Whether your parents live too far away to see you often or are staying home to avoid getting sick, staying at home can be frustrating. Day after day of staying at home is tiring, and they're running out of things to do. Here are four ways for them to have fun while staying at home.
Have Them Teach Themselves How to Cook
Your mom has never gotten into cooking. She can make some basics, but she's never had time to explore the different types of cooking to see if anything clicks. Your dad cooks, but he's never been great at baking. It's time for them to try again.
Stock their cupboards or pantry with basic ingredients like flour, sugar, yeast, etc. Many websites have easy-to-follow recipes to help people learn how to make their first loaf of bread, master jam and jelly making, or whip up tasty baked goods. Print out a few for them to try and see what happens.
Board games, card games, and video games help you pass the time together or alone. Your parents could pull out the Scrabble board and challenge each other to a game. Make it more challenging and stick to themes like “food-related words” or “things associated with nature.”
Sites and apps like Steam and GOG are packed with discounted or free video games and trials. Your parents may find they love playing as Sherlock Holmes and solving murders or being part of a game where you choose a character's path as they explore a new world.
Learn a Foreign Language
YouTube and the internet are packed with free videos and online classes for so many things. Find instructional videos online and learn a new language. Though sites like DuoLingo, your parents could spend just a few minutes a day learning Italian, Spanish, French, or another foreign language.
Try a New Hobby
Hobbies offer the chance to explore something new. Your dad enjoys gardening in the summer. Has he ever tried to grow a bonsai tree? There are kits available that allow him to grow trees from seed.
Your mom watches cooking shows regularly. She's fascinated by wedding cakes. Get her a kit that has the frosting bags and different tips. She can follow instructional videos and give cake decorating a shot.
Hobbies don't have to stick to the standard knitting, sewing, and woodworking that come to mind. Your dad could learn how to make elaborate Japanese paper houses. Your mom could try making her own paper and creating personalized greeting cards to send to friends and family members.
Don't let your parents become isolated. Someone needs to check in now and then to make sure they have groceries, prescriptions, and basic necessities like heat and water. Call a senior care specialist and ask about companionship visits from a senior care aide.