“I sat there with Sally. We sat here we two, and we said, ‘How we wish we had something to do.'”
Rain, sleet, snow, or potential illness… Yep, all things known to make the day drag.
But even if it’s not safe to go out, nor safe to play ball, you don’t have to sit in the house and do nothing at all.
You’ve found ways to connect with your family when you have to be isolated.
Now let’s talk about special doings to help you pass the rest of the hours.
Frontida Assisted Living Facilities, like Willowgreen Senior Living Community in Racine, provide you with posts like this one to help you live your best life.
Putting All My Eggs in One Basket (Courtesy of Louis Armstrong): Coloring Eggs
You’ve probably been doing it every year since you were a child, but dyeing eggs never gets old. And no two are ever really the same.
So grab your friends at your assisted living facility, and get creative.
1. Dip your hard-boiled egg in small spots at a time, overlapping and blending colors all over to make a tie-dye. Or hold the egg over the dye cup and dribble the dye onto the egg with a spoon. Swirl the dye on the shell before letting any excess drip off.
2. Immediately after dipping an egg in your favorite colors, wrap it tightly in a napkin till the dye dries. You’ll get neat looking textures (It works really well with the tie-dye look.)
3. Wrap rubber bands around the egg before you dye it. Then add or take away rubber bands as you dip the egg in other colors.
4. Draw on an egg with crayons before dipping. You can even use white crayons. When you dip the egg in the dye, your surprise design will stand out.
5. Cut small shapes out of masking tape—maybe circles, triangles, a cross, or if you’re really artistic, doves—and stick them to the eggs before dyeing. Remove the tape either between colors if you like to layer or after the eggs are completely dry.
6. Dip your egg carefully in layers to make a rainbow.
What do you use for dye?
- Mix ½ cup boiling water, 2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar, and 10-20 drops of food coloring in a sturdy tea cup.
- Make one batch for each color.
- When the water is cool, start dyeing.
For an extra bonus, when you’re drying dyed eggs, place them on a cooling rack over a paper towel. As the extra colors drip onto the paper towel, you’ll create tie-dye art on the paper towel itself—perfect for creative gift padding for a future gift for the grandkids.
And speaking of the grandchildren, even if you can’t be with them to dye eggs together, you can both do them separately, then send pics of the outcome to vote on the favorites—which of yours they like best, and which one of theirs you like.
A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That: Guy’s Grocery Games, The Home Version
Being stuck in the house may mean the pantry shelves are starting to get bare.
So hold your own version of a cooking reality show.
Come up with the most unique but hopefully tasty mixture of whatever ingredients are left from the fridge, freezer, or cupboard.
And be sure to write down what you throw in the pot—just in case it’s a winner that you want to repeat.
Sweatin’ to the Oldies and Movin’ On Down
Just because you and your assisted living friends can’t go out doesn’t mean you have to couch-potato-it all day.
There are plenty of exercises that are easy to do, no matter how mobile you are.
- Turn on music and cut a rug in the kitchen.
- Google easy yoga or stretching moves to follow.
- Stuck in the house for an injury? You can still do arm circles or bicycle your legs while sitting on your recliner.
- Just seeing how many times you can stand and sit in a minute gets the blood pumping.
For laughs, you could even make a circuit or obstacle course. Walk around a table, sit in a rolling chair and push yourself to another spot, stand up and bend down to pick up a stack of books, …
Obviously, safety is important! So be careful not to trip over rugs or push yourself so fast in the chair that you trip over.
But keeping active even when you’re stuck inside is important for your flexibility and your balance.
Take Me to the Movies: Your In-House Theater
Who’s making the popcorn?
Okay, you may not be able to go to the theaters, but you could watch a movie together—even from miles apart.
Do you both have Netflix? Amazon Prime? Disney+? Find a feel-good movie—like Princess Bride—and start it at the same.
Better yet, read the book to your grandchildren like the grandfather did in the movie. Yes, there really is a Princess Bride book. And, it’s hard to think it’s possible, but it’s even better than the movie. Inconceivable! (As a note, my kids do suggest skipping the long intro.)
Of course, there’s also a book for Mary Poppins, Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
And with today’s technology, you can read it to them right over the phone or through your computer. Almost as good as having them sit on your lap.
Mama, Don’t Take My Kodachrome: Picture Time
You know that great big box of old photos that’s been sitting on the top shelf of the closet for years?
Pull it out and enjoy a trip down memory lane.
Maybe even add little post-it notes to the back of different ones, with who, what, where, and when. Just in case the family doesn’t know.
’Cause all those babies look alike, right?
Puttin’ On the Ritz: Home-Grown Fashion Show
Choose a special theme for your senior living facility evening dinner.
- Crazy socks
- Ugly sweaters
- La-de-da hats and scarves
Maybe lunch is sweats and dinner is black tie. Whatever you choose, imagine the red carpet and walk the runway.
Don’t forget to cheer each other on. Whoop-whoop!
And, naturally, take more pictures.
We Can Have Lots of Good Fun that is Funny
Again, we’ll avoid Cat in the Hat kind of messes, but there are tons of fun options once you start brainstorming.
- Place masking tape in different lines across paper, and paint between the lines with watercolor colored pencils. (You can either dip them in water first OR color first and then paint with the colors with water.) Remove the masking tape to reveal your masterpiece.
- Plant seeds in small containers for flowers, herbs, even lemons.
- Set up a domino effect with books, DVDs, CDs…or, um, dominoes. (Don’t forget to catch the display on video. The grandkids will love it!)
You can even go back and re-check out other activities we’ve talked about:
Finding that Silver Lining
Yes, these days may seem gray.
But once you get a little creative, you may generate incredible memories.
And soon that silver lining will be shining through.
Live alone and tired of it? Ready to live in a senior living community that helps you do activities every day?
Check out these other fun activities for Grandma and Grandpa.
Elizabeth Daghfal is a writer, teacher, speaker, and community volunteer. When she isn't teaching or writing-- Who are we kidding? Her husband and five kids say she's ALWAYS teaching and writing. She has a passion to help people who are struggling and is happy to say her shoulders are drip-dry. Born and raised in the South, she now lives in Wisconsin and loves it--except for the fifteen months of winter. Read more about her at elizabethdaghfal.com.