When Seniors and Kids Connect Everyone Benefits

by Aging & Elderly, Wisdom, Wisdom Podcasts0 comments

I am a hugger. When the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing, I missed hugging my grandkids. We know that when seniors and kids connect everyone benefits, so Larry and I got creative with our (safe) socializing. The ideas we came up with like visiting our great-granddaughters with silly signs were necessary during the pandemic, but what’s wonderful is that they’re just as useful for non-pandemic situations too.

Are you a grandparent, aunt, uncle or other older adult who would enjoy connecting with youth? Read on for my ideas for how to Care Well for your favorite youngster.


Invite a few youngsters to go on a hike or a walk with you to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. You could also turn the walk into a game by making it a scavenger hunt. Make a list of objects that one might find on your walk and then set a time limit and see if she can find the listed objects.  Some objects might be:  items from nature such as: acorn, pine cone, a bird, or a squirrel. If your walk is in the city or suburbs, choose items such as: a sign with the letter “A”, a red car, or a person wearing a certain type of clothing.


Who doesn’t love a “special delivery?” If you already know the child well, you could plan a special surprise to be mailed or dropped off on their porch. Ideas include: a treat bag filled with healthy snacks, coloring books, craft items like pipe cleaners or Silly Putty. If you need ideas, check out our Getting to Know You Questionnaire. I have used this form with my grandchildren to help get birthday ideas – as well as provide conversation starters for when I chat with them.


Text or email a simple message to your young friend or family member. We all like to see a message from someone we like. Your message can be a one-liner, such as:

  • “Thinking of you” 
  • “Wondering what you are doing today?”
  • “I enjoyed talking with you last week.”
  • “What are you doing this weekend?”
  • “Do you know any good jokes?”

Speaking of jokes – there are many kid-friendly jokes online. Some of my favorites are Third Grade Jokes, 277 Puns for Kids, and Riddles for Teens . Also, remember that today’s youth rarely receives physical mail, so if you have their home address, consider surprising them with a handwritten letter sent by snail mail. 

If you are feeling lonely or isolated, chances are there’s a child out there who is feeling that way too. Please consider reaching out. We all benefit – elders and youth alike – when we take the time to connect.

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.


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