The goal of this paper is to present a model of children's semantic memory, which is based on a corpus reproducing the kinds of texts children are exposed to. After presenting the literature in the development of the semantic memory, a preliminary French corpus of 3.2 million words is described. Similarities in the resulting semantic space are compared to human data on four tests: association norms, vocabulary test, semantic judgments and memory tasks. A second corpus is described, which is composed of subcorpora corresponding to various ages. This stratified corpus is intended as a basis for developmental studies. Finally, two applications of these models of semantic memory are presented: the first one aims at tracing the development of semantic similarities paragraph by paragraph; the second one describes an implementation of a model of text comprehension derived from the Construction-integration model (Kintsch, 1988, 1998) and based on such models of semantic memory.