Activity of the Week

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Gratitude Tree

Last updated: July 02, 2012

tree branch
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It's easy to complain. Remembering to be grateful needs a nudge. Studies have shown that being grateful boosts the immune system, curbs depression, and even contributes to a better night's sleep. Creating a gratitude tree is a perfect family craft; it's something everyone can add to, and it's an easy way to bring nature into your home.

What you'll need:

  • A tree branch
  • A pot filled with dirt
  • Small rocks or shells
  • Slips of paper (or construction paper cut into leaves)
  • Tape
  • A marker
  • Optional: a small strand of lights

Why it's great:

  • Being grateful reminds us that although we may have our challenges, life is still good.
  • There's something to be thankful for every day.
  • Every person's list is different.
  • You get to know your family and friends in a new way by understanding what they value and appreciate.
  • You take the idea of gratitude with you wherever you go.
  • It's a wonderful table decor

Organize a Care Items Swap

Last updated: June 18, 2012

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Do you have a walker you're no longer using? Or a bed rail or cane? If your older loved one attends an adult daycare group, Sunday School class, or a bridge or book club, ask around and find out what items folks are no longer using. Then either swap them or donate them to a local eldercare group.

What you'll need:

Good old word of mouth works best, but you can also use e-mail or Facebook. If you have you're a sizable group, create a flyer, or just pass around a list of available and needed items.

Why it's great:

You get to clean out your closets.

You get new (to you) items that would otherwise cost money.

It's community recycling. What you no longer need might be just right for someone else.

You get to make new connections.

How to do it:

Spread the word among your group.

Make a list with two columns: one listing items to give away and one lis

Easy-Knot Fleece Lap Blanket

Last updated: February 13, 2012

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Want a simple project you can make together? Try an easy-knot lap blanket. If you can tie a knot, you can make this colorful and cozy throw. It encourages small-motor skills and can be completed in just a couple of hours. And there's nothing like that feeling of "I made it myself!"

What you'll need:

  • 1-2/3 yards of print or solid-color microweight fleece

  • 1-2/3 yards of a solid-color microweight fleece

  • Tape measure

  • Safety pins

  • Scissors

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Cut the fabric so it measures 54 inches square. Remove any extra material.

  • Place the fabric squares together, matching corners, with the right side of fabric facing out.

  • Pin the pieces together to help keep fabric from shifting, and place the fabric on a solid surface (floor or table, not your lap).

  • Cut a 4-inch square from each corner.

  • Cut fringe 1 inch wide and 5 inches deep on all sides.

  • Make an overhand knot to tie the

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