This month, our Intergenerational Book Club wanted to do something that would evoke the spirit of giving that is especially prevalent this time of year. The Mitten by Jan Brett, was the perfect jumping point for this type of activity. Not only does this book feature a little boy and his grandmother (promoting positive intergenerational relationships), but it’s also a seasonally appropriate story, with beautiful illustrations, that seems to engage young readers with its rather silly story.
The story is about a little boy who loses a white mitten, the same color as snow, that his grandmother makes for him. The mitten is found by several woodland creatures who try to snuggle in it all together for warmth. The story is a bit of a stretch (yes, yes, pun intended), but it’s fun for the kids to imagine if such big animals could all fit into a little mitten. Not to mention, it is a good lesson that sometimes we don’t think we have enough to share, but when push comes to shove (in this case literally), we can often make it work.
Usually a resident reads the kids a story, but the residents wanted to hear the program director read this time, so she obliged their request! After reading, we had a very special activity this month. The kids all hand delivered a pair of gloves (mittens are a little less practical for adults) to each of the residents along with a candy cane as a gift. The kids first delivered the gloves/ mittens to the residents at the story time and then walked door-to-door to deliver to the apartments of anyone else who wasn’t able to come down. Our Intergenerational Book Club takes place at an Assisted Living center so the residents do still go outside and can use gloves. It was wonderful to see how much many of them seemed to truly appreciate the gift.
We were able to purchase relatively nice gloves for $1 a pair at a dollar store making this a reasonably priced gift, even for a large number of residents. Getting to know these residents and watching the interactions between the residents and children has truly been a gift to us!