The Benefit of Music and Movement in Ageless Play Playgroups

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Intergenerational play bridges the gap between generations, fostering meaningful connections and unlocking a multitude of benefits for all involved. Music, in particular, offers a unique opportunity to share culture, memories, stories, and joy. The acts of singing and dancing provide an engaging and enjoyable way for people of all ages to connect and participate in activities. Encouraging movement and dance at playgroup supports physical exercise, muscle development, creativity, and emotional regulation.

Music plays a pivotal role in the lives of young children, enriching their daily experiences. From music at playgroup, their favorite TV shows, lullabies, and sing-alongs in the car, music is everywhere, helping build language skills as children learn to recognise words, patterns, rhythm, and pitch. Additionally, playing instruments enhances their motor skills and strengthens crucial left-right brain connections, which are essential for future learning in numeracy and literacy.

The benefits of music extend beyond childhood, positively impacting older adults as well. Emotionally, physically, and cognitively, music serves as a powerful tool to enhance well-being across all ages. It helps maintain cognitive function, promotes emotional expression, and provides a valuable means of physical activity. Yes, the same musical activities that nurture children's growth also support the health and vitality of older individuals, making music an invaluable bridge between generations.

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Along with those mentioned, music is a wonderful way to facilitate connections. Ageless Play is all about fostering connections and building relationships, which is fundamental in the emotional and social wellbeing of children, and older persons. Listening, playing, or dancing to music is a fantastic way to build social skills, co-operative play and meaningful connections with others. Music has the wonderful ability to create sharing between generations through familiar songs, stories, and experience. Music not only supports the building of connections and facilitating interactions at playgroup, it’s also a great way to allow participants to engage and enjoy the activities without pressure to engage or talk, especially during the introductory sages of the play program. Music and movement play an essential role in playgroups, from singing nursery rhymes to pop hits, it's fun for everyone.

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Incorporating music into an Intergenerational play experience may be easier than you think. A number of activities work well with music, such as Musical Chairs and Musical Shakers. Music can be the focus of the play experience, part of the routine, or used in the background during play. Here are some ways to incorporate music at an Intergenerational Play experience:

  • Bring alone instruments for participants to use during songs.

  • Play music through a speaker – our Sing&Grow program have a recorded album on Spotify and Youtube that includes a number of great songs available to play.

  • Play and sing popular songs, this can include nursery rhymes but is not restricted to this. To support engagement, print lyrics as hand-outs or display posters (we’ve developed a resource for bringing music into playgroup, our 'Ageless Play: Music at Playgroup' songbook. By signing up for our digital hub membership, you can find it along with all our Intergenerational Play Resources)

  • Clapping or rhythm games are fun way to incorporate music such as Patty Cake, or Call and Response. 

  • Incorporate music making with everyday items, allowing participants to use items they can find like toys, pillows or buckets to experiment with sound together. 

  • Play music in the background while participants play, this can help create a lively or relaxing atmosphere. 

  • Support sharing by encouraging and asking for participants to suggest songs and music they'd like to hear and/or play. 

  • Give participants ribbons, scarves, or even use a parachute, and encourage moving to music. 

  • Play music games.

  • Take instruments or music outdoors.

  • Incorporate songs to reinforce routine, such as pack-up, welcome, and goodbye songs.

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Play and music can have such a positive impact of children and older participants. Intergenerational activities and play experiences have great benefits for older and younger generations. Music enhances these experiences, and supports on of the most important aspects of Ageless Play: making connections. 

Visit our Ageless Play page, or explore our Intergenerational Play resources for more information. 

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