At Playgroup WA, we know the value of bringing the generations together through play.
Intergenerational playgroups add a third generation to the mix by including seniors.
Playgroup sessions usually include all the normal fun of play, craft and other experiences, stories, songs, mornings tea or other shared snack time and well as time for chatting and catching up. Families do not need to be related to the seniors; they just need to be open to making new friendships and having fun together.
There are a lot of great reasons to participate in intergenerational activities:
Benefits for seniors
Participating in an intergenerational playgroup can provide an opportunity for senior members of the community to:
- Feel a sense of being valued as a 'resource' to young families
- Connect with and spend time with their own extended families or other families within the local community
- Feel more involved and included in the community and with other people
- Experience a stronger sense of self-esteem through having a meaningful, valued role within the community
- Experience enhanced wellbeing through fun and friendships
Benefits for Families
- Intergenerational playgroups provide an opportunity for families to add a new dimension to life experiences
- Introduce older people into the lives of young families who may otherwise have little interaction with seniors and older family members
- Facilitate friendships and relationships across generations
- Build connection to their community and an increased sense of responsibility for others in their community
- Offer opportunities to broaden life experiences, understanding and acceptance of others
- Learn from seniors attending the playgroup
Benefits for service providers and organisations
Including an intergenerational playgroup can assist organisations to:
- Connect its services with the local community
- Experience enriched opportunities for learning more about participants in their service
- Implement a wellbeing person-centred approach with older persons in their care
- Expand the skills and experience of staff through working with families and young children as well as seniors
Here are some ways to get involved:
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.
Playgroup WA hosts events throughout WA to promote the benefits of intergenerational activities including at playgroups, aged care centres, community gardens, and senior centres.
Playgroups may also like to invite seniors in their local community to attend a session at their playgroup. Playgroup WA’s annual “Bring a Grandparent to Playgroup Week” also provides an opportunity to include grandparents and other seniors in a playgroup session.
Playgroups can also plan excursions to meet with seniors in the community at aged care or day centres or even the library.
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.