A Makerspace for Senior Residents

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makerspaceWe’ve been talking to many of our customers about creating Makerspaces in the classroom, library, after school, or even in community offerings like museums and recreation facilities – but what about our older population? What about a makerspace or a “tinkerspace” in a nursing home or assisted living community?

The common theme of a makerspace, no matter where it is or who the audience is, is that it fulfills the desire that we as people have – to MAKE. Whether you are into making “things” in general or gardening, cooking, art, or stories, everyone loves to create in their own way.

Quality of Life Benefits from a Makerspace for Seniors

The feeling of accomplishment in and of itself is a self-esteem lifter. Trying something new can life the confidence of anyone and brighten their day. Give them something to share with loved ones or friends in their community. It can also inspire some to try dabbling in a hobby they have never experienced before.

We hear from so many customers and activity directors, “What kind of activities do you have for senior men?” A MAKERSPACE IS THE PERFECT SOLUTION!  You can even have them vote or express interest in specific activities – building, gardening, cooking, music, etc.

This all sounds great right? So where can you start? We’ve gathered up some ideas to get you started on creating a makerspace in your nursing home. For other ideas, makerspace products, and tips on makerspaces, head to our Makerspace Headquarters.  

If there is something you are looking to start for Makerspace and you would like for us to help you with ideas, please contact [email protected] and we will be happy to put some activities and lists together!

Ideas for your Makerspace for Senior Residents

 

1. Build a candy dispenser or bingo ball dispenser. Who doesn’t love candy and bingo? There are so many options for this. You can provide Legos and include an example of one built like the one below from Frugal Fun for Boys for inspiration. Have a real gum ball machine or your bingo cage there for inspiration. You can also include a bunch of different manipulatives and building tools so that the maker can choose. We’ve included some items below as examples.

TIP: To get additional participants, if you choose to do bingo, have another area where someone who is more into “art” can create bingo cards, or design a new fun bingo-like game with the bingo balls.

makerspace for senior residents


Items to include in your Makerspace for Building:

 

2. Design a hole for a mini golf course. Depending on the space available, you can have makers build the design for this in a miniature version, or you can actually allow them the space to design a hole where they can they play it. Another idea is to have them create a golf obstacle course, which could combine mini golf and croquet or even design their own game using ideas from some resident favorites. That’s the fun in Makerspace. It’s about making!

 

makerspace for senior residents

Photo source: FLICKR

Items to include in your Makerspace for Active Games:

 

3. Make a Bird Feeder. There are probably hundreds of ways to make a bird feeder. You can use craft sticks like the below example from Pinterest, make a wooden house like our wooden bird house crafts, or even use a mason jar to make it a butterfly feeder like the example below from Bright Nest. Residents will love to create their feeders and then watch to see if the birds use them. You could even offer our unassembled bird house kits as an option for participants that may not be ready to dive in to making their own.

 

makerspace activitiesmakerspace seniors

Items to include in your Makerspace for Bird or Butterfly Feeders & Catchers:

 

 Tell us your favorite Makerspace for senior residents!
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