The Blogging from A-Z Challenge continues today. Every day throughout April (except Sundays) I’ll be posting a range of ideas and tips for keeping your family entertained at home. It will include arts and crafts, games, learning ideas and imaginative activities for all ages. I thought it would be particularly useful while we’re all self-isolating or socially distancing, though it can be used for any time of year.
Letter “N” is for Nostalgia. While the immediate future feels uncertain, what better time to reconnect with the past? Focusing on happy memories is good for our mental wellbeing as it reaffirms our sense of self and our feelings of connection to our family and the community. Looking into the wider history of the world can also teach us important lessons and remind us of how resilient and adaptable humans are. Here are some suggestions of nostalgic activities you can try.
- Look back through old photo albums, school yearbooks and scrapbooks with the kids and share stories about friends and family. You could also start creating your own scrapbook or memory box to remind you of this time.
- Watch old home videos together.
- Call an older relative and ask them to tell you all about their childhood and the experiences that shaped them.
- Research your family history and you’re sure to discover lots of interesting things. A site like Ancestry.co.uk is a great place to start and you can also get in touch with your relatives or search online forums for information. I used Family Echo to build my own family tree.
- When was the last time you read back through your old diary/journal?
- Reminisce about your youth by searching for the decade you grew up plus the word “nostalgia” on Pinterest, where you’ll find lots of pictures of old toys, sweets and fashions. You could create your own nostalgic board like mine, dedicated to the ’90s.
- Ask everyone in the family to name their favourite childhood film and set aside some time to watch them at the same time, using video chat or social media to share your thoughts.
- Recreate an old family photo with similar outfits and poses. There are some hilarious examples here.
- Create playlists based on music recommendations from your parents and grandparents or songs that remind you of your childhood. You could even dress up and hold a retro “disco” in your living room.
- Have a rummage around your loft or garage for any old board games and toys to introduce the kids to, or show them any family heirlooms you have saved.
- Dress up in special clothes and recreate your wedding day just for fun, or take pictures of your kids wearing your wedding dress or other treasured clothing.
- Look up your local newspaper online. They often have a section about “this week in history” or old archives that you can explore.
- Try playing some modern versions of retro video games. You can find lots of them online.
- Read a book set in the past or the biography of a famous historical figure. Documentaries about the past are really interesting too.
- Challenge yourself to live for a week like you are in a past decade with no TV or mod cons and try some old-fashioned pasttimes instead, just like the reality TV show Back in Time for the Weekend.
- Get in touch with your old school friends and organise a virtual reunion or send a letter to an old friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Are you nostalgic about the past? Have you ever researched your family history? What’s one thing you miss from your childhood? Let me know in the comments.