8 – 9

Memory box


Memory box

What to do with this activity?

Encourage your child to have a memory box where they collect items that seem ordinary today, but will seem very different and hold special memories for them in the future.

History isn't just about world history, or battles, or politics. It is also about how people live everyday - what they wear, eat, learn at school, and how they entertain themselves. Objects from the past tell us so much about how people used to live. For instance, show your child pictures on the internet of arrow heads made of stone, penny farthing bicycles, a school blackboard, ladies' dresses with hoops underneath, or anything that seems very different from today.

Talk about how different life was in the past - without electricity, motor cars, indoor toilets, television or computers for instance. Even objects from a few decades back can seem amazingly different today. Have a look at this video showing how the first mobile phone came into being and how big the first one was. 

Think together about what your child could put in their memory box that will record their own history. Here are just a few suggestions - a school essay book, football cards, tickets for a concert they attended, sports medals, photographs of people and places, badges, newspaper cuttings of things they remember happening. Encourage them to write an account of the activities they do every week, or things that interest them.  Put the box away for a period of time, and see how things have changed when you look back in a few years from now.


  • Why am I doing this?

    Writing is like a muscle – the more your child practises it the stronger their writing ability will become. Your child is also more likely to write about things they like or are interested in – writing is a way to express yourself and using writing in this way can be more meaningful to a child. Word searches and crosswords can help with pattern recognition and spelling, and help build vocabulary and spelling.

  • How can I do more?

    Give your child lots of opportunities to write - notes, birthday cards, emails or text messages. Encourage your child to make and write their own books about something they are interested in, for example, cars, dinosaurs, fairies or dogs. They can draw or stick in their own pictures.

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