the leaf on the clay.
- Roll over it with the rolling pin to press the design into the clay.
- Use the modeling tool or knife to trace the outline of the clay.
- Slide the excess clay away from the leaf.
- Carefully peel the leaf off of the clay.
- Use a piece of tinfoil to help curve the clay leaf into a bowl.
- Allow to dry.
- Paint the fully dry leaf bowl.
- Allow to dry, then display.
- To dry the clay faster, put the bowl onto a baking sheet in a cold oven. Heat the oven to 200°F. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn off the oven without removing the bowl. Allow it to cool with the oven for another 30 minutes before removing.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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