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

June Senior Activities
July Senior Activities
August Senior Activities

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!


Gardens

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.

Field Trips

Summer senior activities can include some refreshing field trips, if your group is able. There are many possibilities…

Japanese Garden

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.

Metal Detecting

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.

Festivals

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.

Luau

(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.

Haystacks

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.

Crafts

Butterflies

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

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.

Shell Crafts

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.

Also see:
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.

To Senior Activities – By the Month

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.

To: Summer Senior Activities

To: Senior Activities – By The Month

strawberry bouquet with candy

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.

strawberry bouquet dessert

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.

Go to (More) Fresh Strawberry Desserts

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fall gourd craft lady

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

Girlie Gourd

fall gourd craft girl

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

gourd craft halloween ghost

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.

Gourd Ghosts

This lacy lady is one of our easiest gourd craft ideas. Perfect for elderly who may need an easier project.

Materials:

White gourd
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.

Gourd Goose

fall gourd craft goose

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.

Granny Gourd

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).

Gourd Witch

gourd craft halloween witch

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.

………………………………………

Our Book

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!

Also see:

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.

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lollipop valentine's day craft

This whimsical lollipop valentine centerpiece is really two crafts in one. You can paint the clay pot too! And there are many variations to decorate this project. Use it on the mantle, food buffet, or on a table. If you have a long table – make two or three!

This centerpiece also makes a great give-away or door prize. Plus, the best part is that you can eat it later! Perfect for your senior activity ideas.

You don’t have to paint the pot for this valentine centerpiece – you can use it with its natural terra cotta coloring. Perhaps just paint the rim, or attach ribbon and stickers. But if you want to learn an easy way to paint it, read on…

Valentine Centerpiece Steps

Painted Pot

This valentine centerpiece, as shown in the photo, has a really easy painted clay pot.
You will need:

  • Acrylic paints (Liquitex is a good brand) of your choice of color(s). Suggestions are white, “portrait pink,” or else mix white and red paint to make pink. Or just red paint will work too.
  • Optional – palette knife, if you are mixing paint colors
  • Square of ordinary kitchen sponge, about 2 inches square
  • Small plastic picnic plate to use as a palette
  • Water jar, and rag
  • Medium sized clay pot with tray
  • Water-base, clear craft varnish to seal painted pot
  • Valentine stickers, (or a stencil to paint on hearts)

Before painting the clay pot for the valentine centerpiece, wipe it clean with a slightly damp paper towel to remove any dirt or grip. Dry. Squirt some paint onto the plastic picnic plate that you are using for a palette (this is cheap and easy).

Dampen the sponge squeeze well, and dip into the paint. Then sponge paint over the entire pot (not the inside) and its tray. Also paint the bottom of the pot. It will show since the pot will be turned upside down.

It actually looks kind of cool to let some of the terra cotta pot color show through. It does not have to be painted evenly. I love to sponge paint because it goes fast and doesn’t have to look perfect. Let the first coat dry for at least a half an hour. Apply a second coat.

I like to put two different colors over each other. For instance, white as the first coat, with pink over it. Let the pot dry thoroughly, at least another hour.

If you are going paint on hearts with a stencil (or free-hand) do it at this point. Then dry over night.

When the pot has dried over night, then brush on a coat of varnish. Dry again overnight. Then you can stick decorative stickers on to the valentine centerpiece pot, if you are using stickers.

(If you like to paint pots, get lots more ideas on our page all about painting clay pots).

Lollipop Flowers

The lollipop valentine centerpiece, of course, must include the lollipops – as flowers. We wrap candy ourselves and put them on tall skewer sticks, since standard store lollipops do not have long enough sticks.

You will need:

  • Craft glue
  • Scissors
  • 3 Long wooden kabob skewers
  • Florist tape (or other strong tape), 3 strips about 6 to 8 inches long
  • 3 pieces of clear plastic wrap, cut in 8–inch squares
  • 3 8-inch pieces of green ribbon
  • 3 pieces of large round candy
  • Colored paper, cut into 3 flower shapes (for tops of candy)
  • 3 small green pompoms
  • 2 to 3 curly reeds (or any type of reed)
  • Large round doily for base

Lay down a square of plastic wrap onto the table. Place the round candy in the middle. Pull up the sides of the wrap and gather it tightly, inserting the skewer.

Wind florist tape tightly in place around the skewer and plastic wrap, tightly under the candy. Cut off any excess tape. When wound, trim down the ends of the plastic wrap if they are too long.

Curl and tie green ribbon around the tape to decorate it. Glue the flower shapes on top of the wrapped candy. Then the glue the pompom on top.

Turn the painted pot upside down on its tray. Insert the lollipop flowers and curly reeds into the hole. If the skewers are too long for your particular pot, they are easy to snap off or cut at the appropriate length.

Everything will stand up in the pot hole – no need for foam inside the pot. Place it all on top of the doily.

Also learn to make some fanciful bouquet strawberry desserts (one of them is below). Just follow the link.


Our Craft Book!

Easy Crafts and Gifts — Get lots more easy yet quality craft ideas (including several centerpieces, plus Valentine’s Day) – more than 120 projectsPlus a FREE booklet of templates you can use for a variety of activities.

More Valentine ideas at: Festive Valentines Crafts

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painted apple valentine centerpiece craft

This apple valentine centerpiece includes a very unique hand-painted apple that’s easy to make! And the flameless candle adds sparkle.

The “painting” on this apple is really just a line drawing done with a fine-tipped, white opaque marker. (If you eat the apple later, it would have to be peeled!) The daisy and vine design is easy. You could also do a heart theme. Or something fancier, if you’re artistic.

For free templates for flowers and leaf patterns, see our pages on: Flower Templates and Designs, and Leaf Template and Pattern Ideas.

It would be hard to transfer a design onto an apple by tracing on carbon paper. So keep designs simple for this apple valentine centerpiece; something you can easily draw or copy. 

The Apple Valentine Centerpiece

Materials I used:

  • Large & small doilies, on top of each other – to set the centerpiece on
  • Red candies for around the base
  • Flameless battery tea light candle
  • About 6 inches of a red foil garland or ribbon to put around the candle base
  • Wine glass (I used a cordial size)
  • Large red apple
  • White fine-tip opaque marker
  • About 6 to 8 inches of curled white ribbon (for the top)

The Base

Layer the two doilies on top of each other. This is what you can set the apple valentine centerpiece on. Arrange the candy around the inner doily.

Put the flameless tea light on top of the doily. I put a little garland around the light to add color. Ribbon works well too. Then put the wine glass on top, upside down, as a stand.

painted apple craft

The Apple

Painting the apple – Use an opaque white marker to draw a design, being mindful of the round shape of the apple. Have the largest, most important shape in the middle.

If you know how to draw a rose, they look fabulous on these apples. (See sample below).

Place the apple on top of the wine glass, and then place a piece of curled ribbon on top (optional).

Try making a variation of the apple valentine centerpiece, and lining up several in a row across a table. Vary the height of the wine glass bases to add interest. 

Below — is another variation of the apple valentine centerpiece, with the rose design, and swirling vines and small leaves. It’s a little more advanced to draw. However, if you decide to use a rose design, you could make something looser and whimsical. Below are a couple rose templates, to give you some simpler ideas. Print them out and use them for your projects.

free rose template pattens
painted apple craft valentine candy dish centerpiece

In this centerpiece, the wine glass is right side up with tea light inside. The apple sets on top of an old CD as a base, covered with a doily. It is all placed in a glass dish with candies.

(Note: This art is copyrighted. It may be used for your personal or group projects only. It may not be displayed on other web sites, sold, distributed, etc. Thank you.)

As with any of my craft ideas, I use things from home. Or buy items at thrift stores or dollar stores. So you may have some great things around your home to use for this apple valentine centerpiece instead.

This can also be modified to fit a winter theme, for instance. Try drawing on snowflakes, stars, pine cones, pine branches, or even a snowman. And a green apple will definitely work too. Since they are lighter, though, a fine-tipped black marker will show up better.

Our Craft Book

Easy Crafts and Gifts – Get lots more easy craft ideas (including for Valentine’s Day). Over 120 projects! PLUS a booklet of FREE templates you can use for your activities.Two books for one!

To: Festive Valentines Crafts

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Our ideas for painting clay pots for flowers, plants and gardens, and more… on this page.

Clay pots (or even plastic pots) are a popular craft item. Use these for yourself or to give with flower gifts, for a house plant, even an outdoor garden. Giving them along with a packet of flower seeds or a plant is always a hit too.

Tips on Painting Clay Pots

You can make the designs on them from basic to advanced. So these make excellent crafts for the elderly, resulting in a pleasing and satisfying item that can be kept, used as a decoration such as a centerpiece, or given as a gift or give-away. And if your group cannot use breakable clay pots, you can do the same painting process on nice plastic ones.

The easiest way to create your designs is to use a stencil template, such as a star, bird, duck, leaf, polka-dot circle, or heart, for instance. But we’re showing a sample here that can be painted free-hand very simply.

General Materials

  • 3-D paint in squirt bottle, formerly known as “puffy paint” (used to make the spiral flower centers and squiggles). Colors I used: white and blue
  • Acrylic paint, your choice of colors (I used Liquitex brand tube paint). Colors I used: white, medium blue, yellow, medium green
  • Clay pot with tray (any size)
  • Water based craft varnish
  • Small square of sponge, about 1 inch x 1 inch or so
  • Paint brushes, — one with a wider round end; and one pointed
  • Plastic palette knife, if you are going to be mixing colors to make a new color
  • Plastic picnic plate to use as a palette
  • Rag
  • Water container
  • Paper towels

Painting A Base Coat

I first applied a base coat of paint over the whole pot and tray. However, some people prefer to keep the natural terra cotta color of the pot. (In this case, you’d skip the instructions for the base coat).

When painting clay pots, I think the easiest way to cover a surface quickly with a base coat is to sponge paint it on, as shown in the sample on the right, done in white.

Clay Pot Projects

Yellow and Blue Pot

For the flowered pot, I wanted my base coat to be light yellow, so I had to mix the paint to make a new shade. But you certainly can use the paint colors straight out of the tube or jar, if you want to.

On my plastic paper plate palette, I first squirted a blob of white paint about the size of a half dollar. Then about an inch away I squirted a dab of yellow, about the size of a dime.

 I wanted to mix the yellow in with the white to get pale yellow. Pick up a small amount of yellow on the palette knife, and mix it into the white… a little at a time, until you get the shade you want.

Using a palette knife is much like using a knife to frost a cake. When you get you shade, you’re ready to slightly dip in your moistened sponge square and start dabbing the paint onto the pot and tray, until it is all covered.

Let it dry. When painting clay pots, it’s important to let each layer dry thoroughly. Then I also wanted a darker border around the top edges of both the pot and the tray. So I simply painted that on with a brush. Let it dry.

The Flowers

On my design, I have one small (on the upper edge) and two large flowers going down the side of the pot. Plus one on the tray. To make them, I first put a small dot of paint to mark where I wanted the center of each flower to be, so I got the spacing right.

Then I mixed my light blue paint (in the same manner as above) using white with a few dabs of medium blue mixed in. But again, you can use colors straight, instead of mixing colors with painting clay pots.

Dip the larger (slightly wet) brush into the paint and make a petal, starting at the far edge of the petal and drawing it in toward the flower center.

My flowers have about 8 petals. Then, using the side edge of the brush, dip it in green paint and make a few leaves at each flower. Let it all dry.

The Squiggles

Using the squirt bottle of 3-D paint, just squiggle on some wiggly lines going down on each side of the flowers. Then take the white paint and create a spiral for the middles.

On the tray, I made a simple scallop design. However, if it seems difficult to do, you can always just make a haphazard line of dots going all the way around.

The dots could also be squirted on with 3-D paint. Your design doesn’t have to be all perfect. Painting clay pots is supposed to look fresh and fun!

And voila – you have a lovely, colorful pot that you can use for artificial flowers or a real plant. Or fill it with packets of seeds and give it away as a gift, for someone to grow their own flowers. Or fill it with candy or treats when you give it away.

Finishing Coat

When everything is dry, apply a couple coats of water based craft varnish, drying between applications.

If you are painting clay pots right onto the original terra cotta surface without first making a colored base coat, then you only need to apply the varnish just over your designs.

Painting clay pots has many uses! There are more samples below as well. You can use your painted pots for such things as a bookend (even make a pair).

Bluebird Pot

Another good theme for painting clay pots is birds. The colorful pot shown can be done in whatever colors you like. The process is the same as other projects on this page. We have a template and more instructions on how to make this on our bird crafts page. (and other bird templates, if you prefer).

The branches are just jaggedy dark lines (marker or paint). Make them as simple as you’d like. I started the branches at the top left of the pot, then made them  go down diagonally. Just a few easy leaves and/or berries will do too.

Fiesta Pot

Fiesta painted clay pot

This bright and cheery pot is made very similarly as the yellow and blue project above, so I won’t go into all the details here.

The paint colors  were bright yellow, blue, orange, hot pink, red, and green. A sponge-painted background was applied over the pot before making the flowers.

You’ll see these flowers are very simple daisies. The center daisy has two layers, the back layer having been painted on first, and the top layer when dried. Along with some basic line stems, leaves, dots, squiggles,  and scallops on the tray, this make for an easy design.

You can also do this in any color scheme you’d like. As this is very sunny, it’s a perfect craft for summer. Or for making a fiesta project. See how we use it in a centerpiece on our Make Fun and Affordable Centerpieces page.

Painted Pot Stands

I made a couple of strawberry “flowers” on short skewer sticks, with a bit of squirt frosting and sprinkles on top to give away (as shown in sample).

You can see that the pot is upside down in its dish (painted to match), so that the strawberries (or another decorative item like flowers) can stand up in the hole.

You can even give it away with a couple books. I’ve even turned mine upside down and used the hole for a slender taper candle holder. Depending on the size of your pot and its hole, you may have to carve out the bottom of the candle a bit though, to make it fit.

You can also use a little “sticky wax” that makes candles adhere to a surface. The sticky wax can be formed into a cup shape to better fit into the hole of the pot.

Holiday Pots

Painting clay pots is a perfect activity for just about any holiday or occasion. For example, a patriotic theme for the 4th of July, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Veteran’s Day, or any patriotic occasion.

The patriotic pot to the right was made very simply with star stencils and a little 3-D paint for the squiggles. (See more patriotic themed crafts on our Fun 4thof July Crafts page).

Just switch out colors and designs for any holiday or season… greens and red for Christmas with a wreath or tree design; or blue and white with snowflakes. You get the idea.

Fall and Halloween are excellent seasons for painting clay pots, especially since terra cotta is a natural orange color — one of the favorites for fall.

You really needn’t even paint a colored base coat first. Just paint your design directly onto the pot, as done with the fall sample above.

The Cattail Pot

First, a simple round circle in a gold acrylic paint becomes the harvest moon. When dry, paint in dark brown over that basic cattails: lines and slender ovals for the tops, and a few curved leaves. The tray just has a simple rim of square dots, the width of the paint brush, applied in a loose and whimsical way.

See more fall crafts for the elderly (and for any age!) at the link.

The Halloween pot above is just as easy. Again, paint a loose circle in gold acrylic for the harvest moon. Over that, just a couple bats in black. The rims on the top of the pot and on the base, have easy stripe and line designs that are loosely and un-exactly applied with the width of the brush. Then just fill it with foliage, or a thick pillar candle.

See more fun and easy Halloween crafts at the link. We also have a bat pattern on that page.

And how about this…
We found this spectacular garden sculpture made all out of a variety of clay pots. There were lengths of rope run through the centers of the pots, sometimes with knots along the way, to string many of them together.

Do you think you could tackle something like this? Maybe a group effort – even a smaller one. Very cool!

Clay Pot Characters

Clay pots now come in all sizes, including mini sizes just for crafts. You can use your imagination to assemble the various kinds into creatures, characters and dolls of all types.

The black mouse to the right is perched upon a wrapped piece of cheese. It’s made from a mini clay pot and Styrofoam ball that I first painted black, It’s tail is made from a shoelace (the plastic end easily pokes into the styro with a little glue too). The ears are of felt, and added to the face are googly eyes and candy (or bead) nose.

Also check out our book -  Easy Crafts and Gifts and find out about lots more easy yet quality craft ideas (including lots more about painting clay pots, and crafts with clay pots). Plus a booklet of FREE templates to use for your projects. Two books for one!


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Thinking up creative planter ideas is a really easy and fun activity for all ages and ability levels. Either indoors or out, doing planters is an excellent addition to your senior activities – and also can be done as a group project.

They make wonderful gifts and give-aways too, ways to show off heirlooms and vintage items, or can be used in easy craft ideas including for party decoration and centerpieces.

There are easy enough options that are also suitable for elderly activities in which some may need more help.

Easy Planter Ideas

Painting a barrel with designs in acrylics (and then a few coats of outdoor grade sealant), makes an excellent project for the garden area. The empty barrel was first put on top of the project table and then painted. This is a perfect activity for using stencils of patterns too, unless you or your group are good at making your designs free-hand.

If you need some design ideas, see our free template patterns for flowers, leaves, animals, etc. Start out at the flower templates page.

Fun planters are an excellent way to recycle things you may already have around, or things you find at a thrift shop. Perhaps you have a great old hat, a fancy handbag, an antique vase, jar or pot. Even an old boot, shoe or colorful rain boot.

The leather of the boot we show has a pattern stenciled in acrylic paint of ivy and stars.

Using old-fashioned high-button shoes or fancy evening shoes is fabulous too. On this page we show some examples of unique planter ideas. Then see what you can come up with yourself.

Plants

Anything involving working with plants make very popular elderly activities. You can plant the seeds from scratch and watch them grow, putting them into their fancy planter when ready. Or go down to the local nursery and pick something up that already well on its way. Perhaps try something flowering, or even edible that can be used later in cooking and salads.

Another option is putting plant cuttings into a jar of water, which goes into your decorative planter item while they’re rooting. (And after they’ve been planted in soil later). I happen to love to root plant cuttings in jars of water.

In fact, I had some philodendron cuttings in the same jars of water for over four years! They just never died. They actually did far better in their water jars than when planted. Philodendrons are perfect for people who have no green thumb. They’re practically impossible to kill.

And if you really have no green thumb, these planter ideas also work well with artificial plants (and of course they’re much easier to take care of).

Preparing The Planter

We always first line a nice item with a plastic bag to protect it. Then inside of that we put a plastic container or pot with its plant. It’s best to have a pot with a hole, and with a drainage tray underneath it on the bottom, if possible. And depending on your container too.

Otherwise, line your container with a layer of gravel or pebbles first, to help drain excess water.

When you water the plants in fancy containers, just put in a little water at a time, let it absorb, then add a little more. This will help alleviate over-watering and possible spillage.

If you have a very tall “planter” and your pot with plant seems too short to work, you can first insert an upside down plastic container to use as a stand to elevate it. And at the top you can always add a little moss for a more finished look.

So if you or your loved one has a charming hat, shoe or vintage item or two that are just sitting around collecting dust, consider turning them into creative planter ideas.

They make wonderful keepsakes and gifts. I happen to think all kinds of hats (new or old) make fantastic planters. Just turn them upside down and put in your plant. Got an old top hat, military hat or an old costume? Some will make great party centerpieces.

Other very easy planter ideas involve using decorative tin cans, especially the vintage sort. You can often find them at garage sales and thrift stores. Or those in your group may already have something to use. These are very suitable for either indoors or out.

To enhance an outdoor area with something unique, just take a look around you and see what types of old items may be sitting around ready to be re-purposed…

Like an old bathtub (see below) or bicycle. The more character, the better. You can also paint the outside of an old tub with paints from the craft store suitable for porcelain, then a few coats of waterproof sealant to protect your designs.

If you like the traditional clay pot look, and are like to paint, see our page on painting clay pots – we do include some very easy examples.

Pumpkins and gourds are also very fun when in season (especially late summer of fall). Just hollow them out an insert a container with a plant, real flowers, artificial flowers, or holiday decor. They  make excellent centerpieces!

Also see:

Fancy Purse Planter — See one of our reader’s idea on how to turn a fancy old purse into a fabulous planter.
Outdoor Elderly Activities — Some of the outdoor activities can be done throughout the year. And also be moved indoors for more options. (Likewise, many of our indoor activities can be moved outside!)
Easy Make A Gift Basket Ideas — It’s easy to make a gift basket, and a very satisfying project. See many possibilities, whether making money or helping others.

to Elderly Activities

dried apple wreath craft

These apple wreaths are easy apple craft ideas and fun to make simply because of the aroma! They smell like baking apple pie, with many of the same ingredients and spices. They make easy and very popular senior activity ideas.

Apple wreaths are an old tradition dating back at least a couple hundred years. Apples were easy to dry and preserve, and made an excellent means of decorating back in the “olden days.” Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg were used when available.

Today apples are plentiful in stores all year round, so these wreaths are fun to make anytime – parties, holiday decorations for fall, Christmas, winter, variations for Valentine’s day, and also the Fourth of July. Use your imagination and see which ways you can decorate apple wreaths for any occasion.

These wreaths can be used for many seasons and occasions, so decide on yours, and then decide on your color scheme for ribbon and any other decorations.

I used Christmas holiday wired ribbon on this example, but make them for any holiday or party centerpiece. Experiment with different candle holders, even candelabras. Or use our apple candle idea on our easy apple craft page.

Apple Wreaths

These wreaths are easy apple craft ideas and fun to make simply because of the aroma! It smells like baking apple pie, with many of the same ingredients and spices.

If you are not able to make the apple slices “from scratch,” you can always buy dried apple slices at the store. Just sprinkle them with the spices below and microwave for a minute or so. You’ll get lots of aroma that way too!

The final wreaths can be used in many ways. I show the samples here as hanging, and as a candle wreath.

You need:

Bottle of lemon juice
2 tsp salt
About 10 apples
2 tsp Allspice
2 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Cloves
6 – 7 tsp Cinnamon
Other items for wreath: cranberries, chunks of sugared ginger, pinecones, etc.
10” to 12” of florist wire
1 yard of ribbon of your choice

apple wreath craft centerpiece

Pour the lemon juice in a mixing bowl and stir in the salt. Peel and core the apples. Then cut them into thin circular slices.

Soak them in the lemon juice and salt for about 10 minutes. Make sure all sides are covered; you may have to mix them around in the bowl after a few minutes. Then remove and pat dry with a paper towel.

Stir together all the spices in another bowl. Coat the apple slices with the spice mix on both sides.

Spread apples thinly on a cookie sheet. Bake at 150 F degrees for 6 to 7 hours, until dried. They will still be slightly soft. Remove from the oven and cool.

You can either fold each slice in half; or again into quarters, depending on the look you want. I folded mine in halves. (I also used some commercial “white” dried apples from the grocery store, for contrast, since homemade dried apples are more brownish in color).

See how many ways you can use the apple wreaths for decorations. I also simply hang mine on the wall. Changing out the style and color of the ribbon can make it suitable for a variety of occasions.

Read about these projects:

Whimsical Granny Apple Doll — The apple doll is a traditional folk apple craft dating back over a hundred years. And we have some really fun ideas. And easy to make, using things from home; plus imagination!
Apple Valentine Centerpiece — And this is not just for Valentine’s Day! This apple centerpiece includes a very unique hand-painted apple that’s easy to make! And the flameless candle adds sparkle. Learn how to create this special craft.
Apple Fruit Kabob Tower — This towering apple, strawberry and fruit kabob is both a craft and a food project! Strawberries are a versatile fruit to use for any occasion, so you can decorate this kabob for lots of holidays and parties.
Gourd Craft Ideas – Gifts, Ghouls & Grannies — Gourd craft ideas are fun all year round and make great fall craft projects. These whimsical characters are really easy and fast to make. Great for all ages, both elderly and kids!
Gone Fishing Party Activities — Check out our food ideas and fish party activities and crafts to make for a fun theme-based party – all about fishing! Lots of senior activity ideas. Bad weather? Take it indoors and have a Gone-Fishing party any time of year!

painted apple doll craft

Also check out Easy Crafts and Gifts You Can Make, and find out about our two-for-one craft books, with lots more easy yet quality craft ideas for many seasons, reasons, ages and ability levels; including a booklet of FREE templates you can use for a variety of projects.

Go to: Really Easy Apple Craft Ideas

Nowadays how to make ice cream is very easy, because there are excellent electric automatic ice cream makers out there. You put in little or no effort – no salt or ice needed. The work is done by electricity or a cranking paddle, and a special freezer bowl that you pre-freeze in the freezer before starting (this takes several hours).

And with the right recipes, ice cream can be a healthy dessert almost anyone can indulge in, even those who have dietary issues that restrict sugar or fat.

On this page we’ll be giving some from-scratch recipes on how to make ice cream with an ice cream maker. Making and eating ice cream can be delicious senior activities. See how it might fit in with your group. (Ice cream can add pizzazz to Valentines Day desserts too, and other holidays).

But you can also buy your favorite ice cream, especially if you need to use a certain kind, and then enhance it with the recipes below. You can turn any standard vanilla ice cream into something very special!

My Dad was a pro at how to make ice cream – he always made his own homemade, even when he was in his 90s. He used a Donvier ice cream maker. He had to turn the crank himself, but other brands such as Cuisinart make an all-electric model. It makes about a quart of ice cream.

Here are some of Dad’s recipes. They’re easy healthy recipes, and you can always use your imagination and tweak them yourself! You can use milk instead of cream, but keep in mind that it won’t be quite as “creamy.” Still very good, though.

How To Make Ice Cream

Basic Honey Ice Cream

I’m partial to cooking with honey and pure maple syrup. So this recipe is great with either as a sweetener.

1 cup chilled whole milk
2 cups chilled heavy cream
3/4 cups honey
2 tsp vanilla

Blend the ingredients together well. Then just pour into your ice cream machine, according to the directions of the machine. When it has gone through its mixing cycle, then freeze the ice cream in a plastic container. You can add all kinds of flavorings to this basic recipe, including chocolate pieces and syrup, fruit, nuts, etc. Cut down on the vanilla when adding flavorings.

Basic Ice Cream Recipe – With Eggs

This recipe makes a about quart. To make a about pint, cut the ingredients in half. This is a traditional recipe when folks learned how to make ice cream the old-fashioned way, with eggs. So you would have to make sure the eggs you used are pasteurized or safe. But the recipe is exceptionally rich and delicious.

6 eggs
1 ½ cup honey
3 pints of cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt

Add ingredients into the ice cream maker and freeze according to the instructions on how to make ice cream for your individual model.
The recipes below are made with a pint of ice cream.
Follow the instructions for your ice cream maker about when to add in chopped fruit and nuts in the mixing and freezing process. Or soften your already made ice cream and add in the ingredients.

Apple Ice Cream

Use the above basic recipe (but scaled to one pint), or softened already made ice cream. Also add in:
Substitute ½ of the cups of honey with apple juice
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ cup chopped walnuts

If you’re using softened already made ice cream, do not over mix when you add these in. Then re-freeze and it’s ready to serve.

Pina Colada Ice Cream

Add into your basic ice cream recipe (one pint), or mix into softened already made:
1 cup of juice-packed crushed pineapple (just slightly drain off some juice)
1 cup grated, unsweetened coconut
Taste the mixture before freezing. You can always increase amounts of ingredients if you want more of a particular flavor. Mix together and freeze well.

Lemon Custard Ice Cream

Add into your basic ice cream recipe (one pint), or mix into softened already made, according the the following process:
¼ cup honey
½ cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons more of lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons finely minced lemon peel

In a pan on the stove top, heat the honey and ½ cup lemon juice to boiling. Separately, mix together well the 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice and cornstarch. Then add in to the boiling mixture. Remove from heat. Add the lemon peel. Cool the mixture quickly by setting the pan over a bowl of ice. Then stir into the ice cream and freeze. Or re-freeze if you’re using already made.

Peach and Honey Ice Cream

Add into your basic ice cream recipe (one pint), or mix into softened already made:
2 cups of peeled, diced peaches (frozen or canned is fine)
½ teaspoon almond extract

Mix into the ice cream recipe, or softened ice cream. When frozen, top with ripe, peeled peaches mashed, and flavored with honey or maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon.

Fresh Strawberry

Add into your basic ice cream recipe (one pint), or mix into softened already made:
2 cups fresh, chopped strawberries
½ teaspoon almond extract

Mix into the ice cream recipe, or softened ice cream. When frozen, top with chocolate or strawberry sauce and more fresh strawberries.

Learning how to make ice cream the easy way makes really fun elderly activities. And almost anyone can eat the results. Just plan it a little ahead of time if you’re using an electric ice cream maker, so it will be ready. It’s worth the effort and the wait! And the sky is the limit with what you can do to dress up ice cream.

After you learn how to make ice cream…
also be sure to see:

Fresh Strawberry Desserts — Our fresh strawberry desserts are festive enough for special holidays and parties, and can be made any time of the year. From pie, to a hollowed apple bowl with berries, to a towering kabob, they’re delicious!
Raved-About Easy Pecan Pie — This is an old family recipe that has been around for over 50 years, and is very unique (with a surprise sweetener). It’s always raved about, and people say it’s the best they’ve ever had. And easy! Just takes a few minutes to prepare — and a is a true no-brainer!
All-Natural Easy Brownie Recipe — This all natural easy brownie recipe is also nutritious for you! As you may know, dark chocolate is high in anti-oxidants, so why not take advantage and use chocolate in a healthy dessert? Learn our special recipe here.

to Healthy Dessert Recipes