The 1990s were a transformative time for American society. There were innovations in nearly every technological industry, and provocative, edgier content became more commonplace. But anybody who grew up during this era remembers the time we spent in the classroom the most. Few schoolchildren in history are as fortunate as those lucky enough to be in elementary school during the 1990s. Here is a closer look at the best things about grade school in the 90s.
Right at the very top of the list is the rolling TV/VCR combination that always meant a relaxing day of classes. Even after moving on to middle and high school, this beacon of light was still a welcome sight. Even the playground arguments about why the class was watching a movie played into the mystique of that glowing CRT television.
And what would be on the TV? Only the best edutainment programming this side of PBS! Bill Nye taught an entire generation about the joys of science. Captain Planet showed children the importance of taking care of the earth. We were even hot on the trail of international master thief Carmen Sandiego.
But there were more forms of edutainment in the classrooms. Ms. Sandiego also had a series of computer games to teach about the United States and world geography. And where would the gaming industry be without Oregon Trail motivating a generation of developers? Many schools even hosted book fairs where series like Magic School Bus and Goosebumps reigned supreme.
Fun Writing Instruments
One of the unique aspects of the 90s was some companies’ willingness to push the boundaries of product design. While these items normally fizzled in the corporate world, they were as good as gold on the playground. One example of the things competing for space with your Lisa Frank pencils was scented markers. And while choosing a new favorite pen today is nowhere near as simple, the best way to flash your wealth on the playground was with a new click-pen that let you choose from a variety of ink colors.
No list of the best things about grade school in the 90s could be complete without mentioning the fantastic games in gym classes everywhere. For example, you just knew stuff was about to go down when you saw the dodgeballs sitting out. Or the scooters you rode around the gym floor. Even rainbow parachute days were worth celebrating in elementary school.