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"Dear Jayne, I’m looking for some fun activities for our intergenerational church group!”

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Dear Jayne:

My church recently started an intergenerational group made up of preschool and elementary students, teens and senior citizens. I volunteered to help organize activities for them to engage in during their monthly gatherings.

While I’ve helped organize a lot of events, I’m definitely no expert in intergenerational activities.

Do you have any recommendations for online resources I can visit to learn more? And maybe a few suggestions for activities that might be easy to do the first few months while we are getting better organized?

Kindly,

Christina


Using Intergenerational Activities to Help Seniors and Children Connect

Dear Christina:

What an interesting group for your church to organize! And so nice of you to volunteer to help. I’m sure you will reap as many rewards from the group as the seniors and kids do!

I definitely have some suggestions I think will help you get started.

Resources for Planning Intergenerational Activities

Here are a few resources you can use to learn more about planning activities for multiple generations:

  • Intergenerational Activities Sourcebook: Penn State Extension created this free intergenerational activity guide you can download from their site. It is packed with helpful tips and ideas ranging from how to avoid harmful stereotypes about aging to activities that encourage communication.
  • Generations United: Another organization to explore is Generations United. Their website is rich with information about the benefits of intergenerational activities and friendships. They also have an Online Resource Center where you can access toolkits, manuals and videos at no cost.
  • Faith-Based Resources: Depending upon what denomination your church is, there are also a variety of faith-based intergenerational sites. Both Building Faith and Young Ministry Conversations share good information online.

As far as a few activities to get started, you might want to begin with arts and craft projects. If it is a large crowd, break up in to smaller groups to encourage participation and friendly conversation.

A site we like that is full of DIY intergenerational arts and crafts projects is Grandparents.com.  You can even find tips for hosting a movie night with several generations, jokes and tips for communicating. Craft stores are another option if you are pressed for time. Most have kits you can buy that have everything you need for a project.

We would also like to extend an open invitation to you and your group to visit a Benchmark Senior Living community. We’ll be happy to arrange for you participate in one of our life enrichment activities! 

Until next time,

Jayne

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Jayne Sallerson is a warm, enthusiastic and compassionate executive with a heart for working with seniors. Jayne has been in senior care for more than 20 years and she says, “I still love what I do.” At Benchmark Senior Living, Jayne now serves as Executive Vice President. A native of New England, Jayne loves to travel, meet new people, and hang out with her favorite pug, Henry.
Jayne started this blog as a way to share the many questions she and her team get every day with other people looking for answers.