Child on the beachWhether you have cherished childhood memories of your own or remember happy times with children or grandchildren, you know that childhood is a very special time.

It’s so important because it's when we learn about the world and ourselves, and it often provides a foundation of who we’ll be in the future. That’s why we’d love to hear your stories, to learn as much as possible about what makes a happy childhood.

What is one of your favourite memories?

With your help, more vulnerable children can enjoy the safe and loving childhood many of us have been lucky enough to experience – so if you haven’t already, please consider making a donation.

Join the conversation - read others' childhood memories and share one of your own.

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Helen

Collecting conkers!!! At this time of year, my brother and I would spend hours throwing sticks at the nearest array of horsechestnut trees, then baking and stringing them for knuckle-rapping fights!!! My brother was a dirty little cheat, by the way!!! I try to recreate just this kind of memory with my own children.

 

 

 

 

Blue sky and sandy beach with pebbles

Ness

I remember my dear Daddy waking me up super early on a caravan holiday to go beachcombing in Great Yarmouth before anyone else woke up. So lucky to have so many memories to choose from!

 

Cowboy hat

Patricia

The freedom of being able to play up at our local rec (recreational ground) from dawn till dusk, with only meals and darkness to give reason to go back home. During a game of cowboys and indians, one of our brothers thought it funny to strap my sister to a tree and run off!!! Indian braves came to her aid and she was freed - the indians won!

 

Roast dinner

Julie

Sitting around the table on a Sunday with my mum, dad and gramps having a lovely Sunday dinner.

Child and grandparent holding handsHeather

We lived with my grandmother after Granddad died. We were always a close family and I'd often talk my problems through with my grandmother when I didn't think my mother would understand!

Yael as a baby standing in his nappy, 'driving' the family car

Yael

I remember sitting on my dad's knee and 'helping' him drive the car up and down our driveway! I really thought I had been driving 'til I got older and realised that you needed to use the pedals as well as steer the steering wheel!

A dinosaur

Eve

When I was in primary school and my friends came over we always played in the elephant grass in the allotments at the bottom of my garden, pretending we were in Jurassic Park being chased by dinosaurs. When their parents came to collect them we would refuse to come back to the house and my mum would be stuck at the top of garden embarassedly shouting for us.

 

A red stocking hanging up

Rosemary

Christmas morning in the 1920s, my sister and I are in our parents' bed and we've all got stockings to unpack, one item each, in turn. Father would have only his right hand out of bed and it took him ages to unwrap each parcel, making us beg him to hurry up!

Tents in the forrest © shutterstockMitch

I remember camping in the New Forest when I was 6. Squirrels snuck in and ate our Twix’s.

 

young girl standing outdoors in the Shetland Islands

Amy

My childhood memory is: playing on the beach with my sister when we used to live in the Shetland Islands.

Lemon juice © shutterstockSarah

My grandparents were lemonade makers by profession, so any trip to see them involved far too much fizzy pop in a variety of lurid colours and artificial flavours. In a way, I’m surprised any of us have any teeth left!

 

Two very young boys sitting on a beach

Jimmy

When I was three I sat with my best mate eating ice cream and getting covered in it, but what we didn’t realise was that we were both sitting on an ants' nest. Then all of a sudden and caught unaware an army of ants were running up and down our legs and body and in our ice cream and we both ran for our mums.

A blue sky with cloudsMary

I remember as a child playing out in the street in Portsmouth. The sun was so hot it had raised bubbles in the tarmac in the road and we children went round bursting them. I got really bad sunburn that day especially on the back of my neck.

Apple tree © shutterstockHenry

I remember playing cricket in the garden with my Dad until it was pitch black using fallen apples as the ball… 

 

 

Green hillsMargaret

Long summer days with the freedom to be allowed to "play out"  without danger. Sliding down a nearby hill on newspaper "sledges.

 

Frying eggs on a stove outsideHarry

I remember as a small boy before ww2 going from hull to the lake district.As we had not reached our destination and was getting dark, it was decided we'd sleep in the car at the side of Lake Ulswater. Then waking up in the morning and washing in the clear but freezing cold water of the lake, followed by a lovely breakfast cooked on a small stove by the side of the car. What an experience for an eight year old boy!

smiling young girl standing with her arms stretched up to the sky

Victoria

I remember long, hot summers camping in pine forests in France.

Sail boat © shutterstockSabrina

My uncle took us sailing in Australia and when the sail needed to turn round we had to duck, I forgot to duck and got hit on the head by the boom. Thankfully, I have a hard head and it didn’t even hurt!

 

Trees and a lake

Derrick

I remember my friends and I quite often went to the local park and played for hours amongst the trees and around the lake.

Two young children playing in the woods

Corin

Me and my little sister were playing in the ashes of the previous night's bonfire. We went on to cover ourselves in it and pretend that we were pirates, or we just had a fight or something.

Young boy standing while giving a young rooster a hug

Matt

I loved spending summers at my grandparents' farm in southeast Missouri.

While I 'helped' with chores, such as feeding the chickens - in this photo I'm with Scott, who I considered a sort of pet rooster - one of the things I remember most is playing outside. With my grandparents, my sister and my friend Ronnie I swam in creeks and the nearby river, and played a lot of sports.

Boy and girl standing in front of a wooden fence

Steve

This photo is of me and my sister in our first school uniform. I remember it being dark green and quite rough material.

Two ducks © shutterstockMel

I remember my favourite dress. It was navy blue, with a little white collar and it had ducks on it. It was a hand-me-down from my big sister but it made me feel like a princess.

 

 

A garden with beautiful flowers

Doreen

My Godmother, Mary Mcrae, was matron of St Margaret's C of E Home, Louth,Lincs. I used to spend long happy hours playing with all the "Home children"in their lovely garden and their playroom. My mother had been in the Home in 1917-1920. There was real love there, and I remember so many of the girls.I was lucky, I lived with Mum, Dad and my sister.

An acornBruno

Feeling completely safe, secure and protected in a peaceful and loving environment. Having the chance to learn from experience, being encouraged to question, and be kind and tolerant and help others. And growing as a sapling from an acorn planted with tenderness. 

Alan

A bonfire

I remember autumn days and the excitement of going to the bottom of the garden with my dad at dusk to have bonfires with the leaves and twigs that had fallen from the trees.

A boy in his bike

David

I grew up in Liverpool in the 1940's and 50's. I had two older brothers. My first bicycle had belonged to each of my brothers before it came to me, as had a lot of my clothes. But most important we had a happy and secure childhood.

A cow in a meadowJill

I was lucky enough to live on the edge of the country. I have happy memories of walking over the fields for a mile to watch the cows being milked by hand and then walking home again, learning the names of the birds and flowers we saw in the hedgerows.

A jar of sweetsJoseph

Visiting grandad after church on Sundays, always getting a little sweet to keep us quiet and the thrill of playing on his chair - one of those that you pull a lever and the foot rest pops up! The smell of tobacco smoke, boiled sweet and rough cushions.

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