Sian Brennan-Todd is a local eastern suburbs mum who chats about how she has set up an intergenerational playgroup and is looking to expand more in the eastern suburbs.
What gave you the idea to start an intergenerational playgroup?
I looked into this when I was living in the UK and then when we moved here a year ago I approached the care home down the road and they said yes!!!
How did you first approach the group?
I just called the centre and asked if they would be interested and they were so then told some friends and it snowballed from there.
What did you notice at the group? Were there any significant changes in the children or older adults behaviour or attitude
It has only been going six months and i really enjoy it as do my kids. My oldest is seven and he loves to come and read to the residents when he’s not at school and they really enjoy helping build towers of duple or doing puzzles with the children. And they LOVE cuddles with them.
The oldest resident we have is 105 years old and is divine. It exposes our young children to what amazing old people can be like and how kind they can be. We have some residents who can be very stressed and we find when they come to the room and see the little ones playing they relax and often if they hold a dolly completely calm down as well.
A lot of the time the residents with dementia remember all the nursery rhymes we sing which their carers say is great.
Where and when do you do it?
I currently run one group in Rose Bay but am hoping to set another one up in Bondi as well. The Rose Bay one runs once a month on Tuesday from 9.30- 1.00am.
What sort of activities do you do at the Playgroup?
It is a simple concept of toys, craft, music (which we find the residents love to join in with), bubbles and a snack.
What the nicest feedback you have heard from the members?
A lot of the members say they really enjoy spending time with older people as they often don’t have this interaction on a weekly basis if not. Many of the mums who come are from the UK and miss their own parents and Grandparents so it’s nice for their children to be with older people.
Can others join the playgroup or should they enquire first?
We ask for anyone to email first as the room is not huge that we meet in but we are always looking for new members as mums finish maternity leave and are unable to carry on coming.
We would lOVE to have new members so please do feel free to get in touch.
For more info contact Intergenerational Playgroup via their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Intergenerational-playgroup-682740408723939/