Tag: senior activity ideas
senior activity ideas
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
Making nice things, like a lavender pillow, that can be used, or given as gifts are favorite senior activities. And this also makes a great craft for the elderly who may have some limitations too, with a little extra help.
A pillow filled with lavender is a popular aromatherapy project, and really easy to make. Plus, working with the lavender smells wonderful!
This project does take a little sewing, so some elderly may need a little help. But along with fabric glue, you can sew by hand if you’d like. (Using fabric glue, too, ensures that the seams will be tight so the flax seeds do not seep out).
Use small pillows for drawers as a sachet, or put them over your eyes for soothing relaxation, or lay one next to your pillow at night or when napping. Larger pillows are great for warming hands and your lap, or holding against your chest. For those who have issues pertaining to sleep, relaxation or warmth, a lavender pillow is very comforting.You can also chill them, to use when you need to cool off.
These are one of our favorite easy craft ideas, and also great gifts. Decorate it with artificial flowers, and/or sew or tie a little ribbon around it, then slip into a gift bag.
(If you are going to use these warmed up, I recommend testing artificial flowers and ribbon in a microwave first, to make sure they won’t get ruined. You want something sturdy enough, not too delicate, and nothing with metal, such as wiring).
If you are looking for elderly activities for older seniors, these are fun to make for those who have finger dexterity.
You Will Need:
- A piece of strong fabric (cotton print, light terry cloth, and flannel are favorites). Cut it twice the size that you want your pouch to be.
- Flax seed in bulk (health food store) – to fill the size of your pillow.
- Lavender oil (more aromatic) – buy at health food stores. A bottle can cost $8 to $12 but goes a long ways. NOTE: Make sure you are not allergic.
- Dried lavender — buy it in a bag at a craft store or sometimes farmer’s market. (Use both the lavender oil and dried lavender for maximum aroma in your lavender pillow).
To Make the Lavender Pillow:
- Turn the fabric inside out.
- Sew tightly around all sides, leaving one side open, to make a pouch. Or you can use both fabric glue, plus stitching to make it extra tight. (This is the best way).
- Turn the pouch right side out.
Mix together in a bowl:
- Flax seeds, dried lavender.
- Sprinkle several drops of lavender oil in various places. Mix everything together well.
- Pour the flax seed mixture into the pouch so it is only about three-fourths full. This allows the pouch to be flexible during use.
- Then sew up the open end of the pillow (or ideally, use fabric glue plus stitching).
You can heat the pillows in the microwave. Test the time frame for your pillow size, by setting the timer for 30-second, then 15-second intervals, until you arrive at the amount of minutes you need. The pillow should be warm but not hot — very cozy on a chilly day.
They can also be put in the freezer for cooling off! Also see more activities for those who may have limitations, on our page for Elderly Activities.
Also check out:
Easy Crafts and Gifts You Can Make, and find out about lots more easy yet quality craft ideas for many seasons, reasons, ages and ability levels; plus free templates you can use for a variety of projects.