If you have grandchildren, these activities serve a dual purpose –bonding with the grandkids while helping your mind stay sharp. Don’t have grandchildren of the right age? Consider becoming a Foster Grandparent or Big Brother/Big Sister.
Play video games: Research has shown that playing video games can help improve perception, hand-eye coordination, night driving ability and more. Think playing video games comes at a cost to fitness? There are many video games created expressly for fitness these days. Your grandchildren or other youngsters will probably get a kick out of teaching you their favorite games, so go ahead and ask them to hand over the controller. If you haven’t played before, it may take you awhile to get the hang of it, but learning new things is also great for the brain!
Try something new: Doing things differently and learning new things helps keep your brain fit. Playing with kids offers many opportunities to do things you wouldn’t normally do, as well as learn something new. Have your young companions teach you a board or card game you don’t know, a song they’re learning on a musical instrument, a phrase in another language or a dance. Or teach them chess, do a puzzle together or try a new recipe – all are challenging and fun.
Get active: Being physically active helps keep your brain sharp. Exercise is also great for kids, and they tend to have boundless energy and enthusiasm, making them great partners for fun outdoor activities. Go for a bike ride, a nature walk, a swim, or simply go to the playground. As always, make sure your doctor has cleared you for the type of physical activity you’re participating in.
Feed your brain: Help teach healthy eating habits and feed your brain by making fun and nutritious snacks to eat together. Research has shown that eating more fruits and vegetables has beneficial effects on brain function. Make a fruit rainbow. Create veggie animals with a healthy dip. Find many more ideas online, including on Pinterest.com.