Intentional Deep Experiences Across Lifecycles

From the child’s perspective

Zaide visits Ashira’s classroom every Friday. He is the grandfather of Sofia, a child in the class. After about a month of visits, I asked Ashira her thoughts.

What do you think of Zaide coming to your room?
Ashira (3.9 years old): “I like it a lot because it’s so funny for me and Sofia!”
How is it funny?
Ashira: “The other day, me and Sofia put a shirt on his head and we were laughing and laughing!”
Did Zaide think it was funny?
Ashira: “I don’t know, but he likes playing with us.”

Grandpa Larry has visited Yonah and Talia’s classes every Friday in the past, and continues to be a grandfriend for current children at the school.  When asked to reflect on the grandfriend experience as alumni children, they reported: 

Yonah (7.5 years old) “I loved having him in the classroom. He had a motorcycle and would let us get on it and we would get pictures. He drove us around the parking lot and had a spare helmet for us. He would get us extra snack, and he told me fake stories that he made up. He played with blocks with us, and he sat on the floor with us. I usually ran to him because he was fun in every way. He loved to see us when he would come.”

How do you know that he loved to see you?

Yonah: “Because he had a huge smile.”

Talia (5.5 years old) “He brought chocolate chips when it was Friday. He played sharks and minnows, and we would walk instead of run because he is not that fast.Grandpa Larry let us run in the classroom (mischievous smile), and the teachers said that as long as he let us it was OK…we could do it just with him. One time I thought to tell him to bring his motorcycle and then he would be faster.”

Yonah mentioned they brought cupcakes for Grandpa Larry’s birthday and Talia said they made a huge cake.

Talia: “He had a big smile, and he was jumping up and down saying hurray!”