Spatial context supports memory retrieval in adults. To understand the development of these effects, context effects on object recognition were tested in neurotypical children ages 3 years to adulthood (n 3-6 years = 34, n 10-16 years = 32, n college age = 22) and individuals with Down syndrome (DS) ages 10-29 years (n = 21). Participants engaged in an object recognition task; objects were presented in scenes and either remained in that same scene or were removed at test. In some groups (< 4.5 years and with DS) context effects were present even though object recognition was poor. After 4.5 years, children demonstrated memory flexibility, while later in adolescence context effects reemerged, showing nonlinearity in the development of these effects.