Intergenerational Friendships

senior singing to children

It was such a special day today for Home Child Care. We braved the cold for our monthly visit to Princess Gardens Retirement Residence. This play group is my personal favourite activity of the month. Being able to witness this incredible multi-generational community grow is my absolute privilege.

This playgroup was set up based on research that shows how beneficial it is for children and seniors to spend time together. Being together for play and singing inspires empathy and kindness in children while igniting energy, enthusiasm and positivity in our seniors.

This week our time together began with playdough exploration. This is always a favourite, and today I wanted to figure out why. As I watched and listened, I realized that the playdough brings about such conversation and almost acts as an icebreaker. “Well, isn’t that just beautiful!” a senior resident commented to one our children about their playdough creation.

One thing you can be sure of when you visit our playgroup is that the children present are treated like the special and beautiful people they are. The seniors don’t hold back in their encouragement and admiration. This is something I find inspiring and so relevant in a culture that undervalues both of the populations present here.

This week I brought baby dolls to our time together. These baby dolls were equally popular between the seniors and the children. Kisses, songs, and cuddles were bestowed upon our tiny dolls. It was moving to watch the youngest of children care for and snuggle the baby dolls alongside the senior residents who hold so much knowledge and compassion themselves.

Some of this knowledge was shared as we sat in a circle to sing together. David, one of our favorite regular attendees asked if the children knew “Sing a Song of Sixpence.” The room was quiet as we listened him sing in such a beautiful voice, this tune of his own childhood. David I am sure, knows many more songs, rhymes and even stories, and I hope he will continue to share his knowledge and love of song with us.

~ Emily from Home Child Care

children playing at seniors homesenior helping with children's parachute