Treasure hunting with metal detectors makes an exciting hobby and exercise for seniors. Plus, you’ll be surprised at what treasures you can really find. Learn about the possibilities from our expert guest writer, Michael Bernzweig in the article below. Metal detecting is one of the do-able outdoor elderly activities that can be enjoyed with a little assistance – even from a wheelchair. Lots of fun for just about anyone to enjoy.
Metal Detecting: An Exciting Hobby
that Encourages Exercise for Seniors
By Michael Bernzweig
One of the many blessings of being a senior citizen is that you’ve finally got time to learn new things and take up new hobbies. But which one to start with? One hobby that’s excellent for seniors on many levels is metal detecting, and actual treasure hunting with metal detectors.
Metal detecting gets you up and outdoors, and is a good form of exercise for seniors in particular. It gets the body moving yet, at the same time, everyone can go at their own pace and comfort level. Sound interesting? Here to tell you everything you need to know to get started in this fantastic and always interesting hobby is Michael Bernzweig from MetalDetector.com.
What to Expect from Metal Detecting
Most of what you’ll be doing when out exploring and treasure hunting with metal detectors is walking. You will be carrying the machine too though, so be sure to consider getting a lightweight metal detector so it’s easy to maneuver.
The one thing about metal detecting that might require a bit of creativity with regard to some seniors is the bending and kneeling that’s involved to recover any treasure located by the metal detector. If bending is a challenge, you will want to get a sand scoop with a longer handle, and spend your time sifting through the sand on the beach. With the right sifter scoop in hand, you can minimize your range of motion. This is a great way to accommodate the hobby to your personal capabilities.
People from all age groups enjoy treasure hunting with metal detectors and all sorts of metal detecting. In fact, it is a great hobby to share with others. Heading out with an adult child and or young grandchild can be a fun way to spend time together. You will quickly see that it gets everyone some much-needed exercise, and your newly found treasure hunting partners can jump in and provide any assistance with kneeling or digging that might be required.
Good Places to Find Treasure
The best places to do treasure hunting with metal detectors and get some exercise are some of the most beautiful places too! Ideas include the park, old home sites, and a constant favorite — the beach. Just be sure to always get permission before entering private property, and you can enjoy your hobby pretty much anywhere.
As mentioned above, a lightweight metal detector will be the best option for seniors. Many current models way less than three pounds. From there, take the time to find out what’s the best metal detector for your particular needs. Consider first what you want to find when treasure hunting with metal detectors.
If relics are of primary interest, a metal detector with a lower frequency is best. Most relics are made from metals like iron, brass, and steel, which are picked up more easily by lower frequency detectors.
Maybe gold prospecting is what the metal detector will be used for most. In this case you will want a metal detector that operates at a higher frequency. These nugget-shooting metal detectors are perfect for finding natural gold nuggets. Locate just one and you will be hooked on this type of treasure hunting!
Coins, on the other hand, require good ground balance controls and a built-in pin point control for zeroing in on the items. You will also want a target identification meter. These newer models can even show you on the meter what you have found and how deep it is before you even dig.
The right metal detector also depends on the type of terrain that will be traversed on most outings. If that’s the beach for example, the metal detector to choose will include features like a water control box and Pulse Induction circuit to help avoid all the false chatter from the salt water and other “hot rocks” on the beach.
Metal detecting, especially treasure hunting with metal detectors, is one of the activities for seniors (and everyone else) that meets a variety of needs, including time outdoors. This is an activity that’s beneficial for mental and physical health; plus, it’s fun and easy exercise for seniors too. Try it today and see just how enjoyable and rewarding metal detecting can be!
About The Author: Michael Bernzweig manages MetalDetector.com in Southborough, MA. He has written extensively on the subject of metal detecting since the mid 1980’s. He has traveled world-wide in his pursuit of educating, exploring and advising others in the proper use of metal detectors. Outside of the business he enjoys mentoring students, being involved in the community and spending time with his family.
Top Photo: Industry Expert Michael Bernzweig of MetalDetector.com getting ready to go treasure hunting with the XP DEUS Wireless metal detector. (Thanks to Michael Bernzweig for providing all photos on this page).
Be sure to also read:
Elderly Activities — Have some fun! A wide range of activities for the elderly, including for those with limitations or who may need special assistance.
Finding A Hobby — If you’re looking for something to do during retirement, whether just for fun or perhaps something meaningful, do check out this page, chock full of ideas.
Get some awesome summer senior activities. Including special arts and crafts, games, recipes, parties, plus making (and eating) foods and snacks!
Great for either outdoors or in, if it’s hot. These ideas can be added to anything you might be doing throughout the summer.
And if you want activities for the specific summer months, the links are listed further below.
Summer Month links…
And why not create your own special Day or Month commemoration and start your own tradition, especially meaningful to your group or campus.
General Summer Senior Activities
Themes — There are many themes you can use all season long for your summer senior activities – like parties, crafts, special meals, decorating, etc. Some that come to mind are: Butterflies and dragon flies, sunflowers, roses and other flowers, baseball, bees and honey, lady bugs, watermelon, sea shells, and fish of all kinds. Later on in the summer you can include apples and other fruit of your choice.
Be sure to take a look at our Easy Craft Ideas page, our “craft central,” to see what you can adapt for summer.
We also have a nice variety of outdoor elderly activities to choose from to take advantage of the nice weather!
By now whatever gardens you’ve planted are blooming and ready to enjoy. Time to do a little harvesting of herbs and veggies, if you planted any.
You may have taken a look at our Spring Senior Activities page where we discussed planning for a butterfly garden, attracting hummingbirds, and attracting song birds. Some of these steps might still be taken in June. So have a read and see if any of these will enhance what you already have. And give you ideas too for planning for next year.
Or have a field trip where you can pick some wildflowers to bring back and put in containers for the home or tables.
Summer senior activities can include some refreshing field trips, if your group is able. There are many possibilities…
A wonderful outing is visiting a Japanese garden, if you have one in the area. They are very serene and conducive to meditation and pondering.
Otherwise, would you and your group be interested in learning to set up a small, basic one? Research can be done online, or have an expert come in to help you learn and set it up. Some steps can be taken now, and the rest next spring. Features often include a small water feature, and pebble arrangements, as well as a small bridge.
Volunteers may also be willing to come in and help. This is a lovely idea for fund raising as well, and is something that can be enjoyed throughout the years after making it.
This is one of my favorites, and you’d have to see if it’s right for your group. If you prefer, one metal detector can be shared among a few people, taking turns. And it can be easily done by those in wheelchairs too.
We had an expert write a special page all about it and how fun it is for seniors especially. There are many kinds of detectors, some at quite a reasonable price too.
It’s a pastime that is exciting – you never know what you will find! Do it on your own grounds, or go to a park or beach. Especially after a holiday! See the interesting details at Treasure Hunting With Metal Detectors.
What do you have going on in your community? Or somewhat close to you? Lots of interesting learning can be done along with some of them. Some areas special in a specific crop or food item that they celebrate. Others are cultural or historical.
More Field Trip Ideas —
* Native American celebrations
* Heritage celebrations (i.e., Irish, Italian, German, Scandinavian, etc.)
* Historical re-enactment celebrations or state areas
* Carnival or park with an old-fashioned carousel or safe ferris wheel
* Visitor-friendly farms (some give hay rides)
* Antiquing and flea markets
* Baseball games
* Have a tailgate party at at sports event
* Zoos, arboretums and conservatories
* Renaissance fairs (as well as other local fairs)
* Visit the fire station and learn about their work and the most modern vehicles, (very popular here)
* Paddle boat or pontoon boat outing, any boat trip involving historical areas
* Specialty shows, such as antique cars, and air shows
* Music festivals and outdoor concerts
* Theater in the parks (Shakespeare is popular at this time)
* Art fairs
* Watch an evening meteor shower, or Northern Lights
* Berry picking, for those who are able
Parties and Food
Parties and food are a given to work into your summer senior activities. You probably already do picnics, barbeques, and so forth. We do have a specialty page all about party theme ideas as food for thought.
(We actually suggest these in winter too). And they are excellent to do indoors in summer when it’s raining). One of our readers submitted some great suggestions of to do – see Luau Ideas.
There is a variety of food and beverages to consider. Have you ever been to Hawaii or the South Pacific? Members may be interested in helping to plan this one! A bit of costuming can be encouraged, from floral shirts, to leis, to flowers in the hair, and sandals.
Gone Fishing Party
Several different summer senior activities can be involved in this one!
You have planning the party, making or getting unique decorations (that can be used many times), making certain easy food items (we provide recipes too), maybe even having a field trip to do some fishing, and of course having the party! Indoors or out, depending on how the weather turns out. We have lots of ideas at our fish party activities page.
You may be familiar with the standard brown chocolate and coconut haystacks. (Mine are totally no-bake — I don’t toast the coconut, but include it plain). But why not add a little color to them.
All you need is a bag of white chocolate chips, food coloring, spoons, shredded coconut, and perhaps sprinkles and a candy on top. And a platter with wax paper. There are many ways you could tint and decorate them for different occasions.
Melt about a cup of the chips in the microwave. Heat them for 30 seconds, remove and stir. Then heat for 15 seconds, remove and stir. Do this until only a few lumps remain. Let them melt naturally during the last stir (or you may over-cook). Add a drop of food coloring.
Add in coconut until you get a nice, thick consistency. Scoop spoonfuls onto a plate with wax paper. Add sprinkles and a candy on top while still soft. As they start to set, you can mold them with spoons (or CLEAN fingers) into the shapes that you want.
See how we also made these as summer senior activities for the 4th of July, decorated in red, white, and blue. See our 4th of July Crafts page.
Home-Made Ice Cream
Making ice cream can include two ideas for your summer senior activities — the actual making, and then eating it at a special event or meal.
This was one of my Dad’s favorite activities, even with fading eye sight. I would help him, of course. But he used to make it by himself into his 90s when he still lived in his home. It’s that easy.
On our page I include some of Dad’s own recipes. Many can be made with honey, so they’re super natural. And honey, too, is a summer product. So see what to do at how to make ice cream – the easy way.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
I love to make these so much that I mention them on lots of my pages. I’ve made hundreds, and part of the fun is decorating them. And there are several that would be great for using in summer senior activities.
Visit our page on how to make chocolate covered strawberries, and see techniques and tips from my experiences. And the different colors you can make too. Plus how to decorate them, from the easy basics for anyone, to such things as flowers and little creatures. They’re so versatile. You can think of things to make for just about any season or holiday!
Fruit Salad Characters
Lady bugs are an easy theme for summer senior activities, and so are salads. Why not combine the two and create a salad character.
They’ll bring a bit of whimsy to your events, parties, and special meals throughout the season.
And we have more ideas too – pear bunnies, leaping banana fish, even a string cheese octopus. See them and more about creative and simple fruit salad characters.
Butterflies are always popular themes for summer senior activities, and one of our readers submitted a wonderful craft on our Share page. Take a look and see what you would like to use them for when finished. Go to Large Silk Butterflies. And do feel free to use the template provided at the top of the page for other projects!
Sunflowers are one of the easiest flowers to draw or paint. Just a large circle for the middle, and many, many petals radiating out from it. Some sunflowers have 2 layers of petals as well. A favorite activity is using them in a painting, which can be done outdoors in the nice weather.
Materials you need are a few colors of acrylics or watercolors, paper or a canvas board to paint on, a plastic picnic type plate for a palette, a water container and rag, and a few brushes.
I am providing a simple photo of sunflowers below that you can use as an inspiration. You’d paint on the blue sky first as a background. Then just tall stems, flower center, lots of petals, and a few small leaves. Add a butterfly if you’d like! And further below are 2 templates you can use.
Here are a couple sunflower templates for your summer senior activities. One is basic, and you could also eliminate large circle in the middle if you just want a silhouette. The other has 2 layers of petals.
And of course sine I’ve recently been in a frenzy of making all manner of chocolate covered strawberries, I just had to make a sunflower.
Dip the berry in chocolate according to our instructions at How To Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries (the easy way). When the dark chocolate has hardened, make melt white chips and add a couple drops of yellow food coloring. Top it with a candy.
Make a sunflower shape (I also made another flower shape for the center) with the template above. Push a kabob skewer through the flower shapes and up into the strawberry.
Then just get a vase or mug, fill it with candies or other treats (perhaps sunflower seeds!) and it’s ready. These are colorful for desserts, gifts, prizes, etc.
Trash to Treasure
You may have seen programs like this on TV. Well why not do something yourself? Summer senior activities can combine both an outing and then a craft or party afterwards. In this case, a craft.
Your members can visit a flea market or several garage sales, and choose an item or two to convert. Then take them back to the activities area. Discuss what the items will become and what skills and materials you will need to accomplish this. Then the next session or two will be about making them. Lastly, they can be displayed or just taken home and used. Also great for gifts.
Shells of all kinds make wonderful themes for your summer senior activities. The one shown here was also submitted to our Share forum by a reader. As you can see, they are simple flowers. The middles may be painted, or not. Whatever you prefer.
The shell flowers could also be glued onto an art board with a painted background, collage style. Stems can be made of pipe cleaners or wire; or if a collage, use paint, yarn too.
Other shell crafts involve getting a larger sized flat shell, spreading in a bit of glue and then gluing a layer of sand (as in a beach), and then adding a couple of pearl beads and a small flameless tea light.
You may also find free coloring pages online with sea and shell motifs. And you can also use them, or segments of them, to transfer and incorporated into a painting (fun to to outdoors).
Easy Sea Themed Centerpiece
Make some centerpieces for your summer senior activities! This one couldn’t be easier.
All you need — is a tall vase (I like narrow), some blue glass stones (I got mine at the dollar store), small shells, raffia, a kabob skewer, and craft glue (glue gun works great).
First, glue 2 to 3 stones onto the top of the skewer, about an inch or two down from the point. Set aside to dry.
Next, simply fill the vase with a few blue stones. Then insert the skewer, and fill the vase around it with some more stones. (You could also use more shells as filler instead).
Top the point of the skewer with a small shell. Tuck a few strands of long raffia into the stones in the vase. Raffia is reminiscent of sea grass. Lastly, place a few stones in a design around the base of the vase, along with a shell or two. We have more centerpiece ideas on our affordable centerpiece page, including for summer.
Kindle Activities Book
Get tons more new ideas for summer senior activities in our Kindle book, plus lots collected from all over our site so you don’t have to hunt all over. (If you don’t have a device, just download it to your computer).
You’ll have ideas for all seasons and events at your fingertips. Get details at our link at:
Our Craft Book
Easy Crafts and Gifts – You don’t need to hunt all over our web site. We have lots of NEW crafts, and some of our favorites from here – over 120 projects. Plus, a FREE booklet of templates to use, including in summer senior activities.
Fun Elderly Activities — Especially for those who may need modifications or more help. You will several more that can be used as summer senior activities.
Find some new ideas for your July senior activities. Find crafts to games and outdoor activities, to summer food projects and parties.
You’ll discover some here that go beyond the ordinary, and others that will please those with special interests. There’s sure to be something for everyone.
All of our American readers will know about the 4th of July (see our page on 4th of July crafts ( where you can also find out how to make the foody apple bowl project like the one above). And our Canadian readers will of course know about Canada Day. So we won’t go into these holidays on our summer senior activities page in great length.
But July is a month for many more excuses to have parties and festivities. Lots of July commemorations and special dates happen to involve food! Take a look at some our favorite activity themes…
Our July Senior Activities
Commemorations for July
National Hot Dog Month — Yes, this is an actual Day, created by the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council. Hot dogs can range from traditional, to kosher, to turkey dogs, and even vegan. Bratwurst may do as well. So everyone can get involved. Showcase those hot dogs with all the usual condiments, pickles, sauerkraut, chili and cheese too. Try something new on your hot dog! Since this is a traditional ball park food, why not plan a festivity along with watching a game. Music and dancing are other popular July senior activities to include.
National Ice Cream Month – An ice cream social is the perfect party for this Month. (And you can always combine it with your hot dog fest). Activities could include how to make ice cream (the easy way) and see what flavors you can come up with. This page includes some of Dad’s favorite original recipes. We like to make our ice cream with honey or maple syrup. (There are more ice cream themes in the calendar dates section).
National Picnic Month – One of the favorite summer pastimes. You can also combine this with National Hot Dog Month celebrations. Either have an outing to a park or simply on your own grounds. This is the perfect time to add in some other outdoor games and activities. We have lots of suggestions on our outdoor elderly activities page and elderly games. Picnics of any kind are quintessential July senior activities.
National Blueberry Month – July summer activities can include berry picking! If your group is not able, try to visit a Farmer’s Market or fruit stand and buy them fresh. There’s always the grocery store. At least eat them this month! Your group may enjoy making and sharing blueberry treats, potluck style. Maybe sharing recipes if they’re not able to bake. Or choose a couple as a foody cooking/craft activity. There are very simple ways of using fruit in treats.
National Recreation Month – What are your group’s favorite recreation activities? If you ask, you may find out something new and interesting. (And even if some are not able to do them anymore, it’s fun to share and reminisce with stories). Take a few of those ideas and turn them into events throughout the month for your July senior activities.
Dates for July
July 1 – International Joke Day. Pull out the joke books for your July senior activities! Or leave a printed out joke or two at every table during one of your meals. Or at everyone’s place setting. Members can read them to each other and have a good laugh. Plus, be prompted to tell a few of their own. You can also make a game of this, having participants tell jokes, then a vote for the top 3. Winners would get a prize. Or everyone who tells a joke gets a prize. It’s always a good thing to add a little humor to July senior activities.
July 2 – First Zeppelin Flew, in 1900. A zeppelin is also known as a rigid airship, and was created by Count Ferdinand Graf Von Zeppelin. The first test flight (which was not totally successful) was on this day in Germany. Later it was used in World War I especially, and commercial endeavors. After one caught on fire, killing all the passengers in 1936, they lost popularity. For those interested, its history and they way it was would make a fascinating presentation. You may even have members in your group who rode in a zeppelin!
July 3 – National Chocolate Wafer Day. This one is easy. Just serve chocolate wafers for dessert (with a short announcement) or during a snack. Choose from chocolate mint wafers, waffle style wafers with cream filling, rolled Pirouline, etc. Wafers are just anything thin. And they can be included in cakes, cupcakes, and with ice cream too. But remember. They have to be chocolate.
July 4 – 4th of July (American Independence Day). Mostly everyone has included this day in their July senior activities. If you’re looking for some crafts (along with easy treats to make in red, white and blue) see our page on 4th of July Crafts.
July 4 – National Barbecue Day. Since this is also National Hot Dog and National Picnic Month, the July senior activities can simply combine a couple of these in the same celebration. And think of the things you can barbeque: hot dogs and burgers of course, ribs, poultry, fish, corn on the cob, and a variety of veggies. It’s the sauce that makes it too!
July 5 – Birthday of P.T. Barnum (1910). Famous for his Barnum & Bailey Circus, “The Greatest Show On Earth,” which was later sold to the Ringling Brothers; and also the creator of the first aquarium. This is a chance to celebrate the world of the circus. There are many movies of course. But also consider having someone come in who had been or is an interesting performer, to give a presentation. Perhaps someone who had even been in the circus in any capacity for awhile. They’ll be full of stories!
July 5 – Graham Cracker Day. A good time to use a graham cracker crust, either pie or tart size. We have a great recipe on our Fresh Strawberry Desserts page for tarts. And you can use any berries with the same method. Or you could use graham crackers in S’mores. If you want some new and unique, check out our page on how to make s’mores, the gourmet way. As I mentioned, July senior activities are full of food!
July 6 – National Fried Chicken Day. Sure, it may not be the very best for the arteries. But maybe just a little bit once in awhile…?
July 6 – National Strawberry Sundae Day. Yep, ice cream again. And very delicious, made with either chocolate or strawberry topping. On any kind of ice cream, especially strawberry. And of course, add a few fresh berries in with it.
July 7 – Chocolate Day. One of my favorites for July senior activities, and any time. And it pairs nicely with wine or any sparkling drink – see our page for an easy wine and chocolates party). We also have some very interesting things to make, even foody “crafts” on our food activities page.
And if you want a special food project, check out our page on dipping chocolate and all the yummy items you can dip (and ideas to decorate them.
Chocolate is very easy to use as a theme for many July senior activities and parties. To plan your food, consider chicken chocolate sauce (mole), chocolate desserts of all kinds, coffee with a squirt of chocolate in it (which I always order when eating out), chocolate shakes, chocolate sodas (I still make them: ice cream, chocolate syrup, and sparkling water), chocolate fondue, and even a chocolate fountain.
July 8 – Video Games Day. There are many simple and enjoyable video games available for seniors. Some of them are ones that kids would enjoy too, and add a little video expertise to your July senior activities. This would be an excellent day to spend with grandkids (and perhaps learn a few gaming lessons), or to invite a scout troop in.
July 10 – Pina Colada Day. (The national drink of Puerto Rico). July senior activities always seem a little more lively with a special beverage involved. The phrase actually means “strained pineapple,” and that’s exactly what is in these drinks. There are also non-alcoholic versions available. Recipes call for about 2 oz. of pineapple juice, 2 oz. of Cream of Coconut, a splash of rum, and crushed ice. Blend until smooth. Add a wedge of pineapple to the side of the glass. And a little umbrella if you’d like. There are lots of recipes, all pretty similar, and you’ll find them online. If you want to leave out the rum, just enjoy a refreshing pineapple-coconut blended beverage.
July 11 – National Blueberry Muffin Day. A perfect addition to your breakfast or snack. This could be a food activity for individuals or groups as well. Then serve within your group, or save for a later larger group event.
July 12 – Birthday of author Henry David Thoreau (1817). For anyone interested in literature…This author and poet was famous for “Walden” and was a great environmentalist and nature lover. So environment and nature themes can additionally be added into your July senior activities, in his honor. Readings from his book and discussion about the simple life in nature, his philosophy, etc. can also be included.
July 12 – National Pecan Pie Day. I usually don’t think of July as a pecan pie month, but in those states that grow pecans, I’m sure this is the case. And it’s fun for anyone to celebrate. If you want a fantastic recipe, I shared my mom’s famous all-natural one at Amazing Easy Pecan Pie.
July 13 – International Puzzle Day. A perfect time to bring something outside for your July senior activities. Or if it’s a rainy day, do it inside. Puzzles are favorites for seniors. And this day can also involve crossword puzzles, sudoku, and other types of word puzzles as well.
July 15 – Artist Rembrandt’s birthday (1606). For art enthusiasts, this Dutch painter is one of the world’s most famous. This is a good opportunity for an art history event. Have a local professor or expert come in for a talk. And a little Dutch refreshment as well. Try herring and crackers, oysters, beer, gouda and edam cheese, rye bread, and fresh fruits. If you are able to locate genuine Dutch desserts or recipes, this is always a plus. You might also consider doing a digital slide show of his art. You can find many images online, then download them.
July 15 – National Ice Cream Day. Well, July senior activities do include National Ice Cream Month and the various days that go with it. So here’s one. My Dad had a great way of making home-made ice cream in a very simple way. In lots of flavors. Even with honey and maple syrup as sweeteners. If you want a foody activity, give it a try. See how at How To Make Ice Cream The Easy Way. Or at least serve ice cream in some form on this day! Tip: There’s another ice cream theme day on July 23! So take your pick.
July 16 – Apollo 11 takes off, 1969. This was a landmark space travel event from earth to the moon, manned by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. A few days later, Armstrong was then the first person to set foot on the moon (on July 20 – see below). He soon became famous for his statement, “One small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” This is an outstanding topic that lends itself to some interesting July senior activities. There have been a couple movies made about this event, “Apollo 11,” and “Moonshot.” You may be able to find them at your library. This would also be an excellent subject for a presentation, especially those interested in space travel and history.
July 18 – Nelson Mandela’s Birthday (1918). There are a variety of documentaries and movies about the life of this beloved South African patriot and social activist, including “Long Walk To Freedom,” “Invictus,” and “Nelson Mandela: Life and Times.” Some of these may be available at your public library.
July 20 – Chess Day. No doubt your group may have people interested in chess. So why not host chess games. Tournament-based games are a great addition to your list of July senior activities.
July 20 – The day astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first landed on the moon, 1969. For those interested in space flight, have a day with a moon, astronaut, and/or outer space theme. And do you have access to a good telescope? They can enhance many July senior activities for evening. In party stores you can find moon-sun-star themed paper goods to decorate with.
…..Crafts – Make some decor of your own. Painting a few pillar candles with moons and stars is an easy way to add ambiance (they can also be the flameless kind). We also have a simple page on how to paint glass. Just follow the directions, buy use a moon and night sky theme. You’ll also see some star motifs on our page for 4th of July crafts.
July 21 – Birthday of author and Nobel Laureate Ernest Hemingway (1889). This popular author appealed to a very wide audience, so if you want to host an arts and cultural event, consider his works, such as “Old Man And The Sea,” and “Farewell To Arms.” Both are also movies.
July 22 – Summer Leisure Day. (Also National Hammock Day). I’m sure we could think of a zillion things to do on such a day. But this is the time to make a production out of just Leisure for your July senior activities. What does that mean to your group? Just ask what their favorite things would be to do to commemorate this. And be sure to have some unique treats on hand.
July 23 – Invention of Ice Cream (1904 by Charles Minches). (Yet another ice cream theme). At least this is the date ice cream went public. (Actually, some history scholars say Italian duchess Catherine de Medici created it and brought it to Europe in the 1500s). It was introduced at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904. This can be the perfect day for your ice cream celebration. Perhaps the traditional ice cream social.
Try kinds made with honey or maple syrup. Again, you can see our page with Dad’s own all-natural recipes, on how to make ice cream the easy way. with And be sure to include all the fixings, including fresh fruit. Or maybe get an old-fashioned ice cream cart to visit.
Remember the old movie, “Meet Me in St. Louis” with Judy Garland about that 1904 World’s Fair? This would be a perfect activity to fit into the day.
July 24 – Amelia Earhart Day (born in 1897). For anyone interested in aviation, this day commemorates the legendary pioneer in aviation lost over the Pacific while attempting to fly around the world. There are several documentaries available about her, and probably in your local library. You may be familiar with the latest discoveries regarding this unsolved mystery found on a small Pacific island. This is an excellent reason to host an aviation-themed get-together, lecture, outing, film, etc.
July 25 – National Hot Fudge Sundae Day. Yes, another ice cream type day. Just in case you needed one.
July 25 – Merry-Go-Round Day. For those in your group who are able to do a field trip, you might consider visiting a nearby park that has a carousel, if available in your area. Otherwise, a carousel-related theme can be used in crafts.
July 26 – National Bagelfest. Since 1986. Think of the possibilities. Plain, rye, whole grain, cheese, onion, veggie, etc. And the toppings! Serve them for breakfast topped with eggs and bacon, lunch or dinner with just about anything on top. You might find bagels on sale at your local bagel shop or grocery store.
July 26 – National All or Nothing Day. A day for July summer activities to celebrate (big or little, fun or serious) of making decisions, getting off the fence, making a commitment. Doing something. Whatever that may be. It will make us feel better too. You can make light of this day, or have it be contemplative; whatever suits your group. Have participants write down what they want to jump in and do. And ideas of how they will do it. Depending on your group, you might share aloud. Especially if you are keeping it light. Otherwise, after they have their idea firmly in mind, they can rip it up. Later all the scraps of paper can be collected and recycled. This exercise will work for individuals, or for groups who are trying to decide on something.
July 27 – Bugs Bunny’s Birthday, 1940. The date this famous character first appeared in a Warner Bros. short cartoon called “A Wild Hare.” At that time his name was called Tex’s Rabbit, rather than Bugs Bunny. And he looked a bit different too. Before long he became known for his iconic phrase, “What’s up doc?” To celebrate, find some old cartoons at the library and show them for fun. Lots of nostalgia! You could also use a Bugs Bunny image in a craft project. You’ll be able to find one online.
July 29 – National Lasagna Day. Since it’s also Picnic Month, this would be an item to serve as well. And actually, one of our favorite versions is made with chicken instead of beef, from a well-known local Italian restaurant. Try it! It’s just a simple substitution. I also like to include spinach leaves layered in mine. Sometimes other vegetables, like zucchini. Even my kids love it. Normally it seems like July would be pretty hot to serve lasagna. But it’s The Day.
National Parents Day – The 4th Sunday of the month. This day was established by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Most of your group are likely to have been parents. Whether family can be present or not, make this a special day. For those who were not parents themselves, they certainly had them! This can be a commemorative day as well.
Finding a hobby (a new one?) just right for you can give you a lifetime of enjoyment, far into your retirement years. The main thing to consider is what do you really like? Not what your family tree or best friend thinks you should like – It is for you!
Do you think you’re not very good at anything? If that sounds like you, here are questions to ask yourself about what you’ve really wanted to do.
If you’re still working, now is the time to develop a hobby and to plan for future senior activities.
It’s also a great idea to have several different hobbies, because things change as we age. That sure happened to Dad. And he didn’t have much to fall back on.
Working with our hands at any age is particularly valuable. It promotes brain and physical coordination. P.S. – If you’re looking particularly for easy craft ideas be sure to visit our specialized page.
Dad’s Issue – When my father became very elderly and moved in with me, I became his full-time caregiver. His main hobbies had been golf and reading. But because of his vision and hearing loss, he had to give those up and there wasn’t much he could do. Or, that is, was willing to do.
It taught me the importance of cultivating a variety of hobbies and interests including working with one’s hands, because you just never know.
First Ask Yourself:
To get started with finding a hobby, first take some notes and let yourself brainstorm. And keep in mind that some may be good extra income ideas and actually provide ways to do a little work after retirement if you’re interested in that.
- Make a list of the top 5 hobbies or activities you like to do now.
- Now make a list of the top 5 new activities you would like to learn. This is brainstorming — don’t limit yourself, financially or otherwise.
Idea List – for Finding a Hobby
Finding a hobby can be a really fun exercise and will give you ideas on how you can expand the list.
- photography – including nature, weddings, babies, children
- home renovation
- do-it-yourself activities such as a tile backsplash, creative cement work, etc.
- interior decorating
- build and decorate a dollhouse – perhaps elaborate
- furniture making
- painting on furniture
- furniture restoration
- going to or participating in flea markets
- metal detecting – you can find amazing treasures!
- making trash to treasure projects
- starting a collection – perhaps heirloom quality
- studying antiques and antiquing
- join a theater group and be in a play
- or work with costumes and props
- learn a new sport – biking, tennis, golf, swimming
- take up chess; join a group
- painting – on canvas; or paint on glass or wood
- candle making
- hand-painted ceramic sinks
- hand-painted ceramic tiles
- pottery and ceramics
- mosaics (including tables, chairs, trays)
- making crafts – there are many crafts for seniors to explore
- scale modeling (see link at the bottom of this page)
- small appliance or mechanical repair
- rug making (easy rug hooking, braided rugs, etc.)
- learning or enhancing computer skills
- making a web site regarding your hobby or interest (you can make money too – really)
- needlework such as cross-stitching or embroidery
- knitting or crocheting
- quilting – start small like a pillow or wallhanging
- be a volunteer or professional clown
- making puppets and puppeteering
- clock and watch repair
- crossword puzzles
- jewelry making
- stained glass
- specialized cooking
- cake decorating
- gardening – perhaps a specialty such as roses or exotic plants
- flower pressing
- decorative pillows
- journalism – articles for newspapers, magazines, organizations
- creative writing – perhaps memoirs or a novel
- write and/or illustrate a children’s book
- record your memoirs (and help others) and transfer to a CD
- making videos and movies
- dancing – salsa, tap, ballroom, jazz, square dancing, contemporary; don’t limit yourself
- playing musical instruments – (our guest writer talks about a super easy way of playing chimes, without having to read music or practice. Perfect for kids and families too).
- floral arrangement
- bird watching
- card games
- crafts – there are tons of easy craft ideas and crafts for seniors
- make or study wines
- beer making
- getting a pet
- public speaking
- wedding officient
- learn another language – and take a trip!
- sailing and boating
When finding a hobby, remember, there may be a craft store, home improvement store, community resources or a senior center that can teach many of these activities. And don’t forget the library – most of them have or can get videos and books on a favorite topic. Or do you have a friend or family member who can teach you? Groups are always fun.
Do you have limitations?
If you have physical or other challenges and are unable to do your activity of choice now, finding a hobby can be modified. (For instance, did you know there are special easy-to-grip garden tools, and even wheelchair accessible elevated gardens for the elderly, window gardens, and more).
See our page about elderly activities to get ideas for those with limitations that we experience as we age. Also consider reading books, watching movies or TV programs, attending seminars or conferences on the subject, or helping others.
Find out what other related senior activity ideas and groups are available. There are also many special crafts for elderly to consider – ask a local senior center or even a church group.
After finding a hobby (or two) dedicate a room or area in your home to your special activities. Make a list of the supplies you will need, and find out how to get discounts.
A special note:
If you are a writer, visit your library or bookstore and look at the current “Writer’s Market.” This is an excellent yearly publication that tells what book and magazine publishers are looking for in that year. There are hundreds of listings. As you may guess, topics for baby boomers and elders are popular at this time.
You can also very easily self-publish a book by using Amazon’s system for Kindle books. With a for-print book check www.createspace.com — it’s very inexpensive because it’s print on demand. If you want to try electronic publishing, Amazon will also help your put your book into Kindle reader format.
If you are an artist, there is a similar book called “The Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market.” It lists hundreds of publishing and licensing companies to submit your artwork to, and what they are looking for. Even tips to go through the process. You can also pursue finding a licensing agent to represent your work to manufacturers, like I have.
And don’t forget to give back, if you can – teach someone what you know. Pass it on to family members, youth, and the elderly.
Do you like crafts?
Finding a hobby with crafts couldn’t be easier. We also do have lots of crafts in many places on our web site, but why hunt all over? Our crafts are all consolidated and organized, along with dozens of NEW never-seen-before projects in our e-book! You get over 120 projects, with plenty of tips on different ways to make them! PLUS a FREE book of pattern templates! Click here for a sneak peak.
And check out this great hobby web site! An online guidebook to all forms of modeling from ships to planes and from trains to race cars. It’s your ultimate guide to the best in scale modeling.
These strawberry desserts have your choice of topping and are also easy gifts you can make. Do it the super easy way or make chocolate covered strawberries. We explain both.
This is both a food and craft project so perfect for senior activities. The result will be an attractive centerpiece, door prize, or gift – sure to please. And satisfying to make and give.
If you’re planning elderly activities, be sure to consider these strawberries desserts – both plain or chocolate covered. The project is easy to modify and to give extra help to those who may need it. Simple items are used, and you may already have some around.
Bouquets & Strawberry Desserts
Candy Vase With Bouquet
You will need:
- 4 large strawberries
- Vase of your choice – tall and narrow work well
- Candies to fill vase – wrapped is always best if it’s for a non-family member
- 4 long kabob skewers
- Ribbon or raffia, and bow if you’re using one — or
- Colored feathers, or artificial flowers instead of a bow
- Curly reeds for bouquet (optional)
- Whipped cream, — or
- Dipping chocolate (in microwavable container), — or
- Small gumdrop for top of strawberry instead of whipped cream or chocolate dip
- 4 toothpicks if you are using gumdrops
- Plate with waxed paper, if using dipping chocolate
Make sure your vase is washed and clean.
Fill the vase half way with your candy. Put the skewer sticks and curly reeds in, arranging them as you desire. I put them in at slightly different levels so the berries wouldn’t bump into each other. Finish filling up the vase with candies.
Then wrap the ribbon or raffia around the vase several times. You can also separate the strands to give a spiral effect. Insert the feathers, flowers, or attach a bow.
If you are going to be presenting this right away and the recipient can eat the strawberries soon, then it’s very easy to use whipped cream for the tops of the berries.
However, if you’ll be giving it or eating it later, use gumdrops on the tops (sticking them on with toothpicks), or make chocolate covered strawberries (see below). First put a strawberry on each skewer. At this point, put on the whipped cream topping, or gumdrop, if not using chocolate dipped.
You can decorate strawberry bouquets for many holidays and occasions, like these super easy ghosts. They are white chocolate dipped, and the instructions are further below. The faces were made with edible food markers. Or use chocolate squirt frosting in a tube. Then place them in a vase of black and/or orange jelly beans.
Below is another version of a bouquet to use both as a centerpiece (either on a buffet, or perhaps one on each table that can later be used for your strawberry desserts. Just change out what you fill the vase with, and surround it at the bottom with real or artificial flowers.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
If you want to make chocolate covered strawberries, there’s a really easy way. Learn all about it and see our chocolate strawberry ideas, at: Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries.
They also look fabulous with a white chocolate coating. And colored berries make fabulous strawberry desserts in a bouquet type arrangement.
Learn the specifics of what to do at the link above. Then just stick a kabob skewer in each berry. Fill a teapot or vase half way with florist foam or styrofoam, and arrange the berry sticks in it. I also made and inserted a few long, thin leaves of colored paper to add to the look.
Chocolate Strawberry Flowers
For this whimsical bouquet, make chocolate covered strawberries according to instructions, in any color you like. Add a candy on top, if desired.
To make the petals, I like to use old rolls of wallpaper samples (from the thrift store) or colorful wrapping paper. You could also use doilies. Fold your paper in half (so it will be double sided), making a 3 to 4 inch square.
Trace or draw a simple flower shape on it and cut it out. Glue the two sides together.
When the glue is dry, pierce the flower centers with something sharp, like a needle, then insert kabob skewers as stems. Also insert the skewer ends into the strawberries. Make as many as you want.
Then arrange them as a bouquet in a vase filled with candies, nuts, etc. If you put one on each table, or several in a grouping, there will be enough flower strawberry desserts for everyone.
For Valentine’s Day, you could also make the petals out of red or pink paper, and cut them in the shape of hearts.
Below is a sunflower style using the same petal onto a stick principle. By doing several, you could create a bouquet.
Bouquet Strawberry Desserts, with Parfait
These strawberry desserts involve a different approach, using layers of a variety of items such as ice cream, strawberry sauce, coconut, fruit, etc., layered with fresh strawberries. The berry bouquets are made as usual. These desserts would need to be eaten right away.
You can also make these red, white and blue, so they’re great for the Fourth of July. Or use green mint ice cream and more green in your coloring, for Christmas.
I first put a layer of fresh strawberry cranberry relish sauce, which I made and which is very easy. You just add some chopped berries to the recipe. Then I layered coconut, fresh strawberries, strawberry ice cream, strawberry sauce, etc. Whatever you like. I topped it with a little whipped cream.
Lastly, I insert 3 skewers with chocolate strawberries of different colors. Even just one would suffice. Fun for parties!
As a little alternative to using strawberry desserts in a bouquet, try a towering kabob. Very simple, with fruits and candies that are easy to get. See our strawberry apple fruit kabob page.
Gourd craft ideas are perfect for seniors and elderly!
They’re fun all year round, but particularly make great fall craft projects.
I love the lumpy, bumpy kinds that suggest all sorts of funny and weird characters. And these gourds so easy! And can be adjusted to all activity levels. Just take a look at the size and shapes of the gourds you can get, and let your imagination go wild.And be sure to see ideas on our Fall Senior Activities page.
These particular gourd craft ideas have more of a fall theme, but also think in terms of gnomes or elves for winter, and summer centerpieces too. (Be sure to see our page on fall crafts for the elderly, also).
NOTE: All images are copyrighted – © 2009, Mary S. Schulte
Images may not be copied or used on other web sites, and may only be used with your personal projects.
Favorite Gourd Craft Ideas
This frivolous miss was made of a mini pumpkin, topped with curly ribbon for her hair. You can attach it with a thumb tack, or glue it. Use googly eyes, of course, and a candy or pom-pom nose.
I drew on the face with a fine point Sharpie marker pen. The head is set on several artificial fall leaves that serve as a collar of sorts.
The stand is an upside-down inexpensive candle holder from a thrift store, atop a doily. Around the bottom is a sparkly bracelet.
The Gourd Ghoul
I loved this white gourd. It immediately made me think of a lumpy ghost floating on its side. First I sliced off the top of the thick part of the gourd to make an opening in which to insert a candle. (I use only flameless candles).
Gourds can be tough to cut, so keep in mind who is doing this project – they may need assistance. Scoop out the opening. (If you remove enough of the insides so the walls are thin, the candlelight will glow through the sides in the dark). Then I put in a flameless tea light candle.
Next the face – really easy. Googly eyes as usual, then marker to make a big oval for the mouth. And a couple slanted eyebrows.
Again, it’s on top of a turned over candle holder on a dish, filled with fall candy colors. Makes a great centerpiece, and is especially fun when several ghouls are lined up across a table. More gourd craft ideas below.
This lacy lady is one of our easiest gourd craft ideas. Perfect for elderly who may need an easier project.
Black ribbon (mine was glittery)
Small artificial flower (mine was black)
Glue (for flower)
Black fine-tip marker
Large square of white lace
A stand: candle holder, jar, etc.
Small flameless candle
I first drew the face on the white gourd using the fine-tipped black marker. It is simply three ovals. Then I tied a long strand of black ribbon onto the stem. Next I glued on the artificial flower.
Then just place the square of lace over your stand, and drape it. Set the head onto the draped stand. And add a little candle at the bottom.
And if you don’t have lace…
You can also see another version using a simple white paper napkin, in case you don’t have lace. Or a white cloth napkin looks nice is well. For this sample, I used a little candy cup instead of a candle.
I used the same stand and candy dish for this one as I did for the Ghoul. But without the candle. Instead, I created a nest of dried moss on top of the candle stand. The natural curve of the gourd made a great goose neck, head and beak, with the googly eyes added to the head.
The natural ridge of the body of the gourd protrude enough to suggest wings. For the tail I used a gumdrop (you can also use half a Styrofoam ball), with craft feathers inserted. Since the tail end of the gourd had a little protrusion, I just stuck the gumdrop onto it. Otherwise you can glue it on, even making nail holes to insert the feathers, if needed.
One of my favorites, using a combination of two gourds. The bottom was a type of squash that had lumps suggestive of a “bosom.” When I saw it in the store I just about died laughing.
I’d already had the gourd for the head at home, and now knew what to do with it. Curly ribbon was placed around the stem, and also as a bow on the “skirt.”
The face has those googly eyes, plus a candy nose, and smiley face with eyebrows and lashes drawn on with the fine-tip marker. A doily was placed between the gourd head and body, like a lacy collar. These would also look cute with an apron (such as a doily cut in half, and ribbon).
This granny is sitting on top of a small, black plastic dish with an artificial tea candle inside, creating an eerie glow. Her head is topped with a simple ribbon curl. The face is a study in fabulous lumps.
The eyes are glued onto lumps which cause them to protrude. The nose is another lump on which I drew large nostrils. The lopsided mouth wiggles around more bumps.
And then there is a wonderful natural chin. Her “feet” are a couple of artificial leaves. If I turned this gourd around, on the other side could have been a perfect grandpa gourd face as well… maybe another day.
Fancy-Hat Gourd Witch
Here’s another witch with a different look, to add to your gourd craft ideas. It’s very easy to put together, complete with a fancy hat which you can decorate any way you’d like. I got a lot of the items from a local thrift store.
The hat did come from a craft store, but we also explain how to make one from felt. You could also use colored paper.
Get the full instructions on our page all about easy Halloween crafts.
On that page we also describe how to make a really cute, frilly witch’s broom to go along with many projects.
Autumn Angel Gourd
Gourd craft ideas are varied. If you want a another look, that is un-spooky, then how about an angel gourd.
She can be used for many occasions — blessing your Thanksgiving table, or as a Christmas decoration. This project is made with a small white pumpkin-shaped gourd.
But if they’re not in season when you want to make it, there are other options. Learn more at our craft angels page.
Elf or Santa Gourd
There are gourd craft ideas for Christmas too. It’s all in the costume! In this case, a festive holiday paper napkin. It can really change the look of this guy.
This is an extremely easy project, and again, is made with a white pumpkin-like gourd. But we give other ideas too.
He can be based on a jar filled with candies, hidden under his “cape.” See just what I did on our simple Christmas crafts page.
Easy Crafts and Gifts—
Get lots more easy yet quality crafts for many seasons and abilities – over 120 activities in our e-book. PLUS a booklet of FREE templates you can use for a variety of projects (Including other gourd craft ideas).Two books for one!
Painting Pumpkins and Gourds – Colorful ideas to decorate instead of carving! More gourd craft ideas.
Really Easy Apple Craft Ideas – Apples are not only abundant in fall, they are available all year long. See fun ideas to make!
Elderly Activities – A wide range of activities for those who may need modified projects.