Keeping the relationship between the older generation and the younger one strong is important. It helps kids develop healthy attitudes about aging and to appreciate the positive contributions older adults can play in their lives. For the senior generation, having children and young adults in their lives can elevate mood and decrease rates of depression. Finding ways to help foster those bonds can sometimes be challenging. Because of that, we have pulled together a list of ideas to help you get started.
Creating Meaningful Inter-generational Activities
The winter weather in Michigan may limit inter-generational activities to just those that can take place indoors. Here are a few suggestions:
- Wii Games: Invest in a Wii for your senior loved one to keep in their home. The two generations can use it to work out or play games together. You can even set up some Wii challenges among the three generations of your family.
- Puzzles: Purchase a puzzle that the two generations can work on over the winter. Store it on a small card table in a corner between visits. Puzzles are available for every age group and in a variety of sizes and themes. The time spent trying to assemble the puzzle will gives the two generations a chance for small talk and bonding.
- Magic Kit: Another fun project can be to learn how to perform a few magic tricks together. Most hobby and toy stores have magic kits and supplies you can purchase relatively inexpensively.
- Karaoke: Having a regular karaoke night might be another activity the two generations would enjoy. You can often find used ones at good prices on local community garage sale sites on Facebook.
- Game Night: Board games or card games are usually a hit with both generations. Depending upon the age of the children, they can play anything from Go Fish to Monopoly together. This Best Seller List might give you a few ideas for new winter games.
- Scrapbooking: This continues to be a favorite hobby for all generations. Scrapbooking is especially easy to do if your children or senior loved one has a smart phone with a camera. They can take pictures of their daily activities and outings to add to and decorate in their scrapbook.
- Watching Wild. If your senior loved one’s home has a window where they can see wildlife, another idea might be for them to volunteer for the Watch the Wild Volunteers of all ages track wildlife they see in their own backyard and submit it to Nature Abounds. The information is used to help detect changes in our eco-system.
Finally, never underestimate the fun of an old-fashioned movie marathon. Grandparents.com has a variety of reviews to make it easier to select DVDs that both generations will enjoy.