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The 10 Greatest Sounds of Childhood

Think about childhood for a second. Probably a few distinct memories pop into mind, right? Like Christmas morning or swim team meets or ballet class. You probably remember something specific, like the sound of the beep off the swim block, your grandmother’s voice, or your ballet teacher counting beats.

I remember the way the leather on the bottom of my ballet slipper sounded on the wood floor. The sound of my mother’s keys jingling (they always had a very distinct sound). The beep and the splash of the water and the roar of the crowds during swim meets. I remember the crackle of fire at Girl Scout camp and my mother yelling at the television during Carolina basketball games. It’s funny that of all the memories I hold dear, so many of them are remembered with a specific sound or smell. I asked my husband about his memories and he remembers the sound of the mower across the fairways and the strike of the ball against the face of the club.

Amazing how our brains and memories work, right?

So for me, here are some of the most iconic sounds of childhood:

  • The school intercom. 1 of 10
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    You'd hear that weird fuzzy sound or maybe a beep and you knew something good was coming. Maybe it was the call for your bus (I was on the "Grey Squirrel bus"). Maybe it was the morning or afternoon announcements or the nominees for Homecoming Court. Either way, it gave a brief rest from studies!

  • The words "Snow Day." 2 of 10
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    Or even "two hour delay!" Those were the best mornings when we sat in front of the television, snow falling lightly outside. And we knew we had a whole day at home with playing and hot chocolate and best of all, NO SCHOOL.

  • The oven timer. 3 of 10
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    Dinner or cookies or mom's trademark casserole, the ding of the oven timer was always a welcome sound that made a house feel like home.

  • Imagining the sound of Santa and his reindeer. 4 of 10
    waitingforsanta

    Remember those Christmas Eve nights you'd stay awake, eyes drooping and swearing you heard the sound of prancing paws? Or jingle bells in the sky? Those are some of my favorite childhood memories and yes, I swear to this day we heard the thump of a sled on our roof.

  • The squeal of bus brakes. 5 of 10
    iStock_000006626622XSmall

    I loved this sound growing up - maybe not as much in the morning, but in the afternoon as it dropped us off it sounded like pure freedom. The brakes would squeal and we'd run down the sidewalk to home, backpacks bouncing and lopsided ponytails flying.

  • Being sung “Happy Birthday.” 6 of 10
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    There is no sound greater than a circle of friends singing "Happy Birthday." Cake and presents and a skating rink to boot.

  • An aluminum baseball bat. 7 of 10
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    Nothing said spring and summer like fresh cut grass, warm sunshine, and the sound of an aluminum baseball bat hitting a baseball. I never played baseball but still, the sound and subsequent roar of the crowd always takes me back to days at the park.

  • The theme song to Mario Brothers. 8 of 10
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    Raise your hand if you can still hum the entire tune. ::raises hand:: It's an iconic sound to children of the '80s.

  • Listening to it rain while you fall asleep. 9 of 10
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    I loved lying in bed at night, listening to the rain hit the windows and roof. And when it didn't rain, I loved to hear my mother and father talk, or maybe the background noise of the news or basketball game floating up the stairs to my room. It always made me feel so secure.

  • Trick or Treat! 10 of 10
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    FREE CANDY. I repeat, FREE CANDY from three simple words! Hence the greatest, easiest words of childhood.

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Beth Anne writes words and takes pictures at Okay, BA! You can also find her on the Twitters and Facebook.

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