Childhood, toys, school

Below are some ideas for reminiscence workshops that focus on childhood, toys and school. Choose one or two activities depending on the size and capabilities of the group.


  • paper
  • scissors
  • pencils
  • old magazines for cutting up
  • glue sticks

Handling objects

  • toys e.g. teddy, toy car, marbles
  • school tie
  • baby rattle
  • photographs of games / school
  • old glass milk bottle
  • liquorice sweets
  • ration book

Other resources

  • nursery rhymes

Discussion points

Start off by asking where people went to school.

  • Was it a big school?
  • What subjects did you study?
  • What about playtime?

Ask about what everyone did when they were not at school.

  • What chores did you have to do?
  • Was this different for girls/boys?

Practical activities

Pass around one of the handling objects and discuss. For example,

  • Did you have a teddy/doll?
  • What other toys did you have? Maybe compare this to grandchildren’s toys today.
  • Was it more about imagination games? What were they?
  • Did you have a school uniform?
  • Did you have milk at school?
  • If appropriate all have a liquorice sweet for tasting – discuss.
  • Use a baby rattle or musical toy for those with poor vision.

Listen to a nursery rhyme. Do you know any others? Do you remember playground songs? Use a nursery rhyme to create a collage picture.

Look at the ration book. Did they experience rationing? What foods were scarce? Were there recipes that were used as an alternative to rationed items.