crafts, and activities
and other things to do
for Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter,
"When a habit
begins to cost money, it's called a
"They say a
hobby can help develop a positive attitude. A positive
attitude may not solve all of my problems, but it WILL annoy
enough people to make it worth the effort!" ~
Home Page is
where it's happening - FRESH EVERY DAY
Note: Additional hobbies and
activities on the
entries added at the end.
Tell us about YOUR hobbies:
Seniors, Senior Citizens, those noisy
Boomers, and concerned caregivers, have submitted the following tips as
ideas for enriching our lives with an exciting hobby.
Tell us about your hobbies
RECIPES Do you enjoy recipes? Cooking? Organizing? Our
site has a recipes section, and we need
a volunteer who would enjoy working with it as a hobby. Provide great
ideas for and from other seniors. You may meet some interesting people.
Might even be more fun than basket weaving! A hobby, and service too!
Email Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Get involved in your family's
ancestry or genealogy. Here is a great article explaining why it is
fun, and how to get started.
Back to Basics: Beginners' Questions Answered
FAUX STAINED GLASS I have found pleasure as a senior in
faux stained glass windows.
Everything I know I learned online last year by reading and looking at
pictures. I did some for the windows in my home. I have framed some as
gifts for family and friends. There are some patterns you can copy or
download online, or make your own.
you need to know you can learn online by searching for "faux stained
glass". Supplies are available at WalMart and other stores. Have your
local hardware store cut glass to the exact size you need. This is really
fun and satisfying when you see the beautiful finished product. Here is an
presentation on the subject. And a couple
other sites picked at random:
Faux Stained Glass Supplies, Go to Google Search Page (www.google.com),
click "images" then search for faux stained glass and you will get
hundreds of pictures. I have made many patterns and have pictures of
windows I have made this year. If you need patterns or want pictures email
Bob at email@example.com. The
window to the left is one of my projects. It is about 20 x 14. I hang them
on the front porch to check for gaps or other flaws in the light. Click on
it to see a larger picture. This is easy to do, and the results are
dramatic. I have really enjoyed this. Be very careful with the glass. The
edges can be sharp. Use masking tape on the edges if you are concerned. If
you frame it first, the edges are no problem, but it is a bit harder to
create the scene.
Also have a look at:
For discussion on stained glass you are welcomed at
StainedGlassville stained glass message boards
Go buy 5 canvases (16"
x 20" is a good size) , some acrylic paints, a set of painting brushes, a
pencil. Available in the east at Big Lots, Ollies, WalMart. This is not
expensive. Draw or copy something on the canvas with your pencil, and
paint it. If you hate all
5, throw them
away and buy 5 more. I had foot surgery last year and had
never painted a picture in my life. I needed activities while recovering.
I have painted about 20 pictures, including some that my grandchildren
love. A few of them are pretty good, and I felt creative and it made my
recovery more pleasant. It sure beat sitting through the winter feeling
sorry for myself. (click picture to enlarge and read)
Reader-- j. fred whatzizname
---(bet it's not his real name) suggests covering the old painting
with Gesso instead of discarding one that you do not like. Gesso is a
primer that is used on a new canvas to make the surface ready to paint. It
also will cover an unwanted painting so the canvas can be used again.
Get Your Free 2006 Myrtle Beach
Golf Vacation eBook
Golf for Beginners
FAQ - Questions Asked by Golf Beginners
Golf Tips |
Golf for Beginners
Introducing Golf to Beginners- A Three-Day Lesson Plan
SEARCH HGTV Go to
HGTV (home and garden tv)
and search for any home or garden
or hobby project you can imagine.
6. DO YOU KNOW
THAT YOU CAN ACCESS
thousands, (maybe millions) of
pictures on any subject you can imagine. Go to
www.google.com and click on "images"
above the little search box. Then type in whatever you want. Fun huh?
DOWNLOAD FUN ON COMPUTER You
can download music, software, pictures, documents and videos from
other users on the web. You will need to plug into a service like
Limewire. Search in Google
for something like "free music downloads" or something like that. Pick a
service to download and install on your computer so you can search for
music etc. I use Kazaa Lite. The version I have is free, and there are NO
ads. CAUTION :
Some online users, for some reason or another, like to plant
viruses, or worms, or some other
nasty sounding stuff in the things you download. These things can
cause disruptions in your computer. So you download these things at your
own risk. I have never, to my knowledge, gotten an invader from
downloading music, but I have from software. If you download,
make absolutely sure your
anti-virus program and firewall
are up-to-date. And if they
sound an alarm, stop that download immediately. Also understand that
copyright laws apply to some things you might want to download, so another
caution must be raised on this issue. I have found songs I haven't
heard in YEARS and have downloaded them. I searched a long time for "He
Keeps His Eye on the Sparrow" by Ethel Waters. I heard her sing it in
Washington over 40 years ago, and have wanted it ever since. I found it,
and I have it.
8. BUY A
an important matter if you
are a loved one of a senior, or if you are a senior citizen reading Senior
ARK on someone else's computer: BUY A COMPUTER, BUY
A COMPUTER, BUY A COMPUTER, BUY A COMPUTER, BUY A COMPUTER, BUY A
COMPUTER, BUY A COMPUTER, BUY A COMPUTER, BUY A COMPUTER,
BUY A COMPUTER, BUY A
COMPUTER, BUY A COMPUTER, BUY A COMPUTER
POINT MADE?????? A
Senior with a computer and very
minimal instruction can have a new and less lonely world unfold
before them. You can get and send email to family. Seniors can chat live
with children and grandchildren and friends. And get or send pictures to
those folks. Seniors can save money online through comparison shopping,
finding clearance sites, or saving on sales tax. (I just bought a set of
fireplace gas logs for less than half price and they were shipped to me
free from Home Depot Clearance Center) . Seniors can go to Lowes project
center, or look up phone numbers all over the country or the world. See
other cities anywhere in the world through live cameras.
Seniors can go to National Geographic, HGTV, the National
Weather Center, live radar pictures of your area, travel sites, TV
Guide, Get maps of anything anywhere. Listen to NASA. See pictures of all
the homes for sale in any area of the country, and some around the world.
Do crossword puzzles and more. Seniors can get daily news and health
updates. Access The National Institutes of Health and other valuable
medical sites. Read about prescription interactions. An active senior can
get plans for a rocking horse you want to build for your grandchildren, or
access every recipe known to woman (or man!!). Print any tax form. Make
new friends. Download and play music of all types. Go to an internet
library, your church website. Visit England County-by-County by picture.
And millions of more ideas for Senior enjoyment. Exercise the senior mind.
Keep it lubricated.
These examples have barely scratched the surface. The world is now at
Seniors' fingertips.. A computer can change your life-----at any age. A
Senior can buy a great computer system for under $400, including a
monitor, speakers, keyboard, mouse, and printer. Maybe even less after
I apologize to those who have read this on the home page of
Senior Ark, but I think it is so valuable that it
will justify reprinting here)
PS. I was recently in a nursing
home and saw bedridden patients in their 70's and 80's enjoying computers
IN THEIR ROOMS.
9. FIND A CRAFT
Many free. Site Includes many links.
LEARN MAGIC Learn
MODEL RAILROADS If you can't afford a real train,
learn a new hobby with
This gentleman brings the hobby alive.
Lance's Model Railways This is something even
today's grandchildren will get excited about. I'm going to build
one of the very small setups to run around my fireplace mantel.
Also check out these sites:
, and Railroads,
World of DCC. Read
Celebrity Model Railroading. (added 10-25-07)
A fun site for Seniors. An amazing record, with hundreds of
one-of-a-kind photos. Be amazed by this web scrapbook featuring 50
years of railfan photography, shared by a father and son, with
emphasis on lines and locomotives in the southeastern United
States. Welcome aboard
HOBBY WITH FABRICS Many of us use fabrics in a
variety of hobbies. This site says you can find any fabric
available, and on it's home page says: "Welcome to the world's
biggest Fabric and Textile Portal."
scrapbooking. Here are 50 sites with tips, instructions,
BUILD A WATER FEATURE This summer, let's build a
water feature in the yard.
The birds will love it, and you will love those wonderful sounds
of water falling, or if you choose, goldfish coming up for a
treat. It can be as simple or elaborate as you want.
CONTAINER GARDENING In any season it's time to
container gardening. Lowes has lots of ideas.
16. BUILD A WEBSITE
It is EASY and FREE and
FUN to build and have your own website hosted online. I
have built several personal sites with this service, and have
really enjoyed it. (If you want to see one that I have built go to
http://houseforsalepa.tripod.com . I made this site when I was
selling my home. It is now sold, and the site aided me in that
process. I have left the site online so I can go in to look at a
home we enjoyed very much.)
If you want to give it a try, go to this
Carnegie Mellon University Site at
Click on the little white "sign up" button after the word "LYCOS"
at the top of the open page. This will take you to another page,
where you want to go to the box marked "free". CLICK ON "SIGN UP"
AND GET GOING ON YOUR ADVENTURE.
There are help pages that you can click on, or if you get really
stuck you can email them for help.
GOLFWEB Check out
golfweb, home of the PGA Tour.
SENIORARK "FOR FUN PAGE"
free online crossword puzzles.
And much more.
page and click one
about folk art. (Get past the sponsored links)
20. GO FOR THE BIRDS
If you are into birds, the ones with feathers---on wings---in
trees, here are some great links:
Birding on the Web,
Electronic Resources on Ornithology,
Birding in Canada,
Bird Links of the World
Are butterflies your
hobby, or would you like them to be?
The Butterfly Website -
butterfly photos, butterfly clipart, education,
butterfly zoos and more.
hypertext book about butterflies It
is designed for students of all ages.
The Butterfly Site
- 12 butterfly topics with pages full of butterfly information.
into wildflowers. Plant some and watch them develop. Could
someone( or you) set up an area for you inside where you could
grow some with grow lights? Nothing fancy. It is mystical watching
a plant develop. Have you ever seen a bulb grow inside, or a
potato? Out two toothpicks on either side of a potato, and suspend
it into water on top of a coffee mug. Amazing. Have a look
at: [Wild Flowers
CARDS Learn some new
card games, and
play with your friends. Or make new friends at your local
Card Games - Other
Sources of Information,
Card Game Links (About.com network)
SPEAKING OF SENIOR CENTERS ,
how about investigating
you local Senior Center. There are
other seniors to
projects that will teach
you new interests and hobbies, and it can really become
something to look
forward to. Go to
our "message post" section and communicate with someone who goes
by "paperpest". She is a real advocate of Senior Centers.
A REGULAR My mother made it a hobby to
pick a couple friends to
call every night. And she was a shy person who didn't make
friends easily. It helped with her loneliness, gave her someone to
think and be concerned about, and became a safety net for her
because if she would not answer, or was ill, her friend would
sound the alarm. Find a friend you can call. My mother lived to
94, and outlived several contacts. Make a brand new one if
necessary. It will keep
you healthy, and you can gossip about your children and
THE NEIGHBORHOOD I know plenty of Seniors who
walk very well, but never leave the house. If you can walk safely,
get on that sidewalk and meet some neighbors. Compliment them on
their flowers, children, pets, grass, weeds----anything to get a
conversation going. And tomorrow do the same, and ask how they
are. This really can be a hobby. You will learn much more by
walking than by driving past, and it is good for you. Before you
know it those neighbors will be walking past your house looking to
compliment you. In the winter, if you are in a cold area,
go the mall and walk.
My 80-year-old neighbor loves to go to
yoga events at the local senior center. It becomes a social
thing, and healthy for her. She stays a dynamo.
PUZZLE AND WORD GAME BOOKS
Try books of
word games. If the
vision is weak, get one of those magnifying lamps. Go to the
Senior Ark fun page for
free online crossword puzzles, and much more to do.
Subscribe to a few magazines that cover subjects that interest
you. Or go to the library and read magazines and books. You may
even meet some people there.
After all---you paid for the library, so visit it to see
where your money went.
DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY Do you have a digital camera
yet? Get one if you can. They are getting much cheaper. Take all
the pictures you want, and if you don't like them just erase and
take more. Pick something that you want to specialize in, like
say---doors in your community, or points of interest in your town.
Photograph close-ups of your flowers, friends, house.
I have a digital camera (Sony) that I can insert
a floppy disk into,
you know the one that goes into the "A" drive on your computer.
The photos may not be the fine quality of some better digital
cameras, but aren't bad. Go to the SeniorArk
"photos/contact" page. I took the first 4 photos on that page
with my camera. Much fun. When it is full, I put the disk into my
computer, throw away the pictures I don't like, keep a few on the
main drive of my computer, erase everything on the floppy disk,
and start over. No film, no developing costs. But if you want
paper copies, you can take the disk to your developer and get
paper copies as before. This sounds complicated, but in fact is
sooooo simple. Ask for instructions. This is a hobby for the world
traveler or the bedridden. Check out the
YOUR GRANDCHILDREN YOUR MAIN HOBBY? We understand.
Hobby is much too
small a word when it comes to the grandchildren. Today I found a
web site dedicated to
creative ideas for grandparents. Have a look.
Another great site is:
click picture to enlarge Alex
(Grandson, SeniorARK editor - let me tell you.....)
METHODS OF GRANDLOVING
More than a hobby-----a passion!
Great Tips for Long‑Distance "Grandloving" (internal
SOMETHING FOR THE GRANDCHILDREN If you are
talented, all the better. If you are not, do it anyway. It will be
the most beautiful thing they have ever seen. I recently bought a
plastic jar of bones for my dog at WalMart. It is about 15" tall,
but use any size. When it was empty, I made a bank for my grandson
Aidan. Colored tape came from Staples, and so did the stickers.
The note at the top says "coins are good, but paper is
better". At the bottom it lists the methods of payment that he
will accept---like checks, credit, stocks and bonds. I added some
cash, then boxed and mailed it to him. I had fun. He will have
fun. No grandchildren? Pick a small child in the neighborhood and
become a "grandparent".
a birthday card or mother's/father's day card for your
daughter/son that also celebrates your
grandchildren. I made one online this year. You can do it
with paper and glue if you like. This card will not be thrown
See my homemade card. Use on ANY holiday.
BUILD BIRDHOUSES Not only will you feel the
satisfaction of a beautiful project,
you will be able to watch the birds from your area looking for
free rent. I found a fun site that provides
simple plans for building
specific birdhouses for 50 different birds. There is much
more on this site, including coloring pages you can print out to
involve your younger
grandchildren in your bird projects.
Be sure to click around. The site shows a simple plan, and a very
detailed plan on how to build each birdhouse. There are plans for
some "winter warmers" I guess birds need to stay warm in the
winter too! If you like birds, but don't want to build a
house, go there anyway. You can have a lot of fun looking and
reading. Another great site we found is part of about.com, called:
Complete Guide to Birdnouses The print is small, but follow
the links and it is good reading.
Archaeology is a fascinating hobby. While actual excavation
of sites is certainly interesting there is more to archaeology
then that as I have noted below.
For retired people interested in history and participating in
discovery of historic/pre-historic sites archaeology offers a ton
of exciting things to do. Some activities in archaeology would be
site excavation, cleaning and marking of recovered artifacts,
logging in processed artifacts, study and identification of
artifacts, photography , computer work such as entering in data to
data bases, drawing of site excavations, library research, etc..,
etc.. It is exciting to actually have the opportunity to work with
professionals ( they are interested teachers) and to participate
in the discovery of our historic past. And ,it's nice to be cited
in the research site report or "paper" which records the
excavation you participate in. How can you become involved
involved in local archaeology.?.........Typically
all states have an archaeology society and within the state they
have local chapters typically close to where you might live.
37. INDOOR GARDENING
hobby. For those who find being surrounded by vibrant plants all
round, indoor gardening may be the answer to a very satisfying
hobby. Some sample sites:
garden time online,
bringing the outside in,
Inside Sun . Some
of these sites will also introduce you to some outside gardening
INDOOR GARDENING PROJECTS
(click for internal page) "There's
something that gives us new life, when we watch new
click picture to enlarge bonsai
Also see new
40. COMPUTER SCRAPBOOKING
Computers bring all kinds of new
possibilities to scrapbooking, letting you create everything from
simple journaling to entire scrapbook pages! And, it's all fun and
easy to do! Try:
41. Combine a hobby with a
valuable service to other Seniors
Pets As Therapy.
Active retirees with friendly pets, wanted to train as ‘pets as
therapy’ visitors. We train people and their pets to visit
challenged adults and children in residential care, hospitals,
nursing homes and challenged individuals living at home; to raise
their spirits and brighten up their day. Please see our web site
Bringing companionship and friendship to challenged folk is a
truly and deeply rewarding hobby. The majority of our volunteers
are active retirees.
your public library The public library is
like a huge treasure chest, chock-full of
books, magazines, videos, computers, and programs -
all available FREE with a library card..
You will find Librarians who can help you find books
about topics that interest you..
A person who returned to the library
after a long absence said:
"I can't say that I've really
visited a library since I left college. Today I went to my Public
Library with picture ID in hand, and walked out with my new
library card, 3 cookbooks, 1 book on Buzz Marketing, and 2 DVDs.
During my visit there I also browsed through a couple of magazines
& newspapers. I even went into the Auditorium to see the art of
Emilio Sanchez exhibited. And did I mention that I used Miami's
free downtown transportation system, MetroMover, to get there?
It may seem obvious to some, but by using the public library
systems, we can share a lot of materials that we really don't need
individual copies of, and we just might get a little extra culture
along with it. Go rediscover your library."
43. Interactive computer painting page
Create your own piece of abstract art---and you
can print it out. Save it and mail it to your grandchillins. To
start over, click the refresh button and all is erased! It's kind
of fun, Try it. This is my first feeble effort. Beautiful, isn't
it??? Well, I had fun.
Click to enlarge.>>
When you go there you will get a
blank white screen. Move your mouse around and see what happens.
Each time you press "left click" on your mouse, the color changes.
example ^ ^ ^
44. Free Craft And
Woodworking Patterns Sites
(needles, beads, baskets, more) Free Christmas craft patterns
http://craftandfabriclinks.com/ ( sewing and a variety of
http://www.woodprojects.com/ (thousands of woodworking
patterns, many free, many not)
Join a Toastmasters club
- or more than one. It
is a good way to meet
people, and to learn about a wide variety of subjects. You
will find that if you decide to give a speech about a particular
subject, you may want or need to learn more about it. You will
also learn about various other things from the speeches of others,
which may give you an idea of a class you want to take. Many
Toastmasters give speeches, and sometimes demonstrations,
about their hobbies. You
might get an idea for a new hobby that would interest you.
Many Toastmasters clubs meet in the evening, and they fill an
evening very pleasantly. Also, unlike most schools and
organizations, dues are very low. Submitted by "Joy"
46. Learn to Write
You failed to mention another hobby. For anyone who is
interested, there is a fantastic site called
writers of all levels of
skill are welcome. I started writing seriously in
April of 2005, joined that site in October, and just had my first
novel published last month.
We seniors have a wealth
of experience and knowledge that can be passed on to the
younger generation. I prefer writing fiction, and my novel linked
below is about older people living in a home I wish we all could
47. Senior Blogs
Sounds like something a little
prune juice might help? There are many definitions for a blog. One
definition might be: "Blog
is short for weblog. A weblog is a journal (or newsletter) that is
frequently updated and intended for general public consumption.
Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or the Web
site." Keeping track of Senior Blogs is a way of keeping in
touch with other Seniors, or others who are discussing subjects of
interest to you. Many
folks make a hobby of this.The
SeniorARK is actually a hybrid between a blog and a
here you will see a list of
blogs that we are beginning to make available to you.. If you know
of a blog that would be of interest to other Seniors, please let
us know and we will list it.
49. Get into antiques
something you like, that will not break the bank, (some antiques
are not so bad), and learn everything you can about it. Become
something of an expert in that one type of item. Follow it on
online sites, TV, antique shows, malls. Spend very carefully
you have done your research. Go to flea markets and look for that
gem that others have missed. If you are in the eastern US, there
is a massive annual October antique show in Atlantic City. A
former attendee says: “The Atlantique
City Show is bar none, the main event in the world of antiquing.
If you want to capture the pulse of antique collecting today, then
head east, and get ready to experience years of searching, all
under one roof.”
-Bertoia Auctions, Vineland, NJ.
Atlantique Show Their site has pictures, information,
and even videos.
Restoring Clocks Think
about what you enjoy doing and let that become a hobby. One
gentleman who had been a book editor retired to pursue his hobby,
which was restoring clocks. He went on to make them and to sell
them at flea markets. "I'm having a great time," he said. "I enjoy
meeting people and I knew I needed to be busy. This actually keeps
me busier than I wanted to be, but I can control this, and I love
every bit of what I am doing." SeniorARK includes this
hobby, because it points out that you may want to make a serious
hobby from what you enjoy.
Learn Something New
Contact your local community
college, or library, and ask about upcoming courses for
seniors. You may learn a whole new skill, and put it to work in a
new hobby. Many of these courses are offered in winter, when other
activities may be difficult. Get some oil onto those rusting gears
inside your magnificent brain.
52. Start an Aquarium.
I have had various sized aquariums all of my life,
have found much pleasure in tending them, adding new fish and
plants, and watching the living things grow. What a great hobby to
begin in the winter. A fresh water setup is the way to begin.
Raising saltwater fish can be rewarding because of their beauty
and challenge. But the makeup of the water must be monitored
carefully, or your wallet and expensive sea fish will soon be
As a long-time hobbyist, I suggest
starting with a freshwater aquarium, something around 20 gallons.
A ten gallon tank, with accessories, will be cheaper, but the
viewing area is really limited, and some really nice fish need a
little more room. Get a nice hood with the proper color-enhancing
light. Your filter should be better than one of those simple
bubble ones. Get one of those types that siphons the water from
the tank, passes it through a filter that hangs on the back, and
then returns it to the tank. You pet shop can help with all of
Be careful to combine fish, plants,
and other living things, that are compatible with each other. You
want them to eat the food you buy, and not each other.
more info on starting
We add this hobby in
honor of the arrival of Spring 2007 in the northern hemisphere. In
some areas gardening may already be in full swing. In others, we
are still awaiting the thaw. So let's dream.
Gardening can be fun, enjoyable and downright expensive if you're
not careful. This site is dedicated to bring you easy to implement
gardening tips and techniques that
help you save money while keeping all your plants in tip-top
(2) Whether you're a beginner or
expert, a food or flower gardener,
National Gardening Assn
has a great deal to offer you! As an NGA Supporter.
Nonprofit provider of plant-based education.
You can enjoy excellent savings on plants and supplies, get free
answers to your gardening questions, learn gardening and botany
Learn more about home gardening,
hardscaping, landscaping, flowers, and plants from videos on
Home & Garden
Not to mention---there are health
benefits in gardening.
Read it in WebMD.
a Pot Project during the colder months, preparing
for spring. NO, NOT THAT POT!
Here is a picture of an attractive and fairly easily made
terra cotta little man for the garden, along with some hot links
that should lead to a lot of great ideas.
is certainly not for
everyone. But if you are familiar with using a chainsaw, and
always wished you could make something beautiful with it, check
Kevin Gilders. This senior began his quest in 1980, and you
will see that remarkable things can be made with this common tool.
56. Have Winter Fun with
your Spring Backyard?? This article was
written in January 2009. It gives us ideas for plans we can make,
or projects we can build to enjoy our outdoors when the warmer
weather comes. May photos and photo and article links.
Backyard Projects for Winter is a SeniorArk article, and is a
mid-winter dream activity.
retired and always wanted to have a low cost boutique shop.
I love to recycle things. I get things on estate, garage sales and
fix them up also furniture and sell them in my corner
creations shop. My husband allowed me to use our little red barn
on our property in Champlin MN . So, three of us go together and
open it 3 times a year 9-6. Submitted by realdoozy2.
SeniorArk adds: This opens the mind up to many similar ideas for
other activities in retirement, and
make a few bucks to boot!
Seniors are waiting for your tip here.
Or submit a useful
link for a links section.
These tips are provided for your
convenience. Senior ARK has no association with
any of the links listed, nor do we endorse them or any of their content or
any merchandise or programs offered for sale. We ask you to let us know if
any of the links do not work, and please
let us know of other links or tips that may be helpful to seniors.
Click to add SeniorArk to your favorites!