PlayForever: Intergenerational Playgroups

We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing .”
- Playwright, George Bernard Shaw.

PlayForever  (Intergenerational Playgroups), are fast becoming a favourite Playgroup for families and communities around Australia. While sharing a similar approach to regular Community Playgroups, PlayForever offers something extra special. Through partnerships with aged care services, retirement villages and seniors’ groups – PlayForever Playgroups are bridging generational gaps to reduce isolation and ageism within local communities. By inviting children, parents, grandparents and caregivers to join together with local residents, Playgroup SA along with Playgroup Australia are endeavouring to drive change and bring people from all walks of life together to create a village through play.

What is PlayForever?

Playgroups are a fun, safe and educational way for children, parents and carers to come together on a weekly basis to engage in play-based learning. This play-based learning provides a solid foundation for all children to facilitate their wellbeing and holistic development. However, PlayForever is a unique Playgroup model where the young and young at heart, join together for a Playgroup session for important social interaction. The Intergenerational Playgroups are a vital opportunity for parents, children and residents to engage in childhood activities together. These Playgroups create opportunities for children to further develop their skills, parents to create a local peer support network and provide isolated residents with vital community interaction.

Why PlayForever Intergenerational Playgroups?

Research suggests that PlayForever Playgroups improve outcomes and quality of life for older people, particularly those experiencing:

• Isolation/loneliness
• Dementia
• Disengagement from community

There are a number of studies that have been conducted on Intergenerational Playgroups and the benefits for aged care residents and attending families.

Research by Skropeta C M, Colvin A and Sladen S (2014)* into participation benefits included the following outcomes for older residents:

• Increase in dignity, particularly with residents who have dementia
• Increase in longer lasting joy and happiness
• Higher levels of self-esteem
• More active participation in the community

The need and benefits extend beyond those of the older person to the parents/caregivers and children within the playgroup. Where parents, grandparents and great-grandparents of attending families may have passed or who do not live locally, the playgroup provides them with the opportunity to engage and interact with older people and provides a safe and fun environment for positive shared experiences.

*Source:Skropeta C M, Colvin A and Sladen S, 2014, An evaluative study of the benefits of participating in intergenerational playgroups in aged care for older people, BMC Geriatrics.


For more information

If you would like more information on Intergenerational Playgroups or would like to start your own, contact Playgroup SA on free call 1800 171 882.

PlayForever Intergenerational Playgroups in the Media

Ageless play program lifting spirits among aged care residents and children alike, ABC News, 2019.

'Best day of the week': The playgroup bringing children and elderly together, The Canberra Times, 2019.

Ageless play lifts spirits, NFPNews, 2019.

Ageless Playgroups: Village Environments Bringing Older People and Children Together, Hello Care, 2019.

The ABC embarks on an intergenerational experiment, Playgroup Australia, 2019.

Elderly people and preschool children have a lot to offer one another, 2019.