A favorite activity of residents on our memory care unit is making collages from pictures clipped out of magazines. Besides being fun, I believe this project benefits our residents in several ways:
- Some people are intimidated by art projects that involve drawing or painting. Anyone can make a beautiful collage.
- The pictures trigger memories. When I ask a resident to tell me about a particular picture, they often recall a story about their childhood, family, or a happy event in their life.
- This craft project is very inexpensive. (I’ll tell you more about that in a minute!)
- The collages spark conversations between residents as they compare pictures. They also laugh together when someone finds a particularly funny picture.
- Family members are interested in the pictures chosen by their loved one. The collages often trigger happy memories for them, too.
- When we hang the collages in the residents’ rooms, it sparks conversations between the residents and staff.
You can ask residents to clip out their own pictures from magazines. However, we find it easiest to have volunteers cut them out in advance. I like to pre-cut the pictures at my house while I watch the evening news on TV.
So where do you get the magazines to make collages? You can ask people to donate magazines, or the nursing home can pay for subscriptions. But today I’ll let you in on a little secret for getting all the magazines you can possibly need at absolutely no cost.
Magazine publishers have a lot of competition these days. Many people read stories and articles online instead of holding a real magazine in their hands. In order to justify asking advertisers to pay for ads, magazines need lots of subscribers. As a result, publishers increase readership by giving some of their subscriptions away for free. Of course, they also hope you decide to pay for a regular subscription after your free year ends.
Below is a list of my three favorite places to get free magazine subscriptions. (Please note that I’m not being compensated to tell you about these sites.) I’ve ordered magazines from these companies for several years. I’ve never been billed for a single one. My subscriptions include Family Circle, Weight Watchers, Sports Illustrated, Family Fun, Good Housekeeping, Parents, and Real Simple. Many other options are available, too.
You earn points for reading articles, taking quizzes, or making a pledge to recycle in your community. This is a great way to learn more about protecting the environment while earning points. The points may be redeemed for magazine subscriptions, cents-off coupons, gift cards, and other prizes.
After you sign up for your free subscriptions they list other offers. Just skip those if you’re not interested.
You fill out a survey and qualify for certain magazines based on your job. I only recall being turned down for one magazine because of my occupation. That was a gourmet cooking magazine.
When you finish using the magazines to make collages be sure they go into the recycling bin!