Upon arrival, the children were split into three groups to do the warm ups together with the elderly who were all sitting on wheel chairs. Initially, some children were hesitant to do the warm ups but as they started to engage in doing the warm ups when they saw their friends doing them with the elderly. Some elderly smiled when they see the children doing the warm ups with them.
The next activity was the parachute game which involved the children and the elderly lifting up balls with a large colourful parachute. The children were very excited when they saw the balls being lifted in the air and kept on lifting up and down the parachute. When some balls dropped onto the floor, the children went to pick them and placed them back onto the parachute. The elderly could feel the enthusiasm from the children and actively lifted the parachute with the children. It was an enjoyable activity for the children and the elderly.
The children did a sing and dance performance comprising one English song and one Chinese song for the elderly. The children had been practicing the songs and movement and were excited to do the performance for the elderly. The elderly sang and clapped for the children when they did their performance.
For the craft and game activities, the children did felt ketaput weaving, five stones and flag erasers with the elderly at the tables. The activities helped them to know about traditional games in the past and Malay tradition (ketaput). The elderly and children had fun playing with one another and showing one another how to do the activities as some of them were not familiar with the activities. The interaction with the children and elderly brightened up the atmosphere of the place.
After the craft and game activities, the children and teachers had a group photograph taking with the donation items - food that they bought for the elderly.
During the morning warm up, most children were apprehensive of doing the activity with the elderly as they were in a different environment. Fortunately, all of them started to interact with the elderly especially during the parachute game. The children demonstrated their helpfulness by picking the balls when the balls dropped onto the floor. The children were enthusiastic during the craft and game activities and were patient and willing to listen to the elderly to learn how to play the games and do the weaving activity. It showed they remembered the sharing the teachers had with them prior to the visit to be respectful and patient with the elderly as they might not be familiar with the activities. The elderly were familiar with the five stones and the eraser games but there were only four sets of five stones to go around two tables. Therefore, more sets could be brought along to encourage more interaction between the elderly and the children. This visit helped children to appreciate the importance of being patient and respectful to the elderly. For some of them, this was the first time they came across elderly of such old age and on wheelchairs. But they were able to overcome their shyness or fear and went to interact with them during the activities.
- Teacher Ricky