Week 6, 29th April. Activity - Photographs
1). Dig out the old photographs you have and simply look through them. This can be so rewarding. It can bring back all sorts of forgotten memories and increase feelings of happiness, security and belonging. It is such an easy activity, yet will boost well being and mood very quickly.
2). Separate photographs into time periods. (This is a lot easier if they are already in albums!). Put together groups from childhood, adolescence, adulthood and later life. Group black and white and coloured photos.
3). Make a memory book from the photographs which have the strongest feelings attached to them. This could be simply be a small album containing a handful of snaps, or a bigger project with perhaps many childhood reminiscences within it.
4). Make a new collection. Start taking photographs of things you love around you. It could be birds, flowers, trees, wildlife, pets, family...anything. Then either put them in an album that can easily be looked at, or frame a few and put them up around the house.
5). Try making a collage or two. Cut out a selection of photographs with a theme, for example a family pet, or wedding, and cover a piece of card with them. This helps with hand to eye coordination as well as engaging the mind.
Talk about the memories associated with each photograph. Usually, it will be older photographs which will have more memories attached to them than newer ones.
Don't just discuss the photograph, but ask about what else the person can remember from the time when it was taken. If it's an old school photograph, ask if they remember any of the others on it. If it's a holiday photograph, talk about holidays they remember and see what details can still be brought to mind. Can they remember the clothes in fashion at the time? Don't rush, sometimes it may be a slow process, but there are often little gems still lurking beneath the surface. Find out what feelings and emotions are attached to the images.
How has photography changed? From the days of very occasional, very formal, black and white photographs, to the almost daily snaps taken now. From old fashioned cameras to the amazing things that can be done with photography these days. Including using computers and phones. What is better or worse about the way we take and use photographs now?
Be aware of the emotion that photographs can bring out. This can be quite draining, even with happiness and excitement. Sometimes just talking about one or two photos can be enough for one day.
Don't focus on people or places that can't be remembered and try and 'push' someone to remember. Just concentrate on the things/people that still seem familiar, and the emotions that go along with those. As you discuss them more memories may surface.
Look closely at the background of the pictures. You may see fashions and landscapes changing as decades go by, which can open up further avenues of discussion. Treat the photographs as a starting point and see what happens.
If you are feeling creative, try making a jigsaw from an old photo by sticking it onto some cardboard and cutting it out.
That was the last week of the extra activities. I hope you have found at least one thing that was useful to you.
I will let you all know as soon as we can meet up again. In the meantime, don't hesitate to get in touch if I can be of any help. Take care.