Construction Sets… for Seniors? Building Brains at Any Age

Construction Sets… for Seniors? Building Brains at Any Age

If your summer travel plans include visiting grandparents or great grandparents, don’t forget to pack the Brackitz As our society begins to appreciate the immeasurable benefits of intergenerational experiences (think about the widely publicized Intergenerational Learning Center located within the Providence Mount St. Vincent senior living facility in Seattle or the myriad of college programs coupling students with older adults), we are also beginning to appreciate activities that appeal to both ends of the age spectrum, like building sets. Not only is building and creating satisfying to all ages, but building with engineering sets like Brackitz provides older adults many of the same benefits it does younger children (and everyone in between). The benefits of building include:

A project that occupies the hands is the perfect activity for seniors with Alzheimers or dementia, as there are opportunities for cognitive improvement during building including practicing shapes, colors, sizes, and more. Building is also beneficial to seniors in good mental health. Recent research indicates that trying new things helps maintain the brain’s neuroplasticity, or ability to stay flexible, enabling seniors to adapt more easily to new environments and situations 

Building sets also provide an opportunity for seniors to express their creativity. Bruce Miller, MD, directors of the Dementia Center at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, has found that while brains age, creativity does not, and that creating art provides a healthy opportunity for the two sides of the brain to work together. In fact, Bruce’s Healthy Aging Program includes an Artist in Residence program dedicated to studying creativity and the brain.

And, as it does for children, building with Brackitz engineering sets exercises fine motor skills and dexterity. Operational fine motor skills are critical in helping older adults maintain their independence, as they are crucial for things like feeding and dressing one’s self, writing, typing, and dialing a phone, even opening or locking a door. Building sets with larger pieces that are easier to attach, like Brackitz, are the best choice for practicing seniors’ fine motor skills, particularly for those suffering from arthritis.

Building sets make a wonderful contribution to senior centers, as they foster social skills, create bonding opportunities, and encourage cooperation. Again, larger sets, like Brackitz, enable multiple builders to work on the same project, providing even more opportunities for socializing. 

Whether you’re meeting your parents in the tropics for a multi-generational get-away or you’re popping into an assisted living facility for a weekly visit, Brackitz are a great way to bring everyone together. And, Mom and Dad, it couldn’t hurt for you to jump in and get building, either! The benefits of play, at any age, are highly documented, and include increased relaxation, stress relief, improved brain function and memory, increased energy and creativity, and much more. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to make building with Brackitz a family affair!

Brackitz engineering toys are the only construction toys that lets kids design any structure they can imagine - anything.Our unique, connect-anywhere brackitz enables kids to create large scale, portable, 3-D structures – with no instructions or limitations – all while learning real-life math, science, engineering, and architecture skills.

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