These Hands – Creative Writing and Reminiscing

"These Hands", a Creative Writing Group Project

About this Activity

A While Ago I Did a Group Project with Six Residents in St Elizabeth’s Nursing Home.

I showed them my hands and asked them to tell me some things that their hands have done in life.

I used a whiteboard so that everyone could see the suggestions that were made. It was a fun exercise, and after a good interactive session, we ended up with the piece of writing below.

These Hands Have been very busy Have nursed babies Have planted cabbage Have done plenty of washing Have written shopping lists Have used a typewriter Have baked much bread Have made a lot of tea Have used a lawnmower Have polished many shoes Have shaken lots of other hands Have used a hammer Have driven a tractor Have sewed and knitted Have watered flowers Have picked potatoes Have played ball games Have stacked mountains of turf Have written many letters Have held other hands to give comfort If these hands could talk.......

By St Elizabeth’s residents

To follow up on this, we painted a large background paper.

I printed out the individual lines from the poem, and the residents cut them out and glued them onto the background. We now have a permanent artwork stemming from a fun mental exercise. Lots of the activities that we do can become more than the initial exercise. This one involved socializing, thinking, imagination, painting, cutting, and the placing of objects.

Maria Brady

This project is suitable for individuals, one-on-one, groups and is dementia-friendly in the early stages.

For more about creative writing and poetry, click here and here.