The happiest childhood memories have been revealed!

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  • 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.’

    ice cream van

    Credit: Photofusion/REX/Shutterstock

    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 

    1. Christmas dinner
    2. Going to the beach
    3. Going to your grandparent’s house
    4. Hearing the ice-cream van music
    5. Playing in the park
    6. Getting pocket money
    7. Buying penny sweets from the village shop
    8. Learning to ride a bike
    9. Playing playground games
    10. Getting a pet
    11. Pick ‘n’ mix sweets
    12. Buying your first album/single
    13. Building sandcastles
    14. Counting down the days until the summer holidays
    15. Playing conkers
    16. Climbing a tree
    17. School dinners
    18. School sports days
    19. Your first crush
    20. Fish and chips on the beach
    21. Listening to your favourite song on repeat ’til you get bored
    22. Caravan family holidays
    23. Blowing out the candles on a birthday cake
    24. Skimming stones
    25. Swimming lessons
    26. Singing hymns
    27. Searching through rock pools
    28. Sitting cross-legged in assemblies
    29. Learning to read
    30. Going out with your friends for the first time without your parents
    31. Sleepovers at a friend’s house
    32. Being in the school play
    33. Catching frogs, newts, tadpoles in a pond
    34. First day of secondary school
    35. Family holidays abroad
    36. Spelling tests
    37. Flying a kite
    38. Watching films that were above your age rating
    39. Being read a bedtime story
    40. Winning an award
    41. Your first time on an aeroplane
    42. Painting/arts and crafts
    43. Bath time
    44. Jumping in puddles
    45. Finding a rope swing in the woods
    46. Buying a school uniform
    47. Going to theme parks
    48. Playing with leaves
    49. Going to church
    50. Handwriting lessons