This past visit was the second time we tried joining an established activity at the elder center, rather than our meeting being a separate offering. Rather than going to a more secluded room on the second floor, we went to the social hall on the first floor, where we were joined by our regular grand friends, and also some that seemed to initially come for the music.
During music, the leader had the elders and children work in pairs to create music that reflected an emotion. They made their plans with glee, and played their music as others had the opportunity to guess what emotion they were expressing.
It was a fantastic way of exploring emotional regulation for both groups, and we noticed that the grand friends seemed to advocate for their children when the child wanted a turn. For example, one grand friend who does not always advocate for her own desires noticed that her child friend wanted to include dogs in the song about animals, but the song leader didn’t hear her. In a voice louder than we had ever heard her speak, she said, “What about dogs?!”
The grand friends that initially joined for the sake of coming to music seemed to create mutually enjoyable bonds with children, and we hope they will join the group next time.
We are left wondering whether it is beneficial to join an established activity? Whether to move our group to the first floor? Or whether to go back to the second floor where we have small square tables that facilitate more discussion rather than an established activity?