Giveaway: This is Kids’ Stuff

5th April 2011

Hank’s school had an auction benefit a little while ago, and I asked some Internet friends for donations. As a thank you to the folks who donated, I thought I’d do some giveaways here as well.

Wee Wood of the Month Club from Little Alouette

These pretty wooden toys and teethers feel good in the hand, encourage imaginative play, and aren’t finished with paint or varnish that will make your baby ill. Bonus. Some toys are unfinished, others finished only with a light coat of organic flax seed oil, so all the toys are utterly chewable.

Strongman from Dria Peterson

Dria Peterson’s handmade strongman protects your little one from nightmares, and encourages him or her to hang out with carnies.

Happy Trails Felt Doll Journal from Suzy Ultman

If you kept a journal as a kid, you know the pleasure of paging back through your gift wishlists, childhood heartbreaks, and lemonade stand earnings. This diary doesn’t have a lock, which saves parents the trouble of picking it.

Hand-Knit Pony from Woolies

This tiny hand-knit pony is just right for chubby little fists. Twice the appeal of My Little Pony, with none of the offgassing.

Play Scarves from Birch Leaf Designs

Simple play scarves to use as capes, forts, or baby doll blankets.

A Leaf Puzzle from Just Hatched

This handmade wooden puzzle has the names of the tree behind each corresponding leaf. Yeah. Your kid is gonna be smarter than you.

Letter Flashcards from Pollywog Learning Products

Tactile letter flashcards are made to help little ones trace the letters with their fingers. The letters are fashioned from sandpaper with a starting-point dot on each. Literacy! Hells yes.

Please leave a comment with your favorite childhood memory to enter, and please only enter once. I’ll announce the winner on Monday. Tune in next week for a science toys giveaway, and big thanks to all the artists and merchants for their donations.

336 thoughts on “Giveaway: This is Kids’ Stuff

  1. rebecca

    spending the summer at my grandfather’s house in the country – we would go swimming in the lake everyday!

  2. NicoleT

    My favorite childhood memory – riding on the back of the haywagon at my grandma’s farm, swinging my legs back and forth, chewing on a piece of timothy grass, on the way out to “do” hay. [seriously, this was my life…]

    [p.s. we have the hippo rattle/teether from Little Alouette (which is located in our town of Columbus OH), and our baby LOVES it. It definitely is a good alternative to him chewing on the coffee table. And yes, he did that.]

  3. Meadow

    Every single night (and most days) my little girl ask me to tell her stories about when I was little. Which has forced me to remember stories about when I was little. My favorite was hanging my doll clothes out on the rack my dad made for me. We may have to get a little clothes rack this year.

    Also, science toys!

  4. robyn

    oh, in september our wee little will be here, and i’d love to gift these to him/her!

    my favorite childhood memory? holding my brother for the first time. i was twelve and he was born 2 months premature. i had to wait a month to hold him, and i’ll NEVER forget it!

  5. Gennie

    Oooh – love this! Fourth of July fireworks as seen from my grandparents’ dock. This was a tradition until I was in my 30s and I miss it.

  6. Sarah

    My babysitter let me choose one vegetable of my very own to plant in her garden one summer. The amount of pride I felt tending to my Swiss Chard was unbeatable.

  7. Marta

    My favourite childhood memory is that of my father play-massaging my back after bath. He would spray a little fresh kiddie cologne and do light clapping and topping on my back, arms and legs. I can relive the feeling of cleanliness, freshness and smelling great.

  8. Bea

    Grandpa pushing me on the giant swing hung from a tree in the woods behind their house, going so high he’d run underneath as he pushed. Nothing in the world feels quite like that.

  9. Jessica

    Playing made up games with my brothers in our backyard and making elaborate sand castle/water trails in our huge sand box.

  10. Gillian

    My grandparents lived on an acre of land in the country, in an old farmhouse with an apple orchard. My siblings and cousins and I used to creep into the neighbouring farmer’s field and create pathways and forts for ourselves in the long grasses (or whatever was growing – I’ve never been particularly bucolic), well hidden from adult eyes. Just as well we were hidden, I’m not sure what the farmer must have thought about his field being crushed down to the ground.

  11. Jessi

    My favorite ever? That’s way too hard. I’ll just pick one of my faves to share.

    I have a very vivid memory of going to see fireworks with my family when I was really young. I was laying on my Dad’s lap and watching the explosions and thinking “Life is really great!” I was so young but so content.

  12. Beks

    I used to hide in my grandmothers drained pond from my brother and cousins so I could read.

  13. Leonora

    One great memory is making mud pies in our side yard…being the girly girl I am now, I don’t know how I stood being covered in muck but it was a blast!!

  14. Alicia

    My first memory: standing on the stairs in my pjs and pink robe, listening to my parents and brother make breakfast in the kitchen. The sunlight was warm, their laughter was sweet and I remember feeling very happy…

  15. Lenore

    My favorite childhood memory is summer Saturdays when I was a kid — pancakes for breakfast, then with my whole family, then home for hamburgers on the grill. Love!

  16. Kate

    Oh everything is so gorgeous, but in particular I LOVE the leaf puzzle, it’s beautiful.

    My favourite childhood memory would be hanging out with my siblings and singing along to our favourite movies – The Sound of Music and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

    Thanks for the chance!

  17. Quin

    My best memories are of running wild with my cousins on my grandfather’s sheep farm. We had the run of the place during summer weekends: 50 acres in which to bury pirate treasures (and make maps for younger cousins to unearth them), feed lambs, climb trees, re-enact fairy tales, collect bugs, and build forts. I still love the musty, sweet smell of old barns.

  18. ame

    My mom used to set aside special time every night for us to snuggle on the love-seat together. We weren’t a particularly *huggy* family, so this affection was very special and I’m pretty sure it taught me how to be affectionate today! Special place in my heart for this one!

  19. Liz

    My dad used to make dandelion butter with me, which involved stirring dandelions in a tin cup until it turned to butter. (It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized a distraction and slight of hand were part of the magic.)

  20. Shera

    Oh, wow. That is beautiful stuff. My soon-to-be baby would be so lucky!
    When I was a kid, we were never allowed to touch the Christmas presents until the grown-ups woke up, but we could raid our stockings as soon as we woke up. I have a very vivid memory with my brother in the room we stayed in at my grandparents’ house. We were sitting on the twin beds and ours was the only light on in the whole house (maybe because it was 3:00 am!) and we were playing with the unbelievable goodies from Santa- little trinkets like those wooden paddles with the rubber balls attached.

  21. Tamra

    My favorite memory is hand drawing and coloring paper doll clothes for my little sister. We would spend hours pouring through the JCPenney’s catalog so that she could choose outfits for me to recreate.

  22. amie

    my siblings and i used to put concerts on for my parents. a favorite song was “Addicted to Love” by robert palmer, lol

  23. Holly

    What wonderful toys!

    I can’t possibly pick an all-time favorite, but the first memory that came to mind was having a breakfast of brownies and decaf coffee from a Thermos on the beach with my parents and little sister.

  24. Missy

    Hanging out with my grandparents at their farm. They both passed away this year, so those memories are especially poignant for me now.

  25. Spicy Sister

    I loved making little homes and hideways in any small patch of trees or bushes I could find. Loved pretending I lived in the woods. :)

  26. leeshka

    Easy. I grew up in Southern California, and by 6th grade had made it a habit of getting “sick”, needing to go to the nurse’s office, and having my grandpa come and get me and take me home. My favorite memory was listening through the heavy wooden door of the bedroom to my grandpa calmly explain to my mom that yes, he had in fact picked me up again and that yes, I was sick. Because, as he put it “Anyone as smart as my girl would get sick of listening to the teachers explain the same thing over and over to those stupid kids”. Greatest man who ever walked the earth, and I’m a better person for having had him as my main male role model. Shit. Now I’m crying. I’ll always be my grandpa’s girl.

  27. Rachel Looo

    One of my favorite childhood memories comes when I was about 6. I tried to convince my mom that I knew spanish. I was talking total jibberish, but since SHE didn’t speak spanish, I didn’t understand how she knew I wasn’t!

  28. alison kelly

    My favourite memory was thinking Michael Jackson from his thriller video lived in my furnace room. I was always scared to turn off the light which was at the bottom of the basement stairs.

  29. Ms. Huis Herself

    Picking wild, overgrown raspberries with my brother at a farm my family managed. Mosquitos & scratches everywhere, but it’s such a vivid memory, I love it.

  30. Ariel

    Alice, who is 26 weeks in womb, says she really likes the pony. Well, she kicked a lot, anyway. I took it as a positive sign.
    My favorite childhood memory… I was one and a half and my mom was having my brother soon, so they gave me a cabbage patch doll. Her name is Frances Teresa, and she is sitting on my dresser at home. I had to sew her poor arms back on, and her legs too, she was very much a loved toy. I distinctly remember changing her diaper, and then going and climbing up my mom’s dresser (which I’ve just realized is the same dresser I now use!) to get another diaper for her.

  31. Julia

    Oh, wow, what a giveaway! My favorite childhood memory is sitting in a big dark performance hall listening to an orchestra playing with my dad and younger sister. We weren’t rich fancy society types at all but music was really important in our family and for years, my parents kept season tickets to the Sunday matinee of the symphony orchestra in our city for us to go experience a bit of the wide beautiful world that’s out there.

  32. Courtney

    My favorite childhood memory is being gathered around my grandparents’ player piano, with all my extended family, have big sing alongs of classic old songs. An early version of karaoke!

  33. Katherine

    The pure magic my dad would create for my sisters and me on the evenings my mom worked. Like blowing out an egg and filling it with Rice Krispies (in advance so we didn’t see) and then cracking it and BLOWING our little minds. And lots of crazy made up games. My sisters and I still talk about it.

    I’ve had my eye on that leaf puzzle for months and may just have to finally buy it for my son if I don’t win. And those flash cards and lovely too. Fingers crossed!

  34. cjm

    I have tons of great childhood memories (something I hope my 10-week-old will be able to say one day). But given the current events, probably my earliest memory was of Princess Di’s wedding. It’s funny to think about now. I was in love with the whole thing, the grandness, her dress, the story. Surely, though, that’s bound to set up unrealistic expectations for one’s love life. :)

  35. livlaugheat

    Favorite memory…Mom coming home and asking my sister and I why all the laundry baskets were broken. We both feigned ignorance and she let it go. It wasn’t until many years later when we were both adults that we admitted to pushing each other down the stairs in the baskets! Also, running around the house with our parents’ underwear on our heads as “masks.”

  36. christina

    saturday mornings. i woke to the sound of simon and garfunkel playing loudly on the record player when my mom came in to open the blinds and let the sunshine in.

    then there were chores, like throwing laundry on the fan blades, then turning it on. i guess you could call that “dusting”.

  37. Miss K

    My parents were redoing the walls so after the old paper had been stripped, they let us color all over the walls. We kept a bucket of crayons at the top of the stairs and we would draw big lines as we walked downstairs. I also lay on my top bunk, coloring the ceiling. I vow to do that for my kids some day.

  38. Ellen

    Ah – to pick one one! Right now I’m thinking about my mom waking me and my sister up in the middle of the night when we had gone to visit PEI and taking us outside, bundled in our coats and Dad’s mittens over our PJs to watch thousands of Canada geese fly across the full moon. I can still hear the honks and see my sister’s wide eyes.

  39. Katherine

    When I was four, I declared what I would be moving to New York in a few years. (When my sister would be in college, learning to be an opera singer. She went to closer school and studied English.) I would spend my days eating pizza with the Ninja Turtles and hanging out with Levar Burton. (We would discuss books, pizza, and Star Trek.) My family smiled, but didn’t laugh, and said that sounded like a great plan. Twenty years later I moved to New York, and I eat a lot of pizza.

  40. Raia

    One of my favorite memories from childhood is of my mother reading to my sister and me. She would push our twin beds together and lay on the crack between them while she read to us.

  41. Laura

    Playing with my twin sister Katie at our friend Priscilla’s pig farm. Dusty haylofts…perfect. I want to befriend some farmers so my kids can have the same experience…

  42. nelking

    Disneyland for my father’s company picnic. (Lockheed)

    When I moved to Portland I was shocked that not everyone went to Disneyland once a year

  43. Flora Reed

    “Painting” with water on the sidewalk with my best friend Amy after a summer rainstorm, and then roller skate racing around the block with the big kids.

  44. ladyloo

    Summer on the Canadian prairies means long daylight hours until well after 10 o’clock. But my siblings and I would have to go to bed at the normal 8pm. But with the sunshine pouring in our windows, this usually meant that we wouldn’t actually go to sleep until much later.

    When my sister and I shared a room and there was no chance we’d be falling asleep anytime soon, I remember wrapping our bed covers around ourselves into a dress with a train (that was tucked into the ends of the bed), and then we would pantomime walking around like princesses.

  45. parsingtime

    We lived in Hong Kong when I was growing up and we would rent a junk with a bunch of other families and spend every other Saturday at one of the different beach islands that dot the bay. I looked forward to it every summer.

  46. Shannon

    I think my favorite childhood memory is my mother playing records on Sunday mornings. There were some artists that were only ever played on Sundays, and others that were in regular rotation, but something about a morning filled with Judy Collins, The Mamas and the Papas, Simon & Garfunkel, etc. set a tone for the day that felt as sacred as could be for our non-church-going family.

  47. Megan C.

    I remember asking my mom when my birthday was – all year round, of course – and her response was “when the leaves are on the trees.” I still wait for that day now :)

  48. Daffodil Campbell

    My favorite childhood memory is the fishtank next to my crib. My parent used it as a psuedo-nightlight, the gurgling and warmth and buzzing pump and darting fish would lull me to sleep every night. So much better than the Fisher Price aquarium crib toy I had in my son’s crib.

  49. Brigid

    I remember the clickity clack of my metal-wheeled roller skates going over the cracks in the sidewalk at my grandparents’ house. We didn’t have sidewalks at our house, so it was extra awesome.

  50. Annika

    The summer we spent in Alfred, New York, picking black raspberries and buying stickers (I got an allowance for the first time!) and getting lunch in cafeterias and luncheonettes. That summer I was stung by a bee, which is not my favorite part but it does stand out a bit. Even more stand-out is the day we went to a hot air balloon launch and saw hundred of balloons in the sky. Amazing.

  51. Ed

    My mom usually combed my really long hair and it hurt so bad. One night my dad brushed it all out and told me stories. It was magical.

  52. Lisa

    exploring the creek near my house with my best friend. there were toads and vines and a little plank of wood to cross the little stream. we named it ‘sathia’. i don’t remember why.

  53. Annie J

    Eating drippy popsicles after playing in the plastic pool and catching fireflies out in the humid night before snuggling down in cool sheets.

  54. Meg B

    Exploring the fields behind my house, climbing barbed wire fences and feeding the neighbor’s horses Quaker oats.

  55. Sassafras Mama

    Camping and going on all the adventures kids drum up for camping trips. Since he was 6, I’ve taken my son on a camping trip every summer. He’s been on 5 years worth of camping trips and it’s clear that his memories of the trips are just as happy as mine.

  56. Amy

    I went with my grandfather to the neighboring farm one day for a visit. One of their cats had had kittens and I spent lots of time playing with them. They were all tabbies but one had a black dot on his nose. I begged my grandparents to let me keep him and they did. Tigger came home with me to their house. He was fabulous.

  57. Gina

    Speaking of offgassing and My Little Ponies, one of my favorite childhood memories is actually their plastic smell. I had a Wuzzles figurine (Hoppopotamus) that smelled the same way and every now and then I get a whiff of that from something else and it brings me right back. Seriously.

  58. Erin

    My mom used to make homemade playdough and it would start off so warm and smell kind of salty. I made it with my son recently and it made me feel like a kid again. Also, dancing around the living room with my dad to Mozart.

  59. Kate

    We four kids used to have to wait outside for our dad to pick us up on Visitation Sundays, so my mom wouldn’t have to see him. Lots of times he would be very late, so to pass the time my older sister would make up songs and coax us to sing them until we were howling with laughter. Um. Rereading that, it doesn’t sound very cheerful, does it? But it really is a very fond memory.

  60. Jenn

    What a neat giveaway! My favorite childhood memory is my dad taking my sisters and me swimming on Tuesday nights during the summer, and then to Dairy Queen after. We had so much fun!

  61. Erin

    We took a family vacation down Skyline Drive and saw some amazing things, most memorably George Washington’s outdoor bathtub. I was cramped in the back of a pick-up truck (with a cap on it) with my two brothers. It was great!

  62. Jessica

    My favorite childhood memory is that of scouring the neighborhood, with my friends, for “playhouse” building supplies. Bean poles, used fencing, lawn bags and bamboo were used to build ramshackle huts that were more fun to build than to play in….now I see in it a connection to my art-making process.

  63. Lauren

    Every year for my birthday I asked for treasure hunts for my party. My Dad would create them, and the best was the year that each clue had a puzzle piece that when assembled made a map to the treasure :)

  64. Jamie

    My next-door neighbor and I used to pretend that the back of her garage was an island. The “island” consisted of a clothesline, trampoline and large pile of discarded bricks, but childhood imagination abounded.

  65. Heather S

    My best friend and I used to take all of my dollhouse furniture and put it into the smallest amount of space possible and pretend that the dolls were poor and had to live in this tiny house with wall to wall furniture. I think there were also plenty of teen pregnancies and after school special situations that happened to this poor dollhouse family. I don’t know why we thought this was such a great game but it helps me when my kids are being weird to remember that games don’t have to make sense to be fun.

  66. Martha

    What beautiful giveaways!
    I’d have to say that my favorite childhood memory is hanging out with my very Cajun grandmother. I grew up in south Louisiana, and my grandmother was the white shrimp boot-wearing type. She would get the pirogue out and let us sit in it in the yard and practice fishing. She even had real hooks on the fishing poles, so sometimes we’d snag a tomato plant or a clump of grass. My grandmother had no rules: she threw away toothpaste caps and slept in her clothes. My mom was the type that kept the plastic on things. I loved being so free because it always felt like I was getting away with something huge.

  67. Sadie

    A favorite childhood memory was triggered looking at these fabulous toys. My mom really values handmade gifts and cards. Growing up she made me a special homemade toy for each birthday and Christmas. When I was 4 I received “Dancing Tom”-a cloth doll that she had sewn that was just my height! His hands had velcro on them so I could connect them around my waist and his feet had loops of elastic on them so I could put them around my ankles. Tom and I could dance and dance and dance! I love that I will have these toys forever and be able to pass them on to my children.

  68. Rachael Christensen

    Favorite childhood memory would have to be swimming in the creek across the street from my house. Me and my friend would play Baywatch, and pretend to save each other. (what we were doing watching Baywatch at that age? lol, heavens knows!)

    These are all so adorable! I’d love to win!

  69. michaela

    I loved lurking around gatherings of my big Italian-American family… eating amazing food, eavesdropping on all the gossip, watching the great-uncles play bocce and argue. It was great fun.

  70. Tiff

    When my three sisters and I made a boat out of a kiddie pool and rowed it down the ditch with a broom for a paddle when the creek by our house flooded. Also, dressing ourselves in sheets and playing ‘poor’ for hours on end.

  71. Carrie S.

    When there were awesome celestial events my dad would wake me up in the middle of the night and we’d walk down to a nearby golf course with a great view of the night sky and watch shooting stars, comets or eclipses. Hands down the best memories of my childhood.

  72. Kelly

    Running through the sheets that my mom would hang to dry outside on Saturdays. That smell just cannot be duplicated.

  73. Eilis

    My favorite childhood memory is playing in the woods with my brother in our “Secret City.” We build a teepee out there, and only we knew where it was. We kept things in tins in the teepee…flashlight, matches, and those pink mints that were popular at grandparents’ houses. So much fun.

  74. Terra

    Making up dance routines to pop songs in my basement and front lawn with other kids in my neighbourhood. I really thought I would be a pop star someday!

  75. Regina

    Parents aren’t allowed to send medicine to school with their Kindergarteners, for very good reasons. Such as: if your kid is sick enough to really need that medicine, s/he is probably sick enough to stay home. Whatever. When I was well enough to go to school, but still a little cough-y, my mom would put delicious, grape flavor cough medicine in my thermos of milk. It tasted kind of weird, and I’m sure drinking the cough syrup diluted in that much milk had no medical effect on my actual cough. But. It was our little secret, and it made me feel so loved and secure, that my mom was so bad-ass, and cared about me enough to break the rules.

  76. Heather

    Running wild in my grandparent’s backyard with my sister and cousin Ben. We had a clubhouse and road my granddfather’s rider mower.

  77. Sara

    My dad and I are on the ski lift, he weighting it heavily in his direction. But we’re swinging along, in that silence. And he always has a Snickers bar (usually verboten, but not on vacation), and, even though our noses are dripping and we’re high, high up—all is well.

  78. Jen

    My favorite memory is sitting in my car with my Grandpa while my Grandma was shopping in the grocery store – and he was teaching me to read by helping me sound out the signs in the windows.

  79. Tiana

    One of my favorite memories is going with my neighbors in their row boat and suddenly getting rained on and waiting it out under a little bridge.

  80. Anne

    Climbing up the hill behind my Bestemor’s house in Oslo. It was quite strenuous and when I got to the top I could wander in the forest. Once I found a little meadow/clearing. It was lovely. Now it is low income housing.

  81. Nora

    When we’d drive for two days to visit my grandparents in North Carolina, and my grandmother would pull my sister and me close as soon as we were out of the car — sweaty bodies and all — and say, “Give me some sugar.”

  82. Becky

    Favorite childhood memory? That’s tough! I’d have to say one of my faves is the Christmas my brother was born. I got all new doll furniture for my room and I couldn’t wait to put him in it! I’m sure my mom was just thrilled when I suggested we put the newborn in my tiny, white wooden high chair with hand painted roses.

  83. Brandy

    I used to live in the woods and when I played in the afternoon during blackberry season I would stuff myself full of fresh blackerries. Most of the time I’d be full by dinnertime but it was so hard to stop eating them.

  84. Liz S.

    Putting a puzzle of the map of the United States together over and over again, racing my dad, until I knew where each state belonged before I knew their names.

  85. Megan

    mixing potions in pots in the backyard with my siblings and friends… some of those concoctions were pretty foul-smelling…

  86. Robin (noteverstill)

    I had this older brother type character in my life, a boy four years older than me who was my parents’ best friends’ son. We both went to this private school about 20 miles away and had a long bus ride together every day. When his 8th grade class read The Hobbit, he’d read it to me on the bus every morning and evening.

  87. Margo

    One of my favorite memories: my grandma making picnic lunches for the three of us grandkids, putting them in the special picnic basket, gathering our favorite books and hiking us out to the front lawn to lay on a blanket and look up through the leaves while she read us our stories, complete with voice changes :)

  88. Christy

    Taking a cross-country road trip with my entire family (mom, dad, me, and three younger siblings) in an old-school station wagon and being able to lay down in the back (which was covered in astroturf) without a seatbelt!

  89. BethS

    I actually have several but the very first one that popped into my head was putting on plays with my cousins at Christmas. I have 15 first cousins on one side of my family and one year, we got creative and did “Alice in Funky Land” – our own twist on Alice in Wonderland. We still have the pictures to prove it.

  90. mirabelle

    following my big brother around, doing anything he told me too…still do today! :)

  91. Sue

    Whenever we’d visit with my grandparents, my grandfather and I would first have a lunch of pears and cottage cheese. I would then sit on his lap and we’d draw cartoon faces of Dick Tracy over and over again on countless pieces of notebook paper.

  92. Jess T

    I am six and my cousin Jimmy is seven. We are playing in the street just before sunset. My Uncle Don comes out of the house, puffs out his beer belly until it ID rock hard and tells us to punch him as hard as we can. He closes his eyes. I take a running leap at him, punch him so hard I think I’ve broken my hand. Uncle Don doesn’t budge. As I hunch over and blow on my fingers, he opens one eye and grins like a cat. “go ahead and hit me whenever you’re ready, kiddo” he tells me. Jimmy and I spend the rest of the summer punching pillows, car seats, couch cushions, mattresses, readying for a rematch.

  93. Cristina Alt

    hmm it would have to be one of me and my little brother. we lived with my grandparents for a year when we were little and when we’d go out for walks my brother would beg my grandma to tell anyone we’d meet that he was my twin sister. :) Makes me smile every time I remember that.

  94. JC

    As a kid growing up in Arizona it was always exciting to go to that first spring training baseball game of the year.

  95. dunsany

    Parents were in the Peace Corps, so my first grade years were spent in Samoa. Sweet memories of beaches so beautiful that I’m spoiled forever. Swimming with my friends in water so clear it felt you were flying. Best place in the world when you’re 7.

  96. Ray

    Food is such an integral part of our family. One of my fondest memories is heading over to Chinatown on Sunday nights. We usually visited the same restaurant and were always greeted by our good friend Ed the host. The sight of wood paneled walls, faded paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling plus the scent of Hong Kong Steak and shrimp in lobster sauce always brought a smile to my face. I would sit next to my dad as he sipped his umbrella decorated mai-tais while I enjoyed my chocolate ice cream and almond cookie for dessert. Both Mom and Dad have passed but the kids still keep up the tradition.

  97. delia

    I was riding our stallion Speckle Joe in a horse ring in front of a crowd of people. Couldn’t have been more than six years old and I was a little scared. Somebody trotted a mare in and the horse reared up High Ho Silver style! I held on and he trotted over to the mares but I kept my composure and more importantly my seat. My dad came in and rescued me off the horse but I was so dazed and pleased with myself that after getting out of the ring I walked too close behind another horse and got kicked square in the chest. Knocked my off my feet. Still, it didn’t matter because I felt like the lone ranger!

  98. Michelle

    Favorite childhood memory – my grandmother transformed the empty lot beside our house into some wild forest/garden. Under one of the trees was what I thought to be a carpet of white flowers. Turns out they were all butterflies. Magical.

  99. Sarah

    My favorite childhood memory: Exploring the gully behind my house– one time we came across a ninja star. Awesome to a 9-year-old.

  100. Stephanie

    My favorite memory is pushing my brother around the house in my barbie motor home. :)

  101. Celia

    A favorite childhood memory of mine is going to our small-town coffee shop in the mornings with my grandpa!

  102. Alaina

    My favorite childhood memory was harder to come up with than I anticipated. My parents are divorced and every Wednesday my Dad would pick me up from school and we would spend the afternoon and evening together. We would go to the book store and he would let me pick out a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, we’d have pizza, and we almost always split a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Those were the best afternoons.

  103. Sonja

    The memory that came to mind is playing “grocery store” on my grandma’s steps with old yogurt containers and quaker oat boxes. Yay for reusing!

  104. edenland

    My grandmother would make me pikelets for dinner, every school holidays. She always wanted to adopt me … I really wish she had.

  105. Angie

    Wow…love that leaf puzzle and the flashcards! Favorite memory…hmmm, so many! How bout a not so favorite, but seared into my mind memory. Wetting my pants in the kindergarten because my mom dressed me in a baby blue jumpsuit with a rainbow on the front…said jumpsuit buttoned up in the BACK! How can a 5 year old get that thing off to go pee!? Well, I was sent to the principles office and the principle actually drove me home and made me sit on a plastic bag. Totally humiliating! Ok, favorite memory…summers spent with my grandparents who treated me like a princess every day and never made me sit on a plastic bag!

  106. cora

    A favorite childhood memory is spending summers on the water, and swimming all day, every day, and fishing for crabs and shrimps in the ‘dry’ hours.

  107. kristi

    one of my favorite childhood memories was to pick vegetables in our family garden with my mom or snap beans with my grandparents every summer & pretend i was a real country girl!

    i can’t wait to make memories with my little one, who’ll be here in september!

  108. Megan

    Favorite memory: Lazy Sunday mornings with homemade pancakes, fresh grapefruit juice, using both arms to wrangle the newspaper comics. Sun streaming through the windows.

  109. Rachael

    One of my favorite memories is of reading the Anne of Green Gables series outside on the lawn during the summer.

  110. (the other) Margaret

    My sister Laura and I used to listen to my mom’s stories of how her mom and dad gave them real baby chicks on Easter; the very idea was so magical to our little suburban minds that we decided to recreate that magic for our mom one Easter, when we were about 4 and 6. We took an egg from the fridge (you can see where this is going), wrapped it gently in toliet paper, set it in a Tupperware, and placed it on a very high shelf in the living room to “incubate”. Then we forgot about it. For a few weeks. Needless to say, the smell drew my mom’s attention and it took her a while to figure out what the culprit was. I daresay she was touched!

  111. Tasha

    We had a weeping willow tree in the front yard that I loved. I liked to sit next to the trunk and watch the houses and cars get broken up and divided by the swaying branches and pretend that no one could see me through the curtain of leaves. Then I’d walk from the trunk to the edge of the branches slowly and carefully trying not to let any of them touch me. I also made hundreds of tiny wreaths from the thin branches and linked them into chains that I’d hang around the house. I still love weeping willows.

  112. Cara

    I have lots of favorite memories, but the best were traditions I hope to continue with my little ones: making doll clothes from old cloth napkins with my Nana and giving toys to the fire department each Christmas to remind us how fortunate we were and how others were in need…

  113. t & g

    too many to narrow down to just one!

    but…we have gone to the oregon coast for a week each summer for as long as i can remember. my sister and i would look forward to that week as we’d get to hang out with our cousins closest in age. i have a great memory of all of us sitting on the beach house porch after dinner, in our night shirts, having an epic watermelon seed spitting contest. incredible fun!

  114. BKC

    One of my favorites is a day during the summer of ’99. I was at summer camp, and our cabin went to Hanauma Bay, and played a game where we got into a circle, locked our arms around the girls next to us and slowly moved into a tighter and tighter circle until we were hip to hip with no space between girls. Then we’d count how many fish we caught in our circle. Our record that day was 12. Giggly girls, playing in the ocean. That day was sweet.

  115. beyond

    i love reading all these comments.
    one of my favorite memories is baking cookies with my grandfather, a retired baker, on the big wooden table in my grandparents’ kitchen. i think that’s a favorite memory of all his grandkids…

  116. Sarah

    I loved when my mom let me have the run of the kitchen when I was about 8 yrs. old and I would make “concoctions.” That meant throwing a little of this & a little of that into a bowl & then baking it to see what happened. Science lessons through cooking! Are 8 yr olds allowed in the kitchen by themselves these days?

  117. KurtRoedeger

    Sleepovers at my grandparents and then building stuff in the workshop with my poppop.

  118. caitlin

    Dress up, make believe and tree climbing were some of my favorite things to do. i used to spend hours and hours dressing up, going up in trees while dressed up, and either singing disney songs or playing pirates, goonies, swiss family robinson.

  119. amandaC

    the first that came to mind was my sister being hung upside down from a rip in her snowpants IN A BUSH. hilarious. it was memorable for the hilarity, and for the fact that she ripped her pants, and as our family had little money, that was a big “uh oh!”.

  120. Kristina

    My favorite childhood memory is having a tea party with my cousin on the soft bed of needles beneath the two hemlock trees in my grandparents’ back yard. After we dusted off, it was straight back into the pool for us.

  121. Sarah

    I can’t single out one favorite memory, but the letter cards immediately reminded me of first grade. About once a month, we had “pudding spelling,” where every one got a plate of chocolate pudding to “write” in. It was great fun.

  122. alissa

    My favorite childhood memory is my father rounding up all of the neighbor kids, throwing us in the back of the suburban and taking us all for ice cream on a summer day.

  123. teamcraun

    weekends at my grandmother’s farm house, and her amazing delicious “teddy bear” pancakes decorated with chocolate chip eyes and buttons. The abundant sunny days, large blooming trees, and the bright green painted porch and wood swing – the days were certainly longer then…

  124. Leslie

    One of my favorite memories is also my oldest: I’m running through some very tall grass (taller than me) after my aunt’s cat. I remember wanting to pull that cat’s tail SO MUCH! I never caught it. Cats are fast…

  125. Frumptastic

    There are so many! One of my favorites is sledding down the hill in our backyard. I grew up in Vermont so playing out in the snow was a must and having my very own hill made it extra fun!

  126. Lesley

    My favorite time was spent on my Nana and Papa’s Houseboat in the middle of the lake. We would swim, fish, and sleep like babies on that rocking boat.

  127. Jackie

    Having just lost my Dad in April of last year, most of my most treasured memories are those which he is a part of. He coached me in softball, pushed me on the swings, cooked hot dogs on the grill. Insignificant flashes of little things, but aren’t those what add up to the best memories?

  128. Meg

    My Grandma used to give my sister and I a giant “trunk” (papered cardboard box) full of garage sale dance costumes/Halloween costumes/crazy cast-offs ever year for Christmas. We finally accumulated enough dress-up costumes to clothe the entire neighborhood and we had a circus that traveled to each backyard. It was so much fun and the pictures, complete with me trying to boss the other kids around, are hilarious.

  129. natasha

    during the summer all the cousins would spend a week at my house, play, watch movies and swim in the pool all day. My father used to hook up the hose to the top of the house, so that the water would fall into the pool like a waterfall. We would take turns jumping “through” it. To this day, I still LOVE waterfalls…

  130. Alison

    I remember sitting on our backyard swingset by myself writing classical music in my head. It was the purest happiness I can remember! Sort of my “happy place” now. :)

  131. Jen

    Visiting my grandmother in south Texas when I was 8. The first time I was away from home without my parents – my grandmother and I drove from Orlando, FL to McAllen, TX. On her farm, we rode horses, ate citrus off the trees, tended the cows, etc. Even 30 years later in New England, I occasionally experience certain smells and am brought right back to that hot, dusty summer. It was wonderful.

  132. Alicia W.

    I lived in a town so small, I could ride my bike from one end to the other, and was allowed to do so! We also had a big field with a ‘dirt hill’ in it to play war games, so awesome! Yes, I was a tomboy.

  133. Sarahd

    My mom used to take us (me and my sister) to thrift stores so that we could buy old hand-me-down formal dresses (like from pageant contestants, I guess?) and strappy high heels (that were always too big). Then we’d make these too-big things fit SOMEHOW (I recall shoe laces being involved) and we’d put on stage performances in the front yard for our neighbors. Embarrassing memory? Absolutely! Still good, though.

  134. Alex

    Waking up on a bright and snowy Sunday morning to hear to my parents making breakfast and phoning friends. From my warm bed, I know that the day is going to be great.

  135. dragonfly

    I remember laying all my toys out and trying to “sell” them to my parents and older brother. My pitch line was “FREE FOR SALE!!”.

  136. Joanne

    We lived in a summer beach town, but were year-rounders. Some of my most vivid memories are of the beach in winter, and the thousands of seagulls that were there. All it would take is one yell, or a few steps in their direction, and they would take off as a group. Amazing.

  137. DeAnn

    Helping my dad in his shop and seeing the looks on people’s faces when they saw a little girl using his tools (most of which were bigger than I was).

  138. adria

    Standing on the top of the hill and doing “plays” for all of our imaginary fans, while looking into our reflection of the neighboring home’s window.

  139. Theresa

    Going camping with my parents (who were NOT the camping type), and all 6 of us running screaming into the minivan when the black bear sauntered down to munch on our lunch on the picnic table. Good times, which I hope to relive with my own kids (minus the bear).

  140. Kate

    When I was a tween I stayed home sick one day and spent the entire day in my parents bedroom on their waterbed watching TV. When my dad came home he brought me 1) my favorite movie to watch (Mine, Yours and Ours starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda), 2) a king-sized Nestle Crunch bar and 3) some movie star teen magazine. It was completely out of the ordinary, sweet and made me want to be sick more often!

  141. Kathryn

    Diving off the springboard at the neighbourhood pool over and over, while burgers grilled and “Who’s That Girl” played on the radio.

  142. KC

    Being outside from dusk and dawn daily from the day school let out for summer vacation until the first bell rang in the fall. Life is good!

  143. Heather

    My sister and I packed up crackers, raisins, and apples into a little plastic lunch basket, that had two cups with bears on the side and lids with ears. We put the basket, a thermos of water, and a blanket into a little backpack, and walked to the park with a stream and ducks that required crossing one busy street. Then she and I enjoyed our lunch.

  144. Elizabeth_K

    Oh, I shouldn’t have looked at the other commenters first. Now I’m torn between making Christmas candy with my entire family at my grandmother’s house or my father encouraging me to jump off the (very) high dive at our neighborhood pool. Lovely childhood memories.

  145. Anne

    My favorite memory is of my summers on Cape Cod at my grandparent’s house. I would ride this old one speed blue bike everywhere around town, to the beach, the nickel candy store and back. The best part was hitting the downhill to the drawbridge, standing straight up on the pedals and letting the salty air whip through my hair.

  146. Patsy

    My favorite childhood memory is probably climbing into bed with my parents on Saturday mornings. The best was when they’d call for me, and I’d run down the hall and get a flying leap onto the mattress before snuggling in.

  147. Emma Thomas

    Collecting warm fresh eggs from our chicken coop and gingerly transporting them back to the house like treasure!

  148. Rachel

    too many (which make me a lucky girl). Working in my great grandparents garden, being allowed one piece of candy from either my christmas stocking or easter basket before mass. Countless trip to the ER for stitches because of doing crazy stunts.

  149. Cassie

    From childhood: Lamby Pie – a lamb wearing a sweatshirt bearing his name. My dad gave him to me, and also called me Lamby Pie. I still have him. I was going to give him to my kid, but now I worry about what’s living in the stuffing. I’m too afraid I’ll ruin him to open him up and replace the stuffing, so he lives in my closet.

    My husband gave me one of those cheesy vermont teddy bears for valentines’ day when we were dating. He’s dressed like Elvis. It was the first time I ever got a big present on Valentine’s Day. I love it.

  150. kate

    one of my favorite childhood memories is building block castles with my dad.

    what a cute giveaway — thank you, maggie!

  151. Rachel

    I remember one particular day on the farm when my younger brother, Jacob, and I ran across the barnyard and down the hill to the creek. There was always a fallen tree we tightroped across to get to our swimmin’ hole which consisted of a deep spot of about three feet and a slightly sandy “beach”. We soon found ourselves in an intense mud fight, but when Jacob got some “mud” in his mouth, we discovered that the cows had been swimming in the creek before us! After running home, we were given a thorough hosing down outside before our mother vigorously scrubbed us down in the bathtub.

  152. Debra

    Running through a snow storm with my two favorite stuffed animals tied together and hung over my shoulders. I pretended they were my co-pilots and the white flakes speeding past me were the stars as we reached hyperspace!

  153. Joanna

    Building birds’ nests out of mud and grass and installing them in trees. Believing birds would lay eggs there and thank me.

  154. Kristin

    Having dance parties in the living room with my brother, sister, and dad. With my tu-tu on, of course!

  155. houpley

    when i was about 10 to 12 my parents and i would ride our bikes to the little, local dairy queen for treats in the afternoons. it seems it was so long ago. but i remember every detail: the fierce illinois wind, the gravel stretch just before turning into the dairy queen parking lot and the sunny park benches where we would sit and enjoy our reward.

  156. Faetra

    That unicorn is awesome!

    My favorite childhood memory: completing a 2,000 piece puzzle with my Dad. We weren’t very close when I was growing up, he much preferred doing “boy” activities with my brother, but one day he brought this huge thing home and announced we would be working on it together. We cleared off the dining room table and the family ate in the kitchen for over two weeks while we worked on it after dinner every night. I remember exactly what it looked like still to this day.

  157. jennifluff

    My favorite memory is trying on snazzy Sunday hats with my mom and grandma at the mall. We would try on practically every hat on the rack. Actually, this is still my favorite thing to do!

  158. Rachel

    Just *one* favorite? This is the first one that popped into my head. I was sort of a picky eater as a kid (now I’m a great eater!! (albeit vegetarian…) I promise!). We had sliced wheat bread with our meal, as usual, and I just did not want to eat it anymore. I snuck it up to my room and threw it out my window. Thing is, my bedroom faced the front yard and was right over the front door–I threw the bread right onto the sidewalk. I should have just skipped the middle step and handed it to my dad, since he found it not long after dinner anyway.

  159. margie s

    Going every Thursday in the summer to Sunshine Lake. We couldn’t take our shoes off until we saw the Wise Potato Chip owl.

  160. Amihan

    Taking a nap with my mom, dad, and sisters, on the living room floor atop a huge blanket, with the front door open, on a hot, summery day.

  161. Leigh

    Ages 9-11, weekends with my grandmother: watching wrestling over pizza, stirring brownie mix, playing with her vast makeup collection, endless mall arcade adventures, eating burnt french toast, and sneaking into a (usually purposely horrible) second movie at the theater.

    A life tip I learned early – always hold napkins to the bottom of the popcorn bag before you douse it with enough butter-like liquid to give an elephant a heart attack, lest you ruin your pretty new sundress. I still do that to this day, even though I try to be a bit more conservative with my application of the stuff. Old habits die hard.

  162. amanda

    My first memorable Easter was spent at my Grandparents’ in Montana — it snowed! We hunted for Easter Eggs in the snow which was so much fun. Apparently, I was very confused the next year when we just hunted in a clear open meadow. Those eggs were too easy to find.

  163. Bextoronto

    My dad used to take me rollerskating with him every week (am I dating myself to admit that there were roller rinks back then??). It was awesome dad and daughter hangout time.

  164. Megan

    I remember being about 3 or 4 and taking a trip to Maine with my dad. One night he woke me up and brought me down to the lake where we laid on our backs in a row boat and watched shooting stars together. It is my all-time favorite memory!

  165. Lennis

    my favorite memory is playing with my brother and his heman toys. My brother had the whole heman collection and castle and the only thing he was missing was Xiera. And guess who had Xiera? Yup, me!! his annoying little sister! Ha! The things my mom did to get us to play together! genius :)

  166. Mary

    my favorite memory as a child would be using the GIANT pine trees in our neighborhood as forts. We’d pack up our dolls, some food, etc. and spend all day climbing and hiding in those trees.

  167. Laurie

    One of my favorite childhood memories is hiding things in the nook of an tree in my great-grandmother’s yard whenever we went to visit her.

  168. Ari

    When I was three years old, living in Maryland in the DC Metro area, I went for a hike through the field behind our house with my big brother. It must have been fall, because the grass was starting to go straw-yellow.

    We came over a rise to find a few trees around a little clearing, in the very middle of which was a pepper plant with a fat, green bell pepper hanging from it. I picked it myself and carried it home, just as proud as anything; clearly, with such expert foraging skills I was ready to set off on any sort of adventure I could imagine.

    My mother was suitably impressed and sliced the pepper up to eat with dinner. I’d never liked bell peppers before then, but I’ve loved them ever since.

  169. Kaitlin

    My favorite childhood memories are playing hours and hours of Cribbage and Yahtzee with my Grandpa (Pop)

  170. Amy

    We lived at the edge of undeveloped farm land and I loved spending time outside playing with my brother and dogs and having adventures. I love this giveaway – thanks!

  171. Lindsay

    My favorite memory is seeing my grandfather’s old blue Ford truck in the driveway every afternoon after school. He always had a stick of Big Red or Juicy Fruit in one of his shirt pockets, and I had to guess which one held my treat. :0)

  172. Corinne Noel †

    Watching my Dad flock a huge Christmas tree outside with fake snow from a can. Knowing that my parents would make sure Christmas morning that a mountain of presents would be under that tree for my 3 sisters & I, no matter what! They always made it happen :)

  173. Annebel

    Reading my mother’s girlhood books–“Pollyanna”, “Rosemary”, the Cherry Ames series–with her name and date written in the front, trying to imagine her as actually a girl, like me.

  174. Milissa

    The “A Leaf Puzzle” reminded me of my childhood. I used to spend a lot of time at my grandparents house. I would wake up early in the morning before anyone else was up and put together puzzles. I had a bunch of wooden puzzles that my grandfather made for me. It was a fun, quiet time that I missed as I got older.

  175. Emily

    I think one of the best memories is from when my grandparents lived on 20 acres of land…me and my cousins would spend ALL DAY playing in our tree fort and exploring the woods surrounding the house. Endless entertainment!

  176. Kelly H

    Making tents under the dining room table and playing there for hours! I’d even decorate my “house” with picture frames and flowers in vases.

  177. guinevere

    My mom running from the car, where I was waiting, up through the dandelions in our yard to grab something else from the house. It’s the only memory I have of my mother walking; rheumatoid arthritis permanently bound her to a wheelchair when I was 4.

  178. Melanie

    My grandparents took me to Pensacola, FL every spring break growing up. Now my mother goes and takes my neice. My daughter will join them next year, I can’t wait!

  179. Rebecca

    After dinner while my mom did the dishes, my dad and I would take a walk to a nearby park. Along the way he would grab bunches of red berries from trees that we passed, I would drop them on the ground leaving a trail so that we could find our way home.

  180. Ashley

    Crabbing in Beaufort, South Carolina, with chicken tied at the ends of strings and a boiling pot waiting on the kitchen stove.

  181. Stacey

    The kisses my mom would give me every night, and when she would walk out the door, I would call her back in again for more. She always came back, sometimes more than once. She made me feel safe and loved.

  182. katy

    I remember being so excited for my family’s annual car trip to the beach that I could not fall asleep the night before. Need to recapture some of that lovely anticipation for my next vacation!

  183. Amy

    Playing on the “tree horse” in my grandmother’s yard. It was this strange formation where two trees had grown together. There was an arch low enough to the ground for all of us kids to climb on and pretend it was a horse. Hours, days, and summers of fun.

  184. kelli

    I remember being in a classroom with the beautiful spring sunlight shining outside, looking through the window at a field filled with grass and dandelions. I had a slightly headachy feeling from being indoors, reading books on a beautiful day. The clock was ticking loudly and it was almost 3:18 when we would be out the door for the weekend. Oh, the anticipation.

  185. Katie

    On warm summer evenings, my parents would sometimes fill the plastic baby pool in the yard with bubbles and my brothers and sister and I would take our baths outside.

  186. Heather

    We grew up in the suburbs, but for the summer we would go up to New Hampshire in an old old house with drinking water from a stream and garbage you had to bring to the dump. My brothers and sisters HAD to play board games with me because there was no TV and there were only so many hours you could read in a day. We’d go for six weeks, almost the whole summer, and swim in the lake and eat amazing corn and play chinese checkers and be more nature-y than any of my suburban friends. I even learned to shear a sheep and spin wool!

  187. Christy

    My brother and I loved “fishing” for tadpoles in my grandparents’ creek using Dixie Cups from the bathroom. That creek seemed so big as a kid but it’s barely a puddle when I see it as an adult.

  188. jill

    sitting on my grandfather’s lap, him asking how old i am, and me triumphantly holding up a single finger.

  189. Lydia

    Fave memory is getting ice cream off the ice cream truck on a hot summer day with my cousins.

  190. Abbe

    Sitting in the way back (the back-facing fold-down seat) of my mom’s wooden-panel station wagon and waving the peace sign at the people in the cars all around us. So ’70s!

  191. Heather

    Playing pretend with my cousin in the backyard – she liked to play Star Wars and always got to be Princess Leia, I liked to play mermaid and always made her be the fisherman. And since we grew up in Minnesota, it was always an ice fisherman. Hopefully my mermaids had good parkas!

  192. Sara

    Oh, these are beautiful! One of my favorite childhood memories is every night after my bath when my Dad would read aloud to my sister and I. We started with Winnie the Pooh and moved up to reading the Little House on the Prairie books.

  193. Megan

    A great memory I have is putting together puzzles with my brother, we would line them all up in a row. It felt like there would be miles of puzzles, but it was most likely only 10 or so.

  194. Heather

    This week I have been remembering the joyous first visit to the library after summer vacation started. The prospect of a summer of lying around reading books (Judy Blume! Nancy Drew! Trixie Belden! etc.) was so delicious. I miss summer vacation. I miss uniterrupted hours of reading.

  195. Stv.

    My favourite memory: sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night to eat brownies my mum had baked. To cover up my crime, I’d always blame mice. The next day, my mum usually would come up with a wonderful story about those very mice and why they always wanted brownies.

  196. Ainsley

    All my favorite childhood memories are with my grandmother, Nana. But what stands out the most are the times she would make fried vhicken and limeade for my brother and I as an after school snack. Admonishing us repeatedly, while we ate greedily, not to tell our strictly vegetetarian mother.

  197. Meredith

    My favorite memories are of playing on the beach with my brother, without any worries or any cares other than when we could convince my mother to take us back out swimming in the ocean again.

  198. abi

    Vacations to my grandparents’ house in Tennessee – waking up to my grandmother’s big southern breakfast, exploring the woods behind their house, trips to see Rock City.

  199. Lauren

    Having a 7 month old has been making me think a lot about my childhood lately. One memory I keep coming back to is not so much a specific moment but a feeling–sitting with my mom in the warm yellow glow that bathed our dining room table winter afternoons after school, just chatting about my day. I remember feeling valued, secure, and loved.

  200. alisonmh

    summer camp, every summer in Occidental, near the Russian River. Now, my son will be going to overnight camp for the 1st time this summer…hopefully he will also cherish the awesomeness that is summer camp.

  201. Andrea

    We spent our summers at a tiny cabin in Northern Minnesota where there were kids up and down the row. We swam, water-skied, built bird houses, golfed, and goofed-off for three months straight. Paradise!

  202. Rachel

    In the summertime, I would pitch a tent in the backyard and it would be my “room” for about a week. Since I was a scaredy-cat, I would beg my grandpa to sleep in it with me. My grandpa was a big guy, and this was a tiny kids tent. He slept in it with me every night and listened to my kid-talk and still got up in the morning at 5 to go to work. I love my grandpa so much.

  203. bre

    Maybe this isn’t my favorite memory, but it’s a good one.

    When I was 6, my parents told me that we were moving to Michigan to live on a lake. I thought I would have to swim to school, backpack and all, and was distraught over the fact that my books would get wet everyday. When we arrived at the house (lakefront property), I felt like an idiot.

  204. Tara

    One of my favorite childhood memories started off with unfortunate circumstances. While performing a self-choreographed dance routine at an elementary school talent show I fell flat on my face and ran off the stage in tears. Sad, I know. After calming myself down I wanted immediately back on that stage to show everyone what I was made of. I danced through the performance without a mistake and was met with roaring applause from the audience. This memory always makes me smile, recalling how good it felt to give myself another chance.

  205. lacey

    Favorite childhood memory: Hanging out in the garage with my dad, who is something like the ultimate handyman. We’d have to take “cat breaks” so I could sit on his lap in the rocking chair by the wood stove and pet kittens.

  206. leela

    i was one of those lucky little girls who actually got a horse – i had always wanted one and we adopted one when i was 11, which was totally the highlight of my life.

  207. Christina

    My favourite childhood memory is deciding as a preschooler with my neighbourhood best friend that it was such a sunny day we should get into our swimsuits and lie on towels in the backyard. Our mothers helped us, even though it was March, in Canada. We didn’t sunbathe long, but I can still remember how happy I was to be welcoming the sunny weather.

  208. Tiffany D.

    My parents took me to one of their aunts farms. I had baby calves suck my fingers, met some barn cats, tried to catch crickets and had some good ol’ farm dinners.

  209. Lilybett P.

    Driving in the truck with Dad, I can only see the fat umbrella leaves of the banana trees when we drive away from the plantation. They are rubbery green and splitting into shivering fingers in the wind. The dashboard rises too high to see the bulby trunks and alien flowers and the fire coloured dirt. The smell of sunburnt earth and wet living things fades into the diesel fumes from the truck. The engine vibrates through my eyeballs and I worry they might be shaking loose. I hear the bunches of unripened bananas in the back shift and settle with the rumble. Some fall over the side and are lost to the mountain and some burst their skins and paint their flesh over the floor. The tang and bitterness of banana skins is all over my hands. It lingers under my fingernails for days alongside plantation dirt and the grit from Dad’s tools.

  210. Amy Martell

    I grew up living on a pond that had ducks and geese fly in and nest for the summer. Every day I would go feed the ducks (my favorites were the babies!) from my hands. I absolutely loved it. We had the backyard with the most duck poop in the whole neighborhood!

  211. KellyBrz

    Playing house inside a circle of mammoth sunflowers that my Mother would plant for us every summer. She’d plant them in a horseshoe shape and then tie the tops together :)

  212. greta

    One of my favorite childhood memories is of going fishing, feeding the ducks and having picnics at the park with my grandparents. My grandmother would pack sandwiches in wax paper and a thermos of tea. I can still remember watching her reapply her lipstick in the mirror after lunch.

  213. Megan

    My grandparents picking me up from school and taking me out for ice cream on Friday afternoons.

  214. Charity

    Driving out to visit my grandparents, laying down in the backseat and looking at the clouds, waving at the truckers to see how many would wave back. Swimming, roller skating, sledding, going out for Chinese food with my parents on Saturday nights and coming home to watch The Golden Girls – a late night treat.

  215. stacy

    Spending time out at the “BIG LAKE”. Lake Micigan, there is nothing like it after a long winter.

  216. Karin

    My dad had a rubbermaid garbage can that was JUST used for leaves in the fall — no garbage. When the leaf can came out every fall and dad was distracted with the rake, my sis and I would take turns climbing in the can, putting the lid on and rolling each other around the yard. HOURS of fun!

  217. Suse

    Trying to fall asleep at the cottage in the littlest bedroom while listening to the adults sing and play piano and gut-bucket on the other side of the door.

  218. Michelle

    My favorite childhood memory is floating in the ocean on a beautiful sunny day, just stretching my toes out and letting the water support me entirely as my much-beloved little brothers and sister built sandcastles nearby on the beach. It was the summer before my parents announced their divorce and I think the safety and happiness of this simple moment has become a bittersweet bright spot during this (soon-to-be) tumultuous time.

  219. Wendryn

    On the hottest day in summer, I’d go curl up in the unfinished basement with a book. It was cool and quiet there and I could stay until someone found me, which often took hours. I’d get lost in imaginary lands, protected from the heat and the noise of the rest of the world.

  220. CoraD

    Thanks! My fave memory is the summer I spent in Homer, AK, at age 4, running through fields of Fireweed taller than me, spying on moose, living in a log cabin, riding horses with my neighbor friend, my Grandma teaching me to read, eating fresh shrimp on the spit and going on long walks with my dad.

  221. Berit

    The crisp fall midwestern air hitting my knees, bare between the tops of my knit socks and the hem of my new plaid smock-dress. The polyester snap-top backpack emblazoned with my giant, ironed-on initials, soft and empty, resting gently on both shoulders. Fat curls in my long piggy-tails from the pink sponge rollers I slept in. Well, barely slept in. Too excited for the first day of school!

  222. Lucy

    Gosh, on the spot I can’t come up with a *favorite* childhood memory. Summers stand out as good times: spending afternoons by the lake, birthday parties, and family vacations.

  223. Caitlin

    One of my fondest memories is going to my grandma’s house for holidays. As soon as we got our bags unloaded from the car, I’d jump up on a stool in the kitchen, and my mom and aunts would sit at the counter while my grandma got dinner ready, drinking wine coolers, talking, and laughing.

  224. Jen

    What a great question (and fabulous giveaway). Camping…. sleeping in a tent… and being at home when the power went off (and we used candles and it felt so very mysterious + special). Thanks for the chance!

  225. Holly

    Making “fairy lands” on the old farm we lived on for a short time. There were 32 acres marked by a stone wall. I would frequently find my way to a new perfect spot and start all over again. Of course I would write notes and leave a little food and [my mom] would write back which I thought was pure magic!

  226. Anne

    I was maybe 8 or 9, sick in bed. I’d stayed home from school and hadn’t eaten a thing in two days. My dad walked in, still wearing his suit from work, holding what looked like a giant ice cream sundae. I didn’t have my glasses on so everything was kind of fuzzy. I had no appetite at all, but my dad wasn’t really the kind of guy who gave us giant ice cream sundaes EVER, so I was totally prepared to eat it just because I was so wowed and awed by the gesture. (It turned out to be a bouquet of flowers made to look like an ice cream sundae. Just as sweet.) (I think that might have been the one and only time my dad gave me flowers, now that I think about it.)

  227. Rebecca

    My dad (sporting his 80s mustache) reading to me and my 2 sisters while we all fit on his lap in the rust colored lazy boy chair.

  228. Denise A.

    Oh, I love the wood leaf puzzle!

    My favorite childhood memory is sleeping in the spring and early summer with the windows open. The sound of crickets still takes me back.


  229. Jayme

    Hands down, exploring tide pools on the beach and building epic sand castles with my Dad. I was a girly-girl so he didn’t really know what to do with me, but trips to the beach were a really special time when we connected.

  230. Kate F.

    We moved cross-country when I was five, and I drove with my dad while my mom flew out w my baby brother. My dad and I took a whole week to go from Michigan to Oregon, and we ate a two-pound bag of Skittles on the trip. I made him eat all the yellow and green ones. We stopped and saw Oregon Trail wagon tracks and ate plate-sized pancakes and slept in the car some night and got a speeding ticket (his only one ever). It was heaven.

  231. Lindsey

    riding my bike around the neighborhood with the boys (I was the only girl) pretending one of us was a police officer and trying to pull the others over for speeding.

  232. JachiCue

    Camping in the summer with my family and waking up to the smell of my mom making pancakes outdoors. To this day every time we camp, pancakes are a must.

  233. danish

    Climbing a huge oak tree in the far corner from the house in my parent’s backyard and staying there with my sister for hours.

  234. allie

    Best ever – trying to fly a kite my Grandfather and I tried to make out of one of his old dress shirts, then giving up and just lying on our backs and looking up at the big white fluffy clouds in the blue sky together.

  235. Kate

    during summer vacation, my best neighborhood friend, Marcie, and I would ride our bikes to the nearby feed store which was the best hangout in our rural Iowa neighborhood because they had a pop machine. we’d dig our some coins and buy 2 Like sodas, then play Family Feud. that is, I would be the host and try to remember the previous day’s categories and answers and she would play every family member on both teams.

  236. Jessica

    Donning my one black glove and holding up a banana, to perform as Michael Jackson with friends on the thickly green-carpeted stairs at my house.

  237. trish

    Every evening before bedtime, my little sister & I sat on Daddy’s lap while he read/watched TV. We’re the youngest of five, the “little girls” of the family & I remember feeling like we were the most special of them all because we got to sit on his lap every night. I still like to think we were his favorites. The eldest would strongly disagree!

  238. Erin Montgomery

    I just made my daughter a photo book entitled, “When Mommy Was A Little Girl”. My favorite memory that I included was in the flower girl dress I wore for my babysitter’s wedding. I can still remember spinning around in that long, yellow dress. Happiness!

  239. Paige

    I loved going to my grandma’s house in the summer to play with my cousins. Sometimes we would “paint” on the sidewalk with water. Simple fun!

  240. Joelle

    My dad made treasure hunts for me as a kid…very easy ones when I was young, varied ones for birthday parties, and a really tough one (that involved climbing up the barn roof) for my high school graduation. One of my earliest memories was following a trail of heart-shaped valentines to the next clue.

    The point was to make me think. But I was having fun!

  241. Cara

    I love fishing with my dad. Not a big fan of killing fish normally, but with my dad it was more special than gruesome.

  242. Megan

    Swimming at our cabin in MT. Then eating Lays potato chips. Then swimming again, and then eating more chips. Then going to sleep in my suit. Without showering.

  243. Megan

    I have lots of great childhood memories but the one that stands out right now is “the big tree”. My family lived in the South, in the middle of nowhwere- There were big gorgeous tree’s everywhere. On one of our family walks we found a gigantic tree with a rope swing attached to it! Whenever my dad wanted us to go on a walk with him he would say, “We can go to the big tree!” Hello?! Enough said. We were there.

  244. Becky C.

    Playing “Kick the Can” on warm summer evenings with all the kids in the neighborhood.

  245. Margaret

    When we were 9 and 8, my sister and I would steal into the den and dig fistfuls of coins out of the giant milk jug where my parents stashed spare change. This technique supplemented our meager allowances for weeks until my parents started to ask questions about all the new little stuffed monkeys and monkey wardrobes we were acquiring…

  246. Laura

    Playing make-believe games with my brother. Favorites included Pioneer, Spaceship, and The-Floor-Is-Lava-So-You-Can’t-Step-On-It.

  247. jill

    My fav… my grandparents came to visit us after a stop in Las Vegas. When they arrived my G-pa called me over (I was about 6) and said he had something for me. Wide eyed I listened… He said that while he was in Vegas “he took out a Special Quarter just for little Jilly” and played it in a special Slot Machine and whatever came out would be for me… and right then from out behind his back he whipped around a HUGE (well to me it was huge) brown paper bag full of Quarters. And just as he handed the back to me the bottom fell out and they went crashing to the ground just like a slot machine spitting them out!! It was the BEST EVER. After counting them, I in all had $67.00 even.

    Imagine that. A lot of money for a 6 year old. My mom made me a special decorated coffee can bank. I spent it over time (who knows how long it actually took me to spend it all) mostly on Barbie Clothes and the Ice Cream man.

  248. heather

    big family dinners at my grandparents’ house and my grandmother always making pink applesauce.

  249. Hanna

    My favorite memory is being curled up in bed with a huge stack of books just waiting to have them all read to me and my ragdoll, Anne.

  250. Mosiphine

    Catching fireflies with my big brother then putting them in jar and filling bottle caps with granola and water for them

  251. Sara Sophia

    In bed with all my sisters in our cabin during a thunderstorm. I’d read something long and lyrical and we’d fall asleep, book still open on my chest, to the sound of rain falling on the tin roof.

  252. Clarissa

    First of all, lovely giveaway, thank you. Some of my most cherished childhood memories are of time spent with my grandfather. When I was 6 or 7, my grandpa would carry a blanket-wrapped me out to the garden to gaze at the stars. He taught me how to play checkers strategically, cook, garden, drive, use power tools, and manage money. His stories of hardship humbled me then, and keep me in check to this day. I cherished every moment with him. The skills he taught me guide me daily and my memories calm and ground me when life gets rocky.

  253. anngeedee

    I remember racing into the dance studio upon seeing it for the first time at age three and asking the instuctor if we were going to do thiiiiiiiiis? (spinning around and around and around on the shiny tile floor). “Of course” she said.

  254. Erin

    My favorite memory is going to the state fair with my dad. Every year he talked about going to the fair when he was a kid. His unending childlike delight for it was contagious.

  255. ErinTine

    Favorite childhood memory…summer visits to my grandparents house on Long Island. Hot, sticky days at the beach, warm evenings eating out on the screened in porch, fireflies at night, Grandma’s cookies, Grandpa’s pipe smoke “to keep the mosquitos away”…the feeling of sunburned skin on polyester sheets…those were truly the good ol’ days.

  256. Katie

    My brothers and I made a fort out of every single sheet and towel we could find. It covered the entire living room and dinning room. During the day we would play lava under the fort and at night we would play flashlight tag. Mom even helped!

  257. Andree Close

    Going down to our family’s summer home in Parowan (a small town in S. Utah); I went on a long hike in the mountains with my older cousins and siblings, and we got lost for a while.. but it was such an adventure!

  258. souphead

    Summer camp. I went to sleepaway camp for 9 years. Most of them were the best summers of my life (the first 2 or 3 were a little rough).

  259. Camille

    Camping with my extended family outside of Homer, AK. We used to take our boat to a beach across the bay and go clam digging first thing. I loved to clean the clams and my cousins’ dog always, always ran away as soon as we began packing to leave. Great memories.

  260. vanessa

    While shopping recently I heard the song, Mr. Bass Man. I remember my father singing the — BaBaBaBa-Ba-BaBaBa to me as a little girl. Fun to have YouTube to see Johnny Cymbal almost 40 years later.

  261. Heidi C.

    When I was little I LOVED riding the school bus to my grandparents house. My grandma was the kind that had a 5 gallon can of flour under the kitchen table; she was always baking something. One particular day it was rainy and stormy and when I got off the bus at the end of the driveway I could smell my Grandma’s homemade dinner rolls. I ran all the way up the driveway. My Grandma met me at the door with a towel, helped me dry off and then I parked myself next to the wood stove with an afghan and a nice hot buttery dinner roll to watch Scooby Doo.

  262. justaub

    picking raspberries from behind my aunt’s garden and her giving me total freedom to create any recipes I wanted with the fresh fruit–my favorite of her suggestions was a tartlet…that word made me giggle, still does

  263. Sarah

    Easter week we’d camp on Jekyll Island, ride our bikes around and get sunburnt on the beach…. And eat lots of fried shrimp

  264. Anastasia

    Sitting in my bathing suit at my grandma’s, wet and tired from the pool, eating an ice cream cone. Then jumping back in to rinse off.

  265. Karen

    Spending most afternoons in 2nd grade and the summer after styling Fashion Star Filly hair with my best friend. It was the first time I remember having a passion (and a best girlfriend) to go back to again and again!

  266. Dani

    my favorite childhood memory was going swimming on a hot summer day with my friends and then riding our bikes to the nearest 711 to buy a slurpee.

  267. Amanda

    Riding my bike to the little corner grocery store to buy bagfuls of candy. Why did my mom allow this? I’m not sure. I could shove five atomic fireballs in my mouth at once though.

  268. Ellen

    my favorite childhood memories revolve around summers and vacations. i was a water-loving child– attached to the neighbors pool, the local public beach, fishing off the dock, sailing on my dad’s boat. so many wonderful memories there.

  269. Gina

    drive-in movies, tractor rides, reading under the weeping willow tree, endless games of red rover, red light green light, spud, freeze tag, and ghost in the graveyard as day turned to early evening.

  270. Charlotte Lunsford

    Since My Grandfather passed today I will leave a memory of him. He used to let us chop wood with him as young as 8 or 9 we had our own little ax and everything :)

  271. Jackie

    My favorite childhood memory is going to summer camp for 3 weeks every summer in beautiful new hampshire. I made lifelong friends and have memories forever. Great giveaway! Thank you.

  272. Michelle

    My favorite memory from childhood is a day that my mother took me to San Francisco, just me, for a mother/daughter day. We ate clam chowder on the warf, shopped, watched the crazy sights. We even rode the trollies. It was a magical day!

  273. Suzie

    I’m a fan of so many of these shops already! Great giveaway!

    My favorite childhood memory . . . there was a huge pine tree in our neighborhood that covered a 20-ft diameter area on the ground. The branches had been trimmed from the inside of the branches, leaving a “tee-pee” clubhouse of sorts under its sappy boughs. One summer I thought I would try to be like Jack and the Beanstalk and plant my own “magic beans” (a bag of 15 bean mix from the pantry). Needless to say, the next summer the floor of the clubhouse was overgrown with bean plants. I never told my friends that I was the treacherous gardener. :)

  274. Andi

    Running through the seemingly endless rows of corn in our back yard. Now, with the deer tick boom in that area, I wouldn’t dream of going into the field. But at least I have the memories!

  275. Sarah Songer

    Creek hiking at summer camp, wearing old shoes, and sliding down a mossy rock into the swimming hole at the end of our trek.

  276. Susie H.

    One of my most favorite childhood memories was attending our huge, huge family reunion. Family from all over the world, including those still living overseas, came in for the gathering. I will always remember the drive home afterwards, the beautiful sunset and the immense feeling of peace and love.

  277. wixson

    Feral summer days riding around the neighborhood on our bikes in packs, hanging at the pool- little parental control or supervision- a childhood my kids will not have

  278. Aleese

    I remember getting dressed up all fancy with my mom and we went to Red Lobster. I asked her why they had a tray of desserts sitting out and she told me they were plastic so the customers would be able to see what they were ordering. So I poked the carrot on one of the squares of cake, and it SQUOOSHED. I hid behind my mom until I thought it was safe. :D

  279. Lauren

    My favorite childhood memory is building an imaginary world with my younger brothers. Nothing around us was what others saw. We had secret passageways and hideouts all over the neighborhood, and since there were four of us, we had an unbreakable team one day and shifting alliances the next. It’s stress-relieving even to just remember being so carefree!

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