IT’S the famous putty which has kept children entertained for more than half a century. 

Now, Play-Doh is at the heart of an initiative in Renfrewshire to bring together youngsters and the elderly. 

Tots from St Margaret’s Nursery, in Johnstone, have been spending time with residents at Adam’s House in Elderslie in a bid to build a bridge between generations. 

The project, which has been running for nearly 18 months, pairs children with a resident during a four-week block as they share music, games, and laughter. 

The Gazette: Elizabeth O’Donnell, 83, was happy to join inElizabeth O’Donnell, 83, was happy to join in

Creating fun things together with Play-Doh is often the highlight but it’s been known for the group to break out in Ring a Ring o’ Roses as the age-gap is quickly forgotten. 

Alison Brewer, early learning and childcare officer at St Margaret’s, told The Gazette: “We don’t just do it to tick a box but it is really embedded in our learning and the children get so much from it.

“We always do three things when we are there for each session and usually end them by singing a traditional nursery song so that everyone can join in. 

“It also gives some of the children who maybe don’t see their grandparents too often for a variety of reasons a chance to interact with old people.”

Alison says the idea came from Channel 4’s Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, which saw pre-schoolers share their classroom with pensioners, and her own experiences with her grandparents, who read to her as a child. 

The Gazette: Four-year-old Jaxon O’Brien, of St Margaret’s Nursery, making Play-Doh with Adam’s House resident Lily Robertson, 83Four-year-old Jaxon O’Brien, of St Margaret’s Nursery, making Play-Doh with Adam’s House resident Lily Robertson, 83

Martin Lightbody, manager at Adam’s House, said: “The children come in and see the residents as if they could be a relative and so don’t speak to them any way they wouldn’t to their family.

“It means the conversation is always positive. 

“At times, family members will be visiting their relatives but stay to observe this and find it so positive.

“We are always looking to build links to the community and this has helped us to do so.”

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