The Lawns celebrated National Picnic Day on Monday 18th June with an inter-generational Teddy Bears Picnic. From children aged 4 to residents aged 104!
We have wonderful links with Norton Pre-School and Debutots. It was wonderful to welcome the children with their teddy bears.
In the morning, residents and children enjoyed singing, exercises and stories outside. Joy decorated the gardens with lots of vintage teddy bear memorabilia and teddy bears. These scenes brought squeals of laughter from the little ones, who ran around finding all the teddies.
Jack the PAT dog
Registered General Nurse Cath brought her Pets As Therapy dog Jack to join in the fun. He is a regular visitor to the Lawns and loved all the extra attention. Our activities coordinator Joy said “There is nothing more magical than the sound and sight of children laughing and playing and the unconditional love from animals”.
Residents’ families and friends joined later for a traditional picnic prepared by our chef Anita. She made teddy bear cookies for the children, along with cupcakes and a lemon meringue pie. A teddy bear competition followed. Categories included The Oldest Bear, The Best Dressed Bear and The Bear with the Best Name.
Our home manager Carol’s Sherlock Holmes Bear came second in the Best Dressed Bear category – much to her delight! She said “The benefits of this inter-generational project were plain to see in the smiles and laughter of all ages. Even Jack the dog was smiling as he lay on his back having his tummy rubbed.” She added “We are delighted to have these special bonds with Norton Pre-school and Debutots. Our residents always hugely look forward to their visits”
The benefits of inter-generational activities
You may have watched the recent Channel 4 television series called The Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds. This had many viewers hearts breaking as they saw the many benefits of bringing together these so called ” book-end generations”.
Studies have found that adults who experience close inter-generational interaction are less prone to depression and have better physical health as they feel more active and productive. They tend to be happier with their present life and more hopeful for the future.
Inter-generational bonding is good for children too with benefits such as improving the immune system to enhancing social intelligence and confidence building.
Susan Bosak has written a fascinating article about bringing together the “bookend generations”. She says that “We live in a society that values adulthood, and in turn “doing” – productivity and ongoing activity. The young and the old share a different rhythm. It’s one that focuses not only on “doing”, but on the power of “being”. It’s the simplicity of playing with blocks or tending to flowers. The young and the old are most closely connected with the essence of living. They can exist in a moment that’s the grand sum of past, present, and future. Rather than time being the enemy – rushing time or stressing to fit as much into time as possible – time becomes a comfortable companion, a circle rather than a line.”
Here is the clink to the article http://www.legacyproject.org/guides/intergenbenefits.html
We had such a fabulous day and look forward to welcoming back the children soon.