Crafts are a wonderful and proven way to enhance cognitive ability and memory function in older adults. Making art (of any kind) also provides a creative outlet for individuals who have trouble with mobility. Here are a few unique ideas that use minimal resources and are budget-friendly. Feel free to put new twists on these to make them your own!

Get hooked

Less tedious than knitting, crocheting is ergonomic-friendly, meaning it's easier on stiff wrists or arthritic joints. It's easy to learn the basic single- and double-crochet stitches, and once you do, you can easily make a variety of useful items. And all you need is a hook and a ball of yarn to get started! If you're new to the art of crochet, start with a basic scarf pattern, like this one from craft guru Make and Takes.

Explore color

You don't have to be a great artist to paint. In fact, painting is one of the best forms of self-expression and communication, regardless of skill level. Try watercolors if you're new to the art; projects like this tree silhouette give seniors a chance to play with color and expression without worrying about structure.

Clay time

Polymer clay is particularly easy to work with, and can be used to make holiday ornaments, vases, picture frames and more. Try these adorable pom-pom sheep from Rook No. 17 for a fairly easy beginner project.

Communication, social interaction, expression and recreation—these are four essential elements for cognitive therapy at any age. And as the holiday season is just around the corner, crafts can also be a simple but meaningful way for you or your loved one to let family and friends know you care.