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Enthusiastic Audiences Available!

“Watch, Mom!”  How often do you hear that?  Kids love lots of attention from adults. It’s fun when someone sees how great you are at something.  Many of the extracurricular activities involve a performance of some kind. The audience is always friends and family.  There’s another group of people out there who love to see kids perform. They live at a local assisted living community.

What is an assisted living community?  It’s a place where people live when they need some help, but they don’t need a nursing home. Most of the residents are very alert, although some might be a little forgetful. They usually have their own apartments as well as community areas where they can gather for fun events and shows.

Do you have a group of kids that has learned to perform a dance, music, or a short play?  My kids took a week-long summer camp in circus performance.  On the last day they went to a local assisted living community to perform for the residents. They were a very willing and appreciative audience.  I’m not sure if they admired the very amateur juggling and tumbling skills or if they just enjoyed seeing lots of active smiling children. After the show, the residents enthusiastically shook the kids’ hands and congratulated them on their performance.

Older kids might also be able to put together an educational program. We brought three tortoises to a local community, told the residents all about tortoises – their habitat, what they eat, how long they live, etc. and then had a tortoise race!  Residents cheered for the tortoises, watched them eat and pet them.

If you have an idea, contact a nearby assisted living orange county community.  There is usually someone there who arranges activities like this. If one community isn’t interested, contact another one.  Each community tries to cater to the needs of its residents, and they all have different personalities. This kind of activity often qualifies as service hours for the kids.

It’s a good idea to prepare the kids before you go.  They need to know that many of the residents have shaky balance, so kids need to slow down and be cautious not to bump into anyone.  They might hear the same story twice because someone might forget that they just told that story. Also, if the show involves speaking, kids will need to speak slowly and loudly so that everyone can hear.

The children and the seniors will have a great time, and you’ll be the hero for bringing together these two groups of people that need each other!