Residents at Ashbourne Lodge Care Home, part of the Milford Care Group, were left beaming this week after a visit from a local pre-school.

Children from St Oswalds Ladybirds Pre-School in Ashbourne visited the care home on Monday to take part in activities with the care home’s residents. Activities co-ordinator at Ashbourne Lodge, Stacy Sandham, decided to trial this new idea after reading about the benefits of children visiting care homes, and these benefits were clear the minute the children walked into the room.

They did jigsaw puzzles together, played musical instruments, read children’s books, and before they went, the children sang to the residents, teaching them how to get involved with the actions and join in – which all of them happily did!

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“It was an amazing day”, said Stacy, “It couldn’t have gone better if we tried, the residents, even the ones that are usually quiet were smiling and interacting with the kids and learning the actions of songs got their minds and bodies active. It helped the children too, bringing some of the shyer children out of their shells.”

Due to the success of the visit Ladybirds Pre-School and Ashbourne Lodge have agreed to make this a monthly activity to help build the social skills of both groups and keep the fantastic interaction going. Hopefully next time the children can teach the residents some more new songs, or maybe the other way around.