Being crafty isn’t just fun, it’s good for your health overall.
Crafting improves cognitive function, motor skills, reduces stress and blood pressure while lowering anxiety. It helps strengthen the dexterity of the hands and fingers, aids in hand/eye coordination, activate the creative part of your brain, and can help ease the symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and even dementia by getting those neurons to fire!
It can also be a cognitive training exercise because it involves structured activities designed to enhance memory, reasoning, and speed of processing.
Older adults who learned quilting or digital photography had more memory improvement than those who only socialized or did less cognitively demanding activities, according to one study.
Scientists think activities like crafting, help and protect the brain by establishing a “cognitive reserve” that helps the brain adapt and compensate for age-related changes.
A study of nearly 2,000 cognitively normal adults 70 and older found that participating in games, crafts, computer use, and social activities for about four years was associated with a lower risk of MCI.
Crafting is easy-you probably have all the supplies you need for a few simple crafts laying around the house. Things like old buttons, clothespins, cans, even t-shirts you can’t let go of? Now you can make them into some beautiful decorations and re-purpose those items without waste!
DIY Egg Carton Succulents – You probably have eggs in your fridge. Use the carton to make a simple decoration. Recycle, and have fun doing it.
Jar Cookie Mixes – This is an activity that is great to do with children because it can be used to hand down a cherished recipe or before an event because they make great favors.
Scrapbooking – We all have boxes of family photos in the closet. Gather them up and organize them into scrapbooks. Write This a great multi-generational project.
Easy Clothespin Container – This can be put together in just a few minutes, and you can make multiples to hold just about anything you want. Order some different styles of flowers and make several of them to put around your home.
Make a Centerpiece – Using a wicker basket or a pretty bowl, look around the house or outdoors for items that can be put together to form a centerpiece. Ideas include flowers for the spring (real or silk), pinecones and pretty leaves for fall or extra ornaments and pretty ribbon for Christmas.
Cupcake Liner Wreath – For this one, you’ll probably have to order a Styrofoam wreath ring if you don’t have one already, but the final product is cute, simple, and makes a really excellent decoration!
Memory Quilt – All those old t-shirts, sentimental tablecloths or any other important pieces of fabric can be sewn together to form a quilt that will be cherished for generations.
Button Tray – Do you have a bunch of buttons from old projects or clothes that you never used? Gather them all up and give this craft a shot. The more colorful, the better, so don’t be worried if all your buttons are different from one another.
Birdhouse or Bird Feeder – While not everyone is handy enough to build a birdhouse of bird feeder from scratch, one can easily be purchased from a craft store and decorated at home with paint. Once hung outside, it can be watched for new residents to enjoy and move in.
Vintage Tin Can Vases – Give your flowers a little character, and reuse cans. This can also be done with mason jars.
Any craft or hobby that gets the creative ideas flowing is good both physically and mentally.