Intergenerational Program

Myths Vs Facts


Problems & Issues

Facts - Older Adults


Getting Started





Youth at Risk Site

STU Home

Ideas for Intergenerational Activities

• Host an Intergenerational Community Concert, inviting musicians of all ages in the community to perform together. Involve retired and current music instructorswith youth and seniors in planning and conducting the performance.

• Host a Grandpersons' Day, encouraging youth to invite their grandparents or an older friend/neighbor to an event for a special performance and/or lunch.

• Sponsor an Intergenerational Support Day, in which youth can volunteer to help other volunteers with tasks such as yard work or grocery shopping.

• Organize a Community Forum of younger and older persons to discuss issues of importance to both groups (e.g. crime, ways to improve the community).

• Sponsor an Intergenerational Olympics. For example, there can be tournaments in tennis, ping pong, scrabble, trivia, chess, etc. One can organize a "Century Tournament" in which the teams must be made up of two members who together equal 100 years or older.

• Organize an Intergenerational Art Exchange between a group of older artists and youth . Art works can be displayed at a school, senior center, community center, shopping mall, or public place.

• Sponsor a Writing Contest on "My Favorite Older Person" and "My Favorite Younger Person." Try to encourage the local newspaper to publish the winning entries.

•Have your intergenerational group design a special Lesson Plan on Aging for teachers in area schools to use during National Intergenerational Week (the third week of May).

• Coordinate a Career Day at a local elementary, middle, or high school or community college. Invite retired members of the community to speak to students about their work experiences. OR-involve students in vocational classes or community college programs with older adults, who can help them gain hands-on experience. For instance, transport cosmetology students to nursing homes to provide manicures, pedicures, and haircuts to residents. Also professionals working in the aging field can provide talks, tours and/or written materials to students on the work they perform.

• Host a Folk Craft Day whereby community members can teach a craft once popular but unknown to most of today's youth, such as quilting, woodcarving, bread making, weaving, tatting, etc.

• Develop an Intergenerational Orchestra or Chorus, which involves persons of all generations.

• Open school buildings or senior centers for an Intergenerational Health Fair. Provide information on health subjects ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics.

• Create Birthday Cards for residents living in neighborhood nursing homes, and have both youth and seniors deliver them.

• Sponsor an Intergenerational Film Festival during which both documentary and fictional films can be shown that depict youth and older adults. Work the discussion into an awareness of both generations.

• Create an Intergenerational Quilt perhaps with the theme of "highlights of the 20th century."

• Plant an Intergenerational Garden together with a group of Master Gardeners in the springtime and then have a harvest party months later.

Possible Activities Address Specific Issues
Loneliness * Adopt a grandparent program / Adopt a grandchild program
* For seniors who are isolated by reasons of poor health, frailty, winter conditions.
* For students who are living away from home for the first time.
* Lunches / Coffee. 
New Learning Experiences * Computer 'buddies' ; matching seniors & youth at community access centre computer labs.
Healthy Active Living * Leisure buddies. Youth accompany a senior to a leisure or recreation activity that they may be unable to attend otherwise.
* Open houses at all senior activities already taking place with planned social activity.
Learning more about each other

* Youth Day at Senior's Drop-In Centre.
* Focus on positive aspects of aging.

Breaking Barriers, Myths

* Chat rooms on the Internet.
* Encourage both to enter a question and answer relationship


* Computer days, share history and skills generally or in schools.
* Cooking (bread, baked beans, traditional cooking, etc.).

Activity * Wheels to Meals.

* Involvement / interaction through learning (whistle making).
* One-on-One conversations, through cards.

Historical * Story telling and writing.

Activities for Youth/Senior Interaction

• Wheels to Meals.
• Create clearing house to bring experts to school, talk about history.
• People who have skills to share, volunteer to teach others.
• Desire to become computer literate; reverse ‘teacher/ learner’ roles.
• Create ‘clearing house’ with senior experts.
• More 1-to-1 with focus for discussion.
• Paired up for card party
• Issues / Limits: ‘parking and transportation.
• Youth go to seniors to teach and learn.
• If there’s a local woodworker/ whistle maker, invite others to stop by.
• Quilting
• Senior’s Workshop
• Exchange reading, poetry and literature.
• Chat room on web or pen pals.
• Boxed Social (barter for meal by providing service).
• Public Performances.
• Theatre Arts; a play !
• Card playing;
• A senior and youth summer camp.
• Music, puzzles.
• Progressive dinners.
• Variety show.

Why would we want to bring senior and youth together in some sort of an activity?

Benefit for Youth
Benefit for Seniors

Create a chart of categories that are similar for both youth and seniors In the column beside, list possible activities that might be developed to meet this positive benefit.

Possible Activities

Next Steps: Who What When Where and How?