When we think back to our own childhoods, our clearest and most cherished memories are often those spent doing quite ordinary things with the people who loved and raised us. Seaside escapades and eating vinegar-drenched chips from a paper bag, stretching from the top of the gate to pick blackberries with juice-stained fingers, running through the garden sprinkler shrieking, peddling like mad on our first bike. It’s these evocative moments that our grown-up brains clutch.
As parents, sometimes we need to remember it’s those times that matter the most – and the ones our own children will treasure, too. The memories that evoke a burst of nostalgic joy and take you right back to a time when life was simple and you knew you were loved and had the total attention of a parent or grandparent – not a succession of expensive treats with stressed parents.
To get back to it all, The Huffington Post has teamed up with Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons to ask grown-ups to share their most adored childhood memories.
"For me, it's the memory of long days out in the country with a big crowd of cousins and my parents and uncles and aunts. There were woods and we'd make rope swings and drop into the stream, fish with those little nets on bamboo sticks and dangle bottles of pop on string in the river to keep them cool."
Tactile, simple pleasures
"I remember podding peas with my Nana. It was a very satisfying feeling, and we had a whole bucket of them. I remember the pop of the pea pod and running my thumb along and watching all the peas spill out. I was about six and she was in bed, so I was sitting on a chair in her bedroom beside her. I didn't know it then, but she was dying, yet it's one of my happiest childhood memories."
A rush of adrenaline
“Making very basic peppermint creams from icing sugar and thinking they were delicious (but they were almost certainly revolting). And making dens – inside and out.”
The joy of nature
“Going tadpoling with my gran, making scent from the rose petals in her garden and daisy chain necklaces and tiaras.”
Special family traditions
"My dad sharpening our pencils in readiness for a new school year. He'd do it with a Stanley knife and then cut a bit of the wood off the side to write our name on."
"Making 'shark tooth' necklaces by threading dried melon seeds."
Loads of laughter
"Running down a slope in our garden in our parents' giant wellies – I remember them reaching my thighs! – then tumbling over on purpose in a giggling heap and doing it all over again and again. I also used to love 'dancing' on my dad's huge shoes as he waltzed me round and sitting on his shoulders, holding on to his slippery bald head and trying to touch branches."
"The smell of a Sunday roast wafting through the whole house and helping Mum make apple crumble, standing on a stool leaning into the cold bowl and sifting the flour, sugar and butter through my fingers. She could make long twists of apple peel and always told me I'd be able to do it when my fingers were bigger - I can now."