Seniors and kids have a lot in common. It may come as a surprise to you, but it’s true. They enjoy each other’s company because they both can learn from each other and they often enjoy similar activities. And that is why I’ve made a list of 30 amazing and fun activities for seniors and kids to enjoy together. Also, these activities come with great benefits for both groups. Ready? Let’s get started!
1) Play A Board Game
A board game is always a hit. Sitting at the same table together without any distraction to play a board game brings seniors and kids closer together, it reduces stress and increases brain function and cognitive skills. It’s the number one go-to activity when you’re spending time with your grandchildren or when you’re organizing a day for seniors and kids. Also, a great side effect of playing a board game is laughter. Therefore the best activity to have fun and feel good.
But what board game to play? A board game hit is Exploding Kittens. It’s the Game Of The Year Award Winner with more than 10 million copies sold. And great for all ages. It only costs 2 minutes to learn and 15 minutes to play. Perfect for kids and seniors.
2) Go On A Nature Walk
If you’re looking for something free to do, then a nature walk is a good idea. Everyone feels better after a nice walk in the fresh air. You can go to a nearby city park, visit nature or a national park. Seniors love to teach kids more about the birds, trees, plants, and everything that is out there. And kids will show seniors how to look at nature through kids’ eyes, which will make them feel young all over again.
On the walk, you can collect leaves, pick flowers, catch bugs, do geocaching to make it more fun and interesting. Or organize a scavenger hunt that is easy with this ready-to-go scavenger hunt game.
3) Bake Cookies
Everyone loves the smell of freshly baked cookies. It’s fun and easy to do and a perfect activity to enjoy together with your grandchildren on a rainy day. Perhaps you have a famous cookie recipe that you want to share or get creative and invent a new cookie recipe together.
4) Cook A Meal
Why not cook a meal together? It’s a great opportunity to share an old family recipe or learn kids more about healthy food options. Getting kids excited about cooking and food is a great hobby to pass on. It will help them make healthy food decisions in the future. And it’s proven that people sharing a meal tend to eat better. Also, cooking boosts skills such as curiosity, appreciation, creativity, patience, and teamwork. All very important skills for kids to learn. And perhaps some seniors too.
5) Do A Garden Project
If you like to garden or have a green thumb a great activity for you to do with kids is a garden project. You can start a herb or vegetable garden indoors or let them help you trim plants or plant new flowers in your garden. Gardening has many health benefits for seniors, but also kids. Even if you don’t know how to start a vegetable garden, there are vegetable growing kits that make it easy for you.
6) Play An Outdoor Game
Another fun activity is to plan an outdoor game, which is great the improve physical health. And the most popular game of them all is corn hole. It can be played one on one or in teams of two. Each beanbag that is shot in the hole is worth three points just like in basketball. Bags on the board is worth one point. The winner is the team who earns 21 points first. Even seniors in wheelchairs are able to play this game.
7) Do A Science Experiment
Another amazing activity that both seniors and kids enjoy is to do a fun science experiment together. Perhaps you remember a couple of fun science experiments from school or you can search for easy science project tutorials on YouTube. Kids and you will love it.
A unique science project is this Grow ‘N Glow Terrarium Kit. You can grow your own mini-ecosystem that also glows in the dark.
8) Go Through Family Photos
As a kid I loved going through old family photos to my grandparents life adventures. And ask them about it over and over again to learn more about their past. As a senior you have a whole life story to tell and kids will love hearing all about the crazy adventures and things you did as a kid.
A prefect activity for rainy days is to go through old family photos and tell the stories that you can remember when looking at the pictures. It’s nice to create a moment to reminisce about the good old times, and share these memories with your (grand)kids.
Exercise together. It’s great for everyone’s health. You can check out great workouts on YouTube that fit your abilities, put some music on, throw in a game, and it’s fun for kids too.
Put on some music and have a dance-off to show your best moves. It’s a great opportunity for you to introduce kids to dance styles that were popular in the 50s/ 60s/ 70s/ 80s etc. And kids can show you what moves are trendy now so you can show them off the next time you’re surrounded by children.
Dancing is not only fun it’s also a great low-impact workout for seniors that strengthens the heart, lungs, muscles and improves coordination, balance, and flexibility. And it’s a great mood booster.
Kids love to color. But chances are you do too. Adult coloring books have gone through the roof because also adults have fallen back in love with coloring. It’s one of the easiest ways to reduce stress, but it is also a great way to nurture focus, creativity and improve fine motor skills, and helps to develop hand strength. Which can be beneficial for seniors too. You can color together on one blank piece of paper, give each other an assignment on what to color, or color together in a coloring book.
12) Create A Playlist
Why not create a playlist on Spotify together to listen to every time you’re together. Listening to each other favorite music brings you closer together, and introducing each other to new music is a great conversation starter. You get to know each other better.
One song can have a thousand memories and similar stories. And listening to this playlist is creating another memory to cherish forever.
13) Do A Puzzle
Being in the moment and solving a puzzle makes you forget about all your worries for a moment. It’s the reason why everyone loves to solve puzzles. And therefore a perfect activity for seniors and kids. Depending on the age you can solve a jigsaw puzzle from 12 to 1000 pieces, and when the kids are a little bit older you can put together this awesome 3D Sailing Ship.
For seniors, it’s important to keep their brains healthy. Studies have shown that solving jigsaw puzzles improves cognitive skills and sparks the imagination in the brain that gives your creativity and productivity a boost. And for kids, it helps to develop fine motor skills. So puzzling is not only fun but also has enormous health benefits.
14) Play A Video Game
When you think about video games you imagine it’s only fun for kids. But a lot of videogames are enjoyable for seniors too and it has great benefits. A mental activity like playing a video game can decrease the chance of developing illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s. And just like any other game and puzzle, it keeps the mind sharp. Also, most kids know how to play video games these days, so they can teach seniors a thing or two but also help them get better at using digital devices.
Best Video Games For Seniors And Kids
- Wii Sports; a mental and physical video game where you can explore and try out different sports.
- Super Mario; everyone knows and loves Super Mario.
- Animal Crossing; a video game where you can create your personal getaway and customize your character, home, decorations, and even the landscape itself.
15) Do Bingo
A lot of seniors love bingo, but kids like to help out during bingo too. So if there is a bingo senior event you can bring along the kids to enjoy as well. Or organize a bingo at home with fun prices to enjoy with your grandchildren.
16) Read A Book
One of the best activities for seniors and kids to have fun together is to read together. From a young age (even as babies) kids love it if you read a book together. It stimulates their imagination and it’s a moment where they can enjoy undivided attention of an adult. Which doesn’t happen very often, due to busy working and social schedules.
Depending on the age you can read a book out loud to kids, read together one book, help them out with reading or choose to read separate books as you sit next to each other on a comfy couch.
Have a karaoke party and have fun as you sing the day away. Each person can choose their own songs to sing or sing a duet together. It’s a great way to introduce each other to their worlds through song selection. It’s an evening filled with all-time classics to the hottest songs of the moment. It’s a great activity to let go and have fun.
18) Go Bird Watching
Get out into nature and go bird watching together. You can visit a park, go into the woods or stay in your backyard to go bird watching. It’s a cheap activity that both seniors and kids will enjoy. Make it a bit more fun and interesting with a book such as Backpack Explorer: Bird Watch: What Will You Find? that is filled with interactive field guides (for common birds, nests, eggs, tracks, and more), scavenger hunts, and fun activities such as building a bird nest, etc.
19) Tell Jokes
Everyone has at least one of two good jokes up their sleeve. Have some fun and crack out the best jokes with each other. And see who has the best joke where everyone laughs the hardest.
20) Do An Arts & Craft Project
Get creative and do a fun art & craft project together. You can make a painting, build a birdhouse, make jewelry, dye t-shirts, paint rocks, make candles, macramé, do mosaic. There are so many fun art projects that you can do. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration and tutorials.
21) Watch A Movie
Pop some popcorn, snuggle on the couch and watch a movie, because there a so many fun movies both classics and new ones that are fun for kids and adults to watch. To name a few: Toy Story, Mary Poppins, How To Train Your Dragon, Inside Out, The Wizard of Oz, E.T., Paddington.
22) Learn A New Skill
Another fun activity is learning a new skill because learning is for all ages and together it’s a lot more fun. Also, it keeps the mind sharp. And there endless skills to learn that are suitable for kids and seniors. For example, you can organize a workshop to learn how to play the guitar, watch tutorials on YouTube to learn a Magic Trick, use an app to learn a new foreign language, etc.
23) Volunteer At A Charity
Many seniors and retirees love to do volunteer work. It gives their life more meaning. And teaching kids to volunteer is a valuable life lesson. They get an experience that will stick with them for a lifetime. Helping others in need and experiencing that they can make a difference in someone else’s life teaches them that they can make a difference in their own life as well. And it gives them a different perspective on the world. Also for (lonely) seniors, it’s a great way to spend their time. Helping others instantly makes you happy.
You can check out if you can volunteer at your favorite charity, local (church) community, or other charity organizations in your area.
24) Go On A Trip
Hit the road and go on a trip. You can go camping together, fishing, visit a theme park, museum, national park, library, local farmers market, swimming pool, beach, concert or festival.
25) Have A Water Balloon Fight
On a hot day you can organize a water balloon fight, because everyone loves a good water fight to cool off. And if you or other seniors are in good shape why not participate in a slip and slide.
26) Share Technology Skills
Kids and seniors can share their knowledge and skills in different areas of technology. The obvious is of course kids teaching seniors more about digital technology and how to work on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. But it can also be the other way around. Seniors can teach kids all the devices that came before the smartphone. Maybe you have an old VHS recorder, cassette player, or typewriter in the garage that you can show kids how it all worked in the good old days.
For example, if you both have an interest in cars you can teach kids more about care repair and maintenance. It can be a great bonding experience.
27) Watch The Stars
Get out of the city and watch go stargazing together. It’s relaxing and puts your mind at ease because your problems seem very small compared to the gigantic universe you’re observing. Besides the relaxing benefits, the night sky is beautiful. And there is a potential to see a shooting star and make a wish. It’s a great activity for all ages. And with the app SkyView you can see which constellations are passing by across the sky.
28) Plan A Party
Organize a party together. It can be a tea party, pool party, movie marathon, game night or dinner party that you both will plan and enjoy together.
29) Go An A Date
Treat each other by going on a nice date and spend quality time as you share ice cream, lunch, or dinner together and talk about life.
30) Have An Animal Encounter
Everyone loves to watch, touch, and see animals in their natural environment. It’s a great activity that both kids and seniors enjoy. And there are so many different opportunities to see animals in the wild. You can go snorkeling, go on a hike to watch birds, squirrels, visit a national park, go to the beach or harbor to spot dolphins or seals or go on a boat to see if you can spot whales.