At Playgroup WA, we know the value of bringing the generations together through play.
There are a lot of great reasons to participate in intergenerational activities:
For seniors they can:
- feel valued as a ‘resource’ to young families
- connect (or reconnect) with extended families or other families within the local community
- break down feelings of isolation often associated with aging
- increase their sense of self-esteem because they have a meaningful, respected role in the community
- reminisce about memories of raising their own children
For families they can:
- add a new dimension to the life experiences of children from an early age
- introduce older people into the lives of young families who may otherwise have little interaction with seniors
- facilitate friendships and relationships across generations
- feel connected to their community and develop a sense of responsibility for others in their community
- offer an opportunity to broaden a child’s life experiences by ‘normalising’ difference and then in turn building acceptance.
Here are some ways to get involved:
Intergenerational playgroups are held in a variety of settings including residential care facilities, retirement villages and community based senior centres. They are fun and open to all families with young children. You can find your local intergenerational playgroup here.
Playgroup WA hosts numerous events throughout WA to promote the benefits of intergenerational activities including at playgroups, aged care centres, community gardens, and senior centres. To find out about upcoming intergenerational events, follow the main Playgroup WA Facebook page and/or subscribe to the Playgroup WA eNewsletter.
Playgroups may also host intergenerational events during “Bring a Grandparent to Playgroup Week” which is celebrated each year in Spring. Activities might include a teddy bear picnic, gardening, a scavenger hunt, beauty salon with manicures, taking photos, and a dance or tea party.
Playgroups can also have excursions to meet with seniors in the community at aged care or day centres or even the library. The same activities as above can be done. This is a great way to get people from different generations together to foster understanding and build respect between the generations.
Some seniors enjoy volunteering in their local community and may look to playgroups. Seniors tell us it gives them a great deal of pleasure; makes them feel young and valued; and brings back memories of their own children. Elders may find volunteer opportunities at playgroup can include greeting families as they arrive, offer a helping hand and a great source of wisdom. Playgroups can list volunteer opportunities with their local council or Volunteering WA.
To find your local Intergenerational Playgroup visit our Find A Playgroup page - please make sure you select "Intergenerational" from the category drop down menu.
For further information or if you’re looking to start your own intergenerational playgroup or event, email Playgroup WA or call 1800 171 882 to discuss more.
The Intergenerational Playgroup Service is provided by Playgroup WA and funded by the State Government through the Department of Communities