Watch Old People's Home for 4 Year Olds on ABC iview

ACT Intergenerational Playgroups spread love in COVID-19 Pandemic

Our Intergenerational Playgroup programs have been bridging the gap between generations for several years now, with so many families and residents enjoying intergenerational interactions and forming lasting friendships. Last August, ABC iview series ‘Old people’s homes for 4yr olds’ brought a real awareness to the benefits and opportunities for all ages through intergenerational lifestyle and care programs.

The success or the program helped booster Intergenerational Playgroups across Australia.
At one stage, all nine Intergenerational playgroups in Canberra were completely full, with maximum number of children, families and residents. Everyone enjoyed the company and leanings from spending time with grandfriends, while our grandfriends enjoyed the cuddles and laughter from spending time with children.

The recent COVID 19 health pandemic brought new challenges for our thriving Intergenerational Playgroup program. Due to the increased vulnerability of our grandfriends, Intergenerational Playgroups were forced to suspend operations as aged care entered lockdown. Unfortunately, the lockdown and restrictions on activities, routines and visitation has made our grandfriends more isolated than ever.

To overcome this, our ACT Intergenerational Playgroups have developed a Digital Intergenerational Playgroup platform via their ‘Intergenerational Playgroups Canberra’ Facebook page to keep the community connected, and encourage all ages to share love and hope. Through digital channels, we will continue to share craft activities, singing and music, story time and more, to ensure young and old can stay connected until playgroup sessions and visits can normal.

In the meantime, ACT Playgroup’s will continue to support their Intergenerational Playgroup community through daily activities:

  • Shared craft activities for families and grandfriends every Monday.
  • Storytime video by a grandfriend on Tuesday.
  • Nursery rhymes and singing for all on Wednesday.
  • Facebook live Playgroup sessions by ACT Playgroup staff on Thursday.
  • Sharing beautiful notes, drawings and photos by all ages on Friday.

A huge thank you to all the families already joining us on social media to stay connected with eachother. Over the last couple of weeks, we have been delighted to witness families FaceTime their grandfriends, shared video’s of their children singing, sent notes, photos and drawings to bring joy during these strange and uncertain times.

(Photos above: Peta and baby Roman sent a lovely note and some photos to their grandfriends at Amala Intergenerational Playgroup and their grandfriends replied with a beautiful card.)

During this pandemic, we truly acknowledge the work of all our lifestyle coordinators and care staff in aged care facilities, who are looking after our grandfriends as always, even with the extra workload restrictions and pressure. Without their support we couldn’t have connected so many families to grandfriends across Australia. To the incredible lifestyle coordinators who went above and beyond their regular workload to arrange for residents to see Playgroup live sessions on Facebook, we can’t thank you enough. We love receiving videos of the residents reading stories for their little friends, and photos of them with a special message to playgroup families.

(Photos above: 1.Mirnijani residents enjoying a teddy bear picnic while watching ACT playgroups Teddy bear picnic Facebook live session.2.Retired school principal Jane continued her story reading to her little friends digitally like she did in her playgroup)

If you are looking for support to stay connected, please send photos, videos and craft ideas to ACT Playgroups to share with our grand friends. If you are not already a member of ACT Intergenerational Playgroups, but would still love to send joy, join our SENDING LOVE Campaign by sending your creative hearts with your name (if you want) and a special message. We will deliver them digitally for you! #SendingLove

While we’re all new to this digital playgroup world, we welcome your feedback and ideas, and appreciate your patience as we work to support everyone to stay connected virtually.

To learn more about ACT Intergenerational Playgroups or to support their efforts, please email:

Stay healthy, stay safe and stay playful!

Images and text supplied by ACT Playgroups Intergenerational Playgroups Coordinator, Chandani Ramasundara.

Include Ageless Friendships Video’s by ABC.