Items From Elementary School We Forgot Existed

By Nick Hadji 11 months ago

1. Recess Bells

Image Source: Fandom
The recess bell is one childhood memory that was always music to our ears.  Hearing it meant that you were free from the classroom for a while and you can go and do pretty much whatever you like.  If only we had a bell that allowed us to do that nowadays!Original content sourced from Femanin.com

2. AV Carts

Image Source: Reddit.com
Most kids in the western world who went to school between the seventies and the nineties will remember the beautiful sight of the AV cart.  And even if you were only set to watch a boring documentary about rocks, it still filled you with an immense amount of excitement!  And it was probably a bonus nap time for a lot of us!

3. School Cafeteria Menu

Image Source: Reddit.com
Before the rise of the internet and apps, the school cafeteria menu for the month would be printed on paper and handed out to every student.  And it was a welcome piece of paper because it told you which days to look forward to, like chicken patty day!  Are we right, or are we right?!

4. Pull Down Maps

Image Source: Reddit.com
One thing that you might have forgotten about is pull-down maps of the world.  Granted they are quite big, especially the ones aimed at elementary school-aged kids, and did use to take up quite a bit of space on the wall!  So when you were learning geography, your teacher would whip out the map and it would appear like magic!

5. Metal Lunch Boxes

Image Source: Reddit.com
Many of the old metal lunch boxes that we used to use are now actually collectibles, referred to as vintage, AND some can even be found in people's history museums - rude!  But seeing these can really make us feel nostalgic and the plastic lunch boxes today don't compare!

6. Tiny Plastic Chairs

Image Source: Reddit.com
When we were elementary-aged school children, we were probably pretty small and so the plastic chairs we sat on would've felt like they were a normal size.  But if you enter an elementary school today, you'll find that they look absolutely tiny!  You might be able to still sit in one, but you're not getting back up again!

7. Elmers Glue

Image Source: Reddit.com
Every schoolkid in the western world will have probably shared the same age-old hobby of absolutely covering their hands, front and back, with Elmers PVA school glue, only to peel it all off again.  And you don't even need to ask why kids are still doing it because you can remember how wonderfully satisfying it was to peel off that layer of dry glue.

8. These Scissors

Image Source: Reddit.com
What was it with those scissors with the tiny finger holes?  Did anyone else find that they really hurt your fingers after a while?  Any arts and craft project would feel like torture, especially if there was lots of snipping involved!  They even had the left-handed version of these too that weren't much better!

9. Overhead Projectors

Image Source: Reddit.com
Technology has advanced so quickly since we were at school, and with the rise of fancy and interactive, presentations (that almost sing and dance), it's hard to believe that we used to actually learn things from staring at a projected handout on a textured wall!

10. Overhead Transparencies

Image Source: YouTube
And do you remember how the teachers used to 'innovatively' use these overhead projectors?  Yes, they used transparencies, which were printed handouts on acetate that they could write on using a dry wipe marker!  At least when they switched off the lights you could get in some shut-eye!  Snore!

11. Trapper Keeper Folders

Image Source: Reddit.com
Trapper Keepers were all the rage once upon a time.  They were really popular with kids all over the US during the seventies through to the nineties because of their bright and unique designs.  They were very different from other stationery brands and it looks like they're making a comeback!  But you can also find them being sold as collectibles online for a pretty penny!

12. Payphones

Image Source: Reddit.com
It's hard to think about what we used to do without our cell phones.  It seems like we are completely attached to them and we don't seem to be able to get through the day without them anymore.  But in the past, if we desperately needed to make a call, we could always use the school payphone!

13. Block Letters

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These ABC-123 colorful wooden blocks are quite iconic and you'll probably remember playing with them once upon a time when you were in the early years of elementary school!  They were great because they weren't only educational, but you could build some awesome towers with them too!

14. Slide Projectors

Image Source: Reddit.com
Another nostalgic memory from school in the seventies is slide projectors.  It felt like every classroom had them and it's really hard to believe that this was a way teachers used to try to bring their lessons to life!  They were great for the more visual learners though!

15. Mr. Sketch Scented Markers

Image Source: Reddit.com
Mr. Sketch's Scented Markers are definitely rather nostalgic.  And we can almost smell the distinctive chemical fruity scent when we think about them.  If you find these nowadays, you are guaranteed that each color and scent will take you back to a memory at elementary school!

16. Mimeograph Machines

Image Source: Reddit.com
You might've completely forgotten about your love for the mimeograph machine at your elementary school but here's your reminder.  Many elementary children got the wonderful classroom chore of using these machines to make copies.  And the purple ink and the distinctive smell will take you back to your school days

17. Big Chief Tablets

Image Source: Reddit.com
Big Chief Tablets were so popular with many school kids in the US during the seventies through to the nineties.  They were produced specifically for younger children who were learning to write because of the widely spaced lines on the paper inside.

18. Chalkboards

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With the rise of technology, and the use of electronic, interactive boards, chalkboards have completely become a thing of the past.  There seems to be no need to handwrite or draw anything with chalk because it can all be created on a screen nowadays.  Some will say it's a beneficial step forward, but some will miss this old style of teaching.

19. These pots of ice-cream

Image Source: Reddit.com
There seem to be certain things that you got at school that you have never ever seen anywhere else.  Take these pots of ice cream for example.  They only seemed to exist in the school cafeteria and they always tasted like the little wooden 'spoon' they came with!

20. Cassette Tapes

Image Source: Reddit.com
You probably won't see cassettes anywhere anymore, unless they are stored away in your attic covered in dust.  But this forgotten medium will be a familiar memory from elementary school!  And your teacher might've played you a rather dull dictation for to copy down.

21. These Little Plastic Blocks

Image Source: Reddit.com
Those little colorful plastic blocks that you forgot existed probably gave you hours of fun and learning at elementary school.  And children still use them nowadays to help them with their mathematics.  You can count them, group them, and build towers with them!

22. Pink Soap

Image Source: Reddit.com
You have only ever seen and used that radioactive-looking pink soap in the dispensers in the school restrooms.  It's just another one of those things that seems to only exist within the walls of the school and when you leave, you will probably never see it ever again!

23. Erasers that could erase ink!

Image Source: Throwbacks.com
Now, legend has it that these magical erasers had a special power in the blue end.  And it was to erase ink!  We are very sorry to ruin this childhood memory but the blue part wasn't actually for rubbing out pen ink.  Like the red side, the blue part was also for erasing pencil mistakes but on heavier paper...

24. A Huge Parachute

Image Source: Reddit.com
The BEST gym classes were the ones where the teacher got the giant, rainbow parachute out.  It's such a random object to use in gym class but it gave you endless fun and entertainment!  You can probably still feel the joy you felt as a child when you think about the giant parachute!  Where did they even get them from?

25. Mesh Gym Pinnys

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You might remember the musty stench of those mesh pinnies your gym teacher forced you to wear when you were playing team sports, like soccer or dodgeball.  What did they have against ever washing them?  They were always covered in mud and absolutely stank of musty trainers.

26. Chalkboard eraser

Image Source: Wikipedia
With the extinction of the chalkboard also comes the extinction of the chalkboard eraser.  Bashing these together, causing a dusty cloud of chalk to form, gave you so much pleasure, and, sadly, they are no more!  It was always a fun classroom chore, though, when your teacher asked you to rub the chalk off the board.  Satisfying!

27. Library Card Catalog

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Library catalogs nowadays are all online and books have chips in them that can be scanned into a machine.  But you'll remember that there was once a time when they used physical cards.  And they were all satisfyingly filed neatly in labeled tiny wooden drawers.

28. Cursive Writing

Image Source: TheMercuryNews
When we got to a certain grade, and we could confidently form out letters in our handwriting, teachers then forced yet another challenge upon us.  And it was cursive writing! We'd love to know how many people still use cursive writing as an adult and how many people have forgotten that it exists!

29. Lost & Found

Image Source: Westridgespyglass.com
Whenever you lost anything at school, it was probably added to the aromatic lost and found basket that was stored in the school office.  And anything that went unclaimed was saved for the not-so-lucky children who forgot their gym kit to rummage through for something smelly to wear.

30. Encyclopedias

Image Source: Reddit.com
What would we do without Googling everything? It's difficult to know where we'd be with out a search engine at our fingertips.  But, the truth is, we did once survive without it!  We had Encyclopedias and we treated them as fonts of knowledge!  Admittedly, it took much longer to find things out, but we did it, AND we lived to tell the tale!

31. These Calculators For Spelling Rude Words

image source: buzzfeed.com
Well, really, they didn't think we were going to use the calculators for something practical like math, did they? How long did you spend trying to spell out rude words on your calc? It took at least one full lesson of messing with the screen - and then, of course, you had to teach all your friends how to do it..

32. These Scissors That Just Hurt For Some Reason

image source: buzzfeed.com
Why were these scissors SO painful? How were we supposed to make our amazing arts and crafts debut when they were trying to cripple our talent with these things? It's like the handle holes weren't made for any normal human sized finger - the struggle was real.

33. These Walls

image source: buzzfeed.com
It's like these walls were exclusive to elementary school, and elementary school only. We don't know why.. think about it. Have you ever seen or felt a wall like this since growing up? These walls were the ones you just had to run your finger along like this while roaming the halls...

34. These Lever Pens

image source: buzzfeed.com
If there's one thing we had to have as kids in elementary school, it was the cream of the crop when it came to pens. Not because we actually wanted to do work, but because we wanted to look cool. These lever pens were the best - who remembers trying to push them all down at once?

35. Your Head Against The Bus Window - 10/10

image source: buzzfeed.com
Was there a more iconic elementary school experience than this? Riding the bus to and from school and leaning your head against the bus window to get that one-of-a-kind bumpy sound and motion that, yeah, hurt a lot but still - it was totally worth it. And you'd do it all again tomorrow.

36. When Your Eraser Looked Like This

image source: buzzfeed.com
When you were bored in class, you had to get very creative about how to distract yourself from the teacher's voice. That's where this eraser came in. The possibilities were endlessly - you could just push your pencil in with no real goal, or you could spell your name out!

37. These Adorable Erasers

image source: buzzfeed.com
This things were the perfect example of style over substance. Did they erase anything? Nope. Did they smudge everything instead? Absolutely. But did they look cute whilst doing so? You bet your bottom dollar they did! They were just cool to keep in your pencil case - then out on the desk.

38. Mechanical Pencil Lead

image source: buzzfeed.com
There was something weird but yet something super cool to our elementary-school brains about seeing this exposed pencil lead - almost like a peek behind the curtain. To have a mechanical pencil anyway was a luxury, and then having this spare pack was unbeatable.

39. And Then Bending Your Pencil Like This Anyway

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You go to the effort of begging your mom or dad for a mechanical pencil anyway, then you get stocked up with that awesome box of mechanical pencil lead, and then what's the first thing you do? Try and break your pencil, of course! There was just something so satisfying about bending that bit back, wasn't there?

40. Becoming The Next Picasso With This

image source: buzzfeed.com
This was all a young, budding artist could ever want or ever need. This was capable of creating the most iconic masterpieces that were probably then put on display on your parents' fridge. But the mess really started when you started getting the water in there and merging the colors!

41. This Wall-Mounted Pencil Sharpener

image source: buzzfeed.com
This was like the elementary school equivalent of a water cooler in an office - you'd gather around it with your friends and pretend you're sharpening your pencil with your back to the teacher so that you could have a gossip, or even see who could sharpen their pencil right down the most.

42. The Ball RoomTM

image source: buzzfeed.com
This was like a gym class sanctuary - no student was allowed to go into the ball room unsupervised, or probably had to wait at the door. If you peeked in you got a treat. Because you just know what would happen to all those gym balls if kids got their hands on them!

43. Valentine's Day: Elementary School Style!

image source: buzzfeed.com
If you remember elementary school, then you'll of course remember celebrating Valentine's Day! And what could be a better celebration that those massive bags of candy that everyone got to show them they're love. No wonder we all feast on chocolate now when we have a bad day!

44. The Auditorium Being The Same Place As The Cafeteria

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There was something so weird about this, especially when it came time to use the auditorium and you just remember eating your fries in there on a table that isn't there anymore. Or it was just a mess-around waiting to happen with kids climbing on the stage during lunch (you did that didn't you, admit it!).

45. These Yellow Clocks

image source: buzzfeed.com
What were these even for? We all remember them, but we can't quite exactly put our finger on what they were used for. Were they actually to help us learn the time, or did the teacher use them in Math class or something? Either way, every desk had one of these at some point!

46. The Art Class Stool

image source: buzzfeed.com
This was a stool like no other - it wasn't just a stool, it was an art class stool. Chairs couldn't hope to compete with this uncomfortable monstrosity - other stools couldn't hope to complete with this uncomfortable monstrosity, either. How were we supposed to create art in these conditions?

47. Tennis Balls On Chair Legs

image source: buzzfeed.com
Do you remember when chairs had these tennis balls stuck on the bottom? It wasn't every chair but it definitely happened. Apparently it was supposed to stop the sound of the chairs squeaking on the floor - which worked, but it just ended up looking weird.

48. You Were A VIP If You Had One Of These

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This is one thing you definitely wanted in your pencil case to show off to your pals! The trouble with these was that the novelty soon wore off as soon as you lost the cap - which happened all the time, let's be honest - not to mention trying to choose which color to write with!

49. Chicken Patty Day

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Was there anything better than looking forward to a specific weekday because you just knew it was a special menu item in the cafeteria? And you just know that chicken patty day was the only day that mattered! You probably couldn't think about anything else during your lessons that day, though.

50. These Math Blocks

image source: buzzfeed.com
Maybe they thought the calculators were too much of a risk after us writing rude words on them so they went old school (scuse the pun). But these little Math building blocks were a whole lot of fun - until you had to tidy them away, of course. Or get one thrown at your head.