Holiday activities for seniors and kids

Holiday activities for seniors and kids

The holiday season is a special time of year for many families. It’s a chance to gather with family and friends, and embrace traditions. It’s also a time when most kids are off of school and looking at you to keep them entertained.

Spending time enjoying a hobby or working on a holiday project can be enjoyable and beneficial for the entire family.

The challenge for caregivers who have young children at home while they are also looking after an elderly parent is to find simple activities that the entire family will find enjoyable.

Planning intergenerational activities is also a nice way for children and senior family members to spend time together and build relationships. Once getting your child and elderly parent set up with their holiday activity you can either join in the fun, or take some time to accomplish your own tasks.

Here are some easy holiday activities for families:

Games seniors can play:

Introduce some games and puzzles that seniors can play. Try out different games to see which ones are most enjoyable and appropriate for seniors and children. Don’t select anything overly complicated until you see what level is appropriate for both your child and the elderly person in your care. Games are a good activity to work on memory skills and to keep minds active.

Try these activities for seniors:

  • Card games
  • Scrabble
  • Word searches
  • Crossword puzzles
  • I spy puzzles
  • Simple board games
  • Jigsaw puzzles

Crafts for kids and seniors:

Arts and crafts provide children and seniors with a creative outlet. They can each work on their own creation, or work together on a joint project. Search online using Pinterest for some creative ideas like:

  • Scrapbooking
  • Holiday crafts
  • Painting

Quiet time activities:

Some people simply enjoy being in the company of another while enjoying a quiet activity. These quiet time activities can be a great opportunity to learn more about the person you are spending time with. For example, the elderly person in your care may be reminded of stories from their past while looking through old photos. These stories can be great to share with the child they are spending time with. Quiet time activities may include:

  • Looking through family photos
  • Reading books
  • Enjoying music – listening, singing, or playing instruments
  • Watching movies
  • Colouring books

Light activities for seniors and youth:

Look for intergenerational activities that introduce a bit of movement and light exercise into the day. You’ll want to ensure any activity is appropriate for the fitness levels of both senior and youth participants. Light activities for seniors may include:

  • Walking
  • Bowling
  • Dancing
  • Active video games

Benefits of activities for seniors:

The benefits of intergenerational holiday activities for seniors and kids include:

  • Social: Seniors often feel isolated as they get older. By enjoying time with their grandchildren they can feel a sense of belonging.
  • Educational: Opportunities to share and learn from another generation.
  • Respect: Gained mutual understanding of where each other is coming from.
  • Fun/stimulus: Spending time on an activity is more fulfilling than sitting around being bored!

Sometimes it can seem overwhelming to try to think of intergenerational activities to keep the kids and your elderly parents entertained all day.

The best advice is to keep holiday activities for seniors and kids simple, and aligned with their skill levels and personal interests.

Search online for other great ideas and intergenerational activities. There are tons of creative suggestions for holiday activities for seniors that can easily be done in the home without much cost. See also, our Elizz article on tips for overcoming holiday depression.

Spending time enjoying a hobby or working on a holiday project can be enjoyable and beneficial for the entire family.

 

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