Three Nottinghamshire care homes, which have launched free regular play groups for pre-schoolers, say the sessions are proving to be a huge hit with residents.
Coppice Lodge in Arnold, Fairway View in Bulwell and Bowbridge Court in Newark, which are all operated by Ideal Carehomes, began hosting their weekly ‘tots’ sessions last month after seeing how animated residents became during visits from grandchildren and younger family members.
Catherine Goddard, Ideal Carehomes’ regional lifestyle manager, said: “Babies and toddlers always bring a real element of interest, fun and laughter, so we thought it would be a great idea to host our own play sessions for little ones right here within the homes. We offer a lovely safe environment with big open lounges which lend themselves perfectly to a playgroup style meet up.
“Our residents thrive on the interaction with small children and are always very lively and excited ahead of the tots’ sessions. We sing nursery rhymes, play with musical toys and games and have even hatched some chicks! It doesn’t matter what age you are, this type of intergenerational play is incredibly rewarding. We’d be delighted to see more parents or care givers drop in with their children its entirely free and is so much fun for everyone.”
Carrieann Fincham, mother of one-year-old Amber who attends the Bowbridge Court session, commented: “This is such a wonderful idea – I would much rather bring my daughter here than go to a traditional child-only playgroup. Amber gets so much out of it because the residents are clearly so delighted to see her, the look on their faces when she runs in is priceless. It’s so important that little ones value and respect the older generation and I’m delighted that the home has launched this initiative – it doesn’t cost me anything to come along and Amber gets to play in a warm welcoming environment with people who just love to interact with her.”
Bowbridge Tots takes place on a Monday, Fairway Tots is on a Wednesday and Coppice Tots takes place every Thursday. All sessions run from 10.30am until midday.