Rummage and Reminisce

Rummage and Reminisce

  • 30
  • 60


  • Find Calm
  • Bring Joy

What you need

  1. A small table or tray
  2. 5-6 personal, meaningful items:
  • Old hankie
  • Piece of jewellery
  • Garden trowels
  • Photos
  • Ornaments
  • Old newspapers with key special events (e.g a royal wedding)
  • Perfume


Reminiscence is a wonderful activity for people living with dementia. Taking the time to share life experiences, memories and stories from the past can be very energising and nourishing, especially when their distant past is easier to access than their recent. 

Simply use a selection of personal items to lead the conversation and spark memories.  An activity that can be done as a group or one on one 

The Activity

  1. Lay out the items on the tray or table
  2. Encourage the person to choose one of the items
  3. Give them plenty of time to look, feel, smell and appreciate the item
  4. Ask the person to share their memories about this item and what it means to them
  5. Ask some questions to help encourage conversation, such as, “Was it a gift?”, “What do you use it for?”, “When did you last use it?”
  6. You don’t have to reminisce over all the items. Let them lead the activity, and if they’re happy looking at just one or two – that’s more than enough