World Storytelling Day is celebrated March 20th in the northern hemisphere, but…
everyday is a good day for reminiscing and telling family stories!
Since we are all storytellers, here are some ideas for storytelling with an older family member.
- Reminiscing with a loved one is an easy way to get him or her to tell their own personal story. There are many stories we probably have heard over and over, but there may be one that has never been told. Get a paper and pen ready to write some of these down. Check out the reminiscing activities page and all the reminiscing posts listed there for questions and ideas.
- Do an activity with a loved one while reminiscing. For example, while you are cooking together, ask questions about recipes, favorite foods eaten long ago, or about some of the kitchen tools used long ago (there are some I cannot figure out in my mother’s kitchen). See Stirring up Memories in the Kitchen for ideas.
- Together with an older family member, create a memory box or a shadow box. A collection of old mementos are fun to create and fun to look at over and over. Stories live in our hearts, but triggered by the special treasures we hold on to.
- Look at photographs to spark memories. Arrange some old photographs on the wall or look at scrapbooks. Photographs always tell a story.
- Look at family heirlooms like quilts, jewelry, or anything else that is considered an heirloom in your family. Write down the history of your families treasures.
- Talk about your family tree. See Getting Started With Genealogy for some ideas.
- Involve the children in telling their family stories and in listening to other’s stories. This is how stories get passed down from generation to generation.
- For those family members who are nonverbal or those who cannot remember, use sensory items like the ones listed above: photographs, heirlooms, memory boxes, shadow boxes, or other items. Let your loved one listen to the stories that you remember.