It’s important to stay physically and mentally active as we age. Outdoor activities like hiking, walking, and gardening can provide great benefits, but not all seniors can do such activities. Fortunately, there are some great indoor activities for seniors that can also be beneficial.
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Virtual Tours & Performances
You don’t need to get in a car or jump on a plane to explore the world. Virtual travel isn’t the same thing as real travel, but it’s still pretty fun. Here are some fun virtual travel and cultural activities for seniors:
- Take a virtual museum or city tour, nature walk, or trip around the world – Many museums around the world offer free virtual tours, which makes it possible to appreciate art and history from the comfort of your home. Some museums have virtual tours listed on their official websites, while others are available on platforms like Google Arts & Culture. You find links to a variety of virtual tours on LonelyPlanet.com.
- Watch a virtual theater performance – Many theaters offer performances that can be viewed online. You find them with a quick Google search for “virtual theater performances”.
- Google Earth Virtual Reality Tours – If you have a VR helmet, you can take Google Earth virtual reality tours from around the world without ever leaving your living room. If you don’t have a VR helmet, no big deal. Virtual travel on the Google Earth website or app is fun whether you have a VR helmet or not.
Thanks to modern technology, there are countless fun things you can experience virtually from the comfort of your living room.
Light exercise is great for both mind and body. Here are some great exercise activities for seniors:
- Try chair yoga – Yoga is excellent for aging individuals, but chair yoga makes it easier by using a chair for support.
- Join a virtual exercise class – Exercise classes can keep you moving and having fun at the same time.
- Try Tai Chi – Tai Chi is a low-impact exercise that is great for balance, flexibility, and relaxation. My aunt has dealt with numerous health issues over the years. She did Tai Chi for a while and felt like it really helped her feel better.
- Take a dance class – Dancing is an excellent form of cardio exercise. It’s also fun, a great way to meet others, and helps with balance and coordination.
- Play indoor golf – If you have some cash to burn, an indoor golf simulator can be a fun way to practice your golf game and get some exercise.
- Meditate – Meditation can calm the mind, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve memory.
We recommend checking with a qualified medical professional before starting any kind of exercise program.
The old adage is “use it or lose it”, right? If you’re no longer working, you have to be more deliberate about keeping your mind active. Brain games are a great way to do that:
- Play board games – There is a huge variety of creative and fun board games available that range from simple to complex and cater to every interest and skill level. The most popular board games often have online forums where enthusiasts can interact with one another and trade tips and strategies. You can find a variety of Card Games” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>highly rated and fun card games on Amazon.
- Join a virtual chess club – Chess clubs can be a great way to connect with others and improve critical thinking. You can also just play chess online. There are numerous chess websites and apps where you can play against the computer or other people.
- Do brain teasers – Brain teasers are a great way to keep the mind sharp and improve problem-solving skills. A great place to start doing this is on the Reader’s Digest website.
- Participate in virtual trivia nights – Trivia nights can be a fun way to connect with others and test general knowledge. To find these, simply search Google for “virtual trivia night”.
If you have any other brain game ideas, let me know. A link to our contact page is at the bottom of this post.
Just because you’re retired, it doesn’t mean you can’t continue to grow your skills and knowledge. Taking online courses is one of the best indoor activities for seniors that can help keep minds sharp. Here are some ideas:
- Take an online course – Many online courses offer free or discounted learning opportunities for seniors. Many universities offer classes for free online as well. A great place to find online courses is Udemy.
- Take an art class – If you’d like to learn how to paint or draw, there are online courses for that as well. A quick Google search for “online art classes” will turn these up.
- Take an online language course – You can learn a new language at your own pace with online language courses. There are also numerous apps for your smartphone that can help you learn a new language.
Thanks to the internet, you can learn almost any subject online – often for little or no cost.
Creative Activities for Seniors
Arts and crafts projects are fun to do and can be pretty inexpensive. Here are some fun arts, crafts, and do-it-yourself (DIY) activities for seniors that may be worth trying:
- Take a virtual cooking class – You can learn new cooking skills from professionals by taking virtual cooking classes.
- Cook/bake and share with neighbors – Who doesn’t like a plate of cookies or pumpkin bread? You might want to bake tasty treats and share them with neighbors.
- Create a scrapbook – Putting together a scrapbook with photos and mementos can be a fun and engaging activity.
- Join a virtual scrapbooking group – Scrapbooking groups can be a great way to connect with others and share creative ideas.
- Do a DIY project – Do-it-yourself projects can be a fun way to create something new and practical. If you own a home, there are probably countless projects you can do yourself. If you’re not sure how to do something, you can find probably find a video on Youtube that will show you how.
- Try out a new craft – There are many crafts you can try, including woodworking, knitting, painting, making jewelry, and making stained glass. I have some family members who make stained glass windows that are absolutely stunning.
- Try indoor gardening – Indoor plants can improve air quality, and gardening is great for mental wellbeing.
- Join a knitting or sewing group – Knitting and sewing groups are a fun way to meet others.
- Learn calligraphy – Calligraphy is a fun and beautiful art form.
- Learn a musical instrument – Learning a musical instrument is fun and can improve memory.
- Organize family photos – Organizing family photos into albums is a fun way to reminisce about and remember the past. This is even more fun with loved ones, such as children and grandchildren.
- Model trains – Personally, I love model trains. I think they’re a blast. Model trains can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be. Many cities have model train clubs where you can collaborate with others to create huge layouts that wouldn’t be practical to try and create on your own.
- Brew your own beer – Brewing beer is both art and science – and it’s fun! You can find kits online for a reasonable cost.
Arts, crafts, and DIY projects are great because you can do them yourself or with family and friends. Even better, they don’t have to cost a lot of money.
Thanks to modern technology, there are countless entertainment activities for seniors available today. Here a few ideas to try:
- Try a new computer or console game – Computer games aren’t just for Mountain Dew-chugging teenagers anymore. Computer games are one of those under-the-radar activities for seniors that many people don’t think about. Computer games are great because they can be fun, mentally engaging, and challenging. In fact, computer game publishers are beginning to take notice and are starting to cater more to seniors.
- Watch a documentary – Documentaries can be informative, educational, and thought-provoking. There are tons of great documentaries available on Amazon Prime or Youtube.
- Watch a movie – Watching a movie can be a relaxing activity and a chance to escape from everyday stresses.
- Listen to music – Music can boost one’s mood and memory. There are a lot of great places to download and stream music, including iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify.
- Read a book – Reading is an excellent way to keep the mind sharp. You may also want to consider joining a book club in your area. If you have a Kindle, you can borrow thousands of book titles offered on Amazon’s website.
- Watch a sporting event – Watching a live or recorded sporting event can be a fun activity for seniors. It’s even more fun watching sports with friends!
- Watch a TED talk – TED talks cover a wide range of topics and can be an excellent way to get inspired and expand your knowledge. You can find TED talks on Youtube, Apple Podcasts, or on their website.
- Listen to an audiobook – Audiobooks are a great way to “read” books because you can do it while you do other activities. My wife often listens to audiobooks while preparing dinner, for instance. You can find audiobooks online on Google Audiobooks or Audible. If you have a smartphone, your phone can likely read ebooks to you as well.
- Listen to a podcast – There are a huge number of podcasts out there that cover many different subjects, including current events, financial issues, human interest topics, etc.
If you have any other entertainment ideas, please let us know!
Investing in Others
Investing in and blessing others is one of the best home activities for seniors. After all, why not bless others with the knowledge and wisdom you’ve accumulated over a lifetime? Here are some great ways to give back:
- Create a podcast – Creating a podcast can be a fun and creative activity, and seniors can share their experiences and knowledge with others.
- Create a blog – This is similar to a podcast, but in written form online. If you’re a senior, you have a lifetime’s worth of knowledge and wisdom that you can pass on to others. There’s a financial blog I follow that is enormously popular online. The guy who publishes the blog is a senior in his 70s.
- Invest in others – If you have grandchildren that live nearby, invest your time in their future. Help them with homework, school lessons, and share the wisdom you’ve accumulated as you spend time with them.
- Write letters – If you’re a part of a church or other community organization, write encouraging letters to other members. A wonderful 80-something woman in our old church used to send letters and cards to parents of young children around various holidays. Those letters were loved by all.
- Write a book about your life – How many times have we all said “if only I’d asked my mom or dad about . . . “. So much is lost when a generation passes away. A great way to preserve your legacy for future generations is to write a book about your life. Your dad recently did this and it turned out great. It was fun reading stories that I never knew about. My kids will enjoy reading the stories about their grandfather in the future as well.
- Volunteer – Believe it or not, you don’t have to leave your house to volunteer. Many nonprofit organizations need help with tasks that can be done remotely.
I think giving back and investing in others is a deeply satisfying way to spend retirement. Not only is it fun and satisfying to do, but it helps make somebody else’s life better.
Anything You’d Like to Add?
If you have any other ideas for good activities for seniors, please let me know! You can find my email address on the Contact page.