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What’s a “manly” hobby my elderly grandpa can learn while in quarantine?

My grandma (80F) has been keeping herself busy crocheting and painting, but my grandpa (82M) is losing his mind being stuck inside with no sports on tv and all of his favorite indoor places closed.

I suggested grandma teach him how to crochet too, and he said that’s a woman’s hobby and would be too difficult with his arthritis. I asked if there was a hobby he would be interested in, and he said he would try a new hobby if I could find something that is indoors, manly, and won’t hurt his hands.

So, men of Reddit, what are some hobbies that are indoors, manly, and doesn’t require a lot of dexterity?

Update: Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Before I went to bed last night, I ordered him a handheld electronic poker game and some large piece puzzles for now. I’m going to get him a tablet and download some audiobooks (thanks for the book suggestions. I’m going to get Gordie Howe’s biography to start) and online games like Catan that he can do. When I get paid tomorrow, I’ll see if I can get him some model sets to do and a pair of binoculars too.

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  1. Sausage making.

    Seriously, just takes a grinder (hand or electric), casings and recipes.

    Nothing like hand-made kielbasa, merguez, chorizo, Irish breakfast…

    And you can freeze them or gift them.

  2. Model building is pretty stereotypically masculine right? Idk about dexterity though. Maybe sudoku or painting. Those are typically easy on the hands even if they aren’t the most “manly”.

  3. My grandpa loved gardening until he passed away at 86. He didn’t care that much for flowers, but was so proud of his vegetables. It’ll give him something to do every morning and look forward to the next day

  4. Reading. Readings a great and manly hobby for people of all ages, the only issue with older people is that their eye site isn’t as good as it used to be. The solution to this problem is buy your grand father a Kindle and crank up the font size. Go fill it with a much of easy reading books like louis l’amour or Agatha Christy, whatever he likes, maybe some historical fiction or sports related stuff. Not only is this a great hobby but it’s good for his brain to get a workout.

  5. Painting. Churchill painted after he retired. Drawing- my did so and was quite good at it. Origami. Jigsaw puzzles , which is what my grandfather enjoyed. Calligraphy. Bookbinding. Cooking. Grilling! Scrollsawing ( can be done by hand using a fretsaw in a small space). Leatherwork; I am using a wallet my grandfather made for me in 1970. Gardening. Macrame and sailors knotwork. Rag rugs. Hell, Rosie Grier enjoyed needlework, didn’t he? ( Your grandad will know who he was if he liked football!)

  6. Clay (or similar material) modeling.

    I have dystonia (severe chronic cramping in my hands), but I find modeling with clay or similar material both soothing and creatively challenging. There are lots of modeling materials out there, some of which are soft, some which need to be worked a bit to use.

    There are so many shaping tools that you can explore as well.

  7. Ken Burns did a truly amazing documentary on the history of baseball. It’s not a hobby but very informative and enjoyable hours of viewing. It not only tells the history of baseball, but the history of the United States. Just a thought.

  8. Knife sharpening. Useful and a skill I wish to master before I’m 80. I got over 40 years to try. Different angles for different blade styles, right handed vs left handed kerf. Shit can get complex but it comes down to time and patience.

  9. You mentioned he has arthritis and you may need something requiring less fine-motor skills? I think something like you already suggested, along the lines of a little wooden birdhouse would be great. My dad recently completed a laser-cut wooden model of a train. Might be a little bit too intricate for someone with restrictive arthritis, but there are a lot of other laser-cut puzzles that are easier, and only require you slide the pieces together, rather than glueing them (which is much for finicky and fine-motor demanding!). A lot of them aren’t too tricky, and a lot of them may serve a practical use (i.e. bird feeder, book stands).


    Hope this helps!

  10. My father cooks and makes youtube videos about it. My step father has an indoor potted plant garden. My grandfather used to read a lot as he got older, he particularly liked national geographic d Louis L’Amore books

  11. When my grandmother retired she took a writing course to write her biography. She only printed enough for her family to have. It is really nice to read them and learn what the world was like when she grew up.

  12. If your grandpa likes long-term projects, help him set up a small garden and pick out things he might be interested in growing.

    They usually aren’t a lot of work and just require some consistency and planning. It’s also super fun to have flowers, fruits, and veggies you can send to your friends and families.

  13. Gardening. Now is a great time to get into it, too. Doesn’t have to be huge, maybe flowers or herbs in small planters to give away and see if he likes it.

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