Including 23 Childhood Memories to Cherish
Want to reminisce about your childhood?
Wish you could remember your early childhood moments?
Ready to document your favorite childhood memories?
Congratulations! You’re about to embark on an exciting journey into your past. You haven’t been there in a while, but it’s truly been with you all along. Everything that has happened in your life—even way back when—has made you who you are today.
So, if you’re getting ready to create a record of your childhood experiences, where do you start? How do you separate the trivial from the meaningful? Whether you are writing a casual account of a full memoir, we’ve taken the time to sort that out for you right here. So, let’s get started!
How Early Can You Recall Childhood Memories?
Typically, the earliest most people recall memories is about the age of 3.5 to four years old. This is around the time that the developing brain starts to maintain its long-term memory function. On a rare occasion, and usually surrounding an extreme or traumatic event, one may be able to remember something that happened before the age of four.
In fact, a majority of first memories surround a somewhat traumatic event early in life. According to a recent survey, these are the top 10 most common first childhood memories:
- Trip to the dentist
- Birthday party
- First day of school
- Trip to the doctor
- Being outside
- An accident or injury
- A tooth falling out
- Receiving a gift
- Playing with friends
Childhood Amnesia: Difficulty Recalling Childhood Memories
Why do some people not remember anything from childhood? Have you struggled to remember vital parts of your childhood? No matter how hard you try, can you only recall vague memories? You may not be alone.
Many people have a limited early childhood memory, especially the older they get. Rarely does anyone remember every specific detail of their life. Most people fall somewhere in between, remembering selective events, but totally forgetting others. Oftentimes, those who report not remembering much, may have experienced a bad childhood, may have been a victim of child abuse or experienced a trauma in their early years. If this is the case, then a selective memory can be common.
Stress, particularly at a young age, can cause our bodies and brains to react in different ways. One reaction is to block the specific early memory or memories. If you are experiencing this type of memory loss, sometimes these memories can reappear in dreams. Sometimes you can trigger these memories by listening to music of the time or talking to people you knew at that age. Even a scent can spark nostalgia. If these triggers don’t work for you, you may also seek the help of a psychologist to help you recall your memory of childhood.
23 Common Favorite Childhood Memories
When many people think back to their childhood, they reminisce about their family history, grandparents, long summers, freer days, lots of friends and adventures, scary moments, dares, firsts, bests, and worsts.
So, what do people cherish the most when they think back to their childhood? Here is a list of the top 23 most cherished childhood memories.
Your Favorite Stuffed Animal – Sometimes when you were a kid nothing brought more comfort to you than holding onto a precious stuffed animal, blanket or pillow. It was always there for you when you needed it and stayed right by your side all night long. Those comfort items might have helped you through some tough times in your early years.
Your Favorite Story – Was there a story you made your mother or father read to you over and over again? You may have known the story so well that you were bursting with anticipation as each word was read aloud. What connected you to that story? And how did the story or author appeal to you?
A Childhood Pet – Our pets can bring so much joy and solace to our lives. You might have enjoyed rolling around on the floor with your dog, cuddling with your cat or playing with your bird or other pet(s). They’re always there for you, they never talked back, and you certainly never fought about anything. Did you have one or more childhood pets? How was your pet named? Did you have responsibilities in taking care of that pet? What are your favorite memories with this pet?
Building Forts & Castles – It was the age of experimentation and exploration. Most every kid remembers draping blankets across the furniture to create forts and castles in various rooms of the house. These spaces became secret areas away from peering adults where you could play and giggle in private. What were your favorite fort or castle memories?
Your Favorite Cartoon – It was Saturday morning, and that meant no school and an entire morning of crazy, over-the-top cartoon watching. Did you have a favorite cartoon that you were sure not to miss? What did you like about that cartoon? And did you have any other Saturday morning traditions?
Your First Crush – It might have been elementary school, middle school or high school when that first special person caught your eye, giving you such a fond memory many years later. What was their name? Did they return your affection? Did you go to a school dance together, or did you socialize with a group of friends? Where is this person now?
Your Parents’ Favorite Music – Sometimes it’s not our own music that we remember most, but our parents’ favorite music that we heard over and over again. What music do you remember your parents listening to, singing to or dancing to when you grew up?
Playing Outside with Friends – When you were growing up, there was probably no feeling as good as the freedom to spend an entire day outside wandering around the neighborhood, exploring, and “getting into trouble.” Perhaps you and a friend would ride your bikes for miles, head to the school playground or find a way to spend your allowance money. The world was your oyster. What did you do with it?
Trips to the Beach – It’s not surprising that many fond childhood memories involve sun, sand, and surf—and probably a sunburn too. The summers seemed to last forever when we were younger. Perhaps you had a summer getaway with just your immediate family or you shared that time with extended family as well. Did your family have any other summer traditions?
Something You Collected – For whatever reason, children often like to collect things. You may have collected toy cars, dolls, rocks, bugs, flowers, a particular kind of animal, coins, stamps or other things. What drew you to your collection? What happened to your collection over the years? Do you still have it?
Family Holidays – Traditions take the forefront at the holidays. You may have enjoyed baking cookies, a special family dinner, gift traditions, singing, dancing, music, games, and more. There’s always something to be remembered.
Playing Hide and Seek – There’s a reason this game has been around since the beginning of time. It’s fun to hide and to be found, and it’s fun to seek. It’s also fun if you discover a hiding spot where no one finds you. What do you remember about playing hide and seek?
The School Playground – Forget what happened in the classroom, kids often “lived or died” by what happened on the playground. Friendships, bonds, and alliances were formed in that precious outdoor free play time. Did you have different friends on the playground than in the classroom? What did you do during recess? What other memories do you have when playing outside at school?
Climbing Trees – What did you do when you were bored? You probably climbed a tree. There was nothing like hoisting yourself up on that first branch and climbing up as high as you could go. Then you could sit and enjoy the bird’s-eye view. Perhaps you enjoyed the solitude of being high above the ground by yourself. Or perhaps you liked to spy on those down below. Did you have a favorite tree that you loved to climb?
The Ice Cream Truck – Ahh, the sweet sounds of summer… the birds singing, splashing in the water, children playing, and the ice cream truck! Who can forget the sound of the ice cream truck coming down your street and the scramble to find money… and quick, someone get out there so the truck doesn’t pass us by. And there was probably no sweeter taste than a carefully chosen ice cream treat fresh off the truck.
Losing a Tooth – Do you an early memory of losing your first tooth? Were you at home or in a public place? Were you traumatized? Or were you excited that the Tooth Fairy would arrive at your house? How much did the tooth fairy leave you? Did your family have any other traditions when you lost a tooth?
Fighting with Siblings – When you spend a large amount of time with anyone, you’re bound to get into a few fights—especially children trying to jockey for position within a family and with each other. Did you squabble a lot as children or tease each other out of spite? How did your parents handle it?
School Field Trips – Remember those special days when you went to school without any books, got on the bus, and spent the entire school day outside of school? What were the bus rides like? Where do you remember going? What are your favorite childhood memories of school field trips?
Sleepovers – An evening staying up late with just the guys or just the girls! Sleepovers were times that you could simply be yourself and just do ‘girl’ things or ‘guy’ things. Did you host sleepovers, or did you go to a friend’s house? Who was there? What activities did you do on those sleepovers?
School Lunches – Lunchtime was often a welcome break during the school day. Who did you sit with? And what did you talk about? What do you remember about the school food? Or perhaps you brought your own lunch. What were your favorite school lunches and your favorite memories during this time?
Getting in Trouble – It was probably commonplace to get in trouble at home. But most people remember vividly, at least the first time, that they got in trouble outside of their own home or family. Perhaps it was at school, at church, at a friend’s house or at another public place. What happened? Did you have a punishment? How did the experience change you?
First Time Staying Up for New Year’s Eve – During your youngest years, you probably went to bed well before midnight. Then you woke up to a new year the next morning. Do you remember the first time your parents let you stay up until midnight and take part in ‘adult’ activities? You probably felt pretty grown up. Did you have a special celebration? Who was there? What do you remember?
Camping – You may have had the opportunity to camp in the great outdoors, either occasionally or regularly. You may have enjoyed setting up camp, building a fire, cooking different foods over a fire. Camping in the woods or at a campground facility offered a different life experience. Where did you camp? Who did you camp with? Did you have any special activities when you camped? Did you encounter any wildlife?
These 23 often-cherished childhood memories are by no means a comprehensive list. Yours may look entirely different. Hopefully this list can at least help you to recall a favorite childhood memory. Perhaps this walk down memory lane fits into a great plan of sharing your writing your life story.
If you need help with a LifeReviewTM, be sure to visit us at Lastly.com to help you capture and preserve the stories and special moments throughout your life (or that of a loved one) so that you will be remembered and cherished by future generations.