Indoor Fun for Older Adults: 10 Ideas

seniors painting

There are many activities you can do indoors that are not only fun, but offer the benefits of helping you keep physically and mentally fit — and more. Here are some ideas for staying active and living a full life!

Tai Chi and Yoga

An ancient art and gentle exercise program, Tai Chi blends light exercise with stretching and mindfulness. It improves balance, flexibility, and overall fitness. Studies have shown Tai Chi reduces the risk of falls for older adults by as much as 45%.

Yoga practice can help minimize hypertension, strengthen bones, increase balance and poise, build strength, and reduce anxiety. There are programs done in a chair and those using gentle yoga poses.

Board Games, Cards, and Puzzles

A great way for seniors to keep mental faculties sharp, board games and puzzles also foster camaraderie in a group setting. Using essential cognitive skills, these activities are crucial for adults (of any age) to help maintain brain function responsible for problem-solving and memory. They can be enjoyed in a social situation, solo (Sudoku, puzzles, or crosswords), or online. Puzzles are also available in larger-sized pieces for those with declining vision.

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  • Learn bridge, cribbage or Crazy 8s.
  • Revive an interest in chess or checkers.
  • Try Ticket to Ride, a popular board game.

Arts and Crafts

Expressing creativity and emotions through the arts can be immensely satisfying. Painting and drawing boost confidence and hand-eye coordination. Arts and crafts increase brain activity, concentration, and mental health in general. Activities such as quilting, sewing, scrapbooking, and collage-making are excellent indoor activities for all ages.

Knitting and Crocheting

Popular activities, knitting and crocheting are therapeutic and provide a sense of accomplishment and purpose. There are charitable organizations for the homeless or for at-risk families that welcome and appreciate donations of hats, scarves, blankets, and mittens. Knitting and crocheting can help keep fingers and hands dexterous and are a fun way to reduce stress.

Playing an Instrument

Playing an instrument is a wonderful way to improve coordination and the ability to process and retain information. Seniors who have played an instrument in the past find playing for their own enjoyment and that of others is a boost to self-esteem and happiness. Learning to play an instrument as an older adult is not impossible. There are classes at adult schools, online and through private instruction for those who want to learn.

Cooking and Baking

Cooking is a great creative outlet for both men and women. Baking and cooking have a strong positive effect on mental health, helping to stimulate the senses. To top things off, cooking and baking both provide a delicious reward at the end.

Watch a Movie

Whether an old favorite or a new action film or animated story, older adults enjoy getting comfortable and watching a movie. Make it a social event by inviting friends, serving a light snack, and having a discussion post-movie to get some lively conversation going.


A good book transports the reader to new places and adventures. Whatever the genre, reading provides quiet time while exercising the mind. Get together with friends for a book club meeting and online questions about the book can be discussed. For those with visual problems, audio books are available. Seniors can also connect with their local library system without having to leave home through a free app on their smartphone or tablet for reading on those devices or listening to audio versions.


Documenting your life can be satisfying; it could even develop into a short story or book.

Writing is an excellent way to reflect and to reminisce about a lifetime of memories. This form of creative expression can be done on a computer, writing in a journal by hand, or through a personal voice recorder.

Online Classes

Older adults have many opportunities to learn about almost any topic of interest. There are courses available online, on audio disk, or DVD. Topics include history, art, philosophy, investing, music, and more.

These ten types of indoor activities are great outlets to help exercise the mind, body, and soul. They are fun, rewarding and benefit health and well-being, the foundation of a full and gratifying life.

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