Sometimes, the age gap between older adults and children can seem very large. At first glance, it may seem like children and seniors are not interested in the same things. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! There are a lot of intergenerational activities that are fun and rewarding for both children and older adults. Here are four enjoyable things children and seniors can do together to build relationships.
1. Cooking and Baking
Cooking and baking are activities you don’t simply outgrow as you get older. For children and adults alike, cooking and baking are great activities because they culminate in something delicious that they can both enjoy eating.
Young children love to mix batters and drop spoonfuls of cookie dough on trays. Older adults may be more adept at following detailed recipe instructions and sautéing ingredients on the stovetop. Together, children and seniors make a great team when cooking and baking.
2. Playing Games
Playing games is one of the best intergenerational activities out there. Try puzzles, board games and card games. If possible, introduce your children to some of the classic games your parents played when they were children. This activity can provide hours of lighthearted fun and brain-stimulating interaction.
If possible, choose games that are appropriate for the physical activity level of your loved one. For example, Twister may be a favorite game for your children, but it might not be the most suitable fit for an older adult.
3. Reading Together
Reading is a calming activity children and older adults can engage in easily. If your parent is unable to read, you can read to both your child and your parent together. Better yet, encourage your child to read to your parents if they are old enough.
Consider reading from your parents’ journals to make this activity more personal. This will bring back many fond memories and help you and your children learn more about your parents, their experiences, and what they did to pass the time.
4. Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts can be a lot of fun for adults and children. There are many activity options, from painting pictures to creating beaded jewelry. Many older adults also enjoy sewing and knitting. They may also have fun teaching you and your children how to do these activities.
Spend More Time With Your Loved Ones
Socializing provides several physical and mental health benefits. It may also decrease your risk of dementia. Older adults need social interaction to maintain a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Engaging in the above intergenerational activities with the older adults and children in your life can help your family build and maintain strong bonds.
Elder Care Alliance places great value on social interaction and encourages intergenerational activities that enrich the lives of all involved. Elder Care Alliance communities also provide many opportunities for social interaction, so senior adults never have to feel isolated or lonely. Aging adults who frequently interact with others are less likely to experience depression, dementia, and other unwanted health conditions. In short, social seniors tend to be happy seniors!