What to Do for Fun?
Whatever your interests or abilities are, you can enjoy pastimes that make you feel good and stay active. Here are some of the most common things do for fun.
Active Games and Sports
Age-appropriate sports activities and games provide an opportunity to get some exercise and stay physically fit, socialize, and compete with others in a friendly way. Some of the active games and sports to consider are swimming, golf, croquet, tennis, curling, and lawn, or indoor bowling.
Spending time outside has many benefits for your mental and physical health. Connecting with nature allows you to feel linked to something larger than yourself, which promotes feelings of happiness, composure, gratitude, and optimism. Consider pastimes such as walking, hiking, gardening, picnics, nature photography, or bird watching.
Activities such as dancing, karaoke, reading books to children in the local library, or acting in a play boost emotional expression and help enjoy the humor. These and similar activities also help keep the mind sharp, enhance creativity, and help maintain your language skills, all of which can delay or prevent cognitive decline and dementia.
Socializing is an excellent opportunity to reminisce about old times, have fun, and indulge in things that interest you. Attending parties and organizing your own events can elevate your mood, improve communication skills, and help overcome loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts activities such as painting, coloring, ceramics, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, papercraft, woodcraft, jewelry making, and others keep you mentally engaged, improve hand-eye coordination, help emotional expression, and relieve stress, anxiety, and depression.
Best Fun Activities for Older Adults
1. Active Games and Sports
These give you the chance to get some exercise, improve your hand-eye coordination, and gain a sense of control over the physical world. All of that can be very satisfying, especially if you get to overcome obstacles or compete with other people in a friendly way.
Consider examples like:
- Miniature golf
- Pickle ball
- Ball tossing
- Frisbee tossing
- Volleyball (including with a beach ball or balloon)
- Lawn bowling
- Indoor bowling
- Wii Bowling
2. Dancing, Karaoke, and Other Performance Arts
Dancing to music can connect your body to exciting and healing rhythms. Singing popular songs (even badly) in front of other people can help you enjoy the humor in your efforts and avoid taking yourself too seriously. And performing in other ways—such as acting in a skit or trying a stand-up comedy routine—can remind you of how fun it is to tell stories in new or creative ways.
Take a chance and try things like:
- Line, ballroom, salsa, or swing dancing
- Seniors’ or all-ages karaoke
- Acting in a play
- Telling jokes to an audience
- Reading books to groups of young kids
- Writing and acting out skits
- Participating in comedic improv
- Starting a seniors’ dance troupe
3. Parties and Other Social Gatherings
Socializing can be a powerful way to inject more fun into your life. That’s particularly true if you get to reminisce about old times or talk about the other things that interest you. In fact, a good conversation may elevate your mood and outlook more than anything else on this list, especially if you keep things jovial.
So don’t shy away from attending other people’s parties or joining clubs. Also, consider planning some of your own events. You can plan parties around all kinds of themes such as:
- Casino night
- Murder mystery
- Trivia night
- Mexican fiesta
- Ugly sweaters night
- The 1920s, 50s, 60s, etc.
- Masquerade ball
- Arabian nights
- Mardi Gras
- Hawaiian luau
- Jungle bash
- The Oscars
- Formal tea
- Secret Santa
4. Traditional Games and Puzzles
Board games and card games provide great ways to socialize and benefit from the joyful challenges of friendly competition. And puzzles can help sharpen your mind and give you a sense of progress and accomplishment.
Consider options like:
- Chinese checkers
- Go Fish
- Crazy Eights
- Crossword puzzles
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Word search puzzles
5. Animal Interactions
Just like people, animals want and need to have fun. So playing with them can be mutually beneficial.
Besides, it’s often easy to find animals to interact with even if you don’t have any pets. For example, many animal shelters welcome seniors who want to give dogs, cats, or other critters some quality attention.
6. Gardening, Bird-watching, and Other Outdoor Pastimes
As long as the weather is decent, being outside can do wonders for your mood. After all, the natural world is full of pleasurable sights, sounds, smells, and other sensory delights. They let you feel like an explorer or like you’re connected to something larger than yourself.
Consider diversions such as:
- Boat rides
- Metal detecting
- Kite flying
- Nature photography
7. Arts and Crafts
These kinds of creative recreational pursuits are great for people of all ages, and they often make terrific elderly activities.
Ideas like these can reignite a person’s vitality and sense of what’s possible:
- Polymer clay modeling
- Card making
- Jewelry making
8. Active Learning
Learning is always more fun when it’s something you choose to do for its own sake. Whole new avenues of possibility reveal themselves.
So follow your curiosity and impulses. Learning something new is beneficial at any age. As examples, consider learning how to:
- Sing or play a musical instrument
- Speak a foreign language
- Use computers more effectively
- Write code
- Design websites
- Take professional-quality photos
- Write great stories
- Cook exotic meals
- Decipher hieroglyphs
- Perform magic tricks
9. Outings and excursions
Many great options exist, especially when you gather a small group of people to share the experiences. You may not be a kid, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go on field trips for some laughter, excitement, exploration, and social bonding.
Consider excursions to places or events like:
- Theme parks
- County fairs
- Comedy clubs
- Hands-on science museums
- Adult arcades
- Sporting events
- Theatrical performances
- Art shows
- Beer festivals
More Fun Things to Do As You Grow Older
If 40 is the new 30, then it seems to reason that 70 is the new 60 or even 55. With modern advancements in health, nutrition and exercise, people in their 70s are not only traveling and enjoying retirement, but actively enjoying activities such as dancing, hiking and even skiing. There are many fun things that 70-year-olds can do, although your health and fitness are considerations before you tackle some of the more strenuous activities
If you’ve never been to Italy but always wanted to go, don’t let age stop you. Book a travel package tour for seniors and let everyone else look after the planning. Go with a spouse, friend or by yourself. Because you won’t have to worry about making transportation or accommodation arrangements on a tour, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the sites of wherever you decide to go. People over 50 are in the majority on lifelong learning tours by the nonprofit organization Elderhostel and its Road Scholar program.
Head to your local community center to take line dancing lessons, the senior center to take ballroom, or even to your fitness club for a little salsa instruction. If you prefer, you can have fun dancing without even leaving your home. There are instructional DVDs developed for seniors that include fitness or dancing instruction — although you might have more fun dancing in a group.
If you are physically fit and have your physician’s approval, skiing at 70 has many advantages. Most downhill ski resorts offer discounted tickets for seniors and many even offer free lift tickets for seniors over the age of 70. If schussing — fast skiing down a slope — seems too ambitious for you, try your hand at cross-country skiing. You can choose your own pace and select locations based on whether you like the challenge of ups and downs, or prefer to ski on flatter terrain.
Even if you’ve never been a fan of exercise, it’s never too late to get into better shape. Not only is exercise important to senior health, but it can improve your mood, reduce stress and give you more energy.
No matter what your present physical condition, there is some form of activity that you can engage in to strengthen your muscles and improve your tone.
In addition to being fun, if you frequent your local gym, YMCA, or senior center, chances are you will meet other people your age who are interested in the same things you are.
Walk or Hike
A great way to have fun while getting fit at the same time is by walking or hiking. Find a friend to join you for daily walks, or join a hiking group at a nearby nature preserve. Many preserves offer shorter moderate hikes during the week so you can enjoy the beauty of nature while staying in shape.
Why Play Is Important
Scientific studies continue to show that enjoyable activities can have several major benefits. For example, they have the power to help:
- Improve how your brain works. Do you want to maintain your memory and optimize your ability to learn new things? Engaging in play on a regular basis can enhance your creativity and mental sharpness.
- Heal, establish, or maintain relationships. A lot of seniors are lonely. In fact, on average, seniors without spouses or partners spend about 10 hours alone each day. But having fun can enable older adults to make new friends or improve existing relationships.
Things like laughter and friendly competition are known to increase harmony, trust, empathy, and intimacy among people who experience them together.
- Improve your mental and emotional well-being. Do you like the way you feel when you have a brighter outlook on life and your sense of time recedes into the background? Engaging in activities you enjoy can expand your optimism, multiply your moments of joy, and reduce your stress. It can even help prevent depression.
- Extend your life and improve your physical vitality. Who doesn’t want to feel younger or more energetic? Creating plenty of fun moments in your life can be a good way to boost your immune system, reduce your risk of illness, and minimize your perception of any pain you might already have.
Play should be a major part of life for everyone. We can all probably use many more joyful experiences. It’s who we are, no matter our age.
Daily Habits You Should Adopt As You Grow Older
People are transforming the expectations people have for this amazing decade of life. Seniors today are no longer forced to give up their independence, provided they’re in relatively good health and have plenty of support. Now that your senior loved one has reached this milestone age, you can help him or her carve out a schedule that hits these important daily goals.
1. Take Prescribed Medication
This daily activity may not be that exciting, but it can ensure your loved one sees his or her 80th birthday. By 70, most older adults are taking some form of medication, and this is also the age when many people begin to experience memory loss. Set up a medication regimen that includes monitoring by you or a caregiver to help your loved one accomplish this critical goal for his or her health.
2. Do Some Form Of Exercise
A senior’s exercise needs may change. Your loved one may need to break up workouts into smaller increments or only be able to just do a few light stretches if he or she is bedbound or experiencing an illness. While gentler is better now, your loved one should still aim to move his or her body to the best of his or her ability. Your parent may sleep better and reduce pain from conditions such as arthritis.
A home caregiver can help your loved one exercise in safety and comfort. In-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
3. Engage In Cognitive Activity
Brain training is just as important as physical activity now. Memory loss can be prevented by giving your loved one plenty of things to do to boost his or her cognitive functioning. Set your loved one up with a caregiver who knows how to plan engaging activities that stimulate brain activity. You can also help your loved one learn something new or put together a puzzle. Every time your loved one uses his or her brain to solve a problem, tell a story, or remember information is an opportunity to strengthen his or her cognitive abilities.
4. Focus On Mental Health
Many face painful life events that can make it difficult to maintain a positive attitude. Help your loved one identify at least one activity to do every day to relieve stress. Some seniors enjoy journaling. Others like to meditate. Even reading a joke each day can count as a mental health activity. The main point is to do at least one special thing your loved one knows will make him or her smile each day.
5. Spend Time Socializing
A senior may have many friends he or she has accumulated over the years. Other seniors may have smaller groups of social connections due to loss over time. Either way, your loved one needs to talk to at least one other person every day if he or she lives alone. Create a list of people to call, invite over for a chat, or send an email to so your loved one stays connected.
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Michael Kissinger and Sydney Reitenbach
Reitenbach-Kissinger Success Institute
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