Visiting Holmer's House with our Pre-School Children.
We were inspired by the Channel 4 programme “Old People’s Home for 4 year olds” and with the enjoyment children appeared to gain from visiting residents at a local old people’s home. Consequently, we were delighted when the home nearest the nursery, Holmers House, agreed to a programme of visits by some of our pre-school children. Now, every Tuesday, a group of Cygnets, dressed in their nursery t-shirts, walk with Claire and either Tayiba or Pinky, down Holmers Farm Lane, to their own care home. They are always excited and discuss who we might see, what we are going to do when we get there and what biscuits they might get!
Each visit starts with a snack with the residents. One of the children will serve the biscuits to their Cygnet and their grown-up friends while another child gives out the drinks. The children then take part in a planned activity session which is either organised by the nursery or the care home. Activities the children and residents have enjoyed together have been: - Planting hyacinth bulbs, making musical shakers, play dough, making crispy cakes, making decorations, collage pictures, transport pictures as well as playing simple lotto games, memory card games and doing simple puzzles.
As the children play alongside the grown-ups they chat away to each other, the residents and the nursery grown-ups about what they are doing. The residents ask the children questions, help them in their activity as well as join in with the singing that often spontaneously occurs as we are making things. The children always say hello as we walk into the room and wave and say goodbye when we leave to come back to nursery. The children have started to form lovely bonds with certain residents and often talk about them during nursery time. And those residents are always so pleased to see the children, smiling and waving as we come in.