Current Activities in Longterm Care
Kate Lynch, Editor
www.activities4elders.com/
KATE LYNCH
Current Activities
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Clay Flowers for Someone Special    
               
Up to five persons

Research has shown that working with clay helps promote independence in activities of daily
life in elderly persons with mental disabilities.

Here is a simple clay modeling activity that gives participants an opportunity to honor with a
special gift someone who has particular significance in their life.

  • Therapeutic Benefits
  • Enhances fine motor skills.
  • Improves hand-eye coordination.
  • Promotes relaxation.
  • Improves concentration.

What You Need

  • Self-hardening, non-toxic clay.
  • Modeling tools.
  • Flower-shaped cookie cutters.
  • Tempera paints.
  • Brushes.
  • Ribbon.
  • Wrapping paper.
  • Note: If flower-shaped cookie cutters are not available, participants can use a big round
    cutter for what will be the central part of the flower, and a small round cutter for the
    petals.

What to Do

  1. Break the clay dough into as many pieces as participants, and distribute them among
    the elders.
  2. Encourage participants to work their small dough until soft, and to roll it flat to
    approximately half-inch thickness.
  3. Invite participants to cut their flower.
  4. Allow for the necessary time for the clay flowers to dry out, and have participants paint
    their gift.
  5. Next, invite the elders to use paper and ribbon to wrap their gifts.
  6. Variance: This activity can be modified into a Valentine-themed activity. Simply use
    heart-shaped cutters and red paint to prepare valentines, to be used on Valentine’s Day
    as a decoration for the tables of the dining room.
  • Tip: Depending on the clay drying time, it may be worthwhile to plan a further session
    during which participants paint the flowers.

For more activities such as this, check out Research-Based Person-Centered Therapeutic
Activities, by Lorena Tonarelli, M.Sc. Sold at
www.care4elders.com.

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