Intergenerational play and learning: Together Old and Young

As young children and older adults in many countries are having less and less contact with each other, the potential of inter-generational learning, connecting young children (0-8 years) and older people, is getting more and more attention from policy makers, practitioners and researchers in the education, health and social sectors. This webinar discusses this relatively new and innovative practice, which sees early years services and care homes for elderly, open their doors to each other so that young children and older adults can share experiences, have fun and play together, learn from each other and develop meaningful relationships. It’s a win-win situation for all.



Dr. Margaret Kernan, is the overall coordinator on the Together Old and Young (TOY) an intergenerational learning programme comprising research and development, training and professional development and quality improvement components. Margaret has over 30 years experience as an education specialist in many parts of the world. In addition to her work on TOY, she is an expert on young children’s play and learning. She is currently Early Years Team Leader in International Child Development Initiatives, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Sara Naylor-Wild is the Director of Development and Research from St. Monica’s Trust, Bristol, UK., with over 30 years’ experience in care, health and housing services for older people, Sara leads the trusts development programme including Intergenerational working. St Monica Trust is a Retirement Community and Care operator with 6 Retirement Villages across the former Avon area of the South West of England. Their interest in intergenerational working was highlighted in our participation in the Channel 4 national TV programme “Care Home for 4 Year Olds”. They have since gone on to raise awareness of the benefits of working across generations and will host an Intergenerational conference in the Spring 2019.

Jacinta Lowndes is the General Manager of Donabate Portrane Community Centre, Co. Dublin, Ireland for the past 12 years. The centre is a busy focal point for everyone in the community and is accessible and open to all. While at the Community Centre they had intergenerational projects with older children and teenagers and seniors before, it was with their last intergenerational project “Kaleidoscope (seniors & 4 year old) Fingal”, a three-month pilot programme that paired elderly people with preschool children to participate in arts and crafts, cookery and sports together, that they won the National Award for Age Friendly Active & Healthy Ageing Award in April 2018, and inspired other preschools to start similar intergenerational activities.