Although sort of silly to select a song/book about an “old man” to read at an assisted living center, both the oldest and youngest members at our meeting did enjoy This Old Man by Pam Adams this month! In all seriousness, the illustrations of the “old men” in the book represent vibrancy, color, and liveliness. One of our goals of the Intergenerational Book Club is to select books that represent the elderly in a positive way and/or show positive intergenerational relationships. Not every book we have/will read shows an intergenerational relationship, but if an elderly person or relationship is featured in the book, we want it to be a positive image.
The assisted living center that we visit for the book club often likes to tie activities to themes or holidays and since this meeting was close to the Easter holiday, we were able to tie the use of Easter eggs with our book. To begin our meeting, the children members of the book club searched for empty plastic eggs that had been hidden around the assisted living meeting room.
Once they found the eggs, they filled them with either dried rice or dried beans to create a shaker. We then helped them tape the eggs shut, just for a little extra insurance!
We used the eggs while we read and sang with an oversized version of This Old Man. The kids could shake the eggs to the beat of the song and when the lyrics mentioned a body part (for example, “This old man, he played three, he played knick knack on my knee“) they tapped their shakers on the corresponding body part.
This was a relatively easy meeting to prep since plastic eggs are plentiful this time of year! Our reader, one of the residents at the Assisted Living Center, is a really enthusiastic 95 year old who kept the kids engaged while she read and made the meeting lots of fun for all.