Do you remember the last time you played Mr. Potato Head with a friend? Did your brother pull you in a Red Flyer wagon? Do you recall the fun of using Etch-a-Sketch? Did your grandmother show you how to use your Easy-Bake Oven? Did your dad help you build a cabin with your Lincoln Logs? Have you shown your child how to set up a Hot Wheels track? Have you demonstrated the genius of the Slinky to a youngster?
With a little prompting, we remember toys from our childhood. So do your residents! No matter their age,those in your retirement community still have a warm glow when recalling their playthings. They remind us of our childhood and help us create a sentimental longing for the past.
You might even be surprised to learn that people who grew up in the 50s and 60s are now the biggest collectors of toys from that era, according to nostalgia toy shop owners.
Nostalgia is an important, pleasurable emotion no matter how old we are. It creates a warm glow when we recall the past, bringing back many, pleasant memories. Our remembrances of events, happenings and the people we care about stimulates our senses and encourages communication.
Can toys from a long-gone era help your retirement community evoke a nostalgic feeling for the good old days and improve your age-friendly surroundings? Yes! Here a few ways you can help those in your community remember those happy associations in an enjoyable way:
- Build a collection of toys from the ‘50s and ‘60s and display them in your community clubhouse or gathering area.
- Ask residents if they have any nostalgia toys like these that they’d like to share with others on display.
- Invite a local toy store owner to come and present a collection to residents.
- Provide a list of nostalgia toy shop sources on your website.
- Develop a fund-raiser to buy toys for the less fortunate in your city, especially as holiday season approaches.