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Indoor Activities for Adults with Disabilities

As we spend more time separated from familiar social gatherings and routines, even the most resolute homebodies can get a taste of cabin fever.  Being cooped up indoors can take a toll on just about anyone, but we have six crafts that we know help relieve boredom and nourish creativity!

Clay Crafts

Clay crafts might seem like an obvious avenue and outlet for those who need to keep their hands busy, but that’s exactly why we want to highlight it!  There are a plethora of modeling clay choices to choose from, and it comes in just about every color imaginable.

Clay has been a valued means of self-expression for thousands of years.  Many experts believe that working with clay can reduce negative mood, relieve anxiety, foster creativity, and even help one recover from trauma.  It engages our brains and works the muscles in our hands.  And let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite like squishing a ball of playdough between your fingers. Clay can even teach us to be flexible and receptive.  

Types of Clay

There are two major types of clay for everyday craft purposes.


Non-drying clay is just that.  It’s clay that doesn’t dry out.  That means it can be molded and reused.  Simply warm it up in your hands and create until your heart’s content!  However, if all you have on hand is non-drying clay, but you want your craft to be permanent, stick it in the oven at a low temperature for just a little while and the moisture in your creation will evaporate, leaving the clay hardened (though not unbreakable).


Air-drying clay will naturally harden if left out overnight, without the use of heat.  This package we’ve linked conveniently comes with a set of plastic sculpting tools to practice fine motor skills.  Air-dry clay is perfect for making simple pottery like bowls, flower vases, or even ornaments for Christmas trees!

Clay Project Ideas

  • Stamped Clay Bowls
  • Leaf Clay Dish
  • Clay Impressions

Nail Polish Mugs

Making nail polish mugs is both trendy and fun!  Not only that, but it’s also an inexpensive, easy way to jazz up old ceramic cups, or make a one of a kind gift for a friend or family member.

How to Make Nail Polish Mugs

The steps for making these lovely pieces of art are pretty simple.

  1. Fill a container that you don’t mind dedicating to crafts or discarding with hot water.  The nail polish will want to harden as it cools, so make sure your water is suitably hot!
  2. Pick the polish you want to try and pour it into the water.  Make sure you’re doing this slowly and close to the surface of the water.  If you splash it into your container, it’ll sink to the bottom, and we don’t want that!
  3. Optional:  Take a toothpick and swirl your polish along the top of the water.
  4. As soon as you can, dip the mug into the top of the water and hold it there for a moment or two.
  5. Remove the mug and let it dry on some prepared parchment paper, and repeat the process until you’re out of mugs to dip!
  6. You can paint over your mugs once they’re dry with a little bit of Mod Podge to help preserve the design.

**Note:  It’s a good idea to keep the polish away from the lip of the cup in the event that the paint does begin to chip.  This particular art project should also be hand-washed with mild soap, not dishwasher.

Calming Sensory Bottles

Feeling overwhelmed is a natural part of everyone’s day from time to time.  That’s why we recommend these calming (and rather pretty) sensory bottles.  These bottles can contain just about anything you want them to and are a great opportunity to get rid of leftover glitter, sequins, stick-on gems, or even something silly like plastic figurines or googly eyes.

What You’ll Need

  1. A clear water bottle (Several crafters recommend Voss brand for shape and durability)
  2. Clear gel tacky glue
  3. Glycerin
  4. Fine Glitter, and Chunky Glitter (for a variance of texture)
  5. Food coloring
  6. Gorilla Super Glue

How to Make a Sensory Bottle

  1. If your bottle has a label, remove it.  For an extra clean look, scrub with a little Goo Gone, or soapy warm water to get rid of the glue.
  2. Fill your bottle about ⅓ of the way up with warm water.
  3. Add a few drops of food coloring (not too much, a little goes a long way!)
  4. Add about a third of a bottle of clear tacky glue.
  5. Put the lid on and shape up your water and glue!
  6. Once mixed, add your glitter, sequins, and anything else you’d like to add to your bottle.  You can add as much as you want.  Have fun with it!
  7. Ad a splash of glycerin.
  8. Finish filling your water bottle with water.  Fill it as full as you can manage.
  9. Screw the lid on tightly and shake again!
  10. When you’re satisfied with your mixture, apply super glue around the mouth of the bottle and in the cap to seal it and prevent leaks!

Painted Coasters

This chic painted coasters craft is inexpensive and very simple!  The best part is that there is no wrong way to do it.  Be as expressive or as reserved as you like, and get use out of your finished product around the house.  These lovely, personalized coasters make thoughtful gifts for loved ones or could even be turned into ornaments.  This works great as an independent or group activity!

What You’ll Need

How To Make Painted Cork Coasters

  1. Take a few pieces of masking tape of various sizes and tape over the parts of the coaster you don’t want to paint.
  2. Paint each section of exposed cork with your desired color(s).
  3. Wait for it to dry.
  4. Apply a second coat paint to really make the colors pop!
  5. Once the paint has dried a second time, carefully peel the tape off of the coaster to reveal your design!

Paper Crafts

Paper crafts are some of our favorite indoor activities because the possibilities are practically endless.  From home made greeting cards, to Christmas ornaments, it’s really easy to get creative with some interesting paper materials!

We recommend the following supplies to not only create something beautiful and unique, but to give your crafty loved ones a way to cut loose!

  • Vibrant color craft paper - Not only does this come in every color of the rainbow, it’s relatively inexpensive.
  • Fake flowers - They come in lots of colors and sizes.
  • Glitter - This is a great craft supply to keep on hand.  It beautifies just about anything!
  • Dried craft pasta - Did you know that they made pasta specifically for crafts?  They do!  It comes in many shapes and hues.
  • Sequins - Sequins!  Glitter’s cousin.
  • Glue 
  • Tape

The secret to this craft is that there is none.  As we mentioned, we love making ornaments and cards, or just using colorful paper as the backdrop for our favorite inspired art pieces.


This craft can be approached a variety of ways.  Encourage full on creativity with paper or a canvas.  Present a theme to follow like animals, flowers, or perhaps even a holiday.  Alternatively, painting surfaces can be printed or sketched with a particular image for an easy to follow activity that’s still fun and fulfilling.

Painting is one of our favorite crafts because each resident has his or her own approach on how to present the final piece.

Show Us Your Results!

The Baddour Center loves to see what kinds of crafts others are doing.  If you've done any of these, check out our Facebook page and share them with us!  Or, if you have some ideas of your own, let us know.  Stay crafty!

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At The Baddour Center, we're dedicated to providing a fun and safe community for adults with intellectual disabilities and autism in an environment that promotes maximum growth intellectually, spiritually, physically, socially, emotionally and vocationally. Contact us today to learn more about our facility and schedule a tour!

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