Giggles erupt from the preschooler and grandfriend. Our frog song and actions have led these two friends to sticking out their tongues at each other. Soon everyone (including the parents) are copying them and laughing.
Over the years some of the most memorable sessions were ones ruled by play, laughter and singing. Sure, you expect that when you work with preschoolers. Children need play. They are often laughter machines. Many sing while they do other things.
Yes, there are those times play and laughter and even singing are not appropriate.
While not EVERY senior living session includes the same level of play and laughter, they still happen and are needed. Maybe that is one reason intergenerational groups are catching on. They offer a time and space for “adults” to play, laugh and sing. They offer children an opportunity do the same with their peers and with other ages.
Separate or together, we all benefit from opportunities for play, laughter and singing. Here are just a few ways to include these experiences in your sessions.
- Use games to structure your sessions.
- Try new things.
- Allow people to be inventive with how they play instruments.
- Introduce new music, new experiences along with the tried and true.
- Use the whole body.
- Move as if you were some animal.
- Act out swimming, playing baseball, or building a house.
- Include silly stories, books and songs.
- Use body sounds.
- Include created instruments
- Play with word sound. A couple of examples are:
- Mark beginnings and endings with a song to help with transition.
- To incorporate rhythm.
- Bring the other elements together. These ideas can all come together.