by Alba Mònica Royes Corbalán, Municipality of Lleida
The Educational Department of the City of Lleida have been implementing the European project “TOY-Together Old and Young” since 2012. TOY promotes the interaction between children and elderly people in fun and motivating activities.
The success of the initial 2 year-project and desire of all those involved to continue has motivated us to keep organizing intergenerational activities with the support and the initiative of senior volunteers working with children and older adults.
Inspired by the two pilot projects, “Ball parlat de moros I cristians” “Spoken Dance of Moors and Christians” and “Un salt en el temps” “A time warp”) we have maintained the vision of the TOY approach in a series of intergenerational activities in the Balàfia playroom.
These are two examples of activities developed during the past year; the “Farmers for a day” where young and old together visited the Eco Point of the city where we became real farmers, and the ” We visit the residence” where adults and children enjoyed a day of traditional games, giving continuity to intergenerational play days carried out in the neighbourhood the previous year.
Now that the good weather is back, we are ready to resume the TOY activities. The first initiative we have launched has been a visit to the centre for older people in Balàfia to do a cooking workshop to celebrate “La Mona”, which is a traditional feast of our country.
We enjoyed the experience and shared a nice evening all together. After the workshop, we had a snack to celebrate the beginning of the new phase of the project.
Another planned TOY activity will be the celebration of the “Saint Jordi Feast”. This will be a cultural exchange event where the senior citizens of the centre for older people will prepare a poetry recital and the young children will sing different songs. In addition, the children of the playcentre will offer the senior citizens a hundred paper roses made by themselves. In the near future, the senior citizens will visit the playcentre to participate in a visual arts workshop and a storytelling session.
To sum up, there will be lots of initiatives and events that will help us to share and learn from each other in the city of Lleida.