Fun Arts and Crafts Ideas For Personal Development

Participating in and making arts and crafts is more than simply a good old fashioned fun way to pass the time, it’s also a productive form of personal development for everyone, including people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. “Music, art, dance, and drama or theater have therapeutic value for people with disabilities and older adults,” according to the National Rehabilitation Information Center. “Also known as the arts, they can be effective in improving motor function, cognitive function, and quality of life; can encourage self-discovery and emotional growth; and can provide emotional and physical integration, along with many other benefits.” Plus, doing arts and crafts and coming up with ideas for arts and crafts is fun!

These kinds of arts and crafts can take the form of journaling, making watercolor paintings, performing in a holiday themed play or musical, or learning new dance moves while listening to your favorite music, just to name a few examples that can also translate into personal development with therapeutic value. Stephen’s Place, an apartment community in Washington for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), suggests the following 16 arts and crafts ideas for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD):

• DIY Stress Ball
• Pinecone Bird Feeders
• Bug Hotels
• Paper Spinners
• Pompoms
• Fairy Glow Jars
• Glitter Magnets
• Bubble Wrap Stomp Paintings
• Diet Coke and Mentos Rockets
• Seashell Sensory Bottles
• Magnetic Slime
• Egg Geodes
• Egg on a Stick
• Tissue Box Monsters
• Beedless Bracelets
• Sensory Bags
• Rock Painting
• Rainbow Moon Sand

The ideas for arts and crafts are as endlessly varied as the people making them and anyone at any skill level can make or participate in arts and crafts activities. At New Vista, a non-profit in Las Vegas, Nevada supporting and serving people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), we’ve had several fun and successful arts and crafts activities involving both staff and Members with IDD. Here are a few arts and craft ideas we’ve done that have been fun and therapeutically beneficial for the personal development of our Members:

• Felt Gnomes
• Painted Chairs

If you would like to know more about these arts and crafts ideas and how to do them or more about New Vista, feel free to contact us at

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