Creating Memory Kits for Sparking Oral History Conversations

Jun 8, 2016

Laramie County Library System offers this great idea, reposted from their blog with permission.

by Susan Parkins, LCLS Senior Outreach Specialist

Memory kitsThe changing of the seasons makes me nostalgic. I think of times gone by, holidays, birthdays, and many more occasions. Memories form the people we are today. What if you didn’t have any memories or struggled to remember your past? This can be a real challenge for some, especially as we age.

An item we have at the library available for check out are Memory Kits. These are multi-sensory kits that aid in triggering memories. They are set up for an older generation but can be used by anyone.

Suggested uses would be for senior activities in a group setting, perhaps in a meeting or a retirement group activity, Alzheimer’s groups to help promote or trigger memories, organizational groups, daycare settings, family reunions, church groups — the list of possibilities is endless.

Oral history is a term used to describe the telling and recording of stories through the generations. It is important for our world history as well as our family history to know the stories of our past, but knowing where to begin with a story can sometimes be a challenge. Plan a family night together with multi-generations and perhaps use one of these memory kits to spark a discussion.

Here is a list of the kits that LCLS owns:

  1. Remembering African Americans
  2. Remembering Automobiles
  3. Remembering Birthdays
  4. Remembering Home
  5. Remembering Music
  6. Remembering Pets
  7. Remembering Spring
  8. Remembering Summertime
  9. Remembering The Fashion
  10. Remembering The Fifties
  11. Remembering The Home Front
  12. Remembering Work Life

Don’t forget to record the stories so they can be written down or kept somewhere to pass on when family members are gone.

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