Do you have an under 5 who loves music, dancing, play acting and generally creating things? Then bring them along to Generations – a parent and baby/toddler group with a difference – for an hour of all sorts of creative fun!
Generations is an opportunity to bring together different ages and give them the chance to explore performance and art together. Our trained theatre practitioners will use music, drama and art to create a safe space for children and care home residents to express themselves, together.
OmniArts GB started Generations with a vision to enrich the lives of both children and the residents of the homes the group runs in. Our team has developed an inter-generational programme, designed to encourage interaction through the activities we do. We’ll also support you in encouraging your children to engage as well.
The residents of the homes we work in may have dementia, memory problems and physical issues, but the Generations programme is built on a belief that they still have the right to be loved, spoken to, and to have fun. They are still people, and love playing games and having fun with children.
Generations is aimed at 2-5 year olds but younger ones are welcome.
We ran a test group from September 2017 – April 2018, and currently have plans for two groups in the Hampshire area. More details will be released soon.
Please note, advanced booking is required! Please contact Becki on firstname.lastname@example.org, text/call her on 07584662225 or fill in the form below to book.
Children of all ages are welcome. Sessions are £3 per child, or £5 for two siblings.
If paying for 4 weeks at once, price is £10 (£2.50 per session), or £18 for two siblings (£4.50 per session for both).
For more details and to come along to a Generations session please contact email@example.com or text/call Becki on 07584662225.
What to Expect at a Generations Session
Our sessions are planned to engage with the children and residents and we use a wide range of activities to do this. Some of these activities will be familiar to the children, while some will be new to them and more familiar to the residents. What makes Generations special is the fact that all of our activities are suitable and fun for both ages.
Music is at the heart of what we do at Generations. We use songs from the 1940s, 50s and 60s to allow the residents to relive their youth, as well as modern songs that the children will know, and nursery rhymes that have been used for years and everyone will know. We encourage everyone to get involved by singing, using simple musical instruments, and moving along with ribbons. Every session starts with our special hello song and finishes with a goodbye song.
We love getting people moving. The movement we use is usually gentle so that both the residents and children can do them and enjoy. However, there is also a lot of time when the children are encouraged to move freely, either to music or within other activities.
We use things like play parachutes, bean bags, hand puppets, and toys to help both children and residents engage with our stories, songs & games. We also make use of sensory activities within our sessions including bubbles, balloons, water beads, & play dough.
Sometimes, the children are invited to take part in craft activities which they can keep or choose to give to a resident to keep. These crafts are often themed for special days throughout the year; we have made rainmakers, Christmas tree decorations, and greeting cards.
The Benefits to your Child
Generations encourages creativity through the mediums of music, movement and making. We use drama, storytelling, arts and crafts, and music as part of activities designed to develop a range of skills for both children and residents.
The children taking part in inter-generational groups like ours benefit from:
- Improved Communication Skills – Through music, movement and stories, children learn to communicate in a range of ways and with a range of people.
- Developed Fine Motor Skills – Through playing musical instruments, playing games, and engaging in a variety of craft activities, children improve their fine motor skills.
- Widened Imagination – Children are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas, create and tell their own stories, make their own dances, and produce and range of craft items.
- A Sense of History – Through storytelling and drama, we encourage residents to share their stories with the children. Through this the children end up learning about the past in an engaging manner.
- Increased Emotional and Social Skills – By connecting regularly with the elderly, children develop an understanding of how people are different, and how we interact with different people differs slightly. From how we talk to them to understanding how they move differently, this knowledge will go through the child’s life helping them in a number of different situations.
- Perspective – As with their sense of history, interacting with the elderly can help a child develop a better understanding of people and the world around us.
The Benefits to the Residents
Music and drama leads to increased levels of ‘feel-good’ brain chemicals, including melatonin, serotonin, prolactin in Alzheimer’s patients, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Singing, music and movement have been proven to provide a number of physical, mental and emotional benefits to people of all ages.
Movement has a positive impact on both physical and mental health for the elderly. The movement and dance we use during Generations sessions offer them the chance to express themselves in a natural way, helps connect the mind and body, and helps improve communication with others through non-verbal interactions. More importantly, it increases confidence and self-esteem in both the old and the young.
Storytelling and drama encourage residents to reminisce about their past and to engage their imaginations to create something new. We often use props and toys to help prompt memories. At Generations, we encourage everyone to express themselves both verbally and non-verbally in a way that feels comfortable for them.
Engagement with the arts helps residents maintain and improve their fine motor skills, communication and creativity.
We have plans to open up more Generations groups across Portsmouth and the surrounding areas in different homes in the near future. If you would be interested in running a group, please email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title “Generations Job Application”.