Easy Ways to Include the Seniors in Your Family in Holiday Traditions

Holiday activities that include several generations provide solid bonding opportunities. Use these ideas to plan activities for your family’s holiday gatherings.

Grandmother and granddaughter playing a board game.

The holidays are a time of year families often spend together. If you will be hosting a celebration that involves multiple generations of your family, planning intergenerational activities will give everyone a chance to bond.

From traditional board games to charades and movie nights, here are a few ideas to consider for this year’s holiday gatherings.

Intergenerational Family Activities for the Holidays

  • Board games: Stock up on board games or ask guests to bring one or two of their favorite games like Uno, Jenga, Sequence, HedBanz, Apples to Apples, and Taboo, which can be enjoyed across the generations.
  • Arts and crafts: People often fall into the trap of thinking they aren’t creative enough to tackle arts and crafts projects. Crafts don’t have to be overly complicated or require special skills to provide a great family bonding opportunity. Holiday arts and crafts projects can be as simple as painting inexpensive birdhouses, decorating Christmas ornaments, or buying a few project kits at your local craft store.
  • Family scrapbook: Ask family members to bring copies of some of their favorite photos to create a family scrapbook. Purchase stickers, decorative washi tape, and colorful pens and paper to use. Each family member can create a few pages that are then collated into one big scrapbook for your senior loved one to keep. Make sure to get copies of photos that span the generations to make the project especially meaningful. This activity also gives family members an opportunity to reminisce and revisit family milestones.
  • For the birds: Another activity multiple generations of your family might enjoy doing together is creating birdseed ornaments for our feathered friends. From bell-shaped ornaments to hearts and stars, they are an inexpensive project for people of all ages. Each family member can take a few home to feed the birds during the winter months.
  • Movie night: There are a variety of holiday movies that can be enjoyed by the entire family. You could plan a movie night complete with popcorn, boxed candy, and other movie theatre food your family likes. Go all out and rent a popcorn machine to pop your own corn and top it with butter. Depending upon family member ages, a few intergenerational movies to buy or stream include Home Alone, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, The Polar Express, Elf, and The Santa Clause.
  • Family trivia contest: Divide your family into intergenerational teams. Host a trivia competition where the teams compete and winners go on to a final round. You can purchase boxed sets of trivia questions appropriate for all ages. Trivial Pursuit also has a family version.
  • Charades: A calorie-burning intergenerational after-dinner activity can be charades. Teams work together to guess what phrase a family member is acting out. You can buy games with phrases geared toward people of all ages or buy a timer and print charades phrases from free websites.

The Wesley Community during the Holidays

If a senior in your family is considering a move to a senior living community, the holidays are a great time to visit. The Wesley Community extends an open invitation to seniors and their families to join us for a holiday activity or meal. Call us at (518) 587-3600 to schedule a time to visit and learn more.