Characteristic appearances of epileptiform EEG activity in children aged between 2 and 10 years are described. Emphasis is placed on the value of careful analysis of background EEG and how the epileptiform activity itself may overlap between benign and malignant epileptic syndromes. Illustrations are used to underscore this emphasis. Irrespective of how "classic" an EEG appearance is, accurate classification of a child's epileptic syndrome requires integration of all available clinical data. EEG is just one component of this equation.