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50+ Things Worth Staying at Home For This Winter

50+ Things Worth Staying at Home For This Winter

As we settle into winter, with fewer hours of daylight available, we’ve put together our list of positive and practical activities to enjoy at home over the coming months.

We know that winter can be a time in which older people feel more isolated – lockdown or not – so be sure to look out for your elderly relatives. 

50+ winter activities for the elderly logo

We’re keen to make the list current and useful for as many people as possible, so please get involved and share your successes – and even some failures – during this winter.  Maybe even send us photos of baking triumphs, artistic interpretations, even an empty laundry basket (!) and we’ll add them  to our picture gallery below. 

Creative activities for winter

You may not think you’ve got the creative gene.  For some of us, lack of time can be an obstacle to getting creative. With more time available this winter because of lockdown, now’s the chance to let the creative juices flow……

Below are some of our favourite creative activities to keep you amused over the Witner period.

elderly painting

1. Get crafty for Christmas

Find an online wreath-making kit in preparation for Xmas. You can find different wreath-making courses to sign up for here on Eventbrite.

2. Cook something new

Dig out an old recipe book, or watch a cooking show and choose a meal that you’ve never made before. The more unusual the meal, the better!

3. Knit

Knitting is relaxing, mindful and (once you’ve mastered knit one, pearl one etc.) very satisfying. If you start now then you could knit someone a lovely gift (holey scarf?) for Christmas.

4. Letter writing

Who doesn’t love to receive an actual letter in the post?  Brush up your caligraphy skills or just dust down the bic biro and write a letter.

5. Recreate film and TV moments

Recreate your favourite film and TV moments. Take a look at this hilarious video recreation of the Downton Abbey opening sequence on Twitter.

If you’re looking for inspiration, why not browse through our list of top Netflix Recommendations

recreate TV intros this winter

6. Get arty

There are all sorts of ways to get arty – some of which you may not have tried before. Paint by numbers, needlepoint, and felting are all options. Age UK have a useful list of online art classes for the elderly.

7. 'Three old ladies stuck in the lavatory....

Poetry has been very soothing for so many this year to read, listen to and even write:  If you’re struggling to get started then try something short and structured, like a Haiku or Limerick. 

8. Create a life story

Record a memory a day and create a life story for you or a family member. This will be great to look back on a few years down the line.

9. Paint with watercolours

Watercolours are one of the best ways to paint for beginners. Buy a watercolour set online and make a masterpiece.

Social activities for winter

There are still plenty of ways to keep sociable, even when we cannot see one another as often. Using the power of the internet, you can stay in touch with your family and friends from the comfort of your sofa. 

Below you can find suggestions of social activities for older adults to take up this winter.

social lockdown activities

10. Join a book club

Join a book club – or start your own with some friends. If you want some help choosing a book to read then you may want to check out the Age Space list of 2020 Book Recommendations.

11. Go to the movies

Watch your favourite movies from childhood. Get children, grandchildren or other younger relatives to watch along with you. You can all click Play at the same time while chatting and laughing over Zoom, Skype or Whatsapp. If you want inspiration, browse our top Film Recommendations.

12. Swap a dish

Cook double and give some to your neighbour – they can return the favour another day. Remember to follow the latest Coronavirus regulations when passing the dish over the garden gate. 

13. Coffee club

Have a weekly coffee morning video call with your friends. This can be even more fun if you bake the day before, and you can have a little treat with your coffee – and share the recipe. 

14. Find out what's happening locally

Research what’s happening in your local community online to support people this winter. There are likely to be people offering help and support near you, even if it’s something small like sharing baked goods.

15. Bake-off

Join our weekly Age Space bake-off on Facebook and share your pictures/recipes with us.  Iris, the office assistant, will be judging by look alone (but no tasting) and the best entries will be featured on the site! 

You and some friends could also dedicate an evening to showcasing your baking to one another over video calls.

16. Get board

Order a new board game to play with with family, or have a go at playing online. Take a look at our list of the Best Entertainment Apps for Older People, which includes online Bridge, Uno, and Words with Friends.

17. Make a playlist

With some friends, or relatives, make a playlist of songs that take you back to a certain time in life. What were your favourite tunes from the 70s, or what was the soundtrack to a holiday you loved? This can be made easily using apps such as Spotify.

Practical activities for winter

Is there something you’ve been putting off doing for weeks? Months? Years? Maybe today is the day to get it done. Or simply start to make plans for Christmas.

Here are some practical things that you could use the time in winter to get done.

practical lockdown activities

18. Gift

Support your local businesses and get creative with your Christmas gifting. Local businesses need your support more than ever, and people are selling all sorts of fantastic and unique items locally on Etsy.com, not-on-the-high street.com, Facebook and in Whatsapp groups.

19. Spring clean - ahead of time

If you didn’t make it to the kitchen cupboards or under the stairs in lockdown#1 – there’s still time… and maybe try Kon Mori Style.  Remember what Marie Kondo wants you to ask yourself: “does it spark joy?” If not, maybe it’s time to say goodbye

20. Iron

Hear us out on this one… Get to the bottom of the ironing pile. You’ll feel great afterwards – we promise!

21. Learn a language

Learn a new language online. Check out our list of the best websites for learning a language online. 

This might come in useful for planning your dream holiday. Even if it doesn’t, learning a language is a great way of keeping your mind fresh. Just a few words a day is a good start.

learn a langauge in lockdown activity

22. Garden (indoors)

Though it’s not the best weather for gardens right now, you can start your own garden in the kitchen. Buy some pot plants, or use cuttings, to get your terrarium up and running.

23. Do admin

It needs to be done, so why not now? Review your Will, change your utilities, do your tax return…

24. Tech up

If you haven’t already, get the whole family on Zoom or Whatsapp. This could prove very handy for doing some of our social winter activities

Healthy activities for winter

Just a small amount of exercise a few days a week can make a world of difference!

There are plenty of fun ways to keep healthy this winter.

healthy lockdown activities

25. Walk

Walk somewhere you’ve never been before. You don’t have to walk far – just take a few roads near you that you don’t normally go down. If you’re feeling bolder, choose a walk from the Slow Map of Britain.

26. Dance

Put on a favourite record and dance like no one is watching! This could be one to do once you’ve made a playlist and distilled your own gin.

27. Take your vitamins

Vitamins are essential for keeping well. Vitamin D is a particularly important supplement to support your immunity at this time. Find out more about what to be taking and why from our guide to Vitamins and Supplements.

28. Get fit

Find a local online fitness class. There are classes for people of all fitness levels and mobility needs. Something gentle like yoga or pilates is a better choice for older people. Check out our Easy Home Exercises, or see  Joe Wicks’ youtube channel for workouts specifically for older people.  

29. Breathe

Download a mindfulness app, and spend time being mindful. These apps can be very helpful for looking after your mental health, and checking in with yourself, as explained more in this interesting blog read.

30. Improve your posture

Sitting at home doesn’t do wonders for our posture. Have a watch of these videos from More Life Health Seniors on exercises you can do to improve your posture.

31. Eat more eggs

Eggs are easy-to-cook, delicious and nutritious. Try them scrambled with feta and spinach, boiled, or why not try this easy Anytime Frittata.

32. Stretch

Keep your body subtle and moving with some simple stretches.

Relaxing activities for winter

Sometimes we just want something gentle and relaxing to do. We definitely shouldn’t feel as though we are supposed to achieve something every single day – especially in these strange times.

Below you will find a list of relaxing winter activities for older adults that you may be interested in. Almost all of them are best accomplished while wrapped up in a blanket and enjoying a hot chocolate…

Relaxing lockdown activities

33. Watch an online talk on Mirthy

Mirthy run online talks specifically for older adults, and you can stream them on your phone, tablet, computer or smart TV. They cover a huge range of topics from art to gardening, history to travel.

34. Read

Expand your mind and download or pick up a classic book you’ve been meaning to read for years. If you’re looking for something new to read this winter, check out our Top Books of 2020.

35. Watch a play

There are plenty of pre-recorded plays available to watch online. You can also find out about upcoming National Theatre live online performances from the National Theatre website.

36. Explore your roots

Find out about your Ancestry. Create a family tree and share a stories of your relatives, or use websites such as Ancestry.co.uk to find out even more.

37. Listen to a podcast

Dip a toe into the wonderful world of podcasts. There are podcasts about everything, from politics to sport, music to science. Take a look at our Top Podcast Recommendations if you are looking for somewhere to start.

38. Soak

Pop some Magnesium salts into your bath to relax your muscles and improve your sleep. 

39. Get musical

Listen to one new band or song a day. Ask for recommendations from your friends and family. You might also want to check out this new Dementia radio station.

40. Plan your dream holiday

Use the internet to start planning a dream holiday. Look through Airbnb for your dream accommodation, find the perfect beach, and search for the best restaurants. 

Dream up the holiday you would go on if you had an unlimited budget.

Planning dream holiday in lockdown

41. Do a puzzle

A puzzle is a great way to unwind and keep your brain active. There are an astonishing number of different designs, and you can even choose your own photo for a puzzle from Photobox.com

42. 'Go' on holiday

OK, this one is cheating a bit… but go on a virtual holiday. Lie in, create your own breakfast buffet, pamper, read, make a cocktail and get out your old holiday snaps.

43. Check out Web of the Week

Every Sunday, Web of the Week put together 10 of the best things to see on the internet that week. Age Space has even been featured on it!

44. Spend time in the garden

If you have a garden, then make the most of it. A bit of fresh air can be incredibly relaxing. If you don’t have a garden then pop down to your local park.

Thoughtful activities for winter

Have a think about things that you can do to help brighten up somebody else’s winter. A bit of altruism can go a long way and there are lots of small and simple things you can do to make a difference. Below are some thoughtful activities for winter.

thoughtful activities for winter

45. Become a Befriender

Become a befriender to somebody that is lonely or isolated. This can be done by email or over the phone, and you can make a new friend while supporting someone through this difficult period. You can sign up to be a Telephone Friendship Volunteer with Age UK.

46. Walk someone's dog using Borrow my Doggy

Take somebody else’s dog out for a walk to liven up your walks a bit. Borrow my Doggy is a website that can put you in contact with somebody who is offering for their dog to be walked.

47. Look after a friend's pet

Having a pet around can be a great form of company, and some of your friends may need their dog to be looked after while they do the shopping etc. Let your friends know that you’d be happy to look after them for a while.

48. Read with kids/grandkids

Reading online with kids, grandkids or any other young relatives is a great way of spending time with them, while also supporting their learning. Schools have been very disrupted this year, and I’m sure their parents will appreciate your support.

49. Be grateful

It’s a tough one but before you go to bed write down 3 things that you were grateful for today. Ask your relatives to do the same, and share what you all came up with.

50. Send flowers

Send flowers and brighten someone’s day. There are a range of companies that sell flowers that can be sent through people’s letterboxes, including Bloom & Wild. Also consider asking your local flowershop if they have a delivery service running.

51. Make your own Christmas cards

Make your own Christmas cards this year – and use your time to write some longer, more personal messages.

Your winter activity suggestions

You have been sending us in your suggestions of fun things to do this winter. Below we will list our favourite submissions – along with who submitted them! 

If you have a great suggestion of something to do, email it to jacob.hamilton@agespace.org

lockdown activities for the elderly

52. Go on Safari

A virtual safari, that is! Explore the world with Google Earth, and find yourself somewhere that you’ve never been before. Submitted by Jane

53. Distil your own gin

Make your own gin using a botanicals kit. Maybe have a ‘happy hour’ with family over video call. Submitted by Andrew

54. Ask Alexa

If you own an Alexa, ask her what to do today and do it. Why take our advice when you can take hers? Submitted by John 

55. Spread positivity

Start your own Facebook group and fill it with positivity – no gloom allowed! Submitted by Sandra

56. Make your own jewellery

Make your own jewellery, or add something to jewellery that you already own. You can order jewellery making kits from Hobbycraft. Submitted by Antonia – check out the earrings she made in our Winter Gallery.

57. Call old friends

Go through your address book and call some old friends. A great way of catching up on all the latest gossip, and checking in with some friends you haven’t spoken to for a while. Submitted by Carrie, whose Dad has been calling up to 5 friends a day!

Dates to be looking forward to

There are a number of dates coming up to look forward to. Between now and February, there are plenty of opportunities for celebration. 

Though we may not be able to celebrate all of these occasions as usual, it’s still important to let the holiday spirit wash over us.

winter dates to look forward to

Thanksgiving - Nov 26th

It is becoming more and more common to celebrate thanksgiving in the UK. And why not? After the year we’ve had, we deserve all the celebrations we can get! How about making a pumpkin pie?

Black Friday - Nov 27th

Black Friday marks a day of huge online shopping discounts. It is a great chance to get your Christmas shopping sorted, and find a bargain for yourself.

Christmas - Dec 25th

“The most wonderful time of the year..” It may not be Christmas as we know it, but we can still all enjoy a tasty Christmas dinner, watch some great TV and chat to our loved ones.

New Year's Eve - Dec 31st

The turning of the New Year is a great time for reflection on the year gone. And the start of the New Year is a good time to take up a new hobby, or make a resolution.

Burn's Night - Jan 25th

This Scottish celebration commemorates the life and poetry of Robert Burns. You and your family can all right a poem to share with one another, but don’t feel obliged to have haggis for dinner…

Australia Day - Jan 26th

Australia Day is Australia’s official national day, marking the anniversary of the first arrival of British ships. It is common to have a BBQ down under, but this may be difficult in the UK in January! 

This is the Age Space winter gallery, where we will be showcasing snaps of what our users have been getting up to. Show us what you’ve been doing this winter! Whether it’s a poem you’ve written, a cake you’ve baked, or a plant you’re growing – we’d love to see it.

Antonia's earrings

making jewellery in lockdown

This winter Antonia made these gorgeous earrings for a friend of her daughter-in-law. 

Colin's painting

Colin has taken up online painting lessons this winter. We love this dark and spooky scene.

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