15 Of The Best Things About Elementary School In The 90’s

I don’t know what elementary school is like these days. I’m assuming every kid gets a personal robot to help them with math, and a time machine to visit anywhere in history. (Or at least an iPad.)

Back in the 1990’s, elementary school was much less low tech, but that didn’t make it less fun, necessarily. If you went to grade school during the Clinton administration, like I did, you can probably name at least a dozen of your favorite things about school in those days. Some of this stuff was legitimately great, and still enjoyable for adults. The rest of it was, well…it was there. But it’s all worth getting nostalgic over.

Check out this list of the best things about grade school in the 90’s, and see if your faves made the cut!

1. Parachute day in gym class

Photo Credit: Twitter

Sadly, the end of the 90’s was also the end of the rainbow parachute industry.

2. The overhead projector

Photo Credit: Reddit

Kids today will never know the shame of writing on the overhead, in Sharpie, without using a transparency.

3. Ice cream, served with a wooden spoon

Photo Credit: Throwbacks

Would you like that with sprinkles, or splinters? Just kidding. Everyone gets splinters.

4. The rolling TV/VCR

Photo Credit: Throwbacks

When this bad boy made an appearance, it was always a good day. You’d get to learn about the Transcontinental Railroad while your teacher got to nurse a hangover.

5. The Oregon Trail

Photo Credit: Throwbacks

Did you die of dysentery? Yes. Did you actually learn anything about the real Oregon Trail? Nope. Does it matter?

6. L.A. Lights

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Shoes? With LIGHTS in the heels?! L.A. Lights were a huge fad for about three months in the 90’s. Everyone simply had to have a pair, and then when they got one, they realized how dumb they were. For many of us, it was our first time ever being a sucker. 

7. The Scholastic book order

Photo Credit: Throwbacks

This was a win-win-win. Kids got a bunch of fun new books, parents got to feel like they were buy their kids something educational for once, and Scholastic got to offload a bunch of unsold inventory. The perfect scam.

8. One-minute drill worksheets

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A.k.a. the reason why calculating the tip still makes me projectile vomit from anxiety.

9. “Scissors” that haven’t been sharpened since the Great Depression

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They can’t actually cut paper, but you still had to cut paper all day long. And who says school doesn’t prepare you for life? 

10. Fruitopia

Photo Credit: Reddit

The 90’s were around the time when parents realized it’s maybe not the best idea to give kids endless amounts of sugary soda. So what did soda companies do? Stop calling it “soda” and start calling it “fruit juice”! Despite containing only 17% fruit juice, Fruitopia was a massively popular soda alternative, but like all utopias, it couldn’t last.

11. The art class drying rack

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Did your school have one of these? Mine did! After you were done crafting your watercolor masterpiece, you would gingerly slip it into one of the spaces on the drying rack, where all the other kids’ masterpieces would drip all over it. Then you’d have a brand new second masterpiece without doing any work. 

12. Scratch ‘n’ Sniff Markers

Photo Credit: Throwbacks

Teachers encouraging kids to sniff markers? It happened in the 90’s. I’m still not sure if these were a quirky school supply, or a secret Communist plot to weaken America from within.

13. Scooter day in gym class

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Remember these little death traps? One of my happiest memories was in third grade when my team won scooter dodge ball and got to keep almost all of our fingers. 

14. The Elmer’s Glue hand peel

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We all passed many a science class by pouring a bunch of Elmer’s onto the palm of our hand, letting it dry, and peeling it off in one piece. We also wasted a lot of glue, we’re the reason a jar of Elmer’s now costs $5,000. 

15. Old school calculators

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55378008, y’all,


h/t: Throwbacks and Buzzfeed