In any family, the elderly are the roots of the family tree. Generally after retiring, elders have a lot of time for themselves and their loved ones. Sometimes, geographical distance does not allow for strong links between the older and younger generation, creating a feeling of isolation among older people. To overcome this, interactive projects exist that allow teenagers and elders to exchange on various topics. These are intergenerational activities. Learning to cook traditional dishes, telling the family’s story or even participating in a community garden are some of the activities promoting the benefits of intergenerational activities.
Some ideas for intergenerational activities
Intergenerational activities aim to create strong bonds between the younger and older generation— a relationship based on trust and respect. For the elders, often considered to have encyclopedic knowledge, it is important to transmit values (the importance of family, honesty, humility…), to share their experiences knowledge and life memories. Teenagers enjoy the time spent with elders and learn a lot from them. Relationships are strengthened through these intergenerational activities.
Fun intergenerational activities include:
Learning traditional songs and dance steps in a fun atmosphere. Grandparents can show off a few dance moves on local music to their grandsons and introduce them to a style from another era.
Sharing family stories. The younger ones can learn the history of their ancestors and understand the links that unite them so they build a family tree project.
Learning how to use new technologies. Here, teenagers can transmit their knowledge about computer devices (computer, telephone, tablet…) which make up their favorite way to communicate.
Cultural activities. Cultural workshops are held in centers and run by teenagers to entertain their elders. Often, these workshops can take place in homes and are called intergenerational cohabitation.
Intergenerational activity lists
There is no such thing as a full list of intergenerational activities, as this field is continuously developing and requires constant innovation. Nevertheless, here are some ideas for intergenerational activities that will allow you to experience the benefits of intergenerational activities. These activities are quite varied and can be classified in a closed family context or in the social sector. Among the best intergenerational activities is the teaching of traditional cuisine, songs, dances, and family stories, or the practice of leisure activities such as crafts, board games and sports.
When it is difficult to maintain intergenerational relationships within the family, institutions supervise older people and try to recreate links. You can participate by helping out in a community garden, tutoring workshops, going on a forest walk, or attending “adopt a grandparent” days…
You can also share you time from far away thanks to the Stim’Art Famille program.
Stim’Art Family allows you to play online with your family! The head of family can invite up to 6 members to join. The 7 players will then be able to challenge each other with fun and cultural games. By earning points for their clan they can become the family of the week!