False recognition in children aged 5, 8, and 11 years was investigated using the standard version of the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) procedure and an alternative version in which the DRM stimuli were embedded in stories designed to emphasize their overall theme. Relative to the 8- and 11-year-olds, the 5-year-olds falsely recognized fewer critical lures when the DRM stimuli were presented in lists, but falsely recognized more critical lures when the stimuli were presented in stories. Levels of false recognition in the 8- and 11-year-olds were not affected by study format. We argue that the story context enhanced the ability of the 5-year-olds to make inferences based on the theme of the DRM stimuli. The 5-year-olds then showed higher levels of false recognition than the older children owing to their inability to reject lure words consistent with the stories.