Generation Two relies on child centered play to cross the developmental divide during our weekly 1:1 intergenerational friendship building experiences. Children choose to communicate through play because of it’s fun making, inventive, and risk taking features. Play activities stimulate knowledge gained through autonomous action. There is a practice of ideas and a relationship gained in using this malleable tool. By placing the child and G2 adult participant in a playful collaborative alliance, play becomes a choreographed emotional, social, and intellectual experience. Click here to read our research page.
G2 identifies 3 types of play that open up a spontaneous, experimental and novel experience to both participants. Through its inventive and risk-taking features, play develops children’s confidence in their ability to learn and make decisions. Because it is fun, children communicate through play, building relationships with older adults, developing self-esteem and social skills they can exercise in their classrooms and beyond.
Our G2 child initiates a choice for play that represents a practice, symbolic or social preference. The child’s practice play is simply a search for proficiency in using or talking about play objects. Building with blocks, squeezing play dough or setting up action figures is repetitive and relaxing. Symbolic play adopts the play object in order to tell a story. Play pieces may represent family homes. Play dough becomes a bowl at dinner time, action figures may depict a social dispute. Finally, social play requires game playing. The adult is most often invited to a competitive checker game or a less skilled game of Candy Land.
Our G2 adult participant is trained to observe, ask open-ended questions or get involvedwith the play according to the child’s request. It is this child centered form of play that uniquely supports the child’s curiosity, search for novelty and the celebration of a mutually empathic experience.
Our G2 children exercise their capacity for initiative taking during play. Based on the play that they direct, there are no dire consequences. The children thrive from the opportunity to tell what they know, tell who they are, and feel that they are valued.
G2 does not claim to have invented this intergenerational method of relationship building. The play experience is a historically honored method for advancing our creativity, exercising the young and adult brain, and for bringing people together.