Quality time between grandchildren and grandparents is invaluable. However, it’s important to realize that visiting a grandparent in an assisted living facility, memory care facility, or nursing home can be scary for young children. Find activities that grandkids and seniors can do together to build a loving relationship and meaningful memories.
1. Play a Game
Games are a great way to relieve tension and create a more comfortable environment for children. Card games, puzzles, and board games are easily-accessible options that can be played indoors when the weather is gloomy.
2. Look Back at the Past
Bring along recent or old family photo albums and share memories. Many children enjoy hearing about life in the olden days and may be fascinated to learn what life was like when grandma and grandpa were kids.
3. Show Off Talents
If your child has a talent, he or she may enjoy showing it off to the grandparents. Whether its art, music, dancing, or any other hobby or interest, kids often love to perform, and doting grandparents love to watch their grandkids having fun.
4. Read a Book
There’s no better way to spend a quiet afternoon than reading a book with someone you love. Bring along a few books for your child to read to the grandparents or vise-versa. For older children, consider bringing a chapter book that can be read one chapter at a time during visits.
5. Get Active
Many senior facilities have walking paths and other areas where seniors can safely enjoy the outdoors. Grandparents and grandkids can go for a brief walk (or stroll for grandparents in wheelchairs) around the facility. Some facilities may also offer exercise classes that kids and seniors can take together.
6. Take a Trip
Join your elderly parent and children to a trip to a museum or other local attraction. Getting out in the community is a great way for children to discover new things while achieving bonding time with their grandparent.
7. Create a Craft
Many children and seniors enjoy crafts, making them the perfect activity to do together. Build a birdhouse, make jewelry with beads, or make art with paints and canvas boards.
8. Plant a Garden
Many senior living facilities offer gardening programs. Seniors can help their grandchildren develop their green thumbs by digging, planting, and watering the community garden.
9. Host a Movie Night
Movie nights are fun for children and adults of all ages. Play a classic film or find something on TV to watch together. Bring along a few fun snacks to share like popcorn or candy.
10. Go Bird Watching
Bird watching is a simple, yet engaging activity that may intrigue your child. Seniors and grandkids can watch birds outdoors or from a window. You can help your child identify the birds they find by borrowing bird books from your local library.
Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and other facilities in which grandparents live can be a little intimidating for grandchildren during visits. However, the right entertainment can make your kids feel right at home. Encourage seniors and grandkids to spend time together by providing suggestions for enjoyable activities.