Intergenerational exchange in the neighbourhood

 General goals of the activity

To strengthen the social structure of a neighbourhood, town, city for young and old. To create an opportunity of conversation and encounter between young and old. To bring together groups of people who share the same neighbourhood. To be part of activities that can be fun both for young children and for the elderly.

 Description of the activity

First of all it is important to get to know the different services in the neighbourhood. Once contact has been made with (e.g.) a service for the elderly it is possible to plan the exchange activities. Every 2 weeks the toddlers go to the home for elderly people and carry out motor or psychomotor activities together with the elderly.
The children gather around 9.30am and walk or use a stroller to get to the activity.

For every 2 children there is one adult.
Parents are also invited to join the activity.
Upon arrival, the children and the elderly meet in the psychomotor room. Both the entertainers / therapists of the elderly and the teachers are present and one of them organizes the activities. After an hour the children go back to the nursery school.


(issues to be aware of when implementing the activity)

A home for elderly  people is often very eager to have some entertainment for the residents. It can be an opportunity for children and elderly to do activities together.

The elderly could also come and visit the daycare center.
The residents are counting the days till the children get back.
With nice weather, the activity can be organized in the outdoor space of the service. This kind of cooperation can also be organized with an organisation for people with disabilities.

 Role of the teacher

The teacher takes active part in the activity. He or she joins the children on the walk to the home for elderly people and organizes the motor activities for the children and the elderly.

Role of the family

Parents are asked to actively participate in the activity with their children. The more adults there are to guide the children, the more children are able to participate.

 Added value for the child and the family

Children and their parents make connections with the world outside of the nursery school. The world of elderly people becomes more familiar.

Materials to be used

For the walk to the elderly home, a trolley can be very useful. In case of rain, waterproof outdoor clothes are necessary.

Depending on what activities are planned, specific materials will be needed, e.g. hoops, recycled materials, music, etc.

Guiding questions to reflect on the general improvement of the service

By documenting this activity other partners can join the exchange. A nearby school for youngsters with learning problems can (e.g.) help to organize the walk between the nursery school and the home for elderly people.