Here is how to conduct a great Valentine's Day activity that will brighten up a room with a stained-glass effect and help senior residents get excited about this special day. It is an activity best suited for medium to higher acuity residents, but can be modified for all of them to meet their individual needs.

The activity has two parts: preparation and construction of the craft itself. Both provide a sense of purpose and belonging and help strengthen hand-eye coordination and dexterity. They also provide a great chance to reminisce about loved ones and evoke positive feelings of love and friendship.

NECESSARY SUPPLIES

  1. One roll of contact paper
    • Glossy is best, matte also works
    • Laminate paper may also be used
    • Cut contact paper into 8.5 X 11 inch sheets
  2. Tissue paper cut in squares
    • At least 3 sheets of 3 colors: red, hot pink and light pink
  3. One single-hole punch
  4. One roll of tape
  5. Several small pairs of regular scissors
  6. Black, red or purple cardstock (8.5 x 11 inches)

Each project per resident will use one piece of 8.5 x 11 inch cardstock and two sheets of contact paper cut the same size as the cardstock. Use something heavy to flatten the contact paper beforehand. This makes it easier to work with.

Part One: Activity Preparation

The frames and tissue paper squares should be prepared before starting the craft. This "activity prep" can itself be a fun and meaningful activity! Use this time to reminisce and discuss what love means to them. Remind them why you're preparing and how much they are helping you!

Tissue Paper

Ask the residents to sit together at a table and help them cut the tissue paper into quarter-sized squares or triangles. For those who are unable to use scissors, have them tear strips into small pieces. Have plates, bowls or containers in which to keep the tissue squares. The more tissue squares there are the better! The extras can always be used for future projects.

Frames
You will also need to prepare the frames during your activity preparation time. Draw the outline of a heart (use sharpies for vision-impaired residents) and cut it out. Draw a heart or use a printed template of a heart onto each piece of cardstock. Once the heart is cut out, use a hole puncher to start the inside of the heart frame. Use dotted lines to guide the cutting.

Keep the extra small hearts and cardstock for Valentine's Day and other holidays and projects.

Part Two: Sweetheart Window Art (Craft)

Once the preparation is completed, the group activity is ready to start. Have residents sit at a table where each has their own workspace. Place the tissue paper squares in containers or in paper bowls or plates where everyone can easily reach them.

Step 1: Set Up Each Project

Remove the protective film on one of the pieces of contact paper. The adhesive side will be face up. Tape the corners of contact papers to the table. Colored painter's tape works best, but any kind of tape works.

Step 2: Place the Frame

Place the heart frame carefully in the center of the contact paper. Repeat this process until everyone has a project in front of them. Remind the residents that their project is sticky and to not touch it.

Step 3: Decorating the Frames

Now the residents are ready to create their masterpiece.

Have them decorate the heart by placing the tissue paper squares inside the heart frame in any pattern they choose. Ask them to continue doing this until all the space inside the frame is covered.

Step 4: Getting into the 'Heart' of the Project

Once the tissue paper is in place, remove the adhesive from the second piece of contact paper and carefully place it over the top of the project. Ask the residents to help smooth the project to eliminate wrinkles and air bubbles.

Step 5: Trim the Project

Ask the residents to cut the outside of the frame and around it. Tape the completed designs on the windows and spread the love! The sun will shine through these lovely creations and produce a stained-glass effect that is sure to warm hearts.

Image 2 Valentines Day

FINISHED PROJECT

Image 3, Valentines

MAKING FRAMES - PART 1

Image 4 Valentines

MAKING FRAMES - PART 1

Image 5 Valentines

STEP 2 PLACE THE FRAME

Image 6 Valentines

SET UP EACH WORKSPACE

Image 7 Valentines

STEP 3 DECORATING THE FRAME

Image 9 Valentines

STEP 5

Image 1 ValentinesImage 8 Valentines

COMPLETED HEARTS

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