SnackBooks Intergenerational

SnackBooks is an intergenerational project bringing together young children and older adults to share stories.

In September 2019, Bookfeast launched a pilot intergenerational project SnackBooks at Moorside Place Extra Care housing in Kidlington. Bookfeast invited local pre-school Magpies to bring along up to 10 children every Friday morning for 7 weeks, to share stories, songs, crafts and activities with the Moorside residents. The sessions were based around simple themes each week including mini-beasts, the weather, the jungle etc and were led by experienced arts facilitator Rhonda Sparrey.

A second set of seven sessions started in February 2020, but are currently on hold due to Covid-19. Plans are also being developed to start a second pilot in Wallingford, bringing children from a local nursery to share sessions with residents of a care home.

Books have kindly been provided by Oxfordshire Libraries.

Quotes from some of the Moorside residents:

“I wish they came for longer – I could do this all day!”

“Fridays are the best day of the week because of this.”

And from the children:

Can we come to this party again?”

“I enjoyed it.”

Background

The idea for the project came from the Channel 4 programme “Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds” which was first shown in July 2017.  The first two part programme introduced a group of 10 four year olds into a retirement village in Bristol where 11 residents had volunteered to take part in interactive sessions with the children, designed by experts. The second 6 part series aired the following summer and was based in Nottingham. This time, the children’s visits lasted for three months. The benefits for everyone involved were clearly drawn out, with physical and cognitive improvements amongst the older age group and positive behavioural and emotional changes noted in the children.

The design of the project was then drawn up, with help and input from Bristol based organisation Wyldwood Arts.

For more information about SnackBooks, please contact Amanda Ferguson amanda.ferguson@bookfeast.net.