Family visits are precious times for seniors. Each one gives them the chance to spend time getting to know their grandchildren better and make lasting memories with them.
Here at Bethesda Gardens in Frisco, we want to help our residents make these visits special. For this reason, we created a list of entertainment ideas our residents may wish to use the next time their loved ones drop by.
Seniors likely already have several things in their assisted living apartments that their grandchildren will love, including jigsaw puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles are very engaging, and they are easy to assemble while talking, making them a great entertainment option for visits.
Depending on the age and skill levels of their grandkids, seniors might consider adding a few easy-to-assemble puzzles to their collection. Puzzles with colorful pictures of toys, candy or cartoon and movie characters are also good for kids.
Art and craft supplies provide hours of entertainment while promoting creativity and motor skills. An internet search for kids' crafts can offer hundreds of interesting projects, and the supplies, such as crayons, pipe cleaners and beads, are fairly inexpensive to stock up on.
There are also many clever ideas online for DIY craft stations that can help seniors store the supplies in their apartment, including a tiered mobile cart, over-the-door organizers and jars on a spice rack.
Activity books offer a massive variety of projects for quiet playtime, including coloring pictures, word searches, drawing lessons and hidden pictures.
The book's cover often has a suggested age range and theme, such as unicorns, dinosaurs and Bible characters, which makes it easy to pick ones that match each visiting grandchild's preferences and abilities.
While it's common to think of young children when considering an activity book, there are options on the market for teens, so seniors can offer age-appropriate challenges to older grandkids.
Seniors of faith may want to consider starting a devotional or Bible study with their grandchildren. The perfect way to spend time together curled up on the couch, seniors can read to the youngest members of their family or take turns reading with older children.
To make the time even more personal, seniors can share stories from their life related to the theme or lesson in the study and encourage grandchildren to do the same.
Swapping stories in this manner can make great conversation starters and help seniors and their grandchildren apply the lessons to their own lives more easily.
Lego bricks are beloved by boys and girls of all ages. A bucket of random pieces is simple to store between visits and can be made into an endless number of builds, making it an ideal toy kids can continue enjoying for years.
In addition to letting grandkids build on their own creations, seniors that love teaching can also follow instructions for interactive lessons using Legos for a chance to mentor loved ones in math and science.
Streaming sites and online media give seniors access to thousands of classic books, television shows and movies. While the younger generations may have heard of some of them, odds are high that seniors have many old favorites that their grandchildren have never seen before, including:
Games are another fun activity that appeals to all ages. Residents here at Bethesda Gardens in Frisco play games regularly in our common areas, and many have their own board games and decks to play with friends in their assisted living apartments.
Most seniors already have played their favorites with their grandchildren. New titles are released all the time, however, so it's worth exploring the latest hits for different options to play during family visits.
Some of the more recent games to be released that seniors might want to try include Lost Ruins of Arnak, Cascadia and G.I. JOE Deck-building Game, the latter of which is fully cooperative and sees players working as a team.
Electronics, computers and robotic technologies have caused a considerable change in toys over the last few decades. For this reason, seniors may find it fun to add a display shelf of nostalgic toys to a bookshelf or wall in their assisted living apartment that their grandchildren (and other visitors) can play with.
Several companies sell replicas of vintage toys online, and seniors can look over garage sales, flea markets and antique shops around Frisco for other items that they or their children used to love. For an extra touch to the display, seniors can add photos from their scrapbooks that feature them and other family members as children playing with toys.