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The 6 Benefits of Intergenerational Creative Play!

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

1. Builds Healthy Relationships

Work stress and disability affect family relationships. Dancing, listening, making music together, combining art pieces to make something new, as a pair is a positive and fun way to build healthy relationships. Art, dance, song, rhythm, or poetry is an Expression of your voice. Creative Play is a healthy way to practice safe, healthy self-expression. Parents and teachers will thank you because children whose efforts are celebrated are happier.

Young boy wearing a face mask puts a face mask on his grandpa, caring
Protecting Grandpa

2. Self-Care is a Skill Taught by Modelling.

Grandparents and parents taking time to create art, music, silly plays, rhymes, and listen to songs with children teach children the importance of creative expression as a self-care tool. As children move through life they and to make better choices confidently.

Grandpa sitting beside grandson, kissing grandson on the cheek
Grandpa and grandson

3. Opens up the Lines of Communication

Everyone is equal in play, otherwise, it is no fun at all. That’s why it is called a level playing field. Meeting kids on their playing field lets kids, and you, find other ways to say what you mean peacefully. Communication between the child and parent naturally becomes smoother, comfortable, and more honest. Communication gates that are sticky are often best oiled with kindness, humour, and sensitivity.

Grandpa holding a shell like a phone, teen granddaughter is on a cell phone, silly
Talk to Me

4. Intergenerational learning builds empathy and trust.

Focus is on what did you notice when you were dancing, singing, building the birdhouse? Answers might range from “I noticed that I wanted to move around. I thought that I had to sit at the table and not make a mess. Then I remembered that there are no rules on sitting or standing to make art. I stood up and danced where I was standing. It felt better.'“ Sharing that revelation with a child who has trouble sitting at a desk at school might be helpful.

Teen boy hugging his grandma, happy
Grandma and Me

5. Play throughout all the decades of our lives is a vital key to health and wellness.

PLAY is a positive feeling that lowers stress responses and increases feel-good neurochemicals. I hypothesize that this change in neurochemistry is a reason why patients who participate in hospital creative arts programs heal faster with better outcomes. It is a fun way to naturally, temporarily shift into feeling better physically and lifting your mood. Feeling silly and happy is catchy, and having tea, playing cards, or swapping stories with kids will brighten your mood.

Father and son sitting on a couch, both are laughing, dad told a joke
Dad Jokes

6. Nurturing someone's creativity fills us with positive emotions.

It feels good to care for someone and when someone cares for you. Jaak Panksepp found that rats nurturing their young had lower stress hormones and increased feel-good hormones. It feels good to say, “Wow, I really liked the way you crawled through the chair. I could definitely see how snaky you were.” It feels good to hear from a young person, “I like the way that you made that picture. All the colours feel like smiles.”

Grandmother and Granddaughter sitting together, granddaughter is showing an i-pad screen to her grandma
Showing Grandma My Pictures

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