Residents living in long-term care facilities love visits from their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. However, nursing homes can sometimes be a bit intimidating for young children. To make these visits more fun for both children and residents, here is a list of fun things to do with grandkids that everyone will enjoy.
1. Read a Book
Reading a book together is a great way to spend quality time with your grandchildren. You can introduce them to books that you loved while growing up, and they can show you what’s popular today. Books are a great way to learn about different generations. For slightly older kids, you can read a chapter book together so that at the end of the visit they are left with a cliffhanger, and they will beg their parents to come back for another visit to find out what happens. Learning to love reading at a young age is great for a child’s education and will encourage them to love learning as well. You can also use this as an opportunity to help teach your grandchildren how to read, and they can then read to you as well.
2. Play Games and Do Puzzles
Board games and puzzles are fun for all ages. You can teach your grandchildren games you used to play when you were their age, and they can teach you some new games that they love. Playing games and doing puzzles is great for the cognitive development of kids and for keeping more experienced minds young.
3. Do Arts and Crafts
Get creative with your grandchildren and do an arts and crafts project together. You will both enjoy creating something colorful that you can keep as a reminder of your great time together. This is the perfect thing to do with grandkids on a rainy day because it can provide indoor fun for hours. If you really want to get creative, make it a challenge to use only materials scavenged from around the nursing home.
4. Host a Talent Show
Let your grandchildren show off what they can do by putting on a talent show for you. It can sometimes be difficult to get kids to open up and talk to you about their lives in an unfamiliar setting, but they will usually be more than happy to show off for you. This is the perfect way to get to know your grandkids better and see what could be some of the best entertainment around! Your grandchildren will have so much fun putting on a show for you, and you will have the best time watching and cheering them on.
Be sure to contact the Activities Coordinator before making this happen – maybe it could be a community wide event!
5. Look Through Old Photo Albums
One of the most fun things to do with grandkids is going through old photo albums. Your grandchildren will love seeing pictures of you and your family from before they were born. They will be interested to learn about what life was like for you when you were their age, and kids love hearing stories about their parents when they were younger. Add in some more recent pictures and stories about your grandchildren’s earlier years, and it is sure to be a good time for all of you. The stories you tell your grandkids while looking at pictures are the stories that they will pass on to their children and grandchildren in the future.
6. Watch Movies
Watching movies is a great way to spend time with your grandkids when they come to visit. You can snuggle up under a fuzzy blanket and indulge in their favorite snacks. Introduce your grandchildren to your favorite movies, and they can share the movies they love with you. This is a great way to expand their horizons to appreciate older films, and you can learn more about what they like. After watching a movie, you can bond by discussing the movie and what you liked and disliked about it. Movies can lead to great conversations about life that help you get to know each other even better.
7. Go Bird Watching
Bird watching is an easy, yet fun activity that you and your grandchildren can enjoy during a walk outside or through the window in the comfort of your room. You can share all your knowledge of birds with your grandchildren and research birds together to learn more via books or online. Kids love to ask questions, so be prepared to go on a research expedition to find the answers they seek.
8. Create a Scavenger Hunt
If you want to make your nursing home seem less scary for your grandchildren, create a scavenger hunt for them around the facility. Come up with clues for them to find different things or places within and around the nursing home. You can customize the scavenger hunt to meet your grandkids’ ages and abilities. You can give them a list of clues to lead them to different items or places, or you can hide clues that they have to find. If you want to make it simpler, you can send your grandchildren off with a smartphone or camera and have them take a picture of something around the nursing home that starts with each letter of the alphabet. You will all have fun and share lots of laughs when they get back and show you what they found.
Again, this is another activity where you may want to reach out to the Activity Coordinator to see if they have any interest in helping or suggestions for you!
Long-Term Care Facility in East Tennessee
At Jefferson Park at Dandridge, we are committed to providing quality care for our residents in a loving, family-like environment. We host many social activities throughout the year for residents and their families to enjoy. Because we are a skilled nursing facility, we can provide long-term care, physical and occupational therapies, and extended health services to our residents. If you are looking for a nursing home for yourself or your loved one, contact us at 865-397-3163 or visit our website.