The memories you make with your children now will stay with them forever.
Creating happy memories for our kids is one of the best things about being a parent. And new research suggests it could also be one of the most important things we can do, because our fondest and most vivid childhood memories can stick with us for a lifetime.
So why not be inspired by the childhood memories that have stuck in your own mind and recreate some of those happy experiences for your own kids this weekend?
A new survey of 2,000 UK adults has revealed the top 50 most common childhood memories. Heartwarmingly, family memories have taken the top three spots, with Christmas dinner in first place, closely followed by going to the beach and visiting grandparents.
‘Memory is a tricky and unreliable thing, but those earliest recollections from our childhood can also be the strongest and most vivid,’ said a spokesperson for Heathrow, who commissioned the research.
‘It is encouraging to see that bright and positive experiences like your first Christmas or time on a sunny beach with your family are the experiences which stick with us as we get older.
‘For parents, this should act as an incentive to ensure your child has these kinds of memorable experiences – they will stick with them for a lifetime.’
As well as going to he beach, memories like building sandcastles, eating fish and chips on the beach, hearing the ice cream van music and counting down the days until the summer holidays also made the top 10.
‘This research shows that precious times on a sunny beach with family are some of the most important experiences that stick with us as we get older,’ said Heathrow’s Ross Baker.
70 per cent of parents agreed that they had tried to recreate similar memories for their own children.
The South West was one of the most popular holiday destinations linked with happy childhood memories. The research was timed to coincide with the launch of a new Flybe service from Heathrow to Cornwall Airport Newquay.
‘We hope that it provides parents with opportunities to ensure their children have similar experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime,’ said Ross.
Home or away, getting out in the fresh air seems to help lay the foundations for lasting memories: playing in the park, learning to ride a bike and playing playground games also made the top 10, while climbing trees and playing conkers snuck into the top 20.
Here’s the full list
- Christmas dinner
- Going to the beach
- Going to your grandparent’s house
- Hearing the ice-cream van music
- Playing in the park
- Getting pocket money
- Buying penny sweets from the village shop
- Learning to ride a bike
- Playing playground games
- Getting a pet
- Pick ‘n’ mix sweets
- Buying your first album/single
- Building sandcastles
- Counting down the days until the summer holidays
- Playing conkers
- Climbing a tree
- School dinners
- School sports days
- Your first crush
- Fish and chips on the beach
- Listening to your favourite song on repeat ’til you get bored
- Caravan family holidays
- Blowing out the candles on a birthday cake
- Skimming stones
- Swimming lessons
- Singing hymns
- Searching through rock pools
- Sitting cross-legged in assemblies
- Learning to read
- Going out with your friends for the first time without your parents
- Sleepovers at a friend’s house
- Being in the school play
- Catching frogs, newts, tadpoles in a pond
- First day of secondary school
- Family holidays abroad
- Spelling tests
- Flying a kite
- Watching films that were above your age rating
- Being read a bedtime story
- Winning an award
- Your first time on an aeroplane
- Painting/arts and crafts
- Bath time
- Jumping in puddles
- Finding a rope swing in the woods
- Buying a school uniform
- Going to theme parks
- Playing with leaves
- Going to church
- Handwriting lessons