Make Your own Rummage Bag.
We have an old knitted bag that we keep a few familiar items in. A hairbrush, a thimble, a rubber glove, a pen, a stuffed bear, a pipe, and several more things. It can be used as a group activity or with an individual.
It can be very useful for reminiscence; just let the person find things in the bag and handle them and try to identify them. The items should be old or reminiscent of the past and reflect what they may have owned or used when they were younger.
This activity can sometimes be beneficial if the person feels agitated as it distracts and can be very calming.
For group work, depending on the group's capability, I decide how many items to present in the bag that day.
There are several ways to use this; you can show them all the items first if you feel this will make the activity easier to do, put them back in the bag and ask a person to dip in and try to find, for example, the pipe by feeling around in the bag without looking.
If you haven’t shown them the items, you might ask them to pick out an item by feel and see if they can tell what it is.
You can also have a ‘lucky dip.’ Ask a person to pick one item from the bag and then tell a story about it.
Rummage bag as a social activity
This activity usually creates excellent discussions. People get involved, and the items invoke memories that are often shared with the group.
These spoken memories can trigger other group members to remember events from their past, and the activity can become very interactive.
Good places to find old items are second-hand shops and charity shops.
After reading this, you might also like to read about a reminiscence box.