Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back to School Back in the Day

Schools everywhere are back in session now and I can't help but notice the seasonally-expanded school supply section every time I take a trip to Target lately. I have an addiction to office supplies (among other things), and this time of year always makes me think of how excited I would get to go school supply shopping each year.

As I took a stroll through the Back-to-School section, I couldn't help but notice how...different...everything is now. And by different, I mean bad. Today's school supplies are no different than what you can find on the shelf in the home/office section in, say, the middle of November. When did this become acceptable? Where are all of the "can only get them during the back-to-school time" options? What a tragedy that today's kids do not get to know the joy of the school supplies we (I say we, but that all depends on how old you are...) knew and loved.

Trapper Keepers - I can almost hear the rip of the velcro now. Who didn't love Trapper Keepers? This was, perhaps, the ultimate school supply back in the day. I'm not sure what kids in school are using now days, but I am certain that whatever it is just cannot possibly be as fantastic as a Trapper Keeper.

Push Pencils - I LOVED these things. I cannot write with dull lead - it needs to be crisp and neat at all times. And I hated getting up to sharpen my pencil all the time. I loved that I could write until I felt like it wasn't sharp enough, push the used lead in the back, and out popped a new one!

Troll Pencil Toppers - Trolls were THE thing to have. I had several of the regular size trolls and loved them so much, I just had to have them on my pencils. I was constantly playing with their straw-like hair and waving my pencil around to watch it flap in the breeze. But not the rainbow one. I hated that one.

Pencil Cases - I remember the very first time I got one of these. I thought I was the coolest thing ever. With so many nooks and crannies and pop-ups, there was a space for everything. I spent at least an hour organizing everything in it the first time.

Lisa Frank - What girl did not love Lisa Frank? I can't even begin to tell you how much Lisa Frank stuff I had. From stickers to stationery to coloring books, I had it all. I just HAD to get something every time I went in the store. Otherwise, how could I have gone on living?

Lunch Box with Thermos - Was there anything better than opening your plastic lunch box, taking out your thermos and pouring yourself a lid full of Hi-C Fruit Punch? No. No there was not. And just in case you're wondering...yes, I did have this exact Barbie Rockers lunch box. I also had the Barbie Rockers VHS. Don't hate.

Scented Markers - Mr. Sketch made art time so much more fun. Would you rather color with purple...or with grape? Exactly. It was like christmas for the senses...pleasing to the eyes *and* the nose. Except the black one. It smelled like licorice and was disgusting.

64 Count Crayola - At the beginning of every school year in elementary school, I would get a brand new box of 64 count Crayola crayons with the built-in sharpener. It had to have the sharpener. Who wants to color with a dull crayon?? Talk about hard to stay in the lines.

Yikes Pencils - Because of my obsession for perfectly sharpened lead, I didn't use these often, but I sure did love the way the looked. One color on the outside, another whacky color on the inside, oddly shaped erasers...they were the avante-garde of the writing instruments.

What were you favorite school supplies back in the day?


  1. I must have a box of Mr. Sketch smelly markers at the beginning of each sememster STILL! I do believe these markers were one of the very reasons I became a kindergarten teacher! And I still get a new lunchbox each year, this year a Lilly one! Ahhhhhh, I do soooooo love all my new Lilly supplies. Life is Gooooooood!

    Mrs. Kindergarten

  2. LOVE this post!! we weren't allowed to use trapper keepers in our school, but i remember lusting after them.

    and the whacky pencils, we HAD to have those!

  3. Oh my gosh this brings back some great memories! I had all of those little cuties growing up. I used to beg my Mom for colorful book covers & matching folders for my Trapper Keeper, haha. Love it!

  4. I loved my puppy trapper keeper.

  5. Oh my goodness this post makes me sooooooo happy! I MISS all of these things! I miss collecting stickers and then pasting them on everything, my smelly crayons (until I found I was allergic, thanks to the rashes!), my brand new backpack with matching lunch box and planner from gap kids, and my oodles and oodles of fun new pencils! Oh how I long for the fresh first days of elementary school....

  6. AAhh I adore this post! it is so true and perfectly applies to me :)
    You know what else it reminded me of? the Barbie stencils, it was a plastic Fashion Plate, with a raised drawing that you rubbed a crayon over and had a new dress form where you could add your own pattern!

  7. I love this post! I had everything on this list. I can't remember what lunch box I had though. My favorite Mr. Sketch markers were/are the orange and the cherry (red) ones. Such a blast from the past with the Lisa Frank!

  8. I definitely forgot all about push pencils and those crazy pencil cases! Fun memories!

  9. Where can I find one of those pencil cases now? I must have one again.

  10. School supplies now are so boring, like, you can't get pencil cases like that anymore. Its an outrage! And lisa frank stuff now is all stickers, coloring books and beauty supplies. You can't get lisa frank school supplies like back in day, they're very limited. No wonder kids hate school so much!

  11. whats the name of the pencilcase? cos i sooo want one! all the old stuff (ie from the 90s) is waaay cooler than the new stuff.

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