It was hard to tell who was having more fun when children from Black Hill Kindergarten visited residents of Pineview Residential Care.
The year melted away and smiles lit up faces as the two vastly different generations took part in the first of a 10-session intergenerational program focusing on safety awareness.
There were songs, dances, stories and craft activities to pass the time as new friends were made.
The two groups are part of the KIDS Foundation's Connecting Generations program, a pioneering initiative to bring elderly and young people together to talk about safety.
The program connects the two generations throughout the year so they can learn from each other and share the knowledge they have about keeping themselves safe in various situations and environments.
Each session the children and residents buddy-up to complete activities focusing on socialisation, physical movement, safety awareness and friendship. The safety themes include safety in the home, in the car, with a friend and various others.
"I love having the children here," said Ann McCartney, 88. "When you sit with them and play it's interesting and you watch their faces ... those little faces are so dear. They are a fascinating age to watch them in delight."
Ms McCartney shared an almost instant bond with Sophie as the pair played with their SeeMore Safety dolls - the mascot of the KIDS Foundation safety programs.
Pineview Residential Care manager Linda Huntington said residents were delighted to be part of the program, with more than 20 choosing to be part of the Connecting Generations playtime.
KIDS Foundation founder Susie O'Neill said the program was mutually beneficial for both groups.
"The program creates opportunities for engagement with mutually beneficial outcomes, improving the health and safety awareness of the participants involved," Dr O'Neill said.
Black Hill Kindergarten director Barb Carter said the program was also a valuable lesson for children about respecting the elderly and friendships that span different generations.
"Look at their faces, the wellbeing and enjoyment the children bring. These are all people who have contributed to our society and it's our turn to give back to them," she said.
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