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Creative & Connected: July edition

Enjoy these simple and creative activities for people affected by dementia, their carers and loved ones from our Memories of London team. This month: fun and games in London Town!

Download activity pack

The title appears next to black and white photographs of past Londoners.

This month we're bringing families and those affected by dementia together by exploring the universal theme of play. We've got a gorgeous teddy bear for you, a DIY toy activity and a fancy dress challenge!

Listen to our London Lives podcast, get creative with our packs and join our live, online 'Memories and music' session.

London Lives podcast

In this podcast series we delve into the rich stories of London's people and re-tell them with a twist. History, legend and music are seamlessly intertwined to create an audible journey to the past.

Each episode is inspired by an object from the Museum of London collection and shares the reflections of real Londoners and their London lives.

This month's episode

This episode of London Lives is inspired by a cheeky, century-old Steiff teddy bear in the Museum of London collection. This month we bring together the generations by exploring the magical power of play with Helena and Jesse, who have kindly shared their favourite games and toys with us.

Drawing from Helena’s experience of evacuation and the Museum of London’s cuddly teddy, musician Luke Saydon takes us on a musical journey back to the Second World War, to hear the heart-warming story of a friendship between a young girl and Mr Bernie Ginger Bear. Discover why the bear in our collection looks so sad and be inspired to write your own Letter of Kindness.

Send your Letter of Kindness to [email protected]

Click on the white arrow in the orange circle below to play this episode.

With thanks to Helena and Jacqui from Nightingale Hammerson Care Home, and Jesse and his mum for permission to use their stories.

You can also click here to read a full transcript of this episode.

A Sainsbury's recipe card titled 'Beef, mushroom and red wine pie' and an appealing photo of one.

© The Sainsbury Archive, Museum of London Docklands

Share a story with us

The Museum of London Docklands is home to the Sainsbury Archive and they've shared this delicious pie recipe with us.

What's your favourite food - do you like a thick, traditional meat pie, or perhaps something a little fresher? Let us know – One of the 'London Lives' podcasts we are creating will be all about Londoners’ favourite foods.

  • Do you like to cook?
  • Do you enjoy sharing meals with family and friends?

We’d love to talk to you! If you’d like to share your story email [email protected] and we will get in touch to find out more.

Memories and music

Luke, in a stripey orange  shirt, smiles and waves.

Luke Saydon

Looking forward to joining us again

Why not join us for a live online session with our artist, Luke Saydon? We’ll be bringing children under 5 and elders together to delve into history through songs and objects.

Join us on Thursday 6 August, 10.30-11.30am.

To take part please register by:


  • Calling 07780 504506 Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm (Standard network rates apply)

Activity pack

Simply click the following link to download a large-print PDF copy of this month's activity pack.

We recommend printing it off as it has activities to fill out, trace or complete, such as this playful wordsearch:

Words to find include 'Balls', 'Dolls' and 'Draughts'.

Things to do and ways to create

Get your copy so you don't miss out!

You can also enjoy some of this month's Creative & Connected activity pack below:

Terrific teddies

The donor's eldest son received this teddy bear as a present in 1907, when it was the latest fashionable toy. Sandy coloured plush, probably Excelsior stuffed, with jointed arms and legs, button eyes, hump on back and Steiff metal button in ear.

This Steiff bear was given to a little boy as a gift in 1907, when it was the latest fashionable toy. Did you know that ‘teddies’ are named after a cartoon of the US president Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt?

Maybe you have a favourite teddy, or maybe you could imagine one.

  • What would it look like?
  • What would you call it?
  • How would you dress it up?
  • Where would you take it?

Draw your bear and share it with us!

Email: [email protected]

The silhouette of a white teddy shape, ready for you to imagine your own.

Play on the streets

A black and white photo of three young girls and a dog on a pavement that they have drawn on with chalk.

© Henry Grant Collection/Museum of London

Through time, children have invented their own games, often playing on the street with neighbours and friends.

Did you used to play outdoors? Or perhaps you do now!

  • What are the children in this picture doing?
  • What might they be saying?

Move like a Beast of London

An illustration of a lion head and a pigeon sit with the words, 'Roar like a lion', 'Sneak like a garden fox', 'Trump like a Victorian zoo elephant' and 'Peck like a London pigeon'.

Wild animals have lived in London for centuries, and they move in very different ways.

Here’s an idea for an outdoor game for all ages:

Find a space and try to copy the way they move!

Get crafty

Poor Victorian Londoners couldn’t afford expensive toys like trainsets or doll’s houses. Instead, they might have bought tin penny toys, like this one, or made their own.

This mechanical penny toy, a lithographed tinplate figure of a boy holding a scrap of meat above an excited dog, is operated by a spring-loaded lever.

Create your own toy from things you find in your house or garden. Maybe it could be a...

  • Stick person
  • An animal made from egg boxes or a milk bottle
  • Flowers might make a great dress!
  • Have any spare buttons? They’d make great eyes

You could make a musical shaker to bring along to our Memories and Music session on 6 August on Zoom.

Just put some rice, beads, seeds or pasta inside any container with a lid and shake, shake, shake away!

Dress like a Londoner

A black and white photo of a group of children in different fancy dress costumes at a party.

© Henry Grant Collection/Museum of London

London is known for its vibrancy, diversity and colour.

Londoners of all ages are always dressing up for big parades and carnivals.

If you were off to a fancy-dress party, who would you dress up as?

Marina wearing a long, dark green dress and a purple hat.

Why not find some clothes in your wardrobe and dress up as your favourite London character?

Think about using different textures, colours and patterned fabrics for a sensory experience.

Here's an example: Memories of London Coordinator dressed as a Victorian Londoner!

Move and groove

Children have always made up songs and dances together! Some are about events that happened in London.

Pop! Goes the weasel

This one mentions the City Road at the centre of London. Maybe you know it?

A colourful illustration of a pint glass with a large  handle.

Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
Half a pound of treacle.
That’s the way the money goes –
Pop! Goes the weasel.

Up and down the City Road,
In and out the Eagle.
That’s the way the money goes –
Pop! Goes the weasel.

Here are some gentle movements to do while you’re singing the lyrics:

‘Pop!’ – Clap your hands

'Half a pound of tuppenny rice' – Put two fingers in the air, as ‘tuppenny’ means ‘two pence’

'Half a pound of treacle' – Pretend to spread treacle on bread

'Up and down the City Road' – Lift your arms in front of you, like a long road stretching ahead

'In and out The Eagle' – The Eagle was a pub. Pretend to have a swig of beer!

'That’s the way the money goes!' – Shrug your shoulders

That's all we have for you this time, but remember to join us again next month!

You can find all the issues of Creative & Connected right here.