Early childhood circles invited to participate in the trial of an intergenerational artistic project

An initiative that connects young children with care home residents to share photos with each other is being extended to early years settings to coincide with next week’s Global Intergenerational Week (April 25 – May 1).

Crafting Connections, which launched in March for parents, is now expanding to all early years settings, starting with a trial of five child care providers. Those selected for the trial will be required to provide feedback on the initiative in exchange for a free year of Crafting Connections.

Those interested in getting involved in the trial should contact The Together Project, the intergenerational charity behind the initiative, as soon as possible – details below.

Eleven countries around the world are taking part in Global intergenerational week, organized by Generations Working Together. The participating countries are UK, Ireland, Australia, America, Canada, Spain and Sweden. In England, nurseries such as Apple and Honeys Nightingale in London and St Philips Marsh Nursery in Bristol organize events.

At Apple and Honeys Nightingale, events of the week include – sensory activities, a teddy bear picnic, an intergenerational exercise class and gardening.

Co-founder and director of Apple and Honeys Nightingale, Judith Ish-Horowicz, said: “We have a full program this week and we are delighted to be back in the same space as our great friends Nightingale Hammerson without that no glass screen separates us. Although we have managed to maintain the relationship over the past two years, it has been difficult and we have had to adapt in order to protect our great friends. It is such a joy to be together. find without restrictions.

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Crafting Connections is aimed primarily at children from the age of three, but all ages are welcome. It builds on the success of a similar project run by The Together Project during lockdown.

As part of this initiative, each child is paired with a nursing home resident to form a lasting friendship. Each month, they both receive an artistic challenge and a questionnaire about themselves on a specific theme. They complete them and send them to each other by post, via the charity. They are also free to exchange other images, photos and letters. During the first month, all participants receive a Friendship Folder to store their friends’ masterpieces.

In addition to the art challenge and quiz, the kids’ packs include the older generations month-themed “wisdom” and arts and crafts gifts.

The cost of Crafting Connections, whose ambassador is children’s author and illustrator Nick Sharratt, will be determined during the trial phase, but the intention is to make it as affordable as possible.

Managing Director Louise Goulden said, “There are so many benefits to getting involved with Crafting Connections. For children, it values ​​older generations, develops artistic, creative and language skills and teaches kindness, empathy and compassion. For seniors, it reduces loneliness and social isolation and creates a feel-good factor by aiding child development, while providing a rewarding and engaging activity with purpose.

Dora W. Clawson