Ferrol Lodge Care Home, Toddler singing group

Sale, Manchester

Your story

We take a group of babies and toddlers to the care home each week. We sing popular nursery rhymes with the children and older people.

Group introduction

Hello, our group is a very informal and friendly group of people who take our pre-school age children to the care home and run a singing group every Monday morning. The children interact with the older people, and everyone enjoys joining in with the singing and actions.

We started it in September 2017 so has been going for nearly a year. The group started with friends, and has now widened out to other people from the community who bring their children along too.

It was inspired by the TV programme “4 year olds take over the care home.” I thought it was wonderful to have that intergenerational activity, and to see the benefits for both groups.

It is about giving the older people some entertainment, some company, and the opportunity to have a singalong. It improves everyone's wellbeing. The older people love it "it's our favourite part of the week!" The children also really enjoy the singing and sometimes end up sitting on the older peoples' laps! And for the mums and dads, we enjoy it all - but it is very rewarding to feel that our children can have a beneficial impact on other members of the community too. There are many local singing groups but this one has the added benefit where you know that your time is appreciated and that others can enjoy watching young children enjoy themselves.

It is great to see the older people singing, and using the actions for certain songs. It clearly puts a smile on their faces – and gives them some level of physical activity. Even those who are suffering with dementia and it is difficult to hold a conversation, it is possible to see them joining in with songs that they have known since childhood. The children also really enjoy it, and they enjoy interacting with the older people, singing and dancing.

We all love going!

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

We would spend the money on some props. We have some instruments which were donated by one of the members, but it would be great to have some puppets for Old Macdonald/ Hickory Dickory Dock/ Incy Wincy Spider. These kind of toys and puppets lead to more opportunities for movement and interaction for both the children and the older people. We would also buy a parachute/ large sheet and some scarves to add sensory actions for the songs.

We could also spend the money on a bubble machine/ a speaker to play some music afterwards/ some different music for the children to dance to/ singalong to.

It would also be nice to fund some tea/ coffee/ biscuits for everyone in attendance. Perhaps not every week as often people have to disappear to pick up other children from school etc, but we could run it so that at the end there is an opportunity to have a chat with the older people and get to know them, so the children can get used to them more.

There are on average 6 adults, 6 children, and 10 older people who attend the group. We might even be able to set up/ link with a similar group to use the materials as well.

The group has been going for nearly a year, and has 3 members who take it turns to lead it. This means that if one of us cannot attend for any reason, others are prepared to lead the session so that we don’t have to cancel. If we had a few more props, it might be that other people would like to come, and with more people, we ensure the group can continue running in the future. As our children get older and become eligible for pre-school, there is a risk that we won't find anyone to be able to run the group in the future. It would be a real shame to not be able to continue it.

""It's our favourite part of the week" Olive, care home resident"

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