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Essay on Childhood Memories in 200, 300, 400, 500, 600 Words

Here are some beautiful essays on Childhood Memories in 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600 words for class 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. We have added an essay on 10 lines too. I hope you will love these essays. 

In This Blog We Will Discuss

Essay on Childhood Memories in 200 Words

Childhood memories are memories that we can’t forget ever. Some incidents are so bright in our minds that we recall it again and again. We all have tons of memories in childhood. These memories help us to build our character and personality, that’s why childhood memories are hugely important in our life. 

When people think or discuss these memories, then they feel very happy and delighted. That’s why we need to think and write about these memories. I have some really good memories from my childhood. I spent a long time in rural areas. 

I’ve completed my school from a village primary school. That was a very good experience for me. I can remember lots of incidents from there. I went to visit a village fair with my father and we bought lots of toys for me and my siblings. 

I still can feel the ‘Nagordola’, lots of people, colorful shops, and songs playing on loudspeakers when I close my eyes. These feelings and memories are priceless. I wish if I could go back to my past and see childhood again, that would be amazing. But I know it’s not possible. I miss my childhood a lot. 

Essay on Childhood Memories in 300 Words


Memories are some special visualization on our brain that helps us to recall some past incidents that happened to our life. It shapes our personality for the future. Sometimes we remember our long-ago past memories and it makes us happy. 

Childhood memories are the best example of that. We all have lots of childhood memories and these are golden. These memories are vivid in our minds always. I know some memories could be hard to remember but most of them are vivid in our brain.

My Childhood Memories:

I have so many memories that I can remember now. Most of them are related to my family , parents, and siblings. Because I have spent most of my childhood times with them. My father was a government worker then and he had very little time to spend with his family.

But still, he managed to spend a huge time with us. I loved his activities. He took us to different places for a picnic. My mom used to cook very delicious meals for us. I can remember, we were staying at a village in Bihar and it was the house of an uncle. We went for a long drive from there. 

There was an amazing side view on the road. I loved the villages of Bihar. The people were friendly. I spent an amazing time with my cousins there. These memories are very bright on my mind and I love to think about all those days. 


I know your childhood memories are also amazing and you love to think about these memories a lot. These memories make us happy. I love to think about these amazing days. 

Essay on Childhood Memories in 400 Words

Childhood is that time when we had nothing to worry about. We were free and only spent time with our fellow childhood friends. We could do anything. We had no limitation to do anything. 

I had an awesome childhood that I love to recall again and again. I wish I could get back to my childhood. That is a mind-blowing part of my life. 

When I think about my childhood, it reminds a few of my friends, such as Satish, Jay, and Ganesh. We lived in a rural area in Bihar. That area was very beautiful nature. I loved spending time with nature. When we were students of class 1 or 2, we used to leave school and go to the river. 

I caught lots of fish in the river. It was a very beautiful hilly river. I wish I could go back to that amazing place. It makes me very happy when I recall these memories. I loved to jump into the water and swim there. I promise I was an excellent swimmer back then. 

We also went to different places to catch birds and do different types of naughty stuff. Though I had to follow some strict rules at home, still I was super naughty. My father was strict but he loves us very much. 

My siblings were very good with me. I used to spend lots of time with them at home. We had different types of games to play together. I loved playing cricket and football mostly. 

First Day at School: 

The first day at school is the best childhood memory that I can recall. That was a tough day for me. I was not a good boy who wanted to go to school with his own wish. I did different things to not go to school. 

But finally, my father bought me some books, a school bag, and a school uniform and I agreed to go to school. The first day was full of scariness for me. We went to the headmaster’s room and he asked me some easy questions. I knew the answers but I was unable to answer due to lots of pressure going on in my head. 

I love to think about all of my childhood memories, these memories are my own and that’s what pushed me to create my personality and character. We all need to appreciate our memories in childhood. 

Essay on Childhood Memories in 500 Words

Essay on Childhood Memories in 500 Words

We all have lots of past memories in our lives. But I think childhood memories are the best memories that make us happy and delighted. You can’t deny that we all have some memories that are very special to us. 

I have some childhood memories too that I never can forget. Today I will talk about some of these memories here. 

Importance of Childhood Memories: 

Do some people think that childhood memories are really important? I think it is. Because these memories make a huge impact on our personality and lifestyle. It helps us to be that person that we want to be. 

We should never ignore our past memories. These are big lessons in our life. That’s why I think it has huge importance in our life. 

My Childhood Memories: 

I have some amazing memories. Most of them are with my family, my parents, my siblings, and my grandmother . I have three siblings and they are very close to my heart. We always had a great time together. I spent my entire childhood in a neighborhood in Delhi. 

I had lots of friends there. I am still connected with a few of them. We spent really good times together. I loved playing cricket in the afternoon. I have lots of good memories playing with them. I can remember the first day of school. 

It was very exciting for me. I always was an attentive student and I used to make good results in the class. My teachers loved me a lot for that. These memories are very sweet and I wish I could go back there and experience the same thing again. 

I used to visit my native village sometimes. That was another exciting journey for me. I spent an amazing time with my cousins there. We went for a picnic and did lots of crazy things. 

A Horrible Experience of Childhood:

Along with lots of good experiences I have some horrible childhood experiences too. When I was five years old, I didn’t know how to swim. And that time I was in the village. We were playing football and there was a pond near the field. 

When the ball went to the pond, someone went and picked it. A boy thought I might know how to swim and he pushed me to the pond. When I was trying to come out of the water but couldn’t he was laughing and thinking that I was making fun. 

But when he realized he jumped and took me off the water. That was a very shocking memory that I can’t forget. It could be worse. 

I love to think about my old childhood memories. These memories bring a broad smile to my face. I know it’s the same for everyone. These memories are very much cute and loving. It could be a topic of gossip too. People love sharing things about their childhood, I do. 

Essay on Childhood Memories in 600 Words

Essay on Childhood Memories in 600 Words

Childhood is the best stage of human life where they can spend time without any worry and pressure. We all have had that amazing time. The best part of childhood is spending time with fellow kids. We all have some good and some bad memories that we can recall from childhood. 

There are lots of memories that we have forgotten and some we can remember slightly. I am going to share some memories from my childhood that I still can’t forget. I think these are the golden memories and the time was priceless. 

I have been raised in a big family with lots of loving members. I have all the sweet memories with them. I especially want to mention my grandmother. She was an extraordinary lady. I have two siblings and we used to play in the garden in front of my home . 

My father bought us different types of toys and playing equipment. I loved playing cricket from childhood and still play that often. My little sister was like my assistant. She was always with me whatever I do and wherever I go. 

We used to steal pickles from the refrigerator that my grandma made. I still can feel the smell and taste of that pickle when I look back at the memories. My dad was a super busy person, but still, he spent enough time with us. I can remember a picnic at a zoo where the entire family went. 

My mom took some delicious food items there. I can’t remember what exactly the dishes were, but they were amazing in taste. That was an incredible day. We sometimes visited our native village and that was the best moment for me and my cousins. 

We got enough space to run, play football, and do all the stuff that we can’t do in the city. When I think about my childhood, that takes a large part there. Because I have so many amazing memories related to village life. 

My First Day at School: 

The first day at school is a beautiful memory that I can remember clearly. That was a very special event for me. I was very excited. I have been preparing for school and worked very hard for three months. My mother was also working very hard to teach me all the basic things such as alphabets and a few rhymes. 

I was pretty confident. I got my new uniform, school bag, some books, and new shoes. And the day came and they took me to school. That is quite a popular school in the city. My parents took me to the headmaster’s room. 

He was a gentleman and he greeted us properly. I can remember he asked me some basic questions and I answered them confidently. He called an assistant teacher and sent me to my classroom . A class was going on there already and I joined it. I found tons of boys and girls my age. 

I made some friends on the first day. I went back and found my parents waiting for me. That was a pleasant experience for me. I will never forget that day. My parents were very supportive and that’s why everything was easy for me. 


Childhood memories are very important in our life. We should remind ourselves of all the beautiful moments. When we think about our childhood it makes us laugh and we feel very genuine. 

That’s very important in our life. These little memories can shape our personality in the future. These are good times and they teach us how to overcome some problems in real life. 

10 Lines Essay on Childhood Memories

1. We all have lots of beautiful memories from our childhood that make us extremely happy.

2. This memory recalls are priceless and everyone loves to talk about them. 

3. I have some exciting memories of my own childhood. 

4. We were living in a village when I was a kid. I spent my entire childhood there. 

5. It was possible for me to experience lots of exciting things that a city kid can’t.

6. I learned swimming at the age of 5 and I used to swim in the nearest river with my fellow childhood friends. 

7. My parents had some rules to follow and of course, they were extremely strict. But still, we managed to find time for doing lots of naughty activities. 

8. I have most of my memories with my siblings and my cousins. 

9. These memories are priceless and I keep smiling when I think about these golden days. 

10. I love all these childhood memories and these are my base of personality. 

How do you write a childhood memories essay? 

To write a childhood memory, you need to look back to your childhood. It’s a very important topic for school and college students. By writing on this topic, you will get an opportunity to look back at your past memories. It is not hard to write about childhood memories. You need to think a bit and you will come with tons of beautiful memories. 

How would you describe your childhood memories? 

To describe your childhood memories, you need to write them first and then you can do some edits to make it look good. Here are some described essays on childhood memories, you can use them for your study purpose. 

Why is Childhood Memories important?

Childhood memories are very important for us because our memories help us to build our personality and make us the perfect human. It’s a huge lesson in our life. 

What can be a common childhood memory for all?

‘The first day at school’ could be a common memory for all. There are some memories that are related to our parents and siblings, they could be common for all too. 

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essay on a vivid childhood memory

Childhood Memories Essay for Students and Children

500+ words essay on childhood memories.

Memories are a vital component of our bodies. They shape our personality as all our knowledge and past experiences are stored there. All of us have memories, both good and bad. You have memories from long ago and also from recent times. Furthermore, some memories help us get by tough days and make us cheerful on good days.

Childhood Memories Essay

Memories are the little things which help in running our lives smoothly. In other words, memories are irreplaceable and they are very dear to us. They help us learn from our mistakes and make us better. In my opinion, one’s childhood memories are the dearest to anyone. They help in keeping the child in you alive. Moreover, it also is a reason for our smiles in between adult life.

Importance of Childhood Memories

Childhood memories are very important in our lives. It makes us remember the best times of our lives. They shape our thinking and future. When one has good childhood memories, they grow up to be happy individuals. However, if one has traumatic childhood memories, it affects their adult life gravely.

Thus, we see how childhood memories shape our future. They do not necessarily define us but they surely play a great role. It is not important that someone with traumatic childhood memories may turn out to be not well. People get past their traumatic experiences and grow as human beings. But, these memories play a great role in this process as well.

Most importantly, childhood memories keep the inner child alive. No matter how old we get, there is always a child within each one of us. He/She comes out at different times.

For instance, some may act like a child on seeing swings; the other may get excited like a child when they see ice cream. All this happens so because we have our childhood memories reminding us of the times associated with the things we get excited about. Therefore, childhood memories play a great role in our lives.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

My Childhood Memories

Growing up, I had a very loving family. I had three siblings with whom I used to play a lot. I remember very fondly the games we use to play. Especially, in the evenings, we used to go out in the park with our sports equipment. Each day we played different games, for example, football on one day and cricket on the other. These memories of playing in the park are very dear to me.

Furthermore, I remember clearly the aroma of my grandmother’s pickles. I used to help her whenever she made pickles. We used to watch her do the magic of combining the oils and spices to make delicious pickles. Even today, I can sometimes smell her pickles whenever I look back at this memory.

Most importantly, I remember this instance very clearly when we went out for a picnic with my family. We paid a visit to the zoo and had an incredible day. My mother packed delectable dishes which we ate in the zoo. My father clicked so many pictures that day. When I look at these pictures, the memory is so clear, it seems like it happened just yesterday. Thus, my childhood memories are very dear to me and make me smile when I feel low.

Q.1 Why is Childhood Memories important?

A.1 Childhood memories shape our personality and future. They remind us of the good times and help us get by on tough days. Moreover, they remind us of past experiences and mistakes which help us improve ourselves.

Q.2 What can be a common childhood memory for all?

A.2 In my opinion, a childhood memory most of us have in common is the first day of school. Most of us remember what we felt like on the first day. In addition, our birthdays are also very common childhood memory that reminds us of gifts and celebrations on that day.

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Essay Samples on Childhood Memories

Childhood memories are some of the most cherished moments of our lives. They are memories of innocence, fun, and carefree times that we often look back on with nostalgia. Writing an essay on childhood memories is a great way to reflect on those times and share them with others.

When writing an essay about childhood memories, it is important to start by brainstorming all the memories that stand out to you. Think about specific events, people, and places that hold special meaning for you. This will help you organize your thoughts and create an outline for your essay.

One approach to writing an essay on childhood memories is to focus on a single event or moment that had a significant impact on you. For example, you could write about the time you learned to ride a bike, your first day of school, or a family vacation that you will never forget.

Another option is to write a more general essay about your childhood experiences. You could talk about the games you played, the friends you had, and the places you visited. This type of essay can be a great way to share your memories with others and create a sense of nostalgia.

Whether you focus on a specific event or write a more general essay, be sure to use descriptive language and sensory details to create a vivid picture of your childhood experiences. Use our extensive base of essay samples to write your own childhood memories essay.

How Do Childhood Experiences Affect Adulthood

Childhood experiences play a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of an individual's adulthood. From early relationships and family dynamics to educational opportunities and socio-economic conditions, the formative years set the stage for psychological, emotional, and social development. This essay delves into the ways how...

  • Childhood Memories

A Story From My Childhood: A Cherished Memory

Childhood is a treasure trove of moments that shape our identities and leave an indelible mark on our lives. Among these memories, there's a story from my childhood that stands out like a beacon of warmth and happiness. It's a story that has been etched...

Feeling of Real Home: How My Adopted Parents Saved Me

The home triggered a sense of familiarity which I couldn't define. Had I been here before? I stood on the ample gravel driveway glancing up at the three-bedroom detached family home, quietly tucked away at the end of a winding road on the outskirts of...

  • Family History

Statement of Purpose: My Childhood Memories

During my childhood, one day grandpa brought conventional radio into our house and started playing the FM station. It generated curiosity and wonder in my minds. I asked my mom, how human voice is coming out of the device, mom told me that some peoples...

Childhood Memories of My Brother Going Missing

It was on Monday. On the first day of the week, I was so tired. The sun blooms on the horizon. It is the brilliant flower of the sky that warms our days. Look like the sun is inviting us to our new day. My...

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Childhood Memory That Shaped Me as a Person

We all have childhood memories that we hold dear to us. These memories are what get us through the dark days and cheer us to keep going. Imagine how it would be if we lost those childhood memories. It would be sad because we would...

  • Personal Growth and Development

Comparison of Me from My Childhood Memories and How I Changed Through Years

Childhood. We say that this is the happiest time of life. But we begin to appreciate it only when it passes or has already gone away for good. Growing up, we begin to evaluate the world around us and people in a different way. We...

Flipped: Lessons and Realizations Essential to Life

A thing or two that people remember even in their youngest days are childhood crushes. These crushes remind memories that make each childhood the best. One book that would remind this feeling is “Flipped”. Written by Wendelin Van Draanen, Flipped is about a girl named...

Theme of Childhood Naivety in Seamus Heaney's Poems Death of a Naturalist and Blackberry Picking

A pattern which both poems adhere to, in varying degrees, is one of optimism and childhood naivety followed by sobered pessimism, from an older, wiser Heaney. Death of a Naturalist In Death of a Naturalist, a poem about Heaney’s memory of frogs compared to his...

  • Blackberry Picking

Influences of Childhood Wonder: Transition into Womanhood in A White Heron

Sarah Orne Jewett’s nineteenth century tale “A White Heron” explores a temporary hindrance of a young girl’s relationship to nature. Sylvia, the nine-year-old heroine, maintains a simple life in the New England woodlands with her grandmother. With little to remember of her urban way of...

  • A White Heron

Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden: The Main Undertone of Regret

Born in 1913 into a family which abandoned him, poet Robert Hayden grew up in a rough household and it was not until he was forty that he discovered his original name (Schlib and Clifford 318). Despite all the obstacles he faced, Hayden still went...

  • Those Winter Sundays

The Report on Early Childhood Amnesia

This report will explore how childhood amnesia affects a persons memory in regards to early childhood memories as well as how this can affect how people pull memories from early childhood, childhood amnesia is the term used to describe the period from which adults cannot...

The Recollection of False Childhood Memories

An experiment performed in the 1970s studied how people’s memories accountable or misleading are in case they are witnesses to an accident. In this research the participants watched a short video that simulated a car accident. The event happened in an intersection where a stop...

An Analysis of Cognitive Development in Childhood Memories

I think childhood is the most happy and unstressed of my life because when I was a child, I don’t have many responsibilities like now. I can still remember some of my wonderful memories but most of them were my mom tell me. She said...

  • Development

A Personal Recount on the Memories of My Childhood

The Childhood is considering as the most innocent phase of man's life. Yet when I look back those innocent days of my early childhood, actually I could not remember much. But those pleasant memories of my childhood linger on time to time due to the...

  • Bad Memories
  • Social Psychology

Recollection of My Childhood Memories: A Nostalgic Camping Trip

Childhood memories never quickly disappear, and as many others do I hope for the life I've had as a child with a non-stress and loving family. Nostalgia will always be part of me because my childhood was just unforgettable and breathtaking overall. First of all,...

Children's Literature - an Autobiographical Narrative

Books have been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was taught to read both at home and at school, and was given the freedom to choose whatever genre I decided on. My experiences with books were always...

  • Reading Books

Certain Experiences From Our Childhood

A child’s behavior is shaped by their genes and environment. This is where the child is affected both by nature and nurture. Nature affects children because of environment. Nurture affects children from multiple things. For example, home, community, beliefs, and our values. Because children are...

Personal Experience And Memories Of Our Backyard

In my childhood, I once went camping up north with my family and that is one experience I will never get off my mind. The place was just so quiet away compared to all the noise from the city and while it was scary at...

  • Personal Experience
  • Personal Life

Through The Narrow Lanes Of Calcutta

As a child growing up in the developing district of Bally, a small town in Howrah situated on the north western side of Kolkata, I wasn’t much used to seeing the red green houses that North Kolkata is famous for. The other side of Hooghly...

Best topics on Childhood Memories

1. How Do Childhood Experiences Affect Adulthood

2. A Story From My Childhood: A Cherished Memory

3. Feeling of Real Home: How My Adopted Parents Saved Me

4. Statement of Purpose: My Childhood Memories

5. Childhood Memories of My Brother Going Missing

6. Childhood Memory That Shaped Me as a Person

7. Comparison of Me from My Childhood Memories and How I Changed Through Years

8. Flipped: Lessons and Realizations Essential to Life

9. Theme of Childhood Naivety in Seamus Heaney’s Poems Death of a Naturalist and Blackberry Picking

10. Influences of Childhood Wonder: Transition into Womanhood in A White Heron

11. Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden: The Main Undertone of Regret

12. The Report on Early Childhood Amnesia

13. The Recollection of False Childhood Memories

14. An Analysis of Cognitive Development in Childhood Memories

15. A Personal Recount on the Memories of My Childhood

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  • Personality
  • Personal Beliefs
  • Someone Who Inspires Me

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Best Childhood Memories Essay Ideas: 94 Narrative Topics [2024]

Many people believe that childhood is the happiest period in a person’s life. It’s not hard to see why. Kids have nothing to care or worry about, have almost no duties or problems, and can hang out with their friends all day long.

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An essay about childhood gives an opportunity to plunge into your memories. All you need to do is recollect those happy days and write a brilliant essay! In this article by , you’ll find great tips and topic ideas to kickstart the process.

  • 🔝 Top 10 Topics
  • 💡 Coming Up with Ideas
  • 🧸 Childhood Memories Essay Topics
  • ✍️ Writing Examples & Guide
  • 🔍 References

🔝 Top 10 Childhood Topics to Write About

  • Your favorite holiday memory.
  • Your brightest memories of winter.
  • Your earliest school memory.
  • Your first visit to a farm.
  • What was your favorite toy?
  • Do you remember your granny’s kitchen?
  • Your childhood memories of your parents.
  • Your best childhood friend.
  • Things that you initially disliked at school.
  • Experiments with physics in childhood.

💡 Coming Up with Childhood Memories Essay Ideas

Perhaps you got lost in your memories and cannot choose the best one to describe in your essay. Or maybe you have a bad memory and cannot recollect something specific to write about. If that’s the case, here are some recommendations for you.

Childhood Memories List: How to Write

Don’t know where to start? Try creating a list of your memories to decide which ones you need for your paper.

The picture shows examples of  what to include in a childhood memories essay.

There are our top tips on making a childhood memories list:

  • Write down everything that comes to your mind. What are some significant memories from your childhood? Every little experience starting with your earliest memory matters. Of course, you don’t need all of this information for your essay. Still, it will help your brain to start working in the right direction.
  • Try to focus on specific things such as holidays, trips, or food. Everybody’s favorite childhood memories are often connected with them. Remarkable events also might include school, neighborhood, hometown, presents you received, and your achievements. Nostalgia is your best friend in this case.
  • Divide your memories into categories. Good childhood experiences such as receiving a dream present or adopting a pet belong to one category. Life-changing events, key achievements, and unfortunate accidents can go into other categories.
  • Try not to avoid bad childhood memories. It’s not the most pleasant thing in this task. But sometimes, writing about bad situations or challenges is a good strategic decision for your paper. It can also help your personal growth.

How to Remember Childhood Memories

What is your earliest memory? A frightening fall down the stairs? Or perhaps blowing candles on your second birthday? Whatever the content, it is probably short and vague.

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When we grow older, our recollections of early childhood become fragmentary . In fact, a profound memory loss occurs, which psychologists call infantile amnesia (you can learn more about it from the article “ New perspectives on childhood memory ”). Memories formed during early childhood are more fragile than those formed later in life.

That’s why it’s a great idea to write down our childhood recollections. This way, they’ll stay with us even after they lose their rich vividness and start to fade altogether.

Naturally, you can’t keep everything in your head. Some childhood memories will stay with you forever, while others vanish during your teenage years. Remembering something you have forgotten is not an easy task.

Here’s a way out: use this checklist to recall your childhood experiences:

Feeling completely out of ideas? Or maybe you can’t think of a specific topic? Keep reading to learn how to generate new ideas and write a great childhood memories essay.

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🧸 Childhood Memory Essays Topics List

Favorite childhood memory ideas.

  • Meeting Santa at a mall
  • A gift you’ve created yourself
  • First time you stayed up all night
  • Your first visit to an amusement park
  • Your favorite children’s book or comic
  • Your best childhood camping memory
  • The craziest fact you’ve learned as a child
  • Memory about winning a school competition
  • What was the most fun school assignment?
  • Your favorite food at the elementary school cafeteria

Early Childhood Memories Essay Topics

Kindergarten is often the place where kids start socializing for the first time. Think about your experiences with friends and teachers, as well as with your family. These topic ideas will help you get on the right track:

  • The first day in kindergarten . Kindergarten is a new world for a child. It has an unfamiliar environment, new people, and rules. This essay can aim at discussing feelings and expectations that accompany a child on their first day.
  • Describe the first pet you had in early childhood. Almost all families have a pet that they love. Often pets are given to children as presents. This essay can relate the best moments spent with a pet when you were little.
  • A relative who was closest to you in early childhood. Every child has a family member with whom they enjoy spending time. It could easily be a parent, a grandparent, a sibling , or perhaps an uncle. Write about exciting moments related to your beloved relatives.
  • Your first childhood hobby . Most people had hobbies when they were kids. This initial interest sometimes determines one’s future occupation. Here, you can describe the activities you used to do as a little child. Focus on the events associated with your first hobby.
  • Festive events in kindergarten . During the whole year, people celebrate many holidays. Naturally, kindergartens hold festive events to amuse children. This essay can portray the unforgettable celebrations in kindergarten .
  • Describe family gatherings from your childhood.
  • A typical day in your kindergarten.
  • What’s the first birthday celebration you remember?
  • Activities or games in kindergarten .
  • Your first Halloween costume.
  • Things that you didn’t like in kindergarten.
  • Write about your relationship with nature in early childhood.
  • Describe a performance you took part in when you were little.
  • What was the best teacher in your kindergarten like?
  • Discuss the book or story you loved the most in early childhood.

Elementary School Memories Essay Topics

Would you like to look back at your elementary school days? This section is just what you need. Check out these ideas and get inspired:

  • How you met your first teacher. Teachers lead children through a complicated yet exciting path. That’s why we all remember our teachers, especially the first day of meeting them. This essay can recount the brightest moments associated with this event. Additionally, you might describe the teacher’s appearance and personality .
  • The most challenging lesson in elementary school. You can probably recall numerous lessons from your school years. This essay can aim at describing positive and negatives aspects of studies, as well as your favorite classes.
  • Memories about extracurricular activities in school. It could be sports, artistic pursuits, or activities related to specific subjects. Describe your personal preferences and say who inspired you to start doing them.
  • Celebration events at school. Celebrations create the brightest and most joyful memories. In this essay, you can share personal experiences about such events, be it school performances, shows, or games.
  • Who was your best school teacher ? Describe the personalities of your favorite teachers and explain why you liked them.
  • Write about a person who helped with school lessons .
  • What did your first school building look like?
  • Describe what you daydreamed about in school.
  • Wonderful hikes or trips organized by the school.
  • What were your plans for the future growing up?
  • Write about going to a museum with your class.
  • Memories of participation in school sports activities.
  • Recall your participation in writing for a school newspaper .
  • Did you take part in any important school activities or events?

Happy Childhood Memories Essay Topics

When writing about your childhood, you’d probably prefer recalling happy events rather than sad ones. But what if you don’t know which pleasant memory to choose? This list will help you make up your mind!

  • The best birthday party ever. Recall the most exciting details associated with it. For example, describe some beautiful presents and a celebratory atmosphere.
  • The day you’ve met your first love . Write about the impressions, feelings, and the most treasured memories associated with that day.
  • Recall the best day spent with your childhood friend. Recount the activities and events that made you happy.
  • The most significant achievement in childhood. Recall your achievements connected with the studies, sports, or arts. You can start by describing the task you’ve had, explain its importance, and thank the people who helped you.
  • The day you made somebody happy . This essay can describe the instances where you helped others. What were your motivations, and why did it make you happy?
  • Describe the best school gathering you can remember. Schools often organize parties where students can have fun. This essay can recount the circumstances and special moments related to such a party.
  • Recall a fictional character you liked the most in childhood.
  • Write about the best present you gave to someone when you were little.
  • Describe the best surprise made by friends or relatives in childhood.
  • The most wonderful journey or trip in childhood.
  • A sad event that changed things for the better.
  • What were the happiest summer holidays in your childhood like?
  • Chronicle the day when your childhood dream came true.
  • Write about your childhood fear and how you overcame it.
  • Tell about getting a good grade for an important assignment.
  • Describe the first home where your family lived.

Funny Childhood Memories Essay Ideas

Writing about a funny event is perhaps the best option you can choose. You’ll enjoy describing it, and your readers will appreciate you for making them laugh! Here are some prompts to kickstart the creative process.

  • Recollect your childhood actions that make your relatives laugh. Children often behave in interesting, comical, and amusing ways. This essay can detail some fun moments that your parents remember.
  • Amusing and funny moments in your favorite cartoons . You probably remember many great cartoons from your childhood. What made them funny? Do you still find them entertaining?
  • The funniest pranks you did at school. If you were a mischievous child, this topic is for you. Recall various funny, elaborate, or even failed pranks you did at school.
  • Describe the first time you rode a bicycle . Learning to ride a bike is a staple of many childhoods. It’s challenging, but once you master it, you will never forget how to ride it!
  • What tricks used to help you pass difficult exams? Usually, students make cribs or copy someone else’s answers. You can describe more creative ways of passing exams.
  • Poking fun at younger siblings . If you have brothers and sisters, you probably tease each other. How do you feel about such activities? Do you both have a good laugh, or did somebody get upset?
  • Playing superheroes in childhood. Many children have favorite superheroes such as Batman , Spiderman, Ironman, and others. What were your personal favorites? Did you try to imagine you have superpowers?
  • Describe the most ridiculous haircut you’ve had when you were little.
  • Funny moments with your school teachers.
  • Did you have an imaginary friend? What were they like?
  • Trying to cook in childhood.
  • What tricks did you use to hide bad marks from your parents?
  • Attempts to renovate your childhood room.

Childhood Christmas Memories Topics

Christmas is the favorite holiday of many children. Were you one of them? Choose your essay title from this list on Christmas memories:

Get an originally-written paper according to your instructions!

  • What is the best Christmas present from your childhood? Describe the present, the wrapping, and your emotions related to it. Why did you want it so much? You can also try to remember where this present is now.
  • Describe a family Christmas trip that you enjoyed the most as a child. Answer the following questions. What were the new places you have seen? What were the new people you met? How much time did you spend there? Did you feel homesick? What did you feel when you returned home?
  • What was your favorite pastime during the Christmas holidays in childhood? For example, you can write about watching cartoons or playing with your siblings. Or maybe you enjoyed winter sports and walking with your friends.
  • Was Christmas your favorite holiday in childhood? Explain why or why not. Create a list of the things that you did and didn’t enjoy. You can also compare Christmas with other holidays. Find several arguments to defend your opinion.
  • Describe the best Christmas present you gave somebody in childhood . It can be something you made yourself or bought. Explain why you chose this gift and what was the recipient’s reaction. What did you want to show with this present? Was it your idea to give it? How did you choose it? Answer these questions in your essay.
  • What are your favorite Christmas memories ? You have a wide choice here. You can describe family get-togethers, receiving or giving presents, eating sweets, or having fun while resting from school.
  • Describe your favorite childhood Christmas photo . Explain why it is so valuable to you. Define the people or objects in the picture. Try to remember who took it and what camera was they used. Also, provide some information about the time and place.
  • Write about your family’s Christmas traditions .
  • Describe your favorite Christmas decorations in childhood.
  • When was the time you stopped believing in Santa Claus?
  • What was your favorite Christmas movie in childhood?
  • Write about the Christmas dishes did you enjoy the most as a child.
  • What was your favorite Christmas TV special ?
  • What were your favorite Christmas songs when you were little?
  • Describe the perfect Christmas Eve of your childhood.
  • Tell about the friends you liked to invite to your Christmas parties.

These recollections can form a great foundation for your essay. Because childhood is often the best time in a person’s life, writing essays on your childhood experiences can be a real pleasure. If you try to be creative and choose a unique topic, you are sure to succeed in writing an impressive essay.

✍️ “My Childhood Memories” Essay Writing Guide

Writing about your childhood is an exciting assignment that has some peculiarities. Let’s explore some of them.

Childhood Memories Essay: Dos and Don’ts

Your main task is to make the reader feel like they’ve experienced the memory you described. There are certain elements that you can include in your essay to make it stand out. Similarly, some things are better to avoid.

Keep these things in mind, and you will surely write a perfect composition.

Childhood Memories Essay: Step by Step

Follow these steps of the essay writing process, and you will see that writing a good essay on your childhood memories is not as challenging as it may seem.

The picture shows the main steps in writing a childhood memories essay.

Narrative Essay on Childhood Memories: Outline

Every essay must have a proper structure. That’s why it’s useful to make a short outline before you start writing. It will keep you from losing your way as you write your essay. It also saves you time! If you have a plan, you won’t miss any important points in your essay.

Your paper should include:

After you’ve finished writing, revise and edit your essay . Make sure your paragraphs are written in a logical order. Read your essay aloud so that you can see how it flows and determine where you need to improve it.

Try our memory-activating prompts and follow these writing tips to compose your perfect childhood memories essay! If you’re not sure that you can write a good paper on your own, you can always ask our experts to help you out.

Further reading:

  • School Days Essay: How to Describe a Memorable Event
  • Growing Up Essay: Great Ideas for Your College Assignment
  • Writing Essay about Someone Who has Made an Impact on Your Life
  • Excellent Remembering a Person Essay: Free Writing Guidelines
  • Life Experience Essay: How to Write a Brilliant Paper

🔗 References

  • The Fate of Childhood Memories: Children Postdated Their Earliest Memories as They Grew Older
  • Can You Trust Your Earliest Childhood Memories?: BBC
  • How to Start Writing Your Own Childhood Memories for Posterity: HobbyLark
  • 650 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing: The New York Times
  • Bright Side Readers Shared 14 Childhood Stories and We Plunged Into Their Memories Together: Brightside
  • Great Questions: StoryCorps
  • Introductions and Conclusions: University of Toronto
  • Make a List: Childhood Memories: Practical Parenting
  • Tips to Retrieve Old Memories: Harvard University
  • Make the Most of Your Memory: 10 Tips for Writing About Your Life: Writer’s Digest
  • Childhood Christmas Memories: DNA Explained
  • What Do Your Earliest Childhood Memories Say about You?: The Conversation
  • Can’t Remember Your Childhood? What Might Be Going On: Healthline
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Essay on Childhood Memories in 400 Words

essay on a vivid childhood memory

  • Updated on  
  • Dec 8, 2023

Essay on Childhood memories

‘We all have lovely childhood memories, which were part of our development stage. Childhood is the most precious time of our life when we have no worries about school, career, or life. All we enjoyed was playing and eating delicious food.’

‘One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is to have a happy childhood.’ – Agatha Christie

Check out the latest updates on all board exams 2024

‘We all loved summer vacations, where we were allowed to enjoy a month-long vacation with our friends and families. However, a beautiful and fun childhood doesn’t determine a prosperous future. Diving into nostalgic childhood memories is something we all enjoy.’

Remembering little things like running wild on grass, flying kites, playing marbles, sliding on the seesaw, etc. reminds us of those good old memories. Family gatherings and celebrations form a tapestry strand, remembering the joy and togetherness. The smell of grandmothers’ home-cooked meals passing through my nostrils, the sound of relatives sharing anecdotes, and the sparkle in the eyes of grandparents imparted a sense of belonging and continuity. These gatherings served as anchors in the tumultuous sea of life, reminding us of our roots and the importance of human connection.’

Bedtime stories are one of the treasured memories of our childhood, where secrets were whispered under the twinkling lights. The rustle of pages turning in a favorite storybook, the comfort of a soft blanket, and the reassuring presence of a parent reading aloud – these moments were the alchemy that transformed ordinary nights into magical adventures. The tales became not just narratives but a source of moral compass, imparting lessons that lingered far beyond the pages.

‘When we are old and failing, it is the memories of childhood which can be summoned most clearly.’ – Dan Simmons

However, childhood memories are not immune to the bittersweet tinge of nostalgia. The fleeting nature of time becomes palpable as we grow older, and the places and faces that once defined our world may change or fade away. The innocence of our youth is a fragile bloom that caves to the relentless march of time.

Childhood memories are priceless experiences, which play an important role in shaping our character and contributing to the mosaic of our lives. Nostalgia, the sentimental longing for the past, is a testament to the enduring impact of those formative years. As we navigate the complexities of adulthood, the allure of revisiting the playgrounds of our youth and the warmth of familial embraces becomes a poignant journey, a celebration of the innocence that once defined us.

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100 Words Paragraph on Childhood Memories

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Ans: We all get lost in childhood memories, as those were some golden days of our lives. We all remember our childhood friends, the games we played, family gatherings, and so many other beautiful memories. This young time of life is cherished by everyone, as it laid the foundation of our character. Our childhood was full of joy and happiness, without worrying about the lengthy and boring homework and any other work-related problems. It was the time of vacations, family picnics, trips and other outings with our loved ones.

Ans: Childhood memories are the golden days of our lives. Childhood days are priceless. We all love to dive into those nostalgic memories. Childhood is an important part of our lives. Childhood memories full of joy and happiness don’t guarantee a prosperous future. As a child, we all think of our futures, and now, it’s the opposite.

Ans: A person can recall their childhood memories by trying to remember sensory information or perceptions they may have had at the time, such as: looking at old photographs and videos; revisiting childhood places, like playground, grandmother’s house, etc.; taking therapies, etc.

For more information on such interesting topics, visit our essay writing page and follow Leverage Edu .

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Childhood Memories Essay

As we grow up and look back on our childhood days, some memories come back to our minds. Although we were so young, these memories are so powerful and vivid that we relive them from time to time. Whatever childhood memory is, it is these memories that guide us and help us enjoy our lives.

Since childhood is the most significant part of our lives, here is a short essay on childhood memories to help you understand their importance. Through this childhood memories essay introduction, we hope to encourage you to write down your unique memories.

Childhood Memories Essay

Experience of Childhood Memories

My most precious childhood memory is that of my parents preparing delightful snacks at home when I returned from school. Even though school is a great place to learn and play, sometimes I had bad days at school when I got into a disagreement with my friends. But good days also followed when I won art competitions and helped my classmates with their homework. Regardless of my good and bad days at school, the one thing that remained unchanged was my parents waiting patiently for me with a bowl of delicious snacks or cakes.

Then there were those moments I spent with my friends playing cricket or football in the playground. Those are among my most cherished moments because those times were really fun and enjoyable. I made so many friends and learned many lessons about patience and discipline by playing the games.

When I returned home after school, the smell of freshly baked cookies and fried snacks always enlivened me. I would look forward to eating all these delicious treats even as I would hear the last bell in the school. As soon as I reached home, I would race towards the kitchen where snacks were being prepared. But before I could see what was being made, they would make me play a small round of the ‘Guess the Snack’ game. I would have to guess what was made by the smell. I loved this little game, and I believe this is why I have a special interest in cooking and baking.

During the times I was not studying or playing, I would be in the kitchen, either helping my mother prepare food or experimenting with new recipes myself. I remember making a lemonade where I had to squeeze the juice of 3 lemons to finally make a glass. Even though my mother scolded me for creating a mess in the kitchen, this act of making something myself deeply satisfied me and made me happy. This is my fondest childhood memory, where I learned to make lemon juice, and it still brings me joy when I think about it.

Moral of the Essay

Writing a childhood memories essay in English would enable you to recall the best moments of your childhood once again. You will not know how much a particular memory remains so close to your heart until you start thinking or speaking about it. And by recollecting those memories, you will see yourself smiling and getting nostalgic about your childhood memory. Surely, it will help you forget your worries. So, try writing a short essay on childhood memories.

For an exciting range of kid-friendly learning resources, including essays, worksheets, puzzles, poems, etc., visit BYJU’s website.

Frequently Asked Questions on Childhood Memories Essay

How do you know which childhood memory is your favourite.

Whatever memory makes you the happiest and the one you wish to relive must be your favourite childhood memory.

What are the common childhood memories one has?

Usually, people remember things which they have done for the first time. For example, the first day at school, the first journey on a train/plane or the first swimming lesson.

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Memories of my Childhood

This essay about the elusive nature of childhood memories discusses the author’s personal experience with not being able to recall early life events clearly. It explores the feelings of disconnection and envy towards others who can vividly remember their pasts, while also investigating the psychological phenomenon of childhood amnesia that makes early memories inaccessible for many. The text reflects on how this lack of memories impacts the author’s sense of identity, leading to a deeper appreciation for the present moment and the importance of living mindfully. Additionally, it touches upon the significance of shared stories from family and friends in bridging the gap left by personal memory gaps, suggesting that identity can be shaped by more than just individual recollection. Through this exploration, the essay offers insights into the complexity of memory and identity formation.

How it works

Childhood memories often stand as a foundation upon which we build the narrative of our lives. These early experiences, theoretically, should shape our preferences, fears, and personalities. However, what does it mean for one’s sense of self if these memories are not just blurred but seemingly non-existent? This contemplation leads me into the depths of my own recollections, or the lack thereof, as I grapple with the realization that my childhood memories are not as accessible or vivid as they seem to be for others.

The phenomenon isn’t as rare as one might assume. Conversations with peers often lead to a shared sense of bewilderment when topics of early memories arise. It’s not a matter of traumatic experiences blocking these memories but rather a gentle haze that obscures them. This fog doesn’t discriminate by the emotional weight of the memory. Both mundane and momentous events lie beyond my cognitive reach, leaving me to wonder about the texture of my early life experiences.

The absence of these memories prompts a peculiar form of envy when I observe others recounting their childhood with clarity and affection. There’s a certain richness to their narrative of self that seems to be missing from my own. Yet, this absence also forces a different kind of introspection. It propels me to question the role of memory in shaping identity. If memories are the building blocks of our personal narratives, what happens when those blocks are missing? Are we less ourselves, or does it simply compel us to anchor our identity in the present more firmly?

The search for answers leads to an exploration of the mechanisms of memory. Memory is not a video recorder accurately capturing every moment of our lives. It is selective, reconstructive, and often fallible. Childhood amnesia, the term psychologists use to describe the general absence of memories from our early years, affects most people to varying degrees. Understanding this phenomenon sheds light on the commonality of my experience, offering comfort in the realization that the fog is a universal aspect of human memory.

This understanding prompts a shift in perspective. Instead of mourning the absence of these memories, I begin to view it as an invitation to a different kind of mindfulness. The present becomes not just a moment passing into the fog of memory but a space of acute awareness and appreciation. The relationships and experiences of now gain a heightened significance, serving as the vivid colors in the tapestry of my narrative.

Moreover, this contemplation of memory and identity brings to light the importance of shared stories. In the absence of personal memories, the stories told by family and friends become precious threads connecting me to my past. These narratives, while not remembered firsthand, form a mosaic of my early years, offering glimpses into the child I once was. They serve as reminders that while my personal recollection may be foggy, my existence in those moments was real and impactful.

In the end, the exploration of my absent childhood memories reveals a rich landscape of understanding and acceptance. It highlights the complexities of memory, the fluidity of identity, and the profound beauty of the present moment. While the early chapters of my life may remain hidden in the fog, the journey of discovery they have prompted illuminates the path forward with a newfound appreciation for the stories we live and those we tell.


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Memories Of My Childhood. (2024, Apr 07). Retrieved from

"Memories Of My Childhood." , 7 Apr 2024, (2024). Memories Of My Childhood . [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 17 May. 2024]

"Memories Of My Childhood.", Apr 07, 2024. Accessed May 17, 2024.

"Memories Of My Childhood," , 07-Apr-2024. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 17-May-2024] (2024). Memories Of My Childhood . [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 17-May-2024]

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How Our Early Childhood Memories Affect Our Present

Childhood memories can vary. There are plenty or few. We may welcome them or avoid them. They can be uplifting or shatter our spirit. Whatever our age, some childhood memories can still feel painful and real. What to do?

“What is your earliest childhood memory?” Whether you have ever been in therapy/counselling, or not, you may have come across that question. Some people have a real dislike for it. “Don’t tell me, all my problems are down to my childhood … I don’t want to talk about the past.” 

I can see the point. Our lives are too complex, our difficulties sometimes too profound to be boiled down to a memory. Yet, the question is not meant to do any of that.

Often the memory that comes to mind, can give us a clue to whatever emotional Achilles heel or vulnerable spot we may have developed and why. Sometimes we may not (consciously or unconsciously) want to remember a lot, or nothing at all comes to mind.

For the purpose of this exercise, let’s ask the question. In case you cannot think of anything, I will volunteer a personal example of one of my early childhood memories.

Let’s think of a childhood memory that can still make you feel uncomfortable and that may still hurt you today.

Let’s see what the memory is about:

who was involved,

how you interpreted it,

how it might have shaped you,

what can trigger the memory and the pain it brings,

and what we can do about it, let it go, put it to rest?

Sounds a bit ambitious and too difficult? Stick with me for a few more minutes.

One of my earliest memories is from when I was aged somewhere between 2-4. I cannot remember, neither can my parents.

I was woken up by thunder and lightning. The room was dark and I was alone. I was shouting and crying, but no one came. I was terrified. I don’t remember much more. But even now, I have a slight sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. And I feel cut off and alone.

I discussed it with my mother many times. Even now, decades later, she remembers it, too. Because I had been so upset.

What had happened?

My mother says it had been a weekday evening, probably some time between 19.00 and 21.00. My parents had gone out for an evening stroll and got caught out by the weather. They had stopped over at the local pub, waiting for the downpour to end.

I know, these days we may not leave little children alone at home. But this was the late Sixties in a small West German town. Still, part of me feels, it was wrong.

My mother tells me she struggled to settle me down again.

What sense do I make of it?

How does this affect me today and how do I deal with it?

Personally, I think this is a story and experience of abandonment . I had felt terrified and alone. No one came to make me feel safe. The people who I had bonded with (my parents) and expected to be there, they had not been there. That is a fact, a real experience.

I felt abandoned and (even as the little child) I would have tried to make sense of it. And I might have tried to take a lesson from it , so I could protect myself in the future.

Perhaps I concluded that the others are not to be trusted .

I might have thought that this had been my fault , that I am not good enough to be loved and taken care of.

I might have decided that I need to cling to the other, because they might want to leave me, and then I will end up feeling frightened again. Later on, I did develop fear around separation at nursery and at school.

At some stage I might have concluded that because others, even those closest to me, cannot be trusted, I need to be self-reliant and best look after myself.

I think my Achilles heel, based on that childhood memory and probably other episodes, is the fear of abandonment and the tendency to assume, that deep down I am better off taking care of difficult situations myself. Others will only disappoint.

In reality, I know this is not so. But sometimes I catch myself thinking as if it is exactly so, and then I behave accordingly.

What triggers childhood memories? 

For me? Not thunder and lightning or being alone in the dark. Strangely enough, I love when thunder happens at night and I love hearing the crackle of lightning.

Whether a happy or difficult memory, triggers can be anything ranging from a smell, a sound, a word, an expression, a touch, a picture, a location, a situation - anything that we have associated with that moment.

My trigger is when I feel disappointed and left alone, just at the moment when I need help most.

More often than not, I can catch the moment, when the old childhood memory with its overwhelming terror, despair and anger sets in.

I try and keep the feeling of the memory separate from the here and now. 

We need to be able to separate between the often so real feelings triggered by the childhood memory and by what is actually happening now.

If we do not do that, then there is a risk, we end up in an echo chamber , where the feelings, ideas and beliefs we have developed from the childhood memory reverberate, get reinforced and start to overwhelm us.

While this is understandable and it does happen, it makes it so much more difficult to deal with the here and now.

My mother is horrified at the idea that she might have done something wrong; that she might have hurt or even ‘damaged’ me.

I don’t blame her. What good comes of that? Nothing. I had to forgive my parents, even though they never set out to hurt me. I try not to dwell too much on it all. And I have stopped being frightened of that particular memory a long time ago.

Painful childhood memories will have influenced who we are today. There is nothing right or wrong about it. It is human and not a failure on our part, if we have them in the first place and if we feel we have not resolved them.

Blaming and feeling angry, those two feelings alone are not enough for us to understand things, work them through and take charge.

When you feel an old painful memory comes alive in you, then why not:

Let it happen.

Accept it as part of your past.

Observe how you feel and how your mind may wonder.

Try and keep the memory separate from “the now”, the current reality and situation you find yourself in, which is different from the past.

It is all the old stuff that is on a roll, like an old film or record playing in our mind and heart.

Karin blog's at Between Self And Doubt .

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Childhood Memories — Life-Changing Memories of My Early Childhood


Life-changing Memories of My Early Childhood

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essay on a vivid childhood memory

essay on a vivid childhood memory

What do your earliest childhood memories say about you?

essay on a vivid childhood memory

Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology, Macquarie University

essay on a vivid childhood memory

Lecturer Clinical Psychology, University of Wollongong

essay on a vivid childhood memory

Lecturer in Early Childhood, Macquarie University

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Penny Van Bergen has previously received funding from the Australian Research Council.

Amy Bird has received funding from the Health Research Council (New Zealand).

Rebecca Andrews does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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We experience thousands of events across childhood, and yet as adults we recall only a handful. Some might be “firsts” (our first ice cream, our first day at school), or significant life events (the birth of a sibling, moving house). Others are surprisingly trivial.

So, what do your earliest childhood memories say about you? Do they reflect your early skill for remembering, your interests, or your individual experiences?

The answer to all three questions is yes – but this is not the whole story. Although we sometimes see memory as a video camera, recording our lives accurately and without bias, this is a myth .

Instead, our childhood memories are intricately shaped by our family and culture.

Read more: What outcomes parents should expect from early childhood education and care

essay on a vivid childhood memory

Our first memories

If you can’t remember life as an infant, you’re not alone.

As adults looking back to childhood, we cannot typically recall anything before age 3-4 years . This phenomenon is known as infantile amnesia .

Although some individuals report very early memories of being walked in their pram as a baby, or falling asleep in a cot, these memories are likely to be fictional .

One of the most important developments for the onset of memory is language. Research shows that language is needed not just for sharing our experiences, but for encoding them.

For example, young children invited to use a fictional “magic shrinking machine” could only recall this one year later if they had the appropriate vocabulary at the time of the event.

essay on a vivid childhood memory

We also know that bilingual adults who immigrated as children recall early memories in the language they spoke at the time the memory was formed.

In addition to language, children must also develop a coherent sense of self, or of “who I am”. This emerging development allows them to pin events to a personal story that is continuous across time. The sense that “this happened” develops into a deeper understanding that “this happened to me”.

Read more: Learning languages early is key to making Australia more multilingual

Family factors

While the development of language and sense of self enable our earliest childhood memories to form, family factors shape their contents.

Within families, parents reminisce with their children multiple times a day – reliving family holidays, for example, or bonding over sibling hijinks, or reflecting on past transgressions to discuss the lessons learned. Interestingly, however, there are strong individual differences in the way they do so.

essay on a vivid childhood memory

Some parents use a highly “elaborative” reminiscing style : asking questions and providing event detail and structure in a way that scaffolds and encourages the child’s own contribution. Others are less elaborative.

Some parents also focus particularly on emotional content (“She was really sad! Why did she start crying?”), while others focus more on factual details.

These individual differences have important implications, with children eventually coming to adopt the personalised style of their parents: first during shared reminiscing conversations, and later in their own independent memories .

Read more: Parents can promote gender equality and help prevent violence against women. Here's how

What style of parent are you?

Here’s an example of a conversation between a highly elaborative mother and her pre-school aged child.

Mother: You and Daddy put the Christmas tree up together, and then you put on decorations! What decorations did you put on?

Child: Um… the Christmas balls!

Mother: That’s right! Daddy bought Christmas balls and stars to hang on the tree. What colours were they?

Child: Red and gold.

Mother: Red and gold. Pretty red balls, and gold stars.

Child: And there was the paper circles too.

In contrast, below is a conversation between a less elaborative mother and her preschool aged child.

Mother: I’m going to ask you about your preschool Christmas concert. Was that good?

Child: Yeah

Mother: What happened there?

Child: Dad came

Mother: Yes, but what happened?

Child: I don’t know.

essay on a vivid childhood memory

Broader family structures and experiences also play a role. In Italy, children growing up in intergenerational households tend to have both earlier childhood memories and more childhood memories than children growing up in traditional nuclear families. This probably occurs due to more opportunities to engage in rich and elaborative reminiscing conversations.

In contrast, parents and children experiencing depression may show a tendency for “ overgeneral memory ” – that is, difficulty recalling specific memory details. Poorer quality parent-child reminiscing is related to overgeneral memory among three- to six-year-olds.

Read more: Essays on health: Australia is failing new parents with conflicting advice – it's urgent we get it right

Cultural factors

Just as our earliest childhood memories reflect our reminiscing conversations with our parents and our overarching family experiences, they also appear to reflect broader cultural practices and norms.

Consistent with the “individualist” values of Western culture, American college students’ earliest childhood memories are typically long, specific and self-focused.

Consistent with the “collectivist” values of Chinese culture, Chinese students’ earliest childhood memories are typically brief, and more likely to reference social responsibilities.

essay on a vivid childhood memory

American mothers are also more likely than Chinese mothers to focus on their child’s own personal emotional experiences when remembering together, and it is likely that these early parent-child conversations serve as a mechanism for imparting cultural norms.

Read more: How children's picturebooks can disrupt existing language hierarchies

In New Zealand, where Māori culture includes a rich oral tradition in which stories are shared across generations, Māori mothers have been found to reminisce differently to Pākehā (European New Zealand) mothers about important life events. When talking with their children about their own birth stories, for example, Māori mothers include more elaborations, more references to emotion, and more references to relational time.

Interestingly, Māori also have the earliest average age of first memory on record. At 2.5, these earliest memories occur a full year earlier than in some other groups.

So the research is clear: our earliest childhood memories are intricately shaped by our experiences within our own families and cultures.

The process of memory formation is nothing like a video camera.

essay on a vivid childhood memory

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Essay on Childhood Memory

Childhood memories are the treasures of our past, encapsulating moments of pure joy, unbridled innocence, and the simplest yet most profound experiences of life. These memories, vivid and colorful, are imprinted on the canvas of our minds, forming the foundation of our identity and influencing our journey into adulthood. This essay delves into the essence of childhood memories, exploring their significance, the psychological underpinnings, and the impact they have on our lives.

The Essence of Childhood Memories

Childhood is a magical time when everything seems possible, and every day is a new adventure waiting to unfold. It is a period characterized by first experiences—the first day of school, the first best friend, the first bike ride without training wheels, and the first taste of independence. These experiences, though seemingly mundane, are monumental in the life of a child, offering lessons, joys, and sorrows that shape their understanding of the world.

One of my most cherished childhood memories is of summer vacations spent at my grandparents’ house in the countryside. The early morning dew on the grass, the chorus of the birds at dawn, and the warmth of the rising sun bring back a flood of emotions. My days were filled with endless exploration of the fields, playing with my siblings and cousins from dawn till dusk, and the nights were about listening to my grandmother’s tales. This memory, rich in detail and emotion, exemplifies the purity and simplicity of childhood—a time when happiness was found in the smallest of things.

Psychological Perspective on Childhood Memories

Psychologically, childhood memories play a crucial role in cognitive and emotional development. According to psychologist Erik Erikson, childhood is a series of stages, each with its challenges and milestones. The experiences we have during these stages, and the memories we form, contribute to our sense of self and our emotional resilience. Positive childhood memories, especially those involving strong bonds with caregivers, can foster a sense of security and self-esteem that benefits individuals throughout their lives.

Moreover, childhood memories serve as a reference point for our emotions and relationships. They influence our likes, dislikes, fears, and aspirations. The joy experienced in playing a team sport, for instance, might inspire a lifelong passion for teamwork and collaboration, while overcoming a fear might instill a sense of courage and adventure.

The Impact of Childhood Memories on Adult Life

The impact of childhood memories extends far into adulthood, shaping our personality, behavior, and choices. Positive memories can lead to a more optimistic outlook on life, resilience in the face of challenges, and a deeper appreciation for relationships and experiences. Conversely, traumatic childhood memories can have long-lasting effects, necessitating healing and coping mechanisms to overcome their impact.

Childhood memories also influence our parenting style, career choices, and hobbies. For example, someone who enjoyed exploring nature as a child might be inclined towards careers in environmental science or outdoor education. Similarly, fond memories of cooking with a parent might inspire a love for culinary arts.

Preserving Childhood Memories

In today’s fast-paced world, where digital distractions often replace real-world exploration, the essence of childhood is at risk of being diluted. It is crucial for parents, educators, and society as a whole to create environments and opportunities for children to make meaningful memories. Encouraging outdoor play, fostering creativity, celebrating small achievements, and spending quality family time are ways to ensure that the children of today have a treasure trove of memories to look back on.

Furthermore, documenting childhood through photographs, journals, and family traditions can help preserve these memories, allowing them to be revisited and cherished for years to come. These tangible mementos serve as a bridge to the past, connecting generations and keeping the essence of childhood alive.

In conclusion, Childhood memories are not just remnants of our past; they are the building blocks of our identity, shaping our perceptions, beliefs, and emotional well-being. They remind us of a time when joy was found in simplicity, relationships were unguarded, and the world was a playground of possibilities. As we navigate the complexities of adult life, these memories serve as a beacon of hope, a source of comfort, and a reminder of the fundamental truths about happiness and fulfillment.


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Selected Essays/My Childhood Memories

Childhood memories are the sweetest things in a human mind. Nobody can forget one’s childhood memories whether pleasant or painful. When I think back about my childhood, many vivid memories spring to my mind. Some are pleasant while some are painful.

Regardless of the quality I attach to these memories, they constitute the early experiences of my life and they help to make me the person that I am today. “Sweet childish days, there were as long as twenty days are now” aptly said William Wordsworth.

The most vivid memory that I have is about the time I fell from a coconut tree. Though I fell from about three feet, I dislocated my elbow. I can still recall the process of falling and the immense pain and discomfort afterwards. I was about five at that time. The accident makes me extra careful whenever I climb a tree now. A repetition of a bad experience is definitely not welcomed.

As I grew older, I remember sitting sidesaddle on the horizontal bar of my elder brother’s bicycle while he pedaled us towards a small farm nearby. There we would feed ourselves on the way back. I had to watch out for the police because my brother told me that I if ere to caught riding sidesaddle, the police would arrest me and put me in jail. Now I know that he was just frightening me to be on the alert. He was too lazy to watch out for the police himself. Even this small fear had some kind of enjoyment.

My elder brother taught me many things. I learned to make flyable kites and spinning tops. In addition, we would go around fishing. Catching fish had its ups and downs. Ups when we managed to catch a small amount of fish, and downs when we ourselves became the victims of water leeches. Ugh! Just thinking of them now makes me feel creepy. We learned to respect the living creatures in the countryside.

No single living being rules nature. We are the hunters and the haunted at the same time. The most important thing is to recognise our position. Or to put it better in George Eliot’s words: “We could never have loved the Earth so well if we had no childhood in it.”

The pleasure of outdoor games in all kinds of weather, getting wet in the rain or soaking with sand, can never come back again. The golden days were tension free and care free from all sorts of duties and responsibilities. Even the fights had its own charms.

Each game played, each activity performed taught a unique lesson of life. Ironically as a child, I always wanted to grow up fast, now that I am growing and had grown up I want to be a child again and relive everything. Later on my elder brother went overseas for further studies. I miss him but fortunately I had a group of fiends living in the neighbourhood. We would play all sorts of games and go exploring all sorts of places. We were lucky to live at the fringe of town where the natural surroundings were not destroyed yet.

Now the streams and farm are gone, the victims of polluted drain was one a stream of cool clear water, brimming with life. No longer can we hear the call of the birds and animals. Instead, we hear impatient blast of car horns and the roar of bulldozers churning up the once beautiful land.

I mourn the destruction of the living bountiful land and the subsequent erection of nameless houses all arranged in neat sterile rows. I wonder what sort of childhood memories that children living in these houses will have. Especially in this technological world, the glory and enjoyment of outdoors games seems completely lost for these children.

As years rolled by, my friends and I grew up. Most of them have left the neighbourhood for more lucrative jobs I in the big cities. Some of us remained over here. We have lost our childhood. We are like stranger to one another now, for we have our separate lives to life. The only thing that binds us together is the fact that we share the same childhood memories, memories that we will always treasure.

essay on a vivid childhood memory

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Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.

What Your Most Vivid Memories Say About You

How self-defining memories shape your identity..

Posted November 20, 2012 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan

  • Self-defining memories are the stories that we integrate into our sense of self. They are most easily remembered and emotionally intense.
  • One study found that older adults tended to feel more positively about their self-defining memories, even if they were of negative events.
  • Many studies suggest that suggest that it’s not the event, but the meaning you make out of the event, that affects your sense of well-being. 

In many ways, our memories define our sense of self. You are able to have a sense of identity because you know that you are the same person you were yesterday and will undoubtedly be the same person tomorrow. In its most basic form, your identity is the recognition that you are “Mary,” and not “Anne.”

You first become aware of your own identity early in life, perhaps as young as 18 months, when you recognize that the toddler you see in the mirror is really you, and not another child. As you progress through childhood and into adolescence , you start to develop a cohesive set of schemas, or views, about your identity. These include ideas about how your body looks and performs, your abilities and personality , your place in society, and the way you believe you are perceived by other people.

By the time we reach adolescence, we should have carved out at least a tentative sense of identity. Between adolescence and early adulthood, we refine this identity as we explore different options with regard to our roles and values. We also start to develop a vision of our future life, or what I call the “scenario.” As events unfold in our lives, we then start to create our own first-person accounts about the events we have encountered, or what I call the “life story.”

Recognizing our self-defining memories

Our identities become shaped by our life stories as we gradually incorporate the memories of the events in our lives into our sense of self (Whitbourne, 1985). The most important of these, the “self-defining memories,” are the ones that we remember most vividly and that contribute most heavily to our overall sense of self. A self-defining memory is also easily remembered, and emotionally intense. In some cases, these memories represent ongoing themes that we play out over and over again in our lives.

Learning to recognize your own self-defining memories can help you gain important insights into your identity. The easiest way to find out your own self-defining memories is by thinking about the events in your life that you are most likely to tell people about when they say “Tell me a little about yourself.” Chances are that you’ll start by saying something about your job status, interests, relationships, and favorite things to do. As the conversation unfolds, you’ll probably elaborate with a few anecdotes that illustrate these facts about yourself and your life.

The anecdotes that bubble up to the top of your memory are likely to contain at least some elements of your self-defining memories. It’s quite likely that you’ll try to avoid the TMI effect (“too much information”), especially when you’re meeting a stranger. However, the deeper memories that these anecdotes tap into are the ones that most likely will fit the criteria for being self-defining.

Measuring self-defining memories

The formal measure of self-defining memories, developed by Blagov and Singer (2004), involves two steps. First, participants list the 5-10 memories from their own experience that are the most important, most vivid, carry the most emotional meaning, are linked to other memories, and tend to be thought about the most often. Then they ask participants to rate these memories along a set of emotional dimensions. You can take a simplified version of this test by generating one or two (though you could do 5) memories of vivid and important events from your life. Then you can rate them according to these 3 criteria:

  • Specificity: A highly specific memory refers to one event that had a relatively brief duration (such as a particularly enjoyable evening with friends). A nonspecific memory describes a lengthy episode (such as the prolonged illness of a relative). A generic memory refers to a set of similar events that happen repeatedly (such as yearly family picnics).
  • Meaning : An integrative memory is one in which you make meaning out of an event (such as growing emotionally following the death of a relative). A nonintegrative memory is one that you haven’t particularly interpreted for yourself or seen yourself as growing from.
  • Emotions : A positive memory is one that makes you feel happy, proud, and interested. A negative memory makes you feel sad, angry, fearful, shamed, disgusted, guilty, embarrassed, and contemptuous.

As you look at these memories, you probably notice that they fall into specific content areas. The typical areas that people mention include relationships, mortality (life-threatening events), leisure, and achievement or mastery. However, because self-defining memories are a fluid part of your identity, constantly changing as you experience more events, the content of your self-defining memories may vary according to your age and current life concerns.

essay on a vivid childhood memory

Positive vs. negative self-defining memories

In an intriguing study, Connecticut College psychologist Jefferson Singer and his colleagues (2007) compared older adults with college students on self-defining memories. They found that older adults tended to come up with more general memories that linked several events together and that, in general, older adults tended to feel more positively about their self-defining memories, even if the memories were of events that were negative in nature. These findings fit with other lines of research suggesting that older adults have found ways to make sense out of their life stories. They convert memories of troubling events into stories of redemption in which they make peace with their past struggles. For younger adults, events of a negative nature had more rough edges, causing them to experience greater distress when they recalled them.

A self-defining memory does not have to be positive in order for you to grow from it. In fact, many studies that look at these so-called “narratives” that people construct out of their lives suggest that it’s not the event, but the meaning you make out of the event, that affects your sense of well-being. This means that the more you are able to talk about the meaning you derived from an event, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to grow and elaborate your sense of identity. On the other hand, the less specific your memories, the more likely it is that whatever is causing you to forget those details may also be inhibiting your growth. For example, none of us likes to think of events in which we acted in ways that now cause us to feel ashamed. Perhaps you had far too much to drink at a family event and made a fool out of yourself in front of your nearest and dearest. By trying to find the meaning in this event (you realized that you need to cut back on your alcohol use and did), you can integrate that event into your life story rather than pretending it didn’t happen at all.

In a future post, I plan to discuss the neurological underpinnings of these self-defining memories, and how your thoughts of the past shape your ability to think about the future. For now, however, figuring out your self-defining memories is an important step in coping with your life experiences. By recognizing and making sense out of past events, your identity can continue to grow and enhance your self-esteem and happiness , both now, and in the future.

Copyright Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. 2012

Blagov, P. S., & Singer, J. A. (2004). Four Dimensions of Self-Defining Memories (Specificity, Meaning, Content, and Affect) and Their Relationships to Self-Restraint, Distress, and Repressive Defensiveness. Journal of Personality , 72 (3), 481-511. doi:10.1111/j.0022-3506.2004.00270.x

Singer, J., Rexhaj, B., & Baddeley, J. (2007). Older, wiser, and happier? Comparing older adults' and college students' self-defining memories. Memory , 15 (8), 886-898. doi:10.1080/09658210701754351

Whitbourne, S. K.(1985).The psychological construction of the life span.In J. E. Birren & K. W. Schaie (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of aging , 2nd Ed.New York:VanNostrand Reinhold.

Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.

Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. , is a Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her latest book is The Search for Fulfillment.

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Describe a Childhood Memory [IELTS Speaking Part 2]

Posted by David S. Wills | Oct 18, 2021 | IELTS Tips , Speaking | 0

Describe a Childhood Memory [IELTS Speaking Part 2]

In part 2 of the IELTS speaking test, you could be asked to describe many different things – people , places , prizes , plants , animals , and so on. Today, we are going to look at a cue card that asks you to describe a childhood memory .

In this lesson, I will show you some useful language, talk a little about structure, and give you my sample answer along with a little feedback on what makes it successful.

Cue Card – Describe a Childhood Memory

Whenever you are given an IELTS speaking cue card, you should try to quickly read it and identify the thing you are supposed to talk about. Here’s our cue card for today:

Describe a childhood memory you have. You should say: – what it is – how old you were then – what happened and explain what effect this has had on your life.

It is not a particularly difficult one, but let’s look at the key information. Basically, you have to talk about a childhood memory. That means something that happened to you in your childhood. This could be almost anything… as long as you remember it. It could be an event or something someone said to you, for example. It could be a happy one, a sad one, or almost any other kind.

The cue card does, however, mention one thing that might be important. It says “explain what effect this has had on your life.” Well, you could potentially give a great answer and then say “it has had no impact on my life,” but it might be easier to talk about something that was significant, so consider that when making your choice.

Most of us have lots of memories and it might be difficult to choose, but remember that we should pick quickly because we only have one minute to prepare. I talked about strategies for succeeding in speaking part 2 in the video up below. You might find it helpful in giving better answers for this part of the test.

Language for Describing Childhood Memories

There is a lot of language you would need to know when talking about children, but what is most important is that you tailor this language to your specific memory. You’re not being asked to talk generally about children in this question, so you don’t need to worry about the distinction between a toddler, a pre-teen, and an adolescent, for example.

childhood stages vocabulary

Instead, think of your own memory and the words and phrases you would need to describe that. Even though the topic appears to be childhood, if you are going to describe a trip to the zoo, for example, it would be more important to know vocabulary about animals. If you wanted to talk about going to a theme park, then the words you used would need to incorporate some of that specific language.

What is perhaps most important is having a variety of words to talk about memories. Whilst maybe it is easier to think about childhood, this question is not about being a child but rather about a single memory. Thus, phrases might come in handy:

  • lasting impression – something that affected you deeply
  • takes me back – makes me recall something from the past
  • (something) escapes me – I can’t quite remember
  • flooding back – to suddenly remember in great detail

You could talk about your memory having a lasting impression on you. or you could say that something takes you back – meaning to make you feel as though you are in the past once again. You might say that something escapes you if you cannot remember it and the opposite of that would be flooding back.

Learn more childhood vocabulary for IELTS here . You might also want to take a look at the CDC guide to child development if you really want general vocabulary about childhood. The MacMillan dictionary also has a good page on language for talking about memories.

Most importantly, though, you need a range of tenses. Talking about childhood obviously requires looking into the past, and often requires telling stories. To do this with accuracy, you need to be able to differentiate between times in the past. Look at this story:

I remember coming home from school one time and seeing my brother covered in mud in the garden. He had been playing with the hose while mum and dad were out. I helped him get cleaned up, but he had gotten mud everywhere and it wasn’t easy. When mum and dad got home, they quickly figured out what had happened, but they found it funny. We still laugh about it today.

Notice how the verb tenses help tell the order of events. Some of these actions occur now in the present (remember, laugh) and others at various points in the past. By saying “had been playing”, we mark this action as occurring before “coming home from school.”

Most IELTS candidates fixate on learning new vocabulary because it is easier and they think it will help them get a better score, but it is important to master verb tenses because without these you cannot present any sort of accurate meaning.  Anyway, let’s take a look now at my sample band 9 answer:

Sample Band 9 Answer – Describe a Childhood Memory

When I was about eight years old, my family took a trip to a beach on the other side of the country. It was a small holiday resort that we sometimes visited. We stayed in a caravan near this beautiful horse-shoe-shaped bay, and all day I’d play in the sand. Most of the time we were together as a family. We would play games on the beach and have picnics, but it was too cold to ever go swimming. Sometimes I would play on my own. I especially loved looking in rock pools for fish and crabs and other sea life. I don’t know why, but it fascinated me back then.

On one occasion, I caught loads of crabs in my bucket and when it was time to go back to the caravan at the end of the day, my mum and dad told me I should put the crabs back into the water. I was really upset because, being a small child, I wanted to keep them. However, they eventually convinced me that if I kept them then they’d die and so it was best to put them back in the sea, where they’d be happy. I always look back on that time fondly. Those were wonderful, carefree days with my family, and I learned an important lesson that day that has served me well in life. It is important not to be selfish and to consider the feelings of others when making decisions– even if they are animals.

Notes on the Answer

essay on a vivid childhood memory

Note that I did not answer each part of the cue card in order but I did give it a logical order so that the listener would be taken through the story naturally and sensibly. I began in a pretty simple way, which is to say “When I was about eight years old…” This helps locate the memory in time for the listener but also makes it easy for me to continue.

I guided the story from one point to the next, letting my own memories take me logically from one thing to the next and finally brought it to a conclusion, which was showing how the past affected my life.

In terms of vocabulary, you can see that I have used language that is specific to the beach, where my story was set. I said things like “horse-shoe-shaped bay,” which is nice and descriptive. I talked about the things we did there and even things we did not do – like swimming because the water was too cold. My main idea was about sea life, so I made sure to incorporate specific language related to that – rock pools, bucket, crabs, etc. There is nothing fancy here. This is just an English test – not an entrance exam for marine biologists!

Finally, let’s take two sentences from near the end, when I began to wrap up my answer. In this sentence, I started with the past simple tense to talk about the time I remembered, then switched over to the present perfect to tie this to the present moment. In the final sentence, I wanted to explain the lesson learned, so I switched to the present simple tense. Remember that vocabulary is great, but accuracy with grammar is also of the utmost importance.

Ok, that’s all folks! If you want to describe a childhood memory, then post it as a comment below. I’ll try to read and reply to each one.

About The Author

David S. Wills

David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural Cambodia and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. David has worked in many different countries, and for several years designed a writing course for the University of Worcester. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing and he has since written two other books about IELTS. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.

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Student Opinion

What Activities or Hobbies Do You Do With Your Family?

Do you cook, play games or watch sports? How has spending this time together shaped your relationship?

Priya Krishna and Ritu Krishna stand in a doorway. Priya is dressed in a sari and her mother is dressed in jeans and a blouse.

By Shannon Doyne

Is there an activity or hobby you like to do with your family, or with one family member in particular, such as your mother, a sibling, a cousin, a grandparent or an uncle?

Do you cook together? Play board games? Listen to music? Watch sports?

If not, is there an activity you’d like to start doing with your family?

In the essay “ I Didn’t Truly Know My Mother Until I Cooked With Her ,” the New York Times food reporter and cookbook author Priya Krishna writes about early memories of being in the kitchen with her mother and what it has meant to her. She begins:

My mother and I were not the “Gilmore Girls.” Growing up, I didn’t open up to her about the people I had crushes on, the friend groups that were on the outs or who was invited to whose bat mitzvah. But I did help her cook. Every day, when she came home from the office, I’d set up my textbooks on the kitchen island and pretend to do my homework, while really, I was gazing at my mother, the inimitable Ritu Krishna, as she deftly sizzled spices in ghee and smacked the valve of the pressure cooker closed with a spoon when it whistled. Partway through her cooking, I’d be summoned to wash chiles, chop cilantro or taste the food for salt. We are opposites, my mother and I. Where she is poised, classy and no-nonsense, I am goofy, outgoing, a people pleaser. My whole childhood, we struggled to find common ground. We weren’t just from different generations. My mother was an immigrant from India; I was an American kid trying to navigate the world without a language to understand my identity. It was also very intimidating to have a mother who wakes up looking as if she just got a blowout, who is deeply admired by all her friends and co-workers, and who doesn’t wear deodorant because she, in her own words, “doesn’t smell.” I didn’t know how I would ever live up to the standards she set for me, let alone for herself. But when she cooked, she was at her most accessible — changed out of whatever fashionable outfit she had worn that day, her hair pulled back with a clip, bobbing her head to Abba or Strunz and Farah as she nursed a glass of wine. In the kitchen, our relationship hummed. On my birthday, we would make a chocolate cake from a Betty Crocker dessert cookbook together, decorating the top with rose petals and doilies. When I was gifted a children’s cookbook with a recipe for “green spaghetti” ( pesto ) — we made it one night and marveled at what would become our new favorite pasta sauce.

She also reflects on how cooking together shaped their relationship:

I don’t think I realized it at the time, but cooking was one of the few ways we could really understand each other. As I got older, I became only more angsty, more rebellious, more frustrated by our generational and cultural differences. Yet I still wanted to cook alongside her, and she still wanted my company in the kitchen. Maybe she didn’t get the social significance of a grand prom-posal , and maybe I didn’t get why she wouldn’t let me drive with music on, but we both understood that this pot of beans would be greatly enhanced with a drizzle of tamarind chutney and a fistful of chopped red onion. I was socialized to want a mother who was my best friend. Instead, I got one who awed, inspired and slightly terrified me. It took me a long time to appreciate her for who she is. But our path to mutual appreciation was paved in the kitchen. There’s something about cooking together — doing menial, repetitive tasks like washing vegetables or measuring spices (not that my mother did any measuring) — that makes conversation and connection easier. It lowers the stakes.

Students, read the entire essay and then tell us:

Does anything in the essay remind you of an activity or hobby you do with a family member or another special person in your life? If so, how has it shaped your relationship? Do you feel closer to the person because of this time you spend together? What have you learned from and about one another through this activity?

Tell us about one specific memory of doing that activity with that person. Be vivid in your description and use sensory details. What does this moment mean to you, looking back on it now?

If you don’t have a shared interest or hobby with a family member, is there something you’ve wanted to try, or get more into? Can you think of someone in your family who might be interested in learning or trying out the activity with you?

Ms. Krishna writes of her mother, “I don’t think I realized it at the time, but cooking was one of the few ways we could really understand each other.” She also notes that it was hard to find common ground with her mother when she was younger. Have you ever felt something similar? Do you sometimes find it hard to connect with your parents? What, if anything, have you found that has helped you bond? What advice would you give to someone else in this position?

As you know, Ms. Krishna went on to become a food writer. Do you think that any of your current interests, hobbies, activities or pursuits could be something you do for life, perhaps even as your career?

Does the essay you just read make you want to get in the kitchen to cook or bake? If so, who do you want there with you? Do you know how to cook and bake? If you do, who taught you?

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public and may appear in print.

Find more Student Opinion questions here. Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate these prompts into your classroom.


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