COVID-19 has taken a lot of valuable family time away from seniors due to mandatory stay-at-home restrictions.
As the months have passed since our initial concerns about coronavirus in the U.S., those restrictions have changed.
Depending on surges in cases, what states seniors reside in, and what phases of re-opening each community is in, some people are now able to go out in public and visit with loved ones with caution.
Here are a few activities that seniors can participate in when they get together with those grandchildren whom they haven’t seen in a while.
For some ease, each list has been divided up so that activities are age-appropriate:
With grandchildren ages 10 years and younger:
- Reading books together: Sit down and read a few children’s books together. To make it more fun, create a reading fort, tent, or pillowed play area.
- T-shirt painting: Locate some very simple fabric pain or T-shirt dye and go to town on some plain white shirts. Make sure both the grandchildren AND the grandparents make their own shirts so they can share their results at the end.
- Neighborhood walks: Pick a beautiful day and go for a short walk around the neighborhood, through a beautiful park, along the beach, or just through town. Be cautious around larger groups of people.
- Baking cookies together: Choose a simple cookie recipe to bake together in the kitchen. Come prepared knowing that young children touch and lick everything, so set some ground rules to avoid sharing germs.
- Dance parties: Turn on a list of tunes from the radio, from a music collection, or even from an online library. Take turns choosing songs to dance to or even turn the whole affair into a dance-off.
- Singing time: Pass the time by singing favorite children’s songs together. Take the time to teach grandchildren songs from your childhood.
With grandchildren ages 11 years and older:
- Bike rides: If health permits, take a bike ride around the neighborhood, a favorite park, or a biking trail.
- Video games: Even if it’s new and slightly uncomfortable, grandparents can sit down and learn how to play a few video games that their grandchildren enjoy. Just remember to sanitize the controls between uses.
- Wood shop: Grandparents who have a knack for woodwork and construction can take their grandchildren to the old garage and teach them some basic woodworking skills. Whether it’s making a bench or gluing two Popsicle sticks together, it is quality time while teaching and learning new skills.
- Car maintenance: Teach the grandchildren basic car repair including changing the oil, changing a flat tire, replacing brake pads, etc. If you so desire, and the skill is age appropriate, walk them through more advanced car repair.
- Board games: Pull the board games out of the closet and enjoy a friendly game night with food and drinks. Be mindful of games that involve passing and repeatedly touching different game pieces, especially ones that are difficult to clean.
If any family member has traveled out of state or recently visited any coronavirus hotspots, make sure all grandparents and grandchildren take the right precautionary steps before participating in activities together and in-person.
This may include masking up, constantly sanitizing hands, and avoiding direct touch like hugs and kisses.