There are usually long lists of great activities you can enjoy in the warmer months, but finding activities that the whole family can enjoy from grandparents to young children during the winter can be difficult. The cold weather makes everyone feel like they just want to stay inside, but luckily there are a lot of things that everyone can still enjoy together without having to bundle up and brave the icy air. Here are a few things that you can do in the winter with your family.
With the winter usually comes dreary weather, but one thing that is always sure to cheer people up is music. There are a few ways that you can make activities out of music when visiting elderly family members that can be a good time for everyone. One thing you can do is have everyone pick a few songs that they like and then each play them together. This can be fun especially if you have younger people in your family whose music taste is much more modern than their grandparents’ or even yours.
If your family enjoys singing, you can also learn some songs together, especially holiday songs. Studies have shown that music can increase mobility, coordination, and cognitive abilities in older individuals, so it is a great activity for all ages. Many senior living communities and retirement communities have concerts and classes available, so even if the whole family can’t participate this is a good activity to encourage your loved one to try.
Swimming and Aquatic Exercises
Swimming is a great way for seniors to get some exercise, and taking a trip to the local community pool with your family can be beneficial for everyone’s mind and body. A study in Australia found that men over the age of 70 who swam regularly were 33 percent less likely to fall than other men,
However, even if your loved one doesn’t want to spend a lot of their visit to the pool swimming laps, it is a great activity to get out of the house during the winter. Even just spending time in the water helps to strengthen muscles and simple aquatic exercises can relieve swelling, improve circulation, and reduce pressure on weight-bearing joints. Likewise, playing a game in the pool such as throwing a beach ball around is a great way to get everyone involved.
Walking is one of the best ways to get your body moving at any age, but the chilly winter months can limit how much time everyone wants to spend outside. However, walking outside isn’t your only option, there are lots of indoor places you can take a nice stroll in besides an indoor walking track. Many community centers have indoor tracks for runners, and this is a great place to walk but not the only option.
For example, another place you can go for a walk is the mall. Many malls open up an hour or so before the actual opening time so that people can get a walk in without having to deal with the crowds. If you don’t mind being around other people, going during the normal hours will also give you a lot to look at, and everyone can window shop throughout the trip.
Another great place to walk is a local library, whether it is a public one or part of a university, a library that is big enough is a good option. Libraries also usually have multiple floors, and if your elderly loved one is up for it, going up a few flights of stairs is an amazing exercise. Walking is a perfect activity to get everyone’s body moving while spending quality time talking and enjoying each other’s company.
Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beach goer operating out of Southern New Jersey.