Just Imagine...

Intergenerational Fun

As part of our learning goals at ILC, we feel that it is beneficial to have the children interact with the adults of older generations.  Providing positive interactions between the generations is a great benefit to everyone involved.  Our classes go to The Commons on Marice senior living  community, which is located behind Granite City, on a weekly or monthly basis.  The ‘Grandmas’ and ‘Grandpas’, as the children refer to them, also come visit in the classrooms.  The children and seniors love to spend time with each other; all making new friends. 

Each month, we have a theme and corresponding activities and projects with the seniors.  For instance, in April, for Arbor Day/Earth Day, we planted a tree at The Commons on Marice.  For May, we made May Day baskets and took them over to the seniors.

The children and adults complete art activities together.  In the past, we have even received grants for intergenerational art projects such as “Art Across the Ages,” where each participant creates several pieces of art under the guidance of artists from the community.

The ILC classes periodically complete a cooking project to bring to The Commons.  And sometimes the seniors and children participate in cooking together, creating gift baskets to give to people in the community at the holidays.  We call this program, “Cooking with the Young & the Young at Heart.”  Our July theme is “Bake a Treat.”

We have received grants for several intergenerational programs, including our “Art Across the Ages” program and a recycling program we did together called, “Recycle, Recycle, and Recycle!”

Our intergenerational activities are structured in such a way that the participants talk with one another and work on a project together.  Forming relationships is the key to intergenerational programs; it is not about the child performing for the seniors, but rather about the interaction that they have with one another.

We think intergenerational activities and experiences are important because they:

  • Build friendships
  • Build self-esteem for both groups
  • Provide purpose, touch, and community
  • Create a smile on one’s face
  • Share unconditional love
  • The children learn respect

It is like an extended family for the elders and the children.