What you need

  1. A list of questions to help prompt conversations and popular psalms - download resources
  2. Refreshments

     * Lemonade, carrot juice or soursop juice

     * Fried dumplings, breadfruit or bulla cake (see our ‘Jamaican bulla cake’ activity)


Let’s discover the richness of childhoods spent in Jamaica. It could be the mouth-watering aroma of spiced roast chicken wafting through the house on a Sunday. Helping mum make bulla cake and licking the sweet mixture off the spoon. Winning a game of dominoes against your big brother. Or dressing up for church on a Sunday. 

Childhood memories from home, school and beyond are often easier to recall than something that happened yesterday. So, gather round with a lemonade and while away an afternoon sharing memories.

Reminiscence is a great activity to help people engage in conversations, especially if they’re feeling detached from the present. It’s good as a one-to-one or in a small group of 4.

Top tip

If you’re working in a care home and aren’t of the same culture or background as the person you’re caring for, it can be difficult to help prompt memories – especially if the person struggles to communicate their life to you. Research online can help, but it’s best to involve families and friends. Our list of prompt questions – sourced with the help of 68-year-old, retired schoolteacher, Claudia Ferguson, – may also be useful.

The Activity

  1. Set aside some time in the morning or afternoon to spend time reminiscing
  2. Bring the group or person to a quiet room or somewhere without distractions
  3. Start by asking the group one of the questions
  4. Let the conversation flow between you and the person if one to one, or the group
  5. Allow each person time to share their memories, as once a memory is triggered, it may take them in different directions to the original question
  6. Offer prompts to the group if they are struggling to recall 
  7. Ask further questions if the person or group have finished sharing
  8. Continue for as long as the person or group is enjoying themselves
  9. Offer refreshments throughout the session or at the end 
  10. Enjoy the drinks and foods, but don’t forget to bring them into the conversation, as they’re likely to trigger memories too

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