Get Wooly Rummage

Get Wooly Rummage

  • 10
  • 30
  • 60


  • Find Calm
  • Bring Joy

What you need

  1. A basket or box
  2. Various balls of brightly coloured, soft wool


Lots of crafty activities, like knitting and crochet, often become too difficult for people in the later stages of dementia. But it’d be a real shame to let that passion for making things slide.

This activity is perfect for people who used to love being crafty with their hands, but can’t do it anymore – perhaps because they’re too distracted or less dextrous than before. You simply gather balls of brightly coloured yarn and present them to the person in a box or basket, and encourage them to dig in and enjoy the textures.

There is no end result, it’s just a pleasant, sensual activity, which makes it perfect for people who are feeling unsettled.

The Activity

  1. If the person is sitting in a chair, place the box or basket on their lap, or if they’re at the table, put it in front of them
  2. Begin pulling the balls of wool out of the box or basket, commenting on their colours, textures and thickness
  3. Gently take their hand and put a ball of wool into it, moving it around a little so they can enjoy the feeling – but make sure you tell them what you are going to do first
  4. Encourage them to explore what’s in the box or basket, and to take the balls out for themselves
  5. Demonstrate how to wind and unwind the yarn, and maybe even tie knots in it
  6. Let the person rummage in the box for as long as they like
  7. Pop back regularly to chat to them and see how they’re getting on. Talk to them about the wool and spark conversations around things that will interest them. If they used to knit or crochet, for example, find out more about what they used to make and who they’d make it for