Fun Activities for Seniors and Children
Ask kids what they are most excited about, and a lot of them would probably say that they cannot wait until they get older, while more than a few senior citizens would likely jump on the opportunity to be young again. Switching places is obviously not possible, but both kids and seniors can still take part in intergenerational activities.
In an era where it’s easier to stay connected, people have shown a tendency to shy away from climbing out of their comfort zone, and that’s a real shame. By venturing out and mingling with new people, you can learn all kinds of things and enjoy numerous wonderful experiences.
Pairing senior citizens with kids during free time may seem like an odd choice at first, but there are real reasons to do it. If both sides are engaged, the benefits from their interactions can be truly rewarding.
The Benefits of Bringing Senior Citizens and Kids Together
It seems like a mismatch at first.
To say that kids and senior citizens usually have wildly differing likes and dislikes would be an understatement. Getting them on the same page would seemingly be a Herculean task.
The truth is that, yes, it won’t be easy to bring senior citizens and kids together, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon that pursuit. Maybe it will take some time convincing the two sides to warm up to the idea, but the effort will be more than worth it considering the potential benefits for both.
How Senior Citizens Benefit from Spending Time with Kids
Why is it a good idea for senior citizens to hang out with kids? The reasons are quite plentiful, and they are wide-ranging as well.
Senior Citizens Are Given a Renewed Sense of Purpose
Retirement is great for many reasons.
You don’t have to wake up early in the morning anymore, dealing with rush hour traffic is a thing of the past, and you have more time to spend with your loved ones. Add to that all the time you have now to concentrate on your hobbies, and it’s no wonder that so many people dream of retiring at an early age.
If there is a downside to retirement, it’s that you can lose your sense of purpose.
For the longest time, you’ve had something to do. As a child and young adult, you had school and good grades to strive for. Upon finishing your studies, you had your job and those promotions to target.
Once you’re retired, those things go away. You are a grandparent and an elder member of society, but you may not always remember that reality. You’re certainly not reminded as often as before when you had things to do daily.
By working with kids, senior citizens have a renewed sense of purpose. They can mentor children and prepare them better for the challenges they will face later in life. By working with kids, senior citizens have a renewed sense of purpose. They can mentor children and prepare them better for the challenges they will face later in life.
Knowing that they can have an impact on society’s future by mentoring the children of today will certainly give senior citizens a new sense of purpose.
Senior Citizens Can Enjoy Improved Health
It’s easy to fall into unhealthy routines. With no real need to go anywhere and exert yourself, finding the motivation to stay in shape can be difficult.
Of course, aging bodies are harder to care for in general, but still, prolonged inactivity does not help things.
Spending time with kids is not going to magically improve a senior citizen’s health, but positive changes could emerge in the future. Studies have already indicated as much.
Those changes make sense too when you think about it.
Senior citizens can fall victim to complacency if they are spending the bulk of their time with people who are as old as them. It’s hard to get the motivation to move around and exercise when everyone around you is not showing a ton of energy.
Introduce a kid to the senior circle, and everyone suddenly looks revitalized.
On top of that, it may trigger the parental instincts of senior citizens once kids come around. They will be more motivated to eat something healthy to show kids that they need to forego the junk food as well.
Some senior citizens who have lost their enthusiasm for eating may be encouraged to take part in it again if they get to share mealtime with kids.
A senior citizen’s mental abilities may also improve after they get the chance to spend time with younger people. Their minds can be stimulated and challenged in ways they haven’t been in years if they opt to play games with kids.
If that keeps up over a long period of time, senior citizens will surely enjoy improved health.
Senior Citizens Can Learn More about Technology and New Devices
Not all senior citizens are woefully inept when it comes to handling gadgets, but more than a few of them certainly have their struggles. At first glance, it may not seem like a big deal if senior citizens cannot use gadgets, but they are missing out.
First off, smartphones and tablets make it easier than ever for senior citizens to keep in touch with their loved ones. Regular phone calls help maintain connections with loved ones. Video calls are even better for that.
All senior citizens can benefit from having an easier way to connect with their relatives.
Senior citizens knowing how to handle newer devices can also help improve their quality of life.
During their downtime, seniors can open up their smartphones and watch some old shows or movies. Alternatively, they can also check out the newer offerings that are available.
Senior citizens can also use their devices to play games or read some articles and books.
The bottom line is that senior citizens can benefit immensely from using handheld devices. Kids and young teens today know all about getting the most out of their devices, and they can pass off a bit of their knowledge to the older folks who may need a bit of guidance.
How Kids Benefit from Spending Time with Senior Citizens
Older people aren’t the only ones who stand to gain something positive. The kids who spend time with them can also take something good away from those experiences.
Kids Can Pick Up Valuable Life Experiences
There is no substitute for experience.
Schools can prepare young people for when they eventually venture out in the real world by teaching them various lessons, but there is no way to get them ready for what it’s like to be a professional, the same for being a parent or being a mature individual in general.
Obviously, kids will need to wait a while before they can have those experiences themselves. However, senior citizens can step in and share their insight on what it’s like to have a job and to take on more responsibilities.
Since most senior citizens have a lot of free time, they can go into greater detail about their working experiences and give the younger generation a better idea of what to expect when the time comes for them to step up and take over.
Kids Can Learn How to Handle Their Emotions Better
The mind of an older person does decline in some ways, but it’s also important to note that it improves in certain areas as well. To be more specific, as people grow older, they also develop better emotional skills.
When you start to think about it, that change makes plenty of sense.
Older people have had more significant and varied life experiences. They’ve experienced great joys, grieved the loss of loved ones, and they’ve also likely grown familiar with the changing dynamics of personal relationships.
Most kids and teens probably have not had those experiences yet.
Thanks to their emotional intelligence, senior citizens can tell younger people how to better cope with their emotions so that they can eventually lead happier lives.
Kids Can Witness a More Accurate Depiction of Growing Old
Bridging the gap between generations can be a challenge because it’s hard for kids to empathize with older individuals. Kids don’t know what it’s like to be in an older individual’s shoes, after all.
That’s why it’s so important for them to spend time getting to know senior citizens. The time they spend together with the older folks can help them understand what it’s like to be at that age.
They can see firsthand how things they take for granted become luxuries for older people. Younger individuals may also see more of themselves in their older counterparts the more time they spend together.
Instead of being on opposite sides, young people and old folks can get on the same page, and that’s a wonderful thing.
Intergenerational Activities Senior Citizens and Kids Can Try
Now that you have a better grasp of how beneficial time together can be for kids and senior citizens, it’s worth discussing which activities they should try. You probably can put together a pretty long list of activities but included below are some of the more accessible options.
Playing Board Games
Senior citizens don’t get many chances to exercise their critical thinking skills, but one way to encourage them to do so is by asking them to play board games. Whether it’s a newer board game that they will need to learn or an old classic such as chess, senior citizens can have a great time getting their mind into gear again.
As for the younger players, they may pick up some clever tips from their elders that they can use when they match up with their contemporaries.
Creating Arts and Crafts
Showing off their creative side is good for both kids and senior citizens. One way to get them to flash that creativity is by asking them to make something.
Give them a paintbrush, some colors, and a canvas, and see what kind of masterpieces they can come up with. You can also give them some more unconventional art supplies and see how they work with those materials.
Along with the fun they can have during the process, they will also be rewarded with the sight of their creations later.
Going on Walks or Trips
The activities that kids and senior citizens share don’t need to be complex to be enjoyable. They can be something as simple as taking a walk together.
Regular walks around the neighborhood will help both kids and senior citizens stay in good shape. Developing that kind of habit early on is particularly helpful to growing kids.
If the regular walks are getting a tad bland, the children and their older companions can also go on longer trips.
Do you want to present an activity to senior citizens and kids that can be rewarding in more ways than one? If that’s the case for you, then it may be wise to suggest gardening as a possible past time.
Provide some seeds for them to plant and ask them to care for those crops until they are ready for harvest. The sight of the crops growing is sure to put a smile on their faces.
Aside from the rewarding feeling they can get from seeing their crops mature, gardening is also a great hobby to pick up for seniors and kids because they will have terrific ingredients to use for cooking.
Speaking of cooking, that’s one more worthwhile activity senior citizens and kids can enjoy together.
Older folks will relish the chance to step into a kitchen again and pass their cooking knowledge down to the younger generation. Meanwhile, the kids can learn some techniques and recipes that they can use later on to ensure that they will eat healthier meals regularly.
Cooking is a productive way to spend a morning or afternoon, and it doubles as a fantastic bonding experience.
Entrust Your Loved Ones to the Caring Professionals
Accommodating your older relatives in your home if you have a full-time job and a family to take care of can prove to be an impossible task. Your best move in that scenario is to entrust them to professionals who truly care.
Call Bethany Homes today and inquire about how they will ensure the comfort and happiness of your older loved ones.