Kids these days just don’t know what they’re missing. Glued to phone screens and Xbox remotes, they’ll never know the true joy that comes from an Etch-A-Sketch. Or perhaps, the girl power that comes from writing in your Lisa Frank Diary.
And WHAT IS CHRISTMAS without a Lite Brite on your wish list, Amiright?
The 80’s and 90’s were some of the best times to be alive. Kids today will never understand.
“I think that period of time was sort of nostalgic,” Jennifer Aniston says of her 90’s TV show, Friends, which ran for 10 seasons on NBC from 1994-2004.
“I think people have such an affection for it because even though it was only 12 years ago that it ended, or 13…there was something about a time where our faces weren’t stuffed into cell phones. We weren’t checking Facebooks and Instagrams. We were in a room together, in a coffee shop together. We were talking, having conversations. We have lost that.”
Long before cell phones and social media made their way onto the scene, 90’s kids were living their best lives with some of the greatest FisherPrice creations ever manufactured, and gym classes that were all the rage.
Whether you were born in the 1990’s or had the pleasure of living through it, here are 32 things you’ll only remember if you were a 90’s kid.
1. The original Koosh Ball
Forget fidget spinners. This sensory soothing little sucker was the original stress reliever!
2. Scratch-N-Sniff Stickers
Otherwise known as the original emoji, these little guys were the ONLY way for cool kids to communicate back in the day. We covered notebooks, lockers, folders and graded papers with stickers of all kinds! And bonus points if like these, yours were scratch-n-sniff!
3. A Play Kitchen
I don’t know about you, but my childhood was filled with “playing house.” And every good four year old knows, you can’t be a mommy to 70 little baby dolls if you don’t have a kitchen to cook them food in! Bonus points if your play kitchen had an ice maker like this one!
4. The Big Wheel
Nothing says 90’s kid like a decked out Big Wheel. How else did you expect to get around the neighborhood and bounce from house to house?
5. ALL The Girly Games
Whether you were playing Girl Talk or Mall Maddness, there was no greater afternoon with your gal pals than setting up shop with one of these gems on your bedroom floor. We lived out our Mary Kate and Ashley Dreams, while talking to “Brad” from Mystery Date!
6. Mathlink Cubes
I mean, WHAT was math class without these glorious rainbow cubes? If you weren’t arranging them in a perfect rainbow, you were seeing how many you could connect in a straight line before it breaks!
7. Stacking Point Pencils
They either lasted forever, or you had a pencil with 8 dull tips. Whatever the case, these were bound to be found in every goodie bag and pencil case across America in the 90’s.
Did you even live in the 90’s if you didn’t have Gushers packed in your lunch every day? High fructose corn syrup and ALL the dyes, 90’s kids were living GOOD!
9. The Original Text Message
What was the point of going to class if you couldn’t successfully sneak one of these meticulously folded notes across three rows of desks and up the isle about your slumber party Friday night without getting caught?
10. Slap Bracelets
They’re exactly what they sound like, and they were the ONLY accessory you needed.
11. Scholastic Catalogs
These somehow always seemed to make reading sound like a great hobby to take up! Affordable books, and some even came with toys or a necklace!
12. Crayola Stamp Markers
Another ode to the emoji, Crayola stamp markers were an essential addition to every pencil bag. And you know you’d done really well when your teacher used them to grade your homework!
13. Cabbage Patch Kids
I can still smell that sweet comfort of these 90’s kid staples. Boy or girl, you can bet your dollar you owned a Cabbage Patch doll!
14. 10-Color Retractable Pens
Saving space in your pencil box, and annoying teachers everywhere, these little 90’s novelties gave you 10 pens in ONE! Now you tell me a better school supply than that!
15. Hand-Written Library Checkout Slips
Whether you used them as a bookmark, or left them in the taped up pocket at the front of the book, these library slips told you everyone who had checked out that novel before you, and reminded you of when it was due!
16. The Original VR
Virtual reality has been around for AGES! But instead of using a smart phone and viewing goggles, all you needed was a View Master and some reels! That spring-loaded lever took you through all of the virtual reality you could ever need. And if you ran out, or got bored, simply dig a new insert out of your ever-growing collection, and keep flipping!
17. Heads-Up 7-Up
What would the 90’s be without a good old fashion game of blind deceit?
18. The Original Scooters
You definitely weren’t a 90’s kid if you’ve never had your finger run over, crushed, or slammed into by one of these! A gym class favorite, and the source of all black and blue nails in the 90’s.
19. Gym Mats
Speaking of gym class, what was physical education if you weren’t falling flat on your head with only these blue strips of vinyl to catch your fall?
20. Calculator Tricks
It was always a special privilege to actually USE a calculator at school. But you better believe when given the opportunity, we found ways to get creative!
Only a true 90’s kid knows the accomplishment of being able to create anything but a straight line on one of these! Many afternoons were spent creating mazes and filling that little red square with a boxy version of your name. Then you shake it all away and start over!
22. Gone Fishin’
Rainy days were never spent watching Netflix. We had ALL the games to fill our afternoons with, and you weren’t a 90’s kid if you didn’t capture these circling piranhas with a stick.
23. The Wonderful Waterfuls
There was no greater way to pass time in the 90’s than this little handheld game. Whether you were waiting at the doctor’s office or riding in the car, 90’s kids were bound and determined to get those little loops in the right spot!
24. Space Makers
No desk in the 90’s was free from the storage goodness that was Space Maker. Every school year brought a new one, and it was only a matter of time before the box that held all of your pencils, erasers and glue sticks, was covered in sharpie and stickers.
25. Timed Tests
The spawn of satan to every 90’s kid was surely these math aids. It’s where our love for competition began, and our hatred for mental math was cultivated.
26. The Original Trollz
What was on your bedroom desk as a 90’s kid if it wasn’t one of these naked neon babes? Kids today have Trollz, but they’ve never known their favorite characters like this.
The best days in gym class were spent sitting on the hardwood floor with a colorful vinyl balloon creating a fort above your head! Of course, there was always that one kid who could never sit down fast enough to make the bubble effect work.
Gak was all the rage back when Nikelodeon was all about the slime! You weren’t a 90’s kid if you weren’t making fart noises with this container, or drooping it across your head like a cast member of Slime Time Live!
29. Lite Brite
Never mind these colorful tablet apps that kids have today. Lite Brite allowed you to create your wildest dreams and light them up for all to see! Just don’t lose the pegs, or your clown will have a yellow nose instead of red.
30. Overhead Projectors
Complete with Visa-vis and overhead slips, these were the original “Smart Boards.”
31. School Lunch
Yep, that’s right! 90’s kids bought lunch at school, and it wasn’t Chick-fil-A or Pizza. We got the good stuff, like questionable lasagna, runny corn and something that appeared to be a fruit cup. Points to the person who could successfully pop open their carton of chocolate milk!
32. ALL Things Lisa Frank
Back to school was not complete for girls in the 90’s if your backpack wasn’t filled to the brim with all things Lisa! Notebooks, pencils, markers, stickers, pencil bags, and coloring sheets were the brightest thing in your desk. And you know you were cool if your backpack even had one of those chromatic characters on it!