Care residents and nursery children within a Nottinghamshire care community have marked World Emoji Day by attempting to imitate them – looking to pull faces and pose in real life as part of an introduction to the colourful icons.
They then attempted to draw their own versions, with the winning effort from four-year-old Maddox dubbed “Friendly Fred” – which the children would like to see signify care residents as a permanent emoji.
With emojis a modern phenomenon that have become part of everyday life in the digital era, many care residents are unfamiliar with their use – and are equally as unsure of their meaning.
To celebrate the day, the care team at Wren Hall, a dementia specialist nursing home in Selston, Nottinghamshire, asked residents to guess various emojis’ meaning, before asking them to strike a pose to see if they could copy them and make a passable impression.
The care home sits adjacent to Little Wrens nursery, and with intergenerational relationships a big part of the ethos within the care community, the nursery children were keen to get involved too.
The youngsters, who are aged between three and five, are just starting to become familiar with emojis – and they were happy to have a guess at and imitate the emojis themselves.
Following this, the residents and children then attempted to draw their own emojis – and were tasked with trying to convey what life is like at the home/nursery.
The winning effort, deemed “Friendly Fred”, depicted one of the home’s residents. When asked for his thinking behind it, Maddox (4) said: “The residents are really friendly.” And the rest of the children felt it could be used more widely, saying: “They [residents] should have their own emoji!”
Anita Astle of Wren Hall, said: “We had a really fun day imitating emojis with a lot of laughter. As you can imagine, emojis are a bit of an unknown phenomenon for our residents, so we enjoyed introducing them to the concept, as well as sharing their meaning – as some can be a little bit confusing!”
She continued: “Along with the residents, the kids really got stuck in and it was nice to see the juxtaposition of old and young when exploring what’s very much a modern innovation. And whilst the children are just getting to grips with emojis and will be very much familiar with them within a couple of years, it’s still great to introduce residents to new things – and they loved doing so.”
Anita added: “The design of “Friendly Fred” was really heartwarming and lovely to see. And the fact that the children see the residents as friendly and approachable is what intergenerational relationships are all about. It’s a wonderful benefit of our care community and makes coming to work a real joy.”