5 Ways to Keep Your Children Engaged While Visiting Mom and Dad

Picture this:  It’s a beautiful day. By some miracle, everyone’s schedule has lined up in a way that you can pack up the whole family for a nice long visit with Mom and Dad at their senior living community. Once you arrive, everyone greets each other, gives hugs…

…and, almost immediately, the kids zone out behind a tablet or phone screen.

We’ve seen it, and we’ve been there. When you finally are able to get quality time for your kids with their grandparents, it can be frustrating if their engagement levels are, well, lacking (to say the least). It can even be disheartening if your children get bored, lose interest entirely, and start tugging your shirt sleeve:  “Is it time to go home yet?”

Here’s our checklist of 5 Ways to Keep Your Children Engaged While Visiting Mom and Dad:

Interactive Games and Activities

zblogresident17Not only are games and activities a great way to help your loved one’s mind stay sharp, but by packing a few options in your bag before a visit you could potentially save the day in an emergency situation.

Finding easy-to-play games and activities the whole family can enjoy not only keeps your kids engaged, but helps foster relationship-building interaction between grandparent and grandchild.

If you have younger children, another option to consider is packing a children’s book. Grandparents can read stories to the kids, or a child can show off his/her reading skills to the whole family.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Yahtzee
  • Uno
  • Playing Cards (Click here to find rules for popular card games)
  • Children’s Books
  • Puzzles

Show Off Achievements

Has your child recently worked really hard on a project or something else? Bring it with you (or even a photo of it) and have your child talk about it. If it’s interactive, like a science fair project, you could even have your child give a demonstration!

Report cards, tests, and other school work are other ideas (plus, they’re easy to transport).

Photo Albums and Videos

Even though photo albums can get a little bulky sometimes, they are a great opportunity to reminisce with Mom and Dad while teaching your child about family history.

Luckily with modern technology, it’s easier to digitize photos and home videos for easy transport!

Craft Supplies

zblogcraft03We love craft projects in our communities! They are a fun way for residents to interact with one another, brain boosting, and a great way flex our creative muscles.

Having a quick and easy craft project on hand for the family to work on is also a great way for children to grow their artistic talents and practice following directions.

Spending time together working on similar projects is a great way for families to interact with each other and for kids to get in that much-needed family bonding time.

Our recommendation: Use Pinterest as an easy, free-to-use resource for finding craft ideas for all ages.


Parents everywhere know that a perfectly-timed snack can be the difference between engaging smiles and laughter and a complete meltdown.

Keep some healthy, transportable snacks on hand during a visit in case of emergency. If you are facing a quivering lip and realize you forgot your snacks, find one of our friendly staff members and see what we have on hand!

Are you looking for a senior living community that is the perfect fit for your loved one? Click here for a listing of our communities in Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee and contact us for a no obligation tour to learn more!