The Tea Party is an annual event that pairs the children from Willson House Child Development Center, who are from 2.5 to 8 years old, with the seniors from Willson House and Jason Lee Manor. Together the groups enjoyed a fun afternoon of tea, snacks and lots of laughter as many wore beautiful hats and fancy attire. Tables were decorated in a variety of themes from Mickey Mouse/Disneyland, which really appealed to the children, and a Native American theme as well as the big hit — Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh’s Tea Party. Twenty children and over 60 adults thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon event.
The intergenerational program at Willson House is one of the first of its kind in Oregon and has been a place for generations to learn and grow together since 1985. On a normal day, seniors drop in at the Child Development Center to visit, read books, make crafts, sing songs, or share stories with the children. The children make daily visits to Willson House to share activities with the residents.
Whether it’s a Tea Party or an impromptu activity, the residents look forward to interacting with the children. Studies show that seniors who are exposed to inter-generational activities have more positive attitudes and memory improvements than the non-participating residents. The sound of a child’s laughter and the unconditional love children give are just two of the many benefits the seniors at Willson House enjoy.