Senior Craft Activity: Painting Birdhouses

Birdhouse Painting

Painting birdhouses is not only relaxing and therapeutic but can also keep a person’s focus for long periods of time. Providing a purpose behind the activity significantly increases the benefits. Creating something beautiful that is intended to be a home for another living creature is rewarding and helps provide the individual with a sense of purpose.

This activity is enjoyable for all seniors and is especially good for men. It can be challenging to create activities specifically for men, and they are not always as willing to participate in crafts. Many men have a background of woodworking, fixing things around the house and working with their hands. A birdhouse can be given to a male resident as a job/task to keep him engaged. Birdhouses can be painted, sanded, and re-painted, and used many times in group and one-on-one situations. This activity helps maintain hand-eye coordination and dexterity and is a great way to promote mindfulness and pleasant feelings.

Before starting, find out if any of your residents are birdwatchers, and ask about their favorite birds. Print out some information about the birds and read aloud.

Supplies for Painting Birdhouses

You will need:
*Wooden Birdhouses (various sizes)
*Glossy Acrylic Indoor/Outdoor craft paint
*Paint Brushes/ Paint Tray
*Painter’s Tape/Masking Tape
*Stencils (optional)
*Smocks/ clothes protector(optional)
*Table protector

Steps for Painting Birdhouses

1.Use a table protector, vinyl tablecloth or newspapers to protect the work surface. You may want to have the participants wear smocks. (Acrylic paint can stain clothes.)

2.Have each participant choose their birdhouse and paint color and assist them by pouring chosen colors into the tray or a small paper plate.

3. Use painter’s tape to help create patterns or secure stencils

4. Facilitate discussion or put on some relaxing music and watch your residents become absorbed in this project.

Allow this activity to continue for as long as residents are engaged.

Bird House PaintingPainting Birdhouses


Enhance the Painting Birdhouses Activity

*Discussing birds and sharing fun facts

*Ask the birdwatchers to share their experiences with the group

*Read aloud the list of US state birds. Print out some fun facts and pictures of your state bird

  • U.S. Official State Bird List
  • Alabama – Yellowhammer
  • Alaska – Willow Ptarmigan
  • Arizona – Cactus Wren
  • Arkansas – Mockingbird
  • California-California Valley Quail
  • Colorado- Lark Bunting
  • Connecticut – Robin
  • Delaware – Blue Hen Chicken
  • Florida – Mockingbird
  • Georgia – Brown Thrasher
  • Hawaii- Nene
  • Idaho – Mountain Bluebird
  • Illinois – Cardinal
  • Indiana – Cardinal
  • Iowa – Eastern Goldfinch
  • Kansas – Western Meadowlark
  • Kentucky – Cardinal
  • Louisiana – Eastern Brown Pelican
  • Maine – Chickadee
  • Maryland – Baltimore Oriole
  • Massachusetts – Chickadee
  • Michigan –Robin
  • Minnesota – Common Loon
  • Mississippi – Mockingbird
  • Missouri – Bluebird
  • Montana – Western Meadowlark
  • Nebraska – Western Meadowlark
  • Nevada- Mountain Bluebird
  • New Hampshire-Purple Finch
  • New Jersey – Eastern Goldfinch
  • New Mexico – Roadrunner
  • New York – Bluebird
  • North Carolina – Cardinal
  • North Dakota – Western Meadowlark
  • Ohio – Cardinal
  • Oklahoma – Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
  • Oregon – Western Meadowlark
  • Pennsylvania – Ruffled Grouse
  • Rhode Island – Rhode Island Red
  • South Carolina – Great Carolina Wren
  • South Dakota – Ring-necked Pheasant
  • Tennessee – Mockingbird
  • Texas – Mockingbird
  • Utah – Common American Gull
  • Vermont – Hermit Thrush
  • Virginia – Cardinal
  • Washington – Willow Goldfinch
  • West Virginia – Cardinal
  • Wisconsin – Robin
  • Wyoming – Western Meadowlark



More on Senior Activities:  Best Activities for Seniors in Assisted Living