St John’s preschoolers learn life skills from their grandparents

St John’s Early Start Nursery School has taken a different approach to teaching, inviting grandparents as well as older generations to come to the school to teach the children some of their life skills.

Intergenerational learning (ILG) is a method of learning that shares skills, values ​​and norms between generations and involves different age groups learning together or learning from each other. Doing simple activities while spending time together and having fun are key ingredients to many successful IGL projects.

Importantly, it places equal emphasis on learning together, learning from each other, and learning from each other.

Intergenerational practice aims to bring people (young and old) together in purposeful and mutually beneficial activities that foster greater understanding and respect between generations and help build more cohesive communities.

The TOY Project was first introduced at St. John’s Early Start Preschool in 2019, involving a number of planned IGL activities between preschoolers, their parents, grandparents and caregivers. older people in the community. Unfortunately, due to Covid 19 restrictions, the project could not continue.

Recently visiting the local Men’s Shed, the children, parents and grandparents enjoyed breakfast in their school’s breakfast club before setting off by bus to the Men’s Shed facility in Mullaghcrone. Upon arrival, the group was greeted by some of its members and given a guided tour of its indoor and outdoor facilities.

Bernie Pentony, a teacher at the school, said: “It was a new experience and an opportunity for the children and their parents/grandparents to make meaningful connections with the community.

Some of their members also visited the school and demonstrated birdhouse making with the children and their grandparents enjoying painting together.

A gardening activity of planting flowers in their outdoor play area was also included, inviting lots of intergenerational engagement and fun.

The first scheduled IGL activity was a Grandparents and Parents Day school visit with activities including cupcake decorating, arts and crafts, card making, and social play activities. To wrap up this special day, the school’s breakfast club provided refreshments for children and grandparents/parents.

Bernie added: “The pandemic has impacted everyone and especially our young and old. Our IGL project has received a positive response from children, parents, grandparents and members of our local community. It has provided generations with learning opportunities and experiences to engage in simple activities, spend time together, and most importantly, have fun. Early Start staff appreciate the involvement of children, parents, grandparents and Men’s Shed members in their participation in the IGL project. We expect a lot from mere intergenerational experiences.