Reminiscing Activities

collage of chair, jewelry box, and memory box

Reminiscing is Storytelling

Reminiscing is storytelling at it’s best! Real life stories come back to life when sharing them with someone. Reminiscing is the act of remembering, sharing, and listening. It allows us to reflect on experiences and allows us to give the gift of ourselves to others. It allows us to know someone better and to see life through their eyes. Truly, we all reminisce whether we’re 5 or 95!

A collection of memories leads to connections in life.

Through my dad’s collection of stories about his service in World War II, I will forever be connected to his personal memories and history of that time period. Through my mom’s telling of family life during the depression, I know and understand the hardships their family struggled with. From my parents stories, I feel a connection to not only that time in their life, but a closer connection to them.

Reminiscing is a great family activity. It leads us to learn about our heritage, traditions, and genealogy. As a family member, reminiscing is as enjoyable to me as the one telling the story!

Reminiscing can lead to new friendships and increases socialization.

Through the telling of stories we sometimes find others who have lived through our struggles, our good times, events, and changing times. This can lead to friendship and increased socialization. Have your ever heard the older generation talking about how much gas prices have gone up over the years or talk about how we got along just fine without cellphones? Many times we talk about where we were when John F. Kennedy was assassinated or about the great comedians of the past like Bob Hope and Red Skelton.

Remembering makes us think…

and is a great intellectual activity. Those persons with cognitive loss may remember things from long ago far easier than remembering something done yesterday.

Reminiscing can bring us self-worth.

Reminiscing with others allows us to review our life histories and remember our accomplishments. This can lead to feelings of self-worth and the feeling of a life well lived.

Be aware however that reminiscing can also stir emotions. A song might make us miss someone or talking about an event might make us sad. On the flip side listening to an” old radio show” might leave us chuckling and looking at old school pictures of ourselves might make us laugh.

Reminiscing can be done in many ways.

Questions, discussions, things, decorations, holidays, etc… may all spark a memory. Reminiscing can be done anywhere, anytime, and with anyone. Reminiscing is versatile so there are many activities to reminisce with. Choose from the following reminiscing activities to experience with your older family member or friend.

Snowflake border

Christmas Matching Game

Here's a Christmas matching game. This is like one of the Christmas games in             ...
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childhood toys and games

Remembering My Childhood

We collect memories our whole life. All of us do. Whether we are a child of five or we’ve lived ...
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Christmas tree in the mountains

Remembering Christmas

Reminisce About Christmas Christmas will soon be here! The Christmas season is the perfect time to spend with an elder ...
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journal, glasses, and photos

Reminisce with a Grandparent

Reminiscing with a Grandparent ... is a great big learning moment. Listening to memories makes us see the differences, but ...
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three stars

Movie Star Reminiscing

Reminiscing with Pinterest Caregivers Activity Source is trying something new for reminiscing! For those of you who have a Pinterest ...
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Dear Mom, I Remember

Gifts from the heart are the best gifts of all. Mom's love these. Moms do so much for us, especially when ...
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old radio

6 Things to Discover From Old Time Radio

Back before cell phones and x-box, before tablets and computers, before cassettes and 8 tracks, and before television was introduced, ...
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Spring Walks for Remembering

Spring is here and there is so much to see and remember. Each season has its own beauty, but spring ...
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Movie Memories

Movie Memories

Movies, like books, can provide an escape for a moment in time. Great movies have the power to make us think ...
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snow globes

Make a Snow Globe that Tells a Story

Snow globes are a miniature winter wonderland. They can be great fun to make with the grandkids and the best ...
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circle of stars

Reminiscing About Presidents

Here are some questions for reminiscing about Presidents. If you live in another country, use this as a guide for reminiscing ...
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Pair of men's boots

Reminiscing About Work life

Work takes up a great portion of our life. We spend hours at work to make a living for our families and ...
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Memory Box with tiny items

Tiny Memories Memory Box

Memorabilia comes in all shapes and sizes. Even some of the smallest things like jewelry, pins, and keys can hold memories ...
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heart shaped basket with reminiscing questions

Reminiscing at a Party

Reminiscing at a party? Why not? Having a get-together that includes an older family member? Maybe a birthday party, an ...
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display of heirlooms on a hanger

Hanging Up Memories

How do you display treasured heirlooms? One way is to display heirlooms on a wall. Hanging up precious heirlooms gives us ...
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antique irons

5 Minute Reminiscing with a Senior

Reminiscing is an anytime, anywhere, with anyone activity. It doesn't take long to bring forth a memory—an aroma, a touch, ...
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blue star

History Lessons

We're never too old for a history lesson. Bring together seven mostly middle-aged men, my dad, and some party food, and what ...
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Aprons hanging on hooks

Using Aprons to Reminisce and Inspire

I remember aprons, those lovely, stained companions that mother wore so beautifully in the kitchen while she worked to make our family a ...
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two pumpkins in a chair

Remember When? Autumn

What do you remember about Autumn? Remember when... Autumn was a time to celebrate the harvesting of crops and produce ...
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Canning jars of dilly beans and carrots

Reminiscing About Canning

Canning can be a fun family activity, whether I do it with my mother or my husband (my husband enjoys canning with ...
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Bench surrounded by flowers

Remember When? Summer Time

What do you remember about Summertime? Remember when... you went to the drive-in movie theater to see a movie? Is ...
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Violin and bow

Reminisce with a Song in Your Heart

"Where words fail, music speaks." Hans Christian Andersen Reminiscing isn't all about words. Sometimes reminiscing is the song in your ...
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Jewelry box

5 Ways to Reminisce with Mom

  What sparks a memory? It is different for all of us. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes, the feel of something ...
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4 handkerchiefs

5 Ways to Use Old Handkerchiefs

Ladies vintage handkerchiefs are such beautiful little treasures. My mom had a bunch of the little pretties just lying in the ...
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easter eggs in a bowl

Reminiscing about Easter

 Easter is a special time for many families, and Easter is celebrated in many ways. How has your older family ...
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memory box

World Storytelling Day

World Storytelling Day is celebrated March 20th in the northern hemisphere, but... everyday is a good day for reminiscing and ...
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Getting Started with Genealogy

Getting Started with Genealogy

The Gift of Genealogy For Christmas this past year my husband gave me the gift of genealogy research: a six ...
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cupid and heart

Reminiscing about Love

Reminiscing about love, Valentines Day, and other loves of life Reminiscing about Love Who was the first girl/boy you ever ...
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Using Spices for Remembering and Sensory

Simply being in the kitchen is a sensory experience. The smells, the sights, the sounds, the texture of food, and ...
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Ice crystals on a river

Winter Story Threads

Start a winter story or finish a phrase with an older family member. This is a great family activity, reminiscing activity, ...
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Christmas tree ornament

Christmas Reminiscing

Christmas is a time for reminiscing. During family get-togethers this year make time for reminiscing with an older family  member ...
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army discharge paper

Honoring Veterans

November 11th is Veteran's Day. Here are some ideas to honor the veteran in your life. Reminisce with a veteran ...
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trick or treating ghost

Halloween Reminiscing

Reminiscing about Halloween Halloween is a favorite holiday for many. Children and adults alike have dressed up in costumes, gone ...
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Drawing of a house

Using Drawings to Reminisce

Neighborhoods, homes, and bedrooms can be special places in our memories. Places we frequented such as neighbor's homes or stores ...
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Apple and dotted lines

Back to School Word Search

What school words does your older family member or friend remember? What school words were not part of his or her ...
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Feeding Chickens

Reminiscing About Farming and Country Ways of Life

If your loved one has ever been touched by or interested in farming, gardening, or country ways of life, here ...
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The Family Tree

What better time to start writing down a family tree than during Family Reunion Month (July). While visiting an older ...
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I love you dad

Reminiscing with Dad

On Father's Day or any day it's always a great time to reminisce with Dad. Here are some topics and ...
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Pink Daisy

Reminiscing with Mom

Could there be something you don't yet know about your mother or grandmother? Here are some questions to choose from for ...
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Spring Reminiscing

Reminisce about spring using the following questions as story starters with your older family member or friend. What was spring ...
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Remembering Winter

Here are some questions to help an older family member or friend remember winters past. What were winters like when you ...
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Reminiscing about Thanksgiving

Remembering Thanksgiving Holidays of the past. Thanksgiving is a time to remember many traditions of the past. This is a great ...
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Turkey plate

Planning a Thanksgiving Meal With an Older Family Member

Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and plan your Thanksgiving meal with your older family member or friend ...
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Binder of old calendar pages

Making Scenic Scrapbooks From Old Calendars

Scrapbooks are fun to look at and can be made not only from family photographs, but also old scenic calendars ...
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Antique kitchen gadgets

Stirring Up Memories in the Kitchen

Many memories are made in the kitchen. This is the place where family and friends gather not only to eat, but ...
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memory box

How to Make a Memory Box

Surround yourself with objects you love: pictures, photographs, knickknacks that you've kept for years, home-made gifts given to you by children ...
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mason jars filled with cand and flowers

Autumn Mason Jar Crafts

Mason jars have been around since the 1800's. The jars were used in home canning for the preservation of food. Today, ...
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pumpkin patch

Autumn Reminiscing

Fall is a season of beautiful color... and a wonderful time to take walks or just sit and relax at ...
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yellow columbine flowers

Summer Reminiscing

Pour some lemonade, sit on the porch and reminisce with your older friend or family member about summers past. Activities ...
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Grandma's shadowbox

Reminiscing with Shadow Boxes

Shadow boxes are a great way to display mementos of people and events in our life. They are a wonderful ...
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tulips in a flower bed

Remembering in the Garden

A garden can stimulate memories from long ago. Spending time in a garden can bring back memories of once having ...
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One-handled rolling pin

Tips for Tagging Family Heirlooms

When my husband's mother died, we received many of her belongings. Things like a picture painted by a dear friend ...
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Journaling to Remember

When my grandmother was alive and living in a nursing home someone in my large extended family had the bright ...
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Other Reminiscing Resources

How to Find a Story-Guest post


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