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August 9, 2018

Intergenerational Connections – Benefits for Young and Old

Contributed by Jenna Cochrane, Program Coordinator, Orchard Park Center

What is more heartwarming than the youngest and the eldest people in our communities getting together to have some good, old-fashioned fun?

Over the past year, many of our centers have forged relationships with nearby senior care facilities. We’ve talked about it before on the blog because we believe strongly in the many important benefits that intergenerational connections provide our children, older adults, families and communities. We couldn’t be happier to see these relationships continue to grow at our centers.

Recently, our Orchard Park center received a visit from from some seniors in their community. Here’s what our Program Coordinator, Ms Jenna, had to say about the experience:

Once the shyness wore off, the children were so excited and curious to ask their senior visitors as many questions as they could think of.  They read a story, drew pictures, talked endlessly about stickers, and shared details of their everyday lives.  Everyone enjoyed themselves – it was a beautiful opportunity to look at the world through the eyes of a different generation. 

Research shows there is benefits of having these two age groups meet and interact.  In fact, “studies have shown that activities that include children and older adults in a day care facility can increase self-esteem and promote friendships”, explains Catrin Hedd Jones in Combining Daycare for Children and Elderly People Benefits all Generations on The Conversation. 

All were laughing and smiling by the end of their visit and asked when they could do it again.  

And just like that, our friends at Doodle Bugs! have made more friends elsewhere.  Isn’t that what preschool is all about?  Learning and making new friends – no matter what the age!