One of most effective ways of looking after older parents and providing them with good care is to ensure that they are kept sociable, especially with their own family.
Getting grandparents and grandchildren involved in the same activity can be tricky, however. Fortunately, there are plenty of activities that the whole family can enjoy. We spoke to several families to find out what activities they like to do together and compiled a top ten list.
1. Hold tea parties
Keep them simple, just drinks and cake, but include all generations and make them fun. These are especially good for less mobile grandparents or those with dementia. They love to see the grandchildren play and will often join in when others laugh. Small groups ensure the grandparents stay included.
2. Enjoy the outdoors
The park is a great place for grandparents and grandkids to get exercise. Take a picnic and make a day of it. Try gardening together – growing fruit and vegetables is a project you can share over the whole summer. Kids love to eat anything they grow themselves.
3. Make short movies together
it’s so easy now to make short movies using phones or tablets and even young kids know how to shoot and edit. Come up with a story together and act it out. You’ll not only have fun making it, you’ll also have a wonderful memory to look back on for years to come.
4. Have your own karaoke party
There are lots of karaoke apps that let you sing along to your favourite songs. With music available from every era, everyone can find a song they love. Even if some people are too shy to join in, everyone will enjoy watching the others sing.
5. Look at old photo albums together
This is one of those activities that everyone can enjoy. Grandchildren love to see photos of their parents when they were kids and hear stories about them. For older grandparents, it’s always comforting to share photos and enjoy the memories.
6. Cooking and baking
Kids love to help out in the kitchen and this is a great way for grandparents to spend fun times with their grandkids. For younger children, start off with simple recipes like cookies or pancakes. As they grow up, your recipes can get more adventurous.
7. The holiday season
This isn’t just about turkey, Santa and presents. Kids love to look at holiday window displays in downtown stores and watch Santa Claus parades. Holiday markets are great to visit together, with carol singers and festive treats bringing the season alive.
8. Card and board games
Many games work well for keeping people of all ages happy. These games can bring multiple benefits: enjoying the time together, keeping minds sharp and keeping kids away from their electronics.
9. Go on day trips
A family day trip is a truly meaningful activity for seniors, especially those who are mostly housebound. Museums and science centres are fascinating for all age groups. Visiting a beach or a new town brings a welcome change of scenery. Botanical gardens provide a taste of summer all year round – the grandparents will appreciate the beautiful flowers and the grandkids will love the bright colours and strange plants.
10. Put on a magic show
This is one of those activities that grandchildren will love to be involved in. You can learn, make and practice magic tricks together by watching online instructional videos. Get an audience together and enjoy the look of pride on your grandchildren’s faces when you put on your magic show.