Favorite projects for little kids, and even preschoolers, involve making "beaded" necklaces out of macaroni such as ziti or ditalini. A little older kids get into necklaces and bracelets made of pony beads. But, beading is an ancient art, that is perfect for adults with good eyesight and the patience of a saint.
Here in New Hampshire, we have an organization for beaders, The Bead Society of New Hampshire. And, next month, up in Concord, there is a whole convention/conference devoted to beads, beaders, and beading, the Innovative Beads Expo.
A look at our catalog shows a number of beading books for adults--The History of Beads: From 30,000 B.C. to the Present by Lois Sherr Dubin [391.7 DUB] to The Book of Beads: [A Practical and Inspirational Guide to Beads and Jewelry Making] by Janet Coles [745.58 COL]--and more than a dozen other titles in between.
We also subscribe to two magazines for beaders: Beadwork [MAG BEA] and Bead & Button [MAG BEA].