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After a grandparent moves to an assisted living community, visits from the youngest generation are more important than ever. Besides the enjoyment they bring, there is the opportunity to show off the grandkids to new neighbors.
While weekend trips to grandma or grandpa’s house will be a little different, everyone can still have fun together. It just takes a little extra planning.
Intergenerational Activities for Assisted Living Residents
1. Movie night: You can plan monthly movie nights—or matinees—to watch a few family favorites. Pop the corn, make some theater-style nachos, and settle in. Whether you stream them on Netflix or use DVDs, a few suggested titles include Home Alone, The Karate Kid, Back to the Future, and Monsters, Inc.
2. Arts and crafts: Hands-on activities are popular with people of all ages. You can pick a single project for everyone to complete together or have each person bring their own. Another option is to purchase all-inclusive projects from the craft store. Sun catchers, sand art, jewelry, model cars, and flower pressing are a few popular kits.
3. Board games: While it may be tough to get the grandkids to put their devices down at first, they will soon realize how much fun an old-fashioned board game can be. From perennial favorites, like charades and Monopoly, to newer games, such as Pie Face and Pickles to Penguins, there are many options the entire family can enjoy together.
4. Coloring books: Coloring books are no longer just for kids! In fact, adult coloring books have become widely popular. Keep a stash of both children’s and adult coloring books in your assisted living suite, along with colored pencils, markers, and crayons for surprise visits from the grandkids.
5. Puzzles: Jigsaw puzzles are a crowd pleaser at any age. Stock up on puzzles you and the grandchildren can work on together. If you have the space and the kids will visit often, you can set up a small table with a bigger puzzle to work on over a few weeks or months.
6. Scrapbooking: This is an activity you can complete together over a long period of time. Make copies of favorite family photos, and decorate the pages with themed paper and stickers. If you purchase a refillable scrapbook, you can continue to add pages.
7. Nature walks: Most assisted living communities have beautiful grounds and outdoor paths for residents to enjoy. If you are able, take the kids for a walk outside. Use the time to bird watch and enjoy nature. You can even hang a bird feeder from a shepherd’s hook outside your apartment window, and have the grandkids help you refill it during their visits.
8. Check the calendar: As you already know, Sunrise communities host a wide variety of activities and events. Check the calendar at your community to see which ones your children and grandchildren might enjoy attending with you.
We hope these ideas help you and your grandchildren enjoy the time you spend together at a Sunrise community.
If your grandkids live far away, we have a few tips to help you build memories, too. Bonding Ideas For Long Distance Grandparent-grandchild Relationships offers ideas for staying close to the grandchildren no matter how far away they are.