If you have seen the Channel 4 programme ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Years Olds’, the benefits of children visiting care homes are very clear for both the elderly and the young.
The first visit a Kids Play Day Nursery made to an elderly care home was in 2018 and since then we’ve rolled it out across more Kids Play Nurseries and Pre-Schools.
In this blog, we summarise how these visits help Children in our care.
Visiting a different environment
Visiting different places helps children feel more confident when they are challenged with unfamiliar environments. A visit to an elderly care home does this and so much more.
In addition to the new environment, children benefit from the praise and feedback they receive from the care home residents, and the residents, who could be lonely and socially isolated, enjoy the interaction with the children. They share stories, experiences and many develop a special bond.
Meeting new people also builds confidence and is the perfect environment to encourage self-esteem.
Benefiting with improved language development
Research has shown that children who regularly spend time with the elderly enjoy a positive impact on language development.
Talking to new adults, reading stories and singing nursery rhymes, provides opportunities for young children to improve listening skills and expand their vocabularies with new words.
Children also learn that in some circumstances they need to speak quietly but sometimes it is necessary to speak more loudly if an older person is having difficult hearing them.
Gaining respect for the elderly
Another key benefit for children is that they can learn about ageing to develop an understanding and respect for the elderly. Whilst some children have grandparents, not every child does and interacting with people from a different generation is a vital life lesson.
Many of the stories told by the residents are a sharp contrast to today’s digital world; giving children an appreciation for history, timelines and the people who lived in days gone by.
Respect, however, works both ways. The elderly often comment on how well behaved the children are and both enjoy sharing information about their different cultures.
The visits help children recognise the feelings of others and gain the required skills to show empathy.
As one of our Room Leaders described “Its enchanting to watch the old and young engage with each other. Both have so much to share and learn”.
Back to Articles