Creating a meaningful relationship between seniors and children can have positive benefits for each generation. Children and seniors can teach each other about their favorite activities to sharpen the mind and keep the body fit. The connection can also stimulate better emotional and mental health for seniors who may be prone to depression and loneliness. Children can find benefits engaging in these fun games as they develop a deeper relationship and appreciation toward older adults.
Several different types of activities that children and seniors can enjoy together:
Who doesn’t love those family recipes of fresh baked breads and delicious cookies? Seniors and children can enjoy cooking and baking delicious goodies together. It is always a wonderful time when seniors can share entertaining stories of their youth as kids can get messy in the kitchen. Let them take a cooking class together.
Getting out into the great outdoors and fresh air allows seniors and children to connect as they grow fruits, vegetables and flowers to better their lifestyles and the community. Gardening is an engaging activity as seniors can show how plants grow for a season. While they may have mobility issues, the seniors can still teach children how to plant and harvest their bounties.
Don’t forget that children have a lot to teach when it comes to the new technology of their age. Emailing, surfing the web, downloading apps on tablets or smartphones, playing computer games and other tech activities are perfect things that children can show seniors how to do. Children will feel empowered that they have knowledge that can be shared and used. Seniors can understand more about technology that can help them keep connected to their families and friends.
Board Games and Puzzles
Watch a child’s eyes light up when they learn that board games and puzzles aren’t always on the computer. Let seniors teach children how to play classic games that the older adults enjoyed as kids. Children learn to take turns and have fun. The children can also teach seniors about their favorite new games as both of them can develop stronger cognitive and memory skills.
For seniors who are physically fit to move about, hiking is the perfect activity they can have with children to learn more about nature and the ecosystems around them. Take photographs of birds, mammals, plants and just great scenes of nature. Even if the senior cannot get away to the forest, beach or mountains, they can take walks around the neighborhood. Snapping photos of natural or historical landmarks makes it an educational opportunity to both groups.
Readings and Lunch Dates
Spending time together doesn’t have to be a highly active event. Low-key activities such as lunch dates and readings are perfect for seniors who have mobility issues while young children listen to entertaining stories. Children can also practice their reading skills by telling stories to seniors who have poor vision, or both seniors and children can sit back and eat snacks while listening to audio books.
There is a wide range of craft projects children and seniors can make together. From sewing quilts to making holiday ornaments, both kids and seniors can share their craft ideas with each other to make great items to decorate the home or to give out as gifts. Craft projects allow for creativity and ingenuity as the project can be tailored for different child age groups.
There isn’t any reason children can’t teach seniors how to stay young at heart as seniors teach kids important life skills. Both age groups can learn from each other while building stronger relationships.