As the mother of an eleven-year-old son and ten-year-old daughter, I treasure the handmade gifts they’ve given to me over the years. When I was a child, I could never understand why my parents preferred my handmade crafts over something from the store. I wondered how they could possibly like my gifts better, but as an adult and a mom, I totally get it! The little clay pig that my daughter made for me is in my office, along with the wood carving and the step stool that my son made for me in Boy Scouts. These things make me smile, more so than any store-bought present.

My father has passed away and my mother has Parkinson’s disease, so she can’t knit hats and mittens anymore, or make the Christmas cookies that were a tradition in our family. But just as I appreciate the handmade gifts from my children, I know my mother appreciates them also. So, every year the kids and I start the first week of December to make crafts for my mother, and for a few of her elderly friends in her neighborhood.

This year, my son Will decided he would make his grandmother a model of the Titanic since she loved the movie, and had read many books about the ship. He also took on the challenge of making a bird house for one of his grandmother’s neighbors who enjoys bird-watching from her window. We found a kit for the model ship, and directions online for the birdhouse. My husband helped Will with cutting scraps of wood we had in the garage and Will painted and varnished the bird house when it was done.

My daughter Liz wanted to make a macrame plant hanger and a dreamcatcher. We found inexpensive kits online for both of those projects as well. The kids just love coming up with new ideas and presenting their creations to their grandmother every year!

And even while my mother has physical limitations, we also found fun crafts we could all do together too. Using mason jars we had around the house, along with colorful string, glitter paper, glue and candies, we made a variety of festive jars that were a hit! There are so many easy, inexpensive, and fun do-it-yourself projects that the whole family can enjoy. All is takes is some time and a little imagination!

If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 765-341-9295 or email us at We’ll be happy to assist!