Mama Steps

Mama Steps

This immersion level will be characterized by:

  • greater commitment to planning, energy, and implementation
  • regularity of connecting generations-monthly, weekly
  • consistency of participant membership-same youth/same elders, with 1-on-1 connecting

Mama Step entry level could look like this:

  • regular weekly visits of 1-2 hours
  • weekly ‘Grandpartnering Club’-meeting during or after school to play a board game, or go for a walk (specific activity is repeated between a few participants)

telling_about_old_implements     autumn_walks     antiques_to_some

checker-mate     card_games     friendly_competition     favourite_board_game

  • weekly visits to follow specific, but varied curriculum (one week students interview older adults, next week students work with care giver and older adults to learn about disabilities of the aged, next week older adults visit school for tour and time in the computer lab, following week seniors and students work with antiques from a theme box, sharing stories, and so on)

vision_challenged     middle_school_tries_the_wheelchairs     just_a_little_more_hand_massage     grade_9s_work_with_disabilities_of_the_aged

  • weekly contact between individual elders and individual students with Fine Arts (particularly visual arts) as the focus.  Students and older adults work together in area of drawing, sculpting, or painting with instructor.  Intergenerational pairs may create a tile, with all the tiles connecting together in a community mural.

playdoh_clay_day     a_lifetime_of_experience     playing_with_dough

sharing_collectibles     sharing_collections

  • First Nations and non-First Nations students join elders on a weekly basis to participate in language studies, and the sharing of stories, and First Nation skills
  • First Nation Elder and European grandparent both share experiences around a single topic (childhood sports, memories of their own grandparent, transportation, etc.), for children of mixed backgrounds
  • students from a high school adjacent to a seniors’ recreation facility, work within School District approved “Senior Studies” curriculum at the grade 9 and 10 level.  Curriculum topics range from understanding aging, to historical review, and career preparation in care giving fields.  Lessons take place at both sites.
  • five or six grandparents who like cooking and have recipes that reflect their ethnicity, are invited to come to the school cafeteria to make their specialties with help from youth.  Lunch features these treats for a small price to cover the cost of supplies:  the students feature the grandparent as ‘Chefs of the Day’.

working_together     baking_event

  • Field friends-every time the class takes a field trip, six older adults who are able to travel on the school bus are picked up at the nearby seniors’ facility.  They attend the field day, both learning with the children and sharing their own experiences about the topic of the day.


  • local reflexology and massage clinic has its students travel to the seniors’ residence weekly to practice hand massage, and share a skill in a charitable manner
  • little gaffer, big gaffer cooking class-weekly sessions either at the school or at the senior facility where older adults and children pair to create little masterpieces (sliced bananas to decorate a pudding cup, fruit animals, dressed up vegetables), and then eat them up
  • Claymatians- Three layers of generations work on longer term project to create I-movie from clay and play dough creatures made to illustrate a nursery rhyme, joke, or story.  Elder and 10-11 year old create the “scene and characters”, 12-15 year old is the camera person, and the presentation is a celebration.
  • older adults and children come together over a period of weeks to learn the art of crochet, making face clothes and dish clothes for a local charity

crochet_session     learning_to_crochet

  • college and high school students connect with older adults on-line, sharing life stories and daily information
  • class studies a baby’s development through monthly visits (‘Roots of Empathy’ Mary Gordon) Older adults are invited to share the visit and students compare growth and changes of baby, youth, and the aged.


  • plan an old fashioned track and field day with elders calling ‘on your mark, get set…’

old_fashioned_track_day   wheelbarrow_racing    the_finish_line

  • plan a talent show with IG participants

Let us know if you have a Mama Steps project that you would like us to know about, would like us to feature on this website and share your contact information.