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Maxine and friends in the 80s
03 August 2012

What does childhood mean to you?

This was the question we asked you... and what a phenomenal response we had.

‘What does childhood mean to you?’

This was the question we asked you two weeks ago and what a phenomenal response we have had.

A big thank you to everyone who joined us – we have received some fantastic answers and pictures on Twitter and Facebook – all on display on our Lost Childhood Pinterest wall.

We believe that childhood should be as rich with colour and experiences as you described for every child, no matter where they are born.

So please – read ahead our round-up of the best answers. Have any more thoughts? Please leave them on our comments below.

(Jump to 2020 update)

"Childhood is about… sweet shop adventures!" Maxine

"Childhood is about those all important choices – like deciding which football team you’re going to support…" Ben

"Childhood is fun, freedom and adventure…" Graeme

"Childhood was wanting me to be like my big brothers and laughing until my tummy hurt." Nina

"Childhood is about discovery." Kayla

"Childhood……. is believing I really, really was a fairy!" Sarah

"Childhood is about being carefree." Laura

"Childhood is the chance to dream, and the time to believe your dreams can come true." Em

"Childhood is about meeting your childhood heroes!" Mark

"Childhood is being proud of breaking your arm on the trampoline." Amy

"Childhood is: Sitting on my dads shoulders and missing the players emerge from the tunnel in order to see where the spine tingling chorus of singing was coming from." Mark

"Childhood is… childhood games. ‘One of my favourite games as a child was ‘the tasting game’. Basically you had to blindfold your younger gullible sibling, then feed them a surprise on a teaspoon…they had to guess what it was.’" Fee

"Childhood for us = embarrassing photos & birthday parties. Childhood in West Africa = hungry & poverty."  Emma

"Childhood is getting excited... about small things, like buses, ducks and dogs (real or not)!" David

"Happy memories of my childhood – joint birthday parties with my big brother and an amazing cake made by mum." Mim

"Childhood is: Long afternoons on the beach, ice cream dropping down your fingers." Jax

"Childhood is: Seeing my dad jump around with wild abandonment as the first goal went in, and the second, third, and fourth that followed." Mark

"Childhood is: long lazy summer afternoons filled with nothing but magic adventures. No responsibilities, no chores, no fear." Angelica

"Childhood is: about walking hand in hand with your hero." Molly

"Childhood is protecting your younger siblings and bossing them around!" Rakhee

"Childhood is feeling safe enough... to sleep through anything!" Leanne

"Childhood is: Being able to live each day as it comes without having to bear any burdens…just living free." Michelle

"Childhood is about: those innocent years."  Vicki

"Childhood is playing for hours and forgetting about anything else." Debbie

"Childhood is knowing that a cute smile can get you anything you want – even if your 70′s outfit leaves a lot to be desired." Samantha

"Childhood is… your first big catch." Graeme

"Childhood was about holidays where the sun shone every day…" Bev

"Childhood is about capturing the moment." Chris

"Childhood is all about loving and being loved." Wendy

"Childhood is about discovering everything for the first time – and laughing until you burst!" Sally

"Childhood is… ...sunny Saturday afternoons with my grandad." Carla

"Childhood is: tears over popped balloons, friendships broken and just as quickly mended." Jax

"Childhood is playing games with your brothers." Poe

"Childhood is: about rummaging through your mum’s jewellery box and stowing away the shiny things, like a magpie." Molly


"Childhood is... playing games with your brothers pretending to be Muppets characters." Poe

2020 update

This year, coronavirus has affected everything – and childhood has been looking pretty different. Schools closed for weeks, no spring getaways or after-school playdates. But children are dealing with it in their own ways.

For you: Is your child struggling with the current situation? Try these activities.

Inspirational children: Young people lead the way in spreading hope and staying safe.

Sponsor a child: You can help children in other communities struggling with the effects of coronavirus, and your children can exchange letters with them to share their experiences.