Do you know a young person aged 5-14 who would like to engage with older people living in care homes?
We are delighted to share with you a series of resources for remote intergenerational linking!
The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough for everyone, particularly those living in care homes. It has proven how important it is to promote community connections and intergenerational friendships between younger and older people. And we’re here to help make them happen!
Our activities below are designed to be used by parents, schools, youth organisations and care homes and promote contact between young people and older people living in care homes, even when face-to-face linking isn’t possible.
We have 18 step-by-step activities that suit different abilities and interests. We hope they promote community, kindness and friendship. Enjoy!
- The following resources are aimed at young people aged 5-14.
- Please read the Notes on activities (for adults) before starting.
Create your own bird feeder and hang it in the garden of a care home! Residents will enjoy watching different birds visit the garden to feed from your thoughtful, tasty creation!
We’ve got 3 different bird feeders for you to try – apple feeder, fat ball and recycled milk carton.
Crosswords are a fun way to test general knowledge and get the brain thinking.
Create your own crossword for a care home resident to complete – they may even learn some new facts! You can use an online creator or follow our step-by-step instructions to make one by hand.
Produce your own newspaper for care home residents to read! This is a great way to demonstrate your creativity – you could include local stories, interviews with family members, sports reports and maybe even a puzzle.
Ask your siblings or friends if they’d like to get involved too!
It’s fun to make new friends! Write a letter to a care home resident and wait for them to send one back to you. You’ll learn more about each other as your pen pal friendship develops.
Our Introductory Questions help you to talk about yourself. We’ve also included some Curiosity Questions that you could ask your new friend.
Do you have a secret talent? Or have you always wanted to learn a new skill? Share step-by-step instructions with care home residents so they can learn a new skill from you. Maybe they’ll share something back!
We’ve suggested some ideas of skills you might like to choose from.
One page profile
Fill in a one page profile to introduce yourself to a care home resident. One page profiles are a great way to get to know each other better and find common interests. Perhaps they’ll send one back to you!
We’ve created a template to help you get started.
Pots of love
Decorate a pot and plant it with fast-growing seeds or bulbs. Take it to your local care home so residents can enjoy watching your colourful creation grow!
Tip – practice your design on our template first.
Write a story for residents at your local care home to enjoy! Take a look at our ideas to give you some inspiration – perhaps you could rewrite your favourite book, keep a lockdown diary, or base it on one of the residents themselves?
Postcards of kindness
Write and send a postcard of kindness to a care home resident who may be feeling lonely. Your thoughtfulness will brighten their day! Check out our ideas to inspire designs for the front of the card.
Puzzles are great for keeping the brain active! Create your own word search for a care home resident to enjoy and complete. You can make your own grid or use our ready-made template.
Decorate pebbles in bright colours and patterns. Take them to a care home and put them in the garden.
They will become little patches of colour and friendship when the residents look out of their windows!
Create your very own reindeer using your hands!
Send your handmade decoration to a care home for them to hang on their tree. Your thoughtful decoration will bring a smile to the care home residents and make their Christmas extra special.
What brings you joy at Christmas?
Fill in our Christmas Question Sheet!
Answering these questions is a fun and festive way to introduce yourself to an older person living in a care home and let them know what Christmas means to you.
We’ve created a template or you could make your own.
Create your own snow globe and give it to a care home as a gift. Gently shaking the snow globe will move the glitter and give the impression of falling snow!
You can pick what you put inside your snow globe, but make sure you’ve got some strong glue.
It’s always lovely to receive some post! Send a homemade Christmas card to a care home and show the residents that you are thinking of them this Christmas. You can write your own thoughtful message inside too.
We’ve got a special care home design that you can print and use, or you can make your own.
Snowflakes make beautiful decorations and you just need plain paper and scissors!
Create your own snowflakes and send them to a care home to bring some joy and help them decorate for the winter season.
Winter Word Search
Puzzles are great for keeping the brain active! Create your own winter themed word search for a care home resident to enjoy and complete. You can make your own grid or use our ready-made template.
Asking Christmas Questions
Ask older people living in a care home some Christmas Questions! Give your own answers to the questions too so that the older people can get to know you.
This activity will help you both reflect on the festive season and may help older people reminisce about their childhoods.
We hope you enjoy our resources – please share your experiences of using them with us!
These resources have been created by My Home Life England and The Linking Network as part of the Care Home Friends and Neighbours: Intergenerational Linking – an exciting national initiative promoting young people’s engagement with older people living in care homes across England. The project will link schools and youth organisations with a nearby care home.
The project is being funded by The Dunhill Medical Trust and the #iwill Fund, a joint £40M investment between The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
My Home Life England is hosted by City, University of London.
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