Creative & Connected: June 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: how to celebrate like a Londoner!

Download activity pack

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

Our theme this time is celebration: Find out how to celebrate like a Londoner, from street parties and children's parties to the Notting Hill Carnival.

Listen to our London Lives podcast, get creative with our packs and join our live, online 'Chat with the Artist' 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 four colourful party crackers in the Museum of London collection. This month we collaborate with Derek, who has kindly shared his memories of parties and celebrations with us.

Drawing inspiration from these joyful memories, musician Luke Saydon takes us on a musical journey back to 1861, to hear the fantastical story of an inventor and a young apprentice. Discover how party crackers came to be infused with a tiny explosion of happiness which bring joy to all.

Click on the white arrow below to play this episode.

With thanks to Derek, John and Russia Lane Day Centre for permission to use Derek's wonderful stories.

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

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.

Share a story with us

One of the 'London Lives' podcasts we are creating will explore the theme 'play'.

This teddy bear was given as a present in 1907 and made a sound when cuddled.

  • Do you have memories of treasured toys?
  • Perhaps you had a bear like this one, or a train set or a doll?
  • What games did you play as a child or even now?

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.


Chat with the artist

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

Luke Saydon

Looking forward to a chat

You can join us for a live, online session with our artist, Luke Saydon. In this informal session we will delve into history through songs and objects. Join us on Wednesday 8 July, 10.30-11.30am. We’d love to see you!

To register please email [email protected] and we will send you all the details of how to take part. If you would rather join us by phone, please also register and we will send you instructions.

If you have any questions we'd love to hear from you at [email protected]!


Activity pack

This month we share with you some party crackers made in 1906, to inspire our activities, as we explore the celebrations, parties and extravaganzas held in London throughout history.

Whether it’s a small birthday gathering or a huge national event, there’s no doubt that Londoners know how to host a great bash!

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 celebration crossword:

With 9 clues on the theme of 'Celebration'.

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:

What kind of party would you host?

Illustrations of a star, a musical note and a birthday cake.

Who would your perfect party guests be?
It could be anyone – your teen idol, a good friend or even a Prime Minister...

What food and drink would you serve?
It could be absolutely anything! Ginger beer? Meat patties? Samosas? Blancmange? Jellied eels? Vol-au-vents? Plantain?

What music would you play?
Rock ‘n’ roll? Soul? Jazz? Calypso? Non-stop power ballads? Anything else?

Get arty

On 2 June 1953, communities across London and the world, celebrated the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Street parties were held with food entertainment and decorations.

The invitation below was sent to a young girl who won a box of chocolates at the event!

Can you design your own party invitation? It could be an invite to your perfect imagined party or a real party which you went to in the past.

An invitation to a children's coronation party at the United Free Church, Mill Hill at 3.30pm on 5 June 1953. The party was to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

A party invitation

To celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. This particular party was held at the United Free Church, Mill Hill.

Words and all

Photo of children sat at a table wearing party hats that they have made and decorated themselves.

This photo was taken at a children’s party in 1970. Can you write a story using the photo as inspiration?

What are they celebrating?
What could their names be?
What do you think these children might be saying to each other? Are they enjoying the food and drink?

Smell, touch and taste

Colourful illustrations of a bowl of raspberry jelly, a sandwich and an ice cream cone below party bunting.

Delicious, mouth-watering foods are the very essence of celebrations around the world.

To kick-start your taste buds, try a party food taste test! Put a selection of party foods in separate bowls, close your eyes, and try some of the food in each bowl.

Can you tell what’s what?
What’s your favourite?

You could play this a game with others, or simply try it on your own.

Create and make

Notting Hill Carnival is an incredible procession and celebration held each August on the streets of the Ladbroke Grove area of London.

In 1959, Activist Claudia Jones, held a Caribbean Carnival in St Pancras Town Hall. It aimed to show solidarity and strength in the growing Caribbean community.

Inspired by its success Notting Hill Carnival grew and in 1966 the first street festival was held.

You can find out more about it - and see some stunning outfits! - by clicking to watch the short video below:


Create your own costume design for Notting Hill Carnival!

You could draw, paint, use glitter, stickers or even add a sample of the material you’d like to use...

Here's a pattern to inspire you:

Illustrations of the outline of a butterfly and three colourful tiaras.

Butterfly pattern

Does it make you think of any dress patterns or colours?

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.