Feeling Nostalgic?

Museum Victoria have been working closely with Alzheimer’s Australia and have produced a number of different kits designed for aged-care centres to simulate memories and discussions among the residents which has obvious benefits.

The kits are borrowed from MV for 2 weeks (they are only $25 for the period) and include topics such as “Childhood Games and Pastimes”, “Stitches through Time”, “Transport and Travel” and the one the first caught my eye “In the Shed”.

The topics sound really interesting, and it would be fascinating being a fly on the wall from the resulting discussions. From their website:

  • Childhood Games and Pastimes
    Did you ever play jacks and marbles? Have you ever made a toodle-um-buc? This kit contains games that were popular in the 1920s-1940s.
  • Dance Hall Days
    Dancing was an integral part of growing up in Victoria in the early to mid 1900s.  Revisit the music, dancing, costume and venues of a bygone era.
  • In the Shed
    The shed is an integral part of Australian life and has served many different purposes. Relive times spent tinkering in the shed from the 1930s to the 1960s.
  • Mi viene in mente quando
    An Italian reminiscing kit designed to assist older Italians recall both their past life in Italy and migration to Australia. The kit features stories of post-war migrants, photographs and household items commonly used in setting up home in their new country.
  • Recipes For Remembering
    This kit is designed to stimulate memories of the home when bread was delivered by horse and cart, ice delivered for the ice chest and the meat mincer had a permanent place on the kitchen table.
  • Stitches Through Time
    Clothing is familiar to all of us. Memories of boiling the copper on wash day, wearing starched collars and hand-me-downs will stimulate plenty of discussion.
  • Transport and Travel
    Remember the sound of horses’ hooves, cable car bells or car horns? This photographic kit and audio tape can be used to reminisce about these and other forms of transport and travel through the 1920s-1950s.

The “In the Shed Reminiscing Kit” has a byline “Potter, tinker, relax ….. reminisce”

The kit is full of objects that will be memory triggers for previous owners of all sorts of sheds – car paraphernalia, gardening tools, fruit preserving jars, DIY project tools, each designed to trigger participants’ memories of times once spent in their various sheds.

They include objects from the 30s to the 60s, photos and audio bites of significant moments in Australia’s sporting history and popular music from those decades

The whole kit concept seems such a great idea, and seeing the participants become actively involved in discussions about their past, and particularly in this case the sheds of their past would be very rewarding for those organising the activity.

As chaotic as our lives seem to be these days, I hope that when we look back that we can see there was a real culture of the times, with similar memorable times and memory triggers, and not just a reflection of the chaos.

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