Tura playroom bridges the gap between generations

Playgroup is no longer just for youngsters with Tura Beach senior citizens now joining the fun.

A group of playful, laughing children and a few sleeping babies proved to be a hit with a group of Hugh Cunningham Gardens aged care residents at the region’s first Intergenerational Playroom at Tura Marrang Library. 

Around 20 preschoolers were joined by the elderly to take part in a range of craft activities. 

While the children were initially quite nervous, by the end of the playroom, the gap between the generations had been bridged. 

One of the first interactions between the kids and the seniors was when young Jarrah made a bouquet of flowers and then handed them to Gwenda Silk. 

Hayley Reynolds, a local qualified Early Childhood Educator with experience in diversional therapy, proposed the idea and facilitated the first playroom session held on Thursday, May 18.  

Ms Reynolds said programs like these have been initiated all over the world and she thought there would be a real benefit in bring it to the Bega Valley.

“It improves the lives of the older residents to spend time around kids,” she said. 

“I have two children and I have started taking them to the dementia ward of Imlay House in Pambula. Each time we visit, I watch the residents come alive.”

“But it is also good for the children, it normalises aging for them, which I think is important.” 

Recreation activities officer at Hugh Cunningham Gardens Frederique Farbriger said she has seen first had how much the residents love mingling with kids. 

“Some of our residents don’t have family nearby or all their grandchildren have grown up so they may not get the chance to be around kids this young very often.”

Ms Farbriger said she would love to see the playgroup continue to grow, allowing different aged care residents the chance to experience the fun. 

The next Intergenerational Playroom session is schudeled to be held on June 15 followed by July 13, but Council’s Programs and Partnerships Officer, Scott Baker said after the success of the first playgroup they would consider adding more sessions. 

The Playroom program is free but there are limited places to ensure the best experience for all participants. To book your place or to find out more please contact Tura Marrang Library on 6499 2340.    

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