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 listing what you might need.

  • Decide on

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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