Many American caregivers are members of the "Sandwich Generation": they are caring for an older loved one while also raising their own children. Balancing the needs of these two generations can be tricky enough, but what can you do when the kids and elders are all bored? The Bump has a few suggestions on activities for children and seniors.
Arts and crafts provide an excellent opportunity for kids and grandparents to bond. Not only are your loved ones working together, they will teach each other while having fun! Your son can wow Grandma by explaining the intricacies of his TIE Fighter model, and she can introduce her fidgety grandson to the calming skill of knitting. Your daughter loves to paint, but never realized that she inherited her artistic bent from her grandfather until she saw his skill with acrylics. You don't need to buy any equipment or worry about technological hurdles: your shutterbug mother will fawn over your son's smartphone photos and he'll gladly show her how to use her own phone's camera!
Venture into the great outdoors.
Some families could possibly handle a light hike, while others might prefer to stay in the backyard. If your mother grew up on a farm, she could show the kids how to care for your neglected vegetable garden.
Show and Tell.
Everyone has a special possession with a story. Is your mother's ring a family heirloom? Did your daughter stand in line for hours for a book signing? As you share the tales behind these items, conversation will naturally branch out to surrounding topics: Grandpa had to sneak the ring away from his disapproving parents; your daughter met three of her best friends during that comic convention.
We can gain wisdom from each other (yes, even the most taciturn teens). Your dad could regale the kids with tales from his boyhood. Your kids could entertain the grandparents with the latest gossip from school. They could even swap embarrassing tales about you!
There are lots more activities to entertain your loved ones, no matter the age gap! As The Bump says, it is important to each share our unique perspectives. Follow these suggestions, and you can bridge the generation gap.
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