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child and aged care resident reading at intergenerational playgroup
By keiki

Never too old to play

Intergenerational Playgroup brings pre-schoolers and aged care residents together

A WA-first intergenerational playgroup called Playmates Across Generations has begun its pilot program in a joint project between Rotary Group Joondalup, Keiki Early Learning, and Keyton’s Harbourside Village in Mindarie.

Launched on Friday 9th June, weekly sessions are rotated between Harbourside Village and Keiki Mindarie Primary’s Preschool, with a range of activities for the children and senior group volunteers to enjoy together.

“Watching the children and older adults forming connections is really lovely to see,” said Sam Morrell, owner of Keiki Early Learning, “for me the sessions are an hour of pure joy.”

“Many children these days do not have grandparents or older family members living nearby, so this is a wonderful opportunity for children to learn from the older generation, form new friendships, and broaden their understanding and acceptance of others.’’

“It also helps children to improve language, cognitive development, social skills and sense of community”.

The purpose of the intergenerational playgroup is to bring individuals from very different generations together over fun activities, providing new opportunities for social interaction and learning.

Darren Perera from Rotary Group Joondalup explains, “the playgroup forms a supportive environment for both age groups to interact and learn from one another, while also reducing social isolation and building a sense of community.”

“We drew inspiration from the ABC program ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’, which demonstrated the many benefits of bringing young children and older adults together on a regular basis.’’

“We are hoping to expand the program out across the Rotary WA network following the pilot program”, he says.

The Playmates Across Generations pilot program is currently running every Friday from 10am-11:30am.

Published: 20th July 2023.