Welcome summer, a season full of more sunshine, more opportunities to get outside, and more time with family. As you are planning your family get-togethers over the next few months, you might wonder how you can get everyone interacting with one another and creating positive memories. Unfortunately, it can feel like a challenge sometimes to get members of the older generation, like your aging parents, to connect with members of the younger generation, like your teens or elementary-aged kids.
Here’s the good news: intergenerational connections are best made over a shared experience or activity. The more challenging news? Without that activity or experience, starting a meaningful conversation can be difficult for everyone.
Here are a few of our favorite intergenerational summer activities that are easy to set up and prepare. Even better, everyone can get involved and participate, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Connecting over a game or friendly competition can be the perfect way to get everyone involved at your next barbeque or backyard gathering. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Just pull out a few favorite outdoor games that you already have in your garage, like bocce ball, cornhole, or washers. Encourage everyone to pick a partner and get involved.
For older adults who might need some adaptations to play, consider bringing over a chair so they can participate while sitting. Or, pair them up with someone who can help them participate.
Cooking or Food Prep
Get the whole family involved with setting up dinner by having younger kids pair up with older loved ones to set the table, roll napkins, or chop ingredients for the fruit salad. For teens who are learning how to grill, pair them up with an older adult who can give their guidance while they cook the main course.
Cocktail (or Mocktail) Competition
There’s nothing quite like a refreshing beverage on a hot summer day. Get your family members together by creating teams that can make a signature cocktail or mocktail together. Create a table full of ingredients, like club soda, juices, and garnishes. Appoint a judge and have them taste test all the entries and crown a winner. Be sure each cocktail or mocktail has a clever name.
Follow a TikTok Trend
Social media is already a part of your life and the life of your teen, so you might as well make it a family affair during a gathering. Find a TikTok (or any social media platform) trend and create your own family video replicating it. Dances work perfectly here and are a wonderful way for younger members of the family to become experts and teach older members of the family. Make sure everyone gets involved in their own way!
Passing on family traditions and memories is often the job of the older generation. Turn it into a game by asking family members to write down family trivia questions (and answers) on cards throughout the day. Then, after dessert, ask the questions to the group to see who can get the most answers correct. You’ll have lots of laughs certainly, and those who remember specific stories about the trivia question can share those with the group as well.
Family Photo Booth
A picture is worth a thousand words and a fun photo can spark meaningful connections. Create a family photo booth where anyone can take a photo with their phone. Gather a few fun props you might already have in storage or run to the dollar store to pick up a few things like feather boas, silly hats, and giant sunglasses. Put out a few markers and small pieces of poster board so that people can write fun sayings to hold up to the camera as well. If you have an instant camera that prints out photos immediately, have a spot where you can post those for all to see as well.
What will you do with your family this summer that will create, or strengthen, family bonds between the older and younger generation? If you need some assistance with your older family member to prepare for the gathering or to have support during the gathering, consider partnering with us at CaringGivers. Our caregivers are ready to provide personalized assistance to your aging loved one so they can have a great time with their family. Contact us to learn more about our services.