Together Old and Young (TOY) promotes bringing young children and older people together. Through sharing experiences they have fun, learn from each other and develop meaningful relationships.
The TOY Consortium researched how older people (over 55 years) and young children (8 years and younger) benefit by learning with each other and from each other – in other words ‘intergenerational learning involving old and young’. We believe that this intergenerational learning can happen in different kinds of places in the community such as for example: a local library, a community culture and arts centre, in a day care centre or a garden or outdoor playground.
For more information and news you can also visit the TOY dedicated website www.toyproject.net
The purpose of the TOY Project was to create new possibilities for senior citizens and young children to learn and have fun together. We believe that this is more important than ever before in Europe.
People are living longer but old people and young children are having less and less contact with each other. Parents and young grandchildren are migrating to cities and countries far away from grandparents. For many grandparents it is also sometimes difficult to keep in touch with grandchildren. Other reasons for the lack of contact between old and young is that often senior citizens are living in old peoples homes where they rarely see children and many young children are spending their days with their own age group in day care centres, pre-schools and schools. Social and economic solidarity between generations, one of the key factors for a future strong Europe, will only happen if the various generations have the opportunity to do things together and understand and value each other.
The TOY Project also aimed to uncover successful approaches when organizing activities bringing together senior citizens and young children and the kinds of skills and resources that are needed. These have been compiled in a research report, an illustrated booklet and a Training Tool Kit. All the learning gained during these phases of TOY were put into practice in community-based initiatives (Pilot Actions) in ‘Nature and Outdoor Learning’ and in ‘Arts, Culture and Creativity’.
Partners and funding
Different kinds of organizations in Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain were involved in TOY. A big advantage of the project is that it brought together knowledge and experience from the worlds of older care and active aging, senior volunteering, early childhood care and education and community development.
Our hope was that by the end of the project more people across Europe would know more about the importance of intergenerational practice involving senior citizens and young children. They would also have the skills to organize more intergenerational learning initiatives in their own neighbourhoods.
An international conference took place on 28 October 2014 in the Child Rights Home of the Netherlands, Leiden.
Together Old and Young will build age-friendly communities!
The work begun in the TOY Project is continuing in the TOY Programme, which you can find here.
For more information: www.toyproject.net