In spring 1838 Schumann composed "30 short, sweet things", as he called them in a letter to his fiancée Clara Wieck. He originally composed these under the title "Kindergeschichten" and intended them as a supplement to the "Noveletten" op. 21, also composed in 1838. From these piano miniatures he chose twelve pieces. At the beginning of the following year, now expanded with a thirteenth piece, they were published as "Scenes from Childhood" by Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig. The collection centred on Träumerei which is the seventh and the most famous piece in the collection.
The significance of the cycle was completely misjudged by the critic Ludwig Rellstab but it was enthusiastically received by Liszt. He wrote to Schumann in June 1839 that he was frequently playing "Scenes from Childhood" to his then three-and-a-half year old daughter Blandine with enthusiasm, but particularly to himself.