10 Fun Hobbies For Stroke Patients That Are Challenging Too

There are a number of light activities and hobbies that may help stroke patients regain their skills. Keep on reading for our detailed list of fun hobbies for stroke patients.

Hobby Cents Staff Writer
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After experiencing a stroke, survivors often experience some level of physical function loss. While most of this is caused by brain damage that strokes cause, there are other preventable issues such as fatigue and physical deconditioning that also lead to loss of function. 

Hobbies that include physical activity are one of the best ways to prevent these problems. Through the influence of neuroplasticity, activities that involve physical exercise can help stroke victims to regain the abilities they once had before the stroke. 

Over time, even very light activities or hobbies that involve walking or cooking will encourage physical improvements and assist in preventing deconditioning, which results in further deterioration. 

While moderate physical activities are essential to the health of a stroke survivor, there are also several light activities and hobbies that are focused on helping them to regain skills. 

Enjoyable activities are an excellent way for stroke survivors to practice skills while keeping them motivated, engaged, and entertained.  

The Benefits Of Fun Hobbies

Neuroplasticity is a key concept involved in recovering from a stroke. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to reorganize or rearrange itself with neural connections that continue throughout the individual’s life. 

Neuroplasticity is vital when recovering from or compensating for the changes that arise from a disease or injury. Due to the influence of neuroplasticity, the body and mind can recover and adapt from a tragic event such as a stroke, regaining function, and mobility. 

While traditional therapies may assist stroke survivors, fun activities and hobbies are more beneficial since they feel a lot less overwhelming and more entertaining. 

If you are unsure where to start, here is a list of fun hobbies that stroke victims can try at home. Whether they enjoy spending time outdoors in a garden, or indoor hobbies such as knitting, one or more of these activities should be appealing to any stroke patient. 

fun hobbies for stroke patients video games
There is a likelihood that video games may assist in showing improvements in arm function.

1. Video Games

Video games are one of the more enjoyable ways to start recovering from the debilitating effects of a stroke. Several studies have also suggested that these games seem to be more effective when compared to traditional therapies. 

These video system types provide interactive, exciting experiences while helping to incorporate physical movements while assisting motor skills and functions like gripping. 

According to a study published in 2011, by St. Michael’s Hospital, the patients that actively engaged in video games were “up to 5 times more likely to display improvements in arm function in comparison to those who received standard therapy”. 

Another study that was published in the journal “Stroke”, by the American Heart Association, also made comparisons between standard stroke therapy and the therapies which included video games. 

In this study, the Nintendo Wii was used. Ten patients over two to three weeks used the Wii system with a focus on improving upper-arm function. The other group of ten patients was given traditional stroke therapy activities over this time. 

The study concluded that the participants that were using the Wii could perform arm-related tasks seven seconds faster than the patients that were participating in traditional therapies. 

2. Board Games

When we are children, most of us are not aware that the games we used to play involved more than enjoyment and fun. Most board games are designed to assist with different cognitive processes such as decision making, memory, information processing, reasoning, and more. 

This beneficial combination of learning and fun is also applicable to an adult that has experienced a stroke. Games such as Jenga, Uno, Connect Four, Scrabble, and the classics, like checkers or chess, can help a victim of a stroke in the way of exercising their mind. 

RELATED READING: Hobbies for Seniors With Limited Mobility

3. Crafts

Crafts is a hobby that offers the ideal outlet for creative and artistic expression. At the same time, fun and entertaining art projects offer important mental stimulation for a person trying to recover from a stroke. 

Even for victims with stoke-related impairments that are limiting and more severe, unstructured and simple craft projects such as painting can offer several important benefits.

There are other broader categories of potential craft projects for higher-level patients. These often include woodworking to pottery and Stain-A-Frame. 

It doesn’t really matter what form of crafts the stroke survivor participates in, including these activity types into daily routines often provides relaxation and leisure. It also offers a beneficial outlet for the person to truly express themselves, which helps to speed up their recovery. 

4. Gardening

Gardening is often emotionally and mentally uplifting and usually involves several simple and basic tasks that don’t always require the use of two hands. Tasks such as pulling weeds or lifting a watering will increase coordination and dexterity. 

Gardening is also one of those cathartic exercises that alleviates a bit of the frustration, anxiety, and stress relating to the side effects that strokes commonly cause. 

Stroke victims that participate in simple hobbies such as gardening also get to enjoy the figurative and literal “fruits of their labors”, which offers a sense of pride, fulfillment, and accomplishment. 

5. Cooking

Cooking is a popular hobby that can be uplifting and relaxing, especially if the stroke patient performs easy and small cooking tasks.

Whisking eggs or stirring a cake mix are basic actions that foster improved coordination and strength while encouraging an increase in control in the hands. 

fun hobbies for stroke patients card games online
Playing card games online is a social activity that is also physically manageable.

6. Playing Card Games Online

Playing cards with a group of friends offers an important way to socialize, but the physical requirements of the game for a stroke victim can be difficult to manage.

Starting up a game of bridge on a computer does away with having to manipulate the deck physically and trying to hold the playing cards. 

Playing games online can still be an excellent social activity that may help a stroke victim to overcome anxiety or depression he/she might be feeling over being permanently or temporarily housebound. 

Related Reading: Hobbies That Use Computers

7. Knitting

Knitting is a low-level relaxing activity that is known for helping stroke victims to divert their minds off having to recover. For a victim that is now limited to only one hand that functions, knitting aids are useful for making one-handed knitting a possibility. 

8. Photography

Taking photographs is an excellent way to engage in the practice of creative expression. This hobby also doesn’t require a lot of physical effort. Photography is an activity that involves getting out in nature, which also helps stroke victims to get their minds off things. 

9. Writing

Whether this involves putting together a story, poetry, letters, or writing in a journal, this is a fantastic outlet for any stroke survivor. Journaling is also very therapeutic and often helps stroke victims to keep a tab on their recovery process, their feelings, and emotions. 

10. Pottery 

Creating pottery is another useful hobby for a stroke survivor that has limited hand and arm function. The clay is easy and soft to manipulate, while sculpting will help to improve and enhance fine motor skills. It is also easy to create pieces using only one hand. 


The process of trying to recover from a debilitating condition such as a stroke is not easy or fun, but it also doesn’t need to be a tiresome chore either. 

By including fun activities and hobbies into a routine that involves exercise and mental stimulation, the body and mind of the stroke survivor can start to rebound and more importantly start healing. 

Activities such as crafts, gardening, board games, and video games are proven methods that help people that have suffered the misfortune of a stroke to become more engaged and positive about their recovery process. See more ideas in our guide to hobbies for seniors here.

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