Empty Plastic Buckets For Planting
submitted by Jose Figueroa of Buffalo Psychiatric Center New
Beginnings Program on April 19, 2004
Size: 6 to 8
Equipment: Empty plastic containers 3 to 5 gallons
Creativity through imaginative art in decorating empty plastic
for the purpose of using
them for planting flowers, vegetables, etc. Increase self esteem
empty plastic containers. Remove lids. Wash them well. Drill
holes on the bottom of buckets.
With paint (spray paint, oil base paint or acrylics) use your imagination and
decorate them with hand painted pictures of favorite plant, flowers or vegetables.
Let dry. Seal them with clear spray paint for a shiny coat. Fill them up with
potting soil. Plant your favorite plant and watch them grow with love and tender
(Give participants ideas, but allow them to use their imagination) Works better
with participants with low self esteem. Give praise for job well done. If vegetables
are grown, allow participants to make salads. If flowers are grown, allow participants
to photograph them. Enjoy.
Submitted by Dee Maust of Beverly Healthcare on January 29, 2004
Equipment: Small scoops, potting soil, pots, planters, watering
cans, regular scissors or safety scissors, towels and patience.
Objective: To promote eye hand coordination, a sense of self
worth and relaxation.
Description: Before bringing residents into the room and before
activity program begins, bring any plants already growing into
the room and place them on tables for attractive visual. This
will be inviting to residents that are interested in gardening.
Give each person a plant to tend and an empty watering can.
Fill a large watering can with water if there is no access
to water in the activity room. Some may want to just water
the plants.(hint, for some people you may want to fill their
watering cans with just enough water to water one plant.) Some
people like to groom the plants with their scissors. Some residents
enjoy putting new cuttings in their new pot with potting soil.
Converse with residents about the different plants.
Last spring, we brought flowers from a local nursery. We put
long planters on two chairs with one end of planter on one
chair and the other end on the other chair. We had a large
opened bag of potting soil in a wheelbarrow to make it easy
for residents to scoop the dirt from the wheelbarrow into the
planter while sitting in their wheel chair. Some of the residents
planted Petunias, Geraniums, Marigolds etc...Some just liked
scooping the soil, watering or just touching. We have gardening
at least once a week in our facility and usually just groom
and take care of the plants we already have.
Submitted by Cathy La Prova of Providence
Adult Day Health Center on October 22, 2003
Equipment: White foam craft sheets, various fresh natural
materials (leaves, twigs, pinecones, etc.) and floral spray
paint (at least two different colors)
mats or Artwork with beautiful natural images
the person arrange his/her natural objects in a pleasing
pattern on a sheet of white foam craft material
(any size). Lay this sheet on the ground outside and spray
paint it, leaving the objects in place. When the objects are
removed, their images will remain in white. This creation could
be used as a place mat or hung on the wall as artwork.
Submitted by Tonia McCormick on May 30, 2002 at 02:43:20
cellophane gift wrap
Objective: sensory stimulation through sight touch and smell.
Residents enjoy this activity as it is achievable for those
with dementia, validating achievable skills.~ Promotes feelings
of enhanced self esteem and fun. Reminiscence by talking of
gardening and flowers~ prompted by discussions of events one
would receive flowers for~ etc.
Description: soak oasis block in water. Cut to smaller size
or leave whole. place ~ cellophane wrap on table with oasis
block in the centre...one for each resident. Arrange flowers
and foliage in oasis block. Draw cellophane up around block
and foliage/flowers tie with ribbon...top up with water as
required. We use curling ribbon as it gives a nice effect.
submitted by Sonia Taylor of Gentlefolks
Nursing Home, Pegwell ,Barbados on March 22, 2001
Equipment: Different types
of seeds - fruits, veggies or flowers, bowls. A diagram of a
plant,a bristol board, markers. Phase 4 - a garden spot, hoes
pick, gardening tools - good weather!
Objective: The objective
of this activity is to enhance awareness of the environment
around them through touch and sensation. Most patients enjoy
reminiscing about their gardens whether they planted flowers
or vegetables long ago. This activity also enables those with
Alzheimer's to recall past experiences through touch and smell.
Social impact was phenomenal!
Description: Gather your
group in a circle. What I did was prepare them beforehand with
an overview of "how plants grow" . I showed them a
diagram of a plant and asked questions about what makes plants
grow i.e. water, sunlight, manure, etc. and wrote it down. Then
I let them name the different parts of the plants root, stem,
leaves etc. Although this may be difficult for some to remember,
recall was fun.
I had collected different seeds
and one by one let everyone touch and describe the seeds, rough,
smooth, big, small, long etc. One resident kept saying"
only plant two seeds at a time, no more. So I made her my Chief
Phase two - the seeds were then
planted in small pots and watered by the residents every two
days. This encouraged responsibility as they had to nurture
the plants to later be replanted.
I found that even my Alzheimer's patients enjoyed getting outside
and staying active.
Phase Three - In about 7-10 weeks
( depending on growth of the plants) they were then transplanted
to a garden area. Now, I ended up doing most of the work, bending
over and planting but I had many "helpers". On another
day I encouraged my gardening club to gather in the afternoons
to sit and drink tea or lemonade and observe the plants in their
various stages of growth. Residents talked about the gardens
they kept long ago and were very happy to see their own accomplishments.
Phase Four - Pick and eat the
veggies. Make flower arrangements have a sale, make preserves
a nice salad!
Submitted by Nancy Hahn of Sidney
Square Care Center on Saturday, January 20, 2001
Equipment: 25 gallon bin,
growing medium, plants, small gardening tools, small watering
can, foam packing peanuts, a cart to move it on.
Objective: Gardening in
room or shared area allows an appreciation of nature, raises
self esteem through achievement, promotes fine motor skills,
and allows social interaction.
Description: Fill the bottom
of the bin with foam packing peanuts to about 6 inches. Cover
with growing medium leaving about 4 inches from the top empty.
Plant a variety of flowers and herbs your choice in bin (I prefer
edible or at least non toxic). This bin on a cart can sit in
a sunny window most days. It can be taken to the rooms of those
who are not mobile. It is nice to use in a small group of consumers.
The activity consists of watering, pinching of dead leaves,
pruning, picking flowers, sharing herbs grown with others, and
Flower and Branch Arrangements
by Jorge Goldfarb of Regional Nursing Home, BrorHailon December
Equipment: flat plastic
potting pots;any firm granulated material;small secateurs;small
branches and flowers, long lasting (about 10 days)
Objective: Expected to
be a creative recreational activity. Opportunity for the
to apply composition in order to make an (aesthetically) pleasing
arrangement. To add in connecting the person with the world
Description: Members of
the group are elderly disabled persons.
Each one is offered 3 or 4 pots
(hard plastic, about 10 cm. diam, 5cm.height) filled with
wet granulated material. (I use crushed volcanic rock because
of its low bulk density, but very small pebbles mixed with
sand are also suitable). They are also given small branches
and flowers, previously cut to suitable size and with 2-3
of the basis peeled off from leaves. The idea is to make insertion
of the plant material into the media as easy as possible.At
the first meeting the persons are induced to do as they please;
the attendants do not give any hints of what is "correct"
or aesthetic.The arrangements are set in a display in the dining
room, with name labels;the people is requested to water lightly
their arrangements every two days,mostly as a "keep in touch"
procedure; it's important to select branches and flowers which
do not wilt fast and can stand at least a weak in good condition
for at least 10 days(central heating accelerates wilting).
At the second meeting, after
a week, more plant material is offered so as to replace what
look good. Also some gentle hints are given about rules of
composition, but only if people ask for it (most of them
don't). In a third
meeting more interesting or peculiar containers are supplied,
but always small containers because people in the group have
difficulty in handling larger vases and long stemmed branches
and flowers. After the fourth meeting, we move to garden
and mini landscapes. (These will be reported in another communication).
I am very interested to share
experiences with others doing similar activities. Please feel
to ask for techniques and tips and more detailed reactions
of the group members. I am also exploring a theoretical framework
of the interaction between the person and his creation. (Jorge
Goldfarb at jorgeg*brorhail.org.il)
Adopt a Spot
Lorice Smith on Wednesday, February
Size: 6 to 8
Equipment: Garden shovel,
plants or bulbs and patience
Objective: To improve social
skills, allow clients to have an opportunity to take care and
nurture. Promotes simple physical movement
Gather 6 to 8 consumers who enjoy the great outdoors. Supply
bulbs or plants, fertilizer, garden shovel and start working.
When the activity is done, allow consumers the opportunity
discuss what they enjoyed about the activity. We call this
act: Adopt a Spot and keep it beautiful all year long. Plant
in the summer and offer them to friends and also make a nice
salad. We did this last year at the our facility and the
immensely enjoyed this activity
Adapted Gardening Program
by Kelly Gadowski of Hillview Healthcare Center
gardening shovel, rich soil, 12" pot in width and a 10"
pot in width (and deep enough to plant flowers and roots to
grow), interested residents in gardening, watering can, table
and chairs outdoors.
Gardening enhances residents eye hand coordination. Increases
their awareness of their surroundings, gives them a change of
environment to be outdoors in the fresh air. Gardening also
gives them great sense of self-esteem, seeing progress in the
growth of their garden! Description: This program is currently
going on at my facility with students from a nearby University.
Pre-OT students that need to do volunteer work to enter the
program are running the gardening program three days a week
to ensure proper growth and care of the plants that would be
difficult for staff to keep up with. First day: volunteers came
to dig holes in the ground of our rock landscaping big enough
to fit the 12" pots (there are 12 total) nice and snug
and stationary so that it will NOT come out! The 10"(12
of them also) pots are then filled with soil and put inside
the 12" ones.
The reasoning behind
this is so residents can wheel up to a short table or chair,
the volunteer grabs the pot out of the ground and brings it
to the resident to prune and water and when finished, it can
be easily propped back into the ground . The residents planted
them the first week and then prune and water the weeks after.
After they are finished they discuss what their flower gardens
! held, how they took care of them and so forth. Each volunteer
was paired up with 4 residents. This was in case a resident
wasn't feeling up to joining in the group we still had back
up participants. The volunteers run this program on their own.
One comes in on Monday to water, two on Wed (they do a big group)
and one on Friday! The residents have great comments. The left
over flowers were planted in tiny pots for resident rooms. We
used Petunias: that seemed to be the most popular flower among
residents and the pots were donated by a local nursery! GOOD
LUCK! HAPPY GARDENING!
Pine Cone Bird Feeder Ornaments
Submitted by Becky Neeley
Pine cones; sturdy string; plastic knives; peanut butter;
decorating sprinkles (Editors note: use bird seed instead as
sprinkles have no nutritional value for bird).
For participants to experience creativity and utilize fine motor
Distribute peanut butter on pine cone, then sprinkle with
decors (Editors Note: use bird seed instead), such as sugar
or confetti sprinkles. Attach string to pine cone, then assist
for the birds to enjoy! This activity is fun for any population,
but can be especially valuable when working with Alzheimer's
patients; they are sometimes prone to put non-edible things
in their mouths, but this activity is safe for them in that
aspect. If this activity is used for a more cognizant group,
the ornaments may be made for use on a Christmas tree by
using glue, glitter, sequins, etc.