Here is a nice reminiscence based game to play with family and friends, anywhere and at any time. It focuses on biographical information and personal reflection, and aims to support person-centred practice. All it requires is a bag of M&Ms, and maybe the categories and questions printed out on card if you have time.
Have members pick one M&M each in turn, completing the task by answering the question before moving on to the next player.
The themes mirror the 'Trivial Pursuit' game categories.
Play several rounds, each round being 1, 2, 3 or 4, for as long as attention and enjoyment allow.
Encourage reminiscence and story telling, as far as is possible. Don't rush through the questions. It's just for fun!
(Help aid recall and fill in any gaps by undertaking a good prior biographical assessment. Adjust questions accordingly, to avoid bringing to mind any losses or distressing memories.)
- RED (Instead of PINK) (Entertainment)
1. What is your favourite song?
2. Who is your favourite artist or group?
3. What is your favourite album?
4. What is your favourite TV programme?
5. What is your favourite movie? / Have you a favourite actor or actress?
(Play movie and song clips to enliven the session.)
- BLUE (Geography)
1. Where is your favourite place in the UK?
2. Where is your favourite place in the world?
3. Name one place you have been to and won't be returning
4. Name one place you have not been, but would really like to visit
5. Do you prefer spending time at the seaside, walking in the countryside or shopping in town?
(Look up places mentioned on Google Earth to bring memories to life.)
- BROWN (Art & Literature)
1. What is your favourite book? / Who is your favourite author?
2. What is your favourite painting? / Who is your favourite artist?
3. Do you like visiting museums, art galleries or libraries? / Have you been recently?
4. What is your favourite piece of classical music? / Who is your favourite composer?
5. Do you like or dislike the following performing arts - theatre, opera & ballet?
(Look up mentioned paintings on the internet, or play classical music clips from YouTube.)
- YELLOW (History)
1. Have you got a stand out personal lifetime (happy) memory?
2. Is there a moment in history that you remember well?
3. Is there a historical figure you would like to meet?
4. If you could time travel, what era would you visit?
5. What do you think is the greatest invention, in your lifetime or before?
(Bring history to life with some classic images, e.g. wedding photograph, Apollo 11 moon landing, Martin Luther King etc.)
- ORANGE (Sport)
1. Do you have a favourite sport that you follow?
2. Have you a favourite sporting event?
3. Have you a favourite sporting hero?
4. What is the last sporting event you went to, or watched?
5. Do you prefer the summer Olympic Games, the winter Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup?
(Reference some classical sporting moments to help recall, e.g. England winning the FIFA World Cup in 1966, or some pictures of sporting heroes ready to hand.)
- GREEN (Science & Nature)
1. What is your favourite animal?
2. What is your favourite flower or plant?
3. What is your favourite weather or time of year?
4. What is your favourite smell?
5. Have you any fears or phobias, such as fear of heights, snakes, spiders etc?
(Look up animals mentioned on the internet, pick some flowers or foliage to smell and feel.)
- OTHER category (Likes & Loves) (Maybe use this category if a member mistakenly takes more than one M&M.)
1. Who is the person you love or loved the most?
2. Who is or was your best friend?
3. What is your most treasured possession?
4. Have you, or have you had, a beloved pet?
5. Have you a hidden skill or talent?
(Get hold of any certificates or awards to reference. Have a photo of a best friend or pet ready to look at.)
PASS THE PARCEL
'I Am Who I Am', Gloria Gaynor -
'This Is Me', 'The Greatest Showman' -
Wrap a nice multilayered parcel in colourful paper, then play a game of 'Pass The Parcel' to these songs, pausing the music so each member gets a chance to remove a layer.
(Maybe a nice photo frame to make a 'This Is Me' collage later would be an appropriate prize?)
This ensures there will be a prize associated with the 'M&Ms Reminiscence Game'.
A little preparation will make the session more multi-sensory and help with engagement.
Keep going for as a long as is enjoyable.
Finish by enjoying the chocolates and having some refreshments.
Don't forget to let me know how the game works in practice. Feedback is always gratefully received.