Activity kits that are simple enough for children but that dignify adults
Looking for a craft activity that is suitable for adults but is yet so simple that even someone with profound disabilities can be involved?
I’m Susan I used to run a craft group for people with learning disabilities who had had other limitations including visual impairment and issues with manual dexterity. Few of them spoke more than a few words if they spoke at all. Many of them came in wheelchairs. Yet my friend and I came up with all sorts of activities that they could do.
What comes after that craft group?
Like many other things that craft group disappeared once all this social distancing malarkey became a part of our everyday life. One day I was thinking about what could be done for people like that who were now trapped in their own homes for the foreseeable future. Would it possible to take some of the many activities we did and package them up into kits?
The strange thing was that it was not very long before a Facebook ad or two made me realise that this was a real possibility. The one that really sparked my thinking was from someone who cut out wooden shapes for crafters. I could create kits that used these wooden shapes instead of our beloved cookie cutters. The idea for Heavenly Crafts activity paeks was born.
Cookie cutters were one of our favourite tools
They were not just used to shape salt dough they were a drawing tool as well. They were brilliant for encouraging teamwork. Even the least able could be involved as long as they could be persuaded to hold the cookie cutter in place long enough for a more able person to draw around it.
What did we make with these shapes once a responsible person had cut them out? We used them to make pictures, greetings cards, even fridge magnets and broaches. We did not just use them with paper. We used them with shrink plastic as well.
We were able to make the shrink plastic into quite an experience for them because we used a halogen cooker to shrink it. Cooking things in a halogen cooker is rather like cooking stuff in a goldfish bowl. You can watch the plastic shrinking. It takes a bit of nerve as sometimes the shrink plastic flies around a bit and you have to carefully reposition it without burning your fingers but you can see it shrinking. Just thinking about this brings back a lot of happy memories.
Are these kits for you?
The Heavenly Crafts kits are put together so that you as the carer of someone with special needs can also have happy memories of creating things together. Instead of going around collecting all the things that you need for an activity you just order the kit. I have also spent some time checking and testing the shapes because not all of these wooden pieces are easy to draw around. I got some as samples thinking they would be easy to use but when I tested them they just were not suitable to include in a kit as they were so hard to draw around. This means that you can order a kit with confidence that it will work. In other words, the hard work has been done for you so you can just enjoy your time together.
Maybe you are a lot more able than the people who came to that craft group and can count your blessings because you can actually read this text. Could a kit like this be useful for you as well? It depends. These kits are designed to be used by a team where one is more able than another. They are also very simple so a sick child could use them with mum dad or an older sibling. Or your spouse could have had a stroke and you are looking for something creative that you can do together.
Why these kits?
We had a number of guiding principles when choosing activities. One was could they use what they were making. Another was how can we make sure our activities as safe as possible. Greetings cards whether for Christmas, birthday or even to say thank you definitely fall into the useful category. Not far behind them in usefulness are fridge magnets and brooches that can be given away as small gifts. In terms of safety that is why we use plywood rather than MDF. Not only that but plywood resists chewing better than MDF.
Sound interesting? Have a look around the different activity kits we offer.
- Birthday cards
- Valentine cards
- Other cards
- Broaches for ladies and badges for men (coming soon)
There are other ideas in the testing phase so watch this space.
More about Susan
She loves writing and sharing the things that she has learnt. If you want to really get to know her, read her books as they include a number of stories from her own life. Her books include
- Heavenly Crafts (of course)
- Find your Purpose Love your Life (help for those who want to rebuild their lives)
- Faithful Ladies CAN Transform Society (this starts with a study of Proverbs 31 and then looks with some practical ideas on how to change the world)
- The Manifesto that is NOT for Wimps (building the Kingdom of God but not church as we know it)