Many seniors think that they can’t learn a new skill, but that’s not true at all. I’ve investigated this topic thoroughly and wrote many articles about it to disprove this apparently common thought. Research has even shown that learning new skills at an older age for six weeks can even make your brain perform 30 years younger.
Well, now that you’re more informed you might be interested in learning a new skill. And that is why I’ve made a list of 25 easy-to-learn new skills for seniors that you can start today! Because when you’ve got the hang of it you might never want to stop!
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1) How To Say Hello In Different Languages
Learning a new language is on many people’s bucket lists. It’s fun to know a couple of words in another language, but it takes a lot of time, practice, and effort to speak and write in a new language.
But there is another language skill you can learn as a senior that doesn’t take months to master, but you can learn today. And that is to say hello in different languages. You never know who you might meet tomorrow in your home town or on your next travel adventure, so wouldn’t it be fun and surprising when you can say hello to them in their own language. It will definitely be a nice conversation starter. And creates many opportunities for you to meet other people of different cultures. I’ve experienced for myself that only a ‘hello’ can roll out into being invited to someone’s home, wedding, or meeting their family. And these spontaneous meetings are the most treasured travel memories I have.
If you’re wondering if you can learn a new language as a senior read my article: Can Seniors Learn A New Language?.
2) How To Cook Like Gordon Ramsay
Another fun skill to master is the art of cooking. Whether you’re a great cook or a beginner there is always something new to learn within cooking. From making the perfect omelet, creating a new signature dish, or refreshing an old famous recipe. Knowing how to cook makes life fun and delicious. Not only for yourself or your spouse but also for your family and friends.
When you love to get better at cooking there is an amazing online video learning platform that is called: Masterclass. No matter your skill level you can learn from the best chefs in the world: Gordon Ramsay, Aaron Franklin, Thomas Keller, Massimo Bottura, Alice Waters, and many others greatest. At your own pace, time, and device. And with one subscription you have access to all 100+ masterclasses on the platform for an entire year. It’s definitely worth your time to check it out.
3) How To Make An Origami Crane
Do you like to get creative? Then learning how to make an origami flower is a fun creative skill you can master today. And I wish of yours might become true… Let me explain that last part.
Origami is Japanese recreational art that is centuries old. The word origami combines “ori” (to fold in Japanese) and “kami” (paper in Japanese). Making an origami crane symbolizes hope and healing in difficult times and the Japanese believe that if a person folds 1000 origami cranes, one wish would become true. So it takes 1000 cranes, but you never know 😉
Besides the traditional meaning behind origami, making origami animals or flowers also helps to develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, which are important skills to maintain independence as a senior.
4) How To Learn Your Pet A New Trick
Do you have a cat or a dog? Then it’s fun to learn them a new trick.
You don’t have to be a dog trainer or attend a class to gain the skills to train your dog. There are many fun YouTube videos out there that can teach you many tricks. For both cats and dogs and maybe even another pet you have. It makes the bond between you and your pet a lot stronger, and the more tricks you learn the easier it will be for you both to learn new tricks in the future.
I’ve written an entire article about the effect of having pets when you’re older. You can it out: 10 Scientific Based Facts How Pets Help Old People.
5) How To Tell A Great Story
Storytelling is a skill that can be very powerful. It’s a great tool to influence, teach and inspire others. The difference between telling a story and telling a great story is that you both share information, but with telling a great story you make an emotional connection and make the information you share more memorable.
So whether you like to tell bedtime stories to your grandchildren, you have a business where you need to persuade customers or you like to inspire others with your wisdom and life experience, the skill to tell great stories is always very useful. But where do you learn this skill?
Earlier in this article, I mentioned Masterclass: the education video streaming platform where you have can follow masterclasses from the world’s greatest. The awesome part about Masterclass is that you have access to all 100+ different classes including amazing storytelling classes from LeVar Burton, Neil Gaiman, Walter Mosley, David Sedaris, Joyce Carol Oates, Salman Rushdie, etc.
As a senior, you like to be in charge of your own schedule, and that is why Masterclass works perfectly because you can learn at your own pace, time, and place. Make sure to check out the website where you can watch class trailers, samples and browse through lesson plans.
6) How To Love Cold Showers
I know you think, why do I want to love cold showers? And is it a skill?
Well, yes it’s a skill to take a shower and not feel shocked or have the feeling you want to get out as soon as possible. And you want to take cold showers because it has an amazing effect on your immune system according to Wim Hof. If you’re not convinced make sure to check out the video below or visit WimHofmethod.com
7) How To Paint Like Bob Ross
Knowing how to paint is a skill many people like to master. And we’ve all seen Bob Ross on TV that made painting look so easy, and wondered if we’re able to do that too. Well, why not try it out. You don’t know if you never try, right? Know the only thing you need to do is to get a painting starter kit and watch this video below.
Painting has many benefits. Finishing a piece of art is a great confidence booster. And focusing on creating art reduces feelings of stress and anxiety. And painting forces you to use both sides of the brain: the creative right part and the more logical left part. And using both sides simultaneously improves cognitive brain functions which will only benefit you in the present moment and future.
8) How To Play A Song On The Piano
Do you have a piano at home, but you’re not able to play it. Well, dust it off because you can learn to play a song on the piano today by watching the video below.
9) How To Build A Fire
Knowing how to build a fire and surviving in the wild is an awesome skill to master. Not that you’re going on a wilderness adventure anytime soon, but having the skills is already an adventure on its own.
The Masterclass of Jessie Krebs is amazing to watch when you want to learn more about surviving in the wild, from building a fire, a shelter to navigation techniques and water 101. Check out the trailer and lesson plan here.
10) How To Fold Towels Into Animals
Have you ever been on a Carnival Cruise? Well, if you have you know what I’m talking about. But if you haven’t let me inform you about something cool. Every day when housekeeping cleaned your cabin they would leave an animal (folded towel) on your bed. And some of these animals were the most creative pieces of art. And this too is a fun new skill to learn easily today. Especially when you have many guests staying over. You can surprise your grandchildren or guests with folded towel art. I myself have this book: Carnival Towel Creations. Or you can watch this video below.
11) How To Make Latte Art
Do you like to drink coffee? Then learning how to make latte art is a fun skill to learn. You can surprise your spouse tomorrow with heart-shaped coffee created with a Coffee Steaming Pitcher.
12) How To Perform A Magic Trick
A lot of magic tricks need hours or months of practice, but there are magic tricks out there that anyone can learn in a couple of minutes. A great skill for parties and social gatherings.
When you’ve signup for Masterclass you can watch the class of the famous magic act duo Penn & Teller who will teach you more about the art of magic.
13) How To Solve A Rubik’s Cube
Solving a Rubik’s cube doesn’t have to be moving the pieces around aimlessly for hours on end. The cube has a formula or algorithm and once you know the trick you’ve got the skill to solve a Rubik’s cube fast and easy. It will for sure impress a lot of people.
14) How To Juggle
Another fun new skill to learn is juggling. Did you know it also benefits you as a senior in many ways?
For starters, it’s a low-impact physical exercise that strengthens your arms. But juggling also improves hand-eye coordination, balance, fine-motor skills, and relieves stress. This makes your life healthier and happier. So why not start learning today?
15) How To Do The Moonwalk
The moonwalk is probably one of the most iconic dance moves of all time. The ones that are great at the moonwalk make it look so effortless. But you don’t have to be a professional dancer to be able to do the moonwalk, so clear out your living room or bedroom and start practicing.
16) How To Repair A Leaking Sink
Having the skills of a handyman can save you a lot of money, but it also can make your life more comfortable, efficient and increases your home value when you do it the right way. So if you haven’t started with learning how to do basic home repairs, today is probably a good day. And knowing how to repair a leaking sink is a great skill to master. Not only for your own home, but you can help out your elderly neighbor, kids, and other family members.
And if you don’t want to become the family’s new handyman, just keep this skill for yourself. It will be a secret between us.
17) How To Meditate
Knowing how to meditate makes your life instantly more peaceful and calm. It’s not quite a skill that you learn once and you’re set for the rest of your life. Although the experience can have you hooked. It’s a practice that you want to keep doing on a regular basis to experience more inner peace throughout your day, week, month and years ahead. When you do it often, you’ll get better at it but each meditation session is an experience on its own. Sometimes it’s harder, sometimes it’s easier. Accepting this is part of the mediation skill.
If you don’t know what meditation is let me explain it to you. It’s a breathing technique that makes it possible for you to slow down your thoughts and create distance between your thoughts and yourself. This distance allows you to see thoughts as thoughts, and see feelings as feelings. You are not your thoughts or feelings, but you experience thoughts and feelings just like any other human. The distance gives you the conscious choice not to engage with them. This brings you a more sense of calm, peace, and balance and that benefits your entire well-being. It eases your mind no matter the circumstances.
You need to experience it and only then you can understand the power of it. And the best man for that job is Jon Kabat-Zinn in his Meditation and Mindfulness Masterclass.
18) How To Yoga
Yoga is a low-impact physical exercise with the aim to bring harmony between mind and body. Often meditation and yoga go hand in hand. When you’re a more active senior, yoga is a great mindfulness activity that can have the same result as meditation. There are different types of yoga and depending on your physical athleticism, you can try out different ones as a senior. The general rule is that the more slow and gentle forms of yoga are best for seniors.
Once you know a couple of yoga poses you can do them whenever and wherever you are. In the morning when you wake up, at the beach or together with your friends. You don’t have to be in a yoga class to do yoga.
19) How To Remove A Red Wine Stain
Do you love to drink a nice glass of red wine, but you don’t want to anymore because you don’t want the stain. Then it’s time to learn how to remove a red wine stain.
20) How To Take Better Photos
Taking photos is so easy these days. The quality of the lenses of smartphones keeps getting better every year, but there is a lot more to it to take better photos. It’s knowing how to adjust camera settings, composition, finding the right perspective, playing with lighting, experiment with exposure, etc that can help you from taking average photos to amazing photos. Perhaps you take such good photos that you want to use it for wall art.
21) How To Draw A Mandala
Many different cultures around the world use mandalas in a spiritual way. Drawing a mandala isn’t just about drawing it’s much more than that. The shape of the mandala symbolizes the universe and drawing a mandala is helpful for insight into yourself, healing, and is believed to be the truest form of self-expression. And once you have the basic steps to draw a mandala you can start creating your own unique mandalas by experimenting with new designs and colors. It’s also a very mindful activity that can calm you down and ease your mind. So whenever you feel stressed you can always draw a mandala.
22) Learn To Not Care
Often we care so much about what other people think of us it influences our life on a daily basis. In what we wear, eat, do, where we work, live, etc. For the last decade, social media has played a major part in that. Life would be so much more fun and easy if we care a little less. Perhaps then you have the guts to pursue your bucket list dream or start the weird hobby you’re interested in. No wonder that this book: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life is such a bestseller. Everyone wants to care a little less to create more happiness in their daily lives.
23) Learn Yoyo Tricks
Revisit your childhood where yoyoing was still a thing and cool and learn some new tricks.
24) Learn To Eat With Chopsticks
Have you ever visited an Asian country or restaurant and were amazed about how people ate with chopsticks. Well, why not learn how to eat with chopsticks today? Next time you eat at your favorite Thai restaurant you will impress some people with your new skills.
25) Learn To Be Alone
Saving the best for last. A very important skill to learn as a senior is learning to be alone and being comfortable with it. Many seniors feel lonely and that makes you feel miserable. But there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Loving to be alone is one of the best skills you can learn because you’re the only person that needs to live with yourself their entire life. Other people come and unfortunately go. And having a great relationship with yourself is vital for your health and happiness. So if there is one new skill you should learn as a senior this is it.
You can watch the video below but I recommend getting this book: How to Be Alone: If You Want To, and Even If You Don’t