20 Things That Give Me 90’s Childhood Nostalgia

alice_wonderland_still.jpgFor those who were born in the last few years of the 20th century, there are small things that instantly make one think of the 90’s. How times have changed. A little while ago I posted a photo that I saw (below), which made me realise how thankful I am for many aspects of my childhood. The amount of time spent outdoors, growing up on a farm and the lack of technology in the hands of children. The ongoing feeling that the youth today are less innocent compare to when we were children, simply because of the rise of technology and access to everything. I remember a denim jacket with sheep skin on the inside that I had. I wore it to death during primary school, until the colour was tragically fading. Many of the things I mention are sort of between the 90’s and the beginning of the 20’s, because I was born in the mid-90’s.

p56YoaGXlqWX.jpg1. 小丸子. 

I grew up with many Video Tapes of Chinese Dubbed 小丸子, which is originally a Japanese animated show called: Chibi Maruko-chan. At the time it was my only access to Mandarin spoken cartoons. This gives me huge nostalgia, because during that time I had a hair cut exactly with the fringe and short hair for many years. It’s one of those animations that I distinctly remember.

1990sTV.jpg2.Big Computer, Radios, Phones & TV’s.

 Everything was far bigger compared to the thin iPods and Apple Computers we have today. As a child we had our big television for as long as I can remember. Computers were far slower, Phones were bulky, often with an antenna and a loud dialing sound. Most digital electronics weren’t  wireless.

belle.jpg3. 90’s Movies. 

The Lion King, Forrest Gump, Beauty and the Beast, Matilda, Men in Black, Toy Story, Mulan, Hercules,  Princess Mononoke,  The Little Mermaid, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Sleepless in Seattle and watching nearly every Disney film. I feel most people can relate to having a cupboard, storage section or shelf especially for video tapes.

S_Club_Sunshine_(Album_Cover).jpg4. Spice Girls & S Club 7. 

Back in the day when the radio player was a big ol’ thing, my Sister and I used to play different CD tracks and sing a long with them. It seems so long ago, but it feels somewhat nostalgic when thinking back to the popular songs in the 90’s. You’re likely to of heard something from Green Day, Mariah Carey, Sheryl Crow, The Cranberries, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna, Britney Spears, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, U2, Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys and the list goes on.

images.jpg5. Birthday Parties with Fairy Bread & Sponge Cakes. 

Fairy Bread is a popular party food in New Zealand and Australia. They are surprisingly good. My mother used to make a Sponge cake every single year in the shape of a heart since we were born. Birthday parties always had chips, club sandwiches and sweets.

670px-User-Completed-Image-Fold-Paper-Into-a-Secret-Note-Square-2016.05.09- Folded messages to my friends. 

My sister and I used to do this often, and over the years the pieces of papers built into a collection of drawings, stories and random games. During classes, I would write messages or draw stories to my friends. Other times it was if we needed to say something without the teacher hearing. Today, it’s quicker for most people to text, but hand written notes is definitely something I miss.

18erxsvcmmwzdjpg.jpg7. Playing random games. 

It made me smile how many random games that we used to play back in the day. It seems hilarious that so many people also played them too. I didn’t know Mash was a popular game, because it was something I only knew that I played with my sister. As well as the paper folding into a fortune teller, and placing colours and numbers until you reach who you will marry or how many children you will have.

72a5a299e43f4d5e2e7eb56311012467.jpg8. Gel Pens. 

You can probably guess most of my diaries as a 6 year old were filled with gel pens (especially the gold one interestingly enough). It smudged easily, especially when using it in class. There were various other little things that were popular during that time, such as Beanie Babies.

enhanced-buzz-11914-1334856640-16.jpg9. MP3 Player. 

I still remember when MP3 players only showed the song playing, and you had to keep clicking next to reach a song you wanted to listen to. Some days I miss the feeling of clicking a button, rather than typing on a touch screen.


old-vcr-tape-14691133.jpg10. When the Video Tape or Recording Tape tangles. 

I still remember when the tape lags or has a problem, and most of the time it’s because the tape is tangled or caught. Sometimes it’s easy to fix by rolling the white circles and other times it can cause the whole tape to tangle.

15360708433_b00fb7b107.jpg11. Bubble Dragon, Solitaire, Tetris & Pac Man. 

This game player is very similar to the one I had as a child. It’s amazing how much the times have changed and what we use to entertain ourselves throughout the years are so very different to what children use to entertain themselves today. The only time I ever used the computer was to play solitaire or Bubble Dragon.

img.gif12. Slinkies, Silly Putty & Scoobies.

Slinkies were perfect if you lived in a house with stairs. Silly putty was one of those things you bought to create into a bouncy ball, and it would get a little dirty and messy over time. You could also get ones that glowed in the dark. I remember spending my free time to make Scoobies. These were especially popular in the early 20’s. A lot of girls liked to swap them or put them on their bags and pencil cases.

toymain.jpg13. Water Fights & Baking. 

Going to friends house meant water fights with water guns, or if you had balloons you would fill them up with water at the tap. Baking also reminds me of my childhood, because there was so much of it.

90s-fashion-the-90s-6330936-350-263.jpg14. Bright Coloured Fashion & Baggy Clothing. 

There was a lot of checkered and floral prints, baggy pants, big trench coats, denim jeans and jackets, bigger hairstyles, colourful accessories and there was something simpler and sometimes mismatched about 90s fashion that made it appealing and memorable. When I look back at older photos, it’s interesting to see the way fashion moves.

11dab8a30a7b5e56286ca53d09613013.jpg15. Colouring In Books & Drawing Packs.

We had a blue and a red Pokemon drawing packs filled with felt pens, crayons and coloured pencils. It looked like a mini suitcase, with a big Pikachu on it. When I was around 4 or 5, the airplanes often provided kids packs that had colouring  books. The other few times I remember using colouring in books were in kindergarten, going to a family friends house or being given one as a gift from someone. They were always on the familiar recyclable grainy paper.

whereswally.jpg16. Roald Dahl, Winnie The Pooh & Where’s Wally Books.

Trips to the library often meant at least one Roald Dahl book would be borrowed. We had the A.A. Milne stories of Winnie the Pooh and Where’s Wally books in English and Mandarin. Other familiar books included The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales in Mandarin.

xr3i.jpg17. Old Cars.

The first car I remember growing up with was a dark red one, similar to the one in the image. Many cars in the 90’s had the similar shape. There’s something about it that feels nostalgic when you see an old car. It’s not often that you see one.

cdpile3.jpg18. Taking Pictures from Cameras & Piles of Photo Albums.

This image shows CD albums, but this was pretty much a reflection of the Photo Albums we had. There were boxes of photos of baby photos and childhood photos.

download.jpg19. Knocking on neighbours doors to hang out.

Rather than sending a text, most of the time we would just drop by the neighbours house to ask if the kids are free to play. Most of the time it was a Friday afternoon, and we would just walk around the neighbourhood, go on an adventure or play with toys. This was during the years we were living in a suburb. It was a very simple time.

Hello_Kitty_Sticker_set_2.jpg20. Snail Mail, Trading Stickers & Car Ride Music. 

I remember writing letters to send to friends and the classic music on the radio and CD player. Most people don’t know that I collected stickers when I was little. At school we would trade stickers, which sort of started my semi-obsession with Hello Kitty (semi is an understatement).

What is something that reminds you of the 90’s?

22 thoughts on “20 Things That Give Me 90’s Childhood Nostalgia

  1. awesome post….makes me get back to my childhood….it reminds me of some favourite cartoons ….i woke up to this post the very morning thanks for that really ..it will make my day :-)

  2. I can relate to this post from start to finish, Katie. I still remember having my Sony Walkman and putting my S Club 7, Britney and Avril Lavigne CDS on – and it was powered by batteries. Each week I had to go to the store to get new batteries :D I did have rechargeable batteries but they were always slow to charge.

    Also as you mentioned, I do remember things were so much bigger in the 90s. My family had a big chunky computer, and when it was turned off and cooled down, my parents liked to put a piece of cloth over it so the dust would not get in between the gaps of the machine and PC :D

    1. Those were the days! I remember having batteries around the house, because so many devices needed them :) Haha, this really made me smile because we did exactly the same. Technology moves so fast that I wonder what it will be like in the next 10 years!

  3. I miss 90’s Mariah Carey lol and Lisa Frank products that my parents never bought me and now I’m old enough to buy my own. 90’s sitcoms, Gameboys, and Super Nintendo.

  4. You had me at your instagram photo. Sometimes I imagine what life would be like if that continued. Pardon the rambles of a 20-something. The 90s were the last decade where technology wasn’t consuming our lives or culture, even though the seeds were certainly growing in that time.

    My parents had a HUGE TV growing up (one in a wooden box and weighing well over 150lbs) and I remember what a pain it could be to set up my SNES or Genesis on that thing. I even remember when DVDs became a thing as well as CDs becoming prominent, eventually null and voiding my cassettes. Ah, memories.

    1. Thank you for this comment :) I’m glad the photo spoke to you the way it spoke to me too. I felt very similar, in terms of the 90’s beginning to have more technology, but we weren’t being consumed in it, especially compared to the way we are today with Social Media and personal devices.

      I remember those days, CD’s seemed more fancy, but today we can buy music online and connect them straight to our device. I miss the cassette days, as I used to listen to them often, until one day we replaced them with CD’s. How times have changed!

  5. It makes me feel really lucky to have been born before technology took over childhood. The kids today have their own perks, of course, but having born in ‘another century’ makes me feel as if I have had a taste of both worlds. I also loved watching 小丸子 when I was a child, and other Japanese anime/series too (Doraemon, Sakura, Detective Conan, and a few others that I can’t recall right now).
    I have never had fairy bread, and tbh, it looks kinda weird D: I can’t imagine bread tasting good with sprinkles haha.
    The books that I read were definitely from the 1900’s. I started reading children books in 2006, and though the books I read had been written a few decades earlier, they felt.. homely. Unlike contemporary books, which feel strangely different (I don’t really know how to explain it).
    OMG I COLLECT(ED) HELLO KITTY STUFF TOO. But I could only do that when I visited Taiwan, and since I haven’t been back there in quite a while, my collection has halted. But I have kept everything I bought/got, including the stickers (very similar to the ones you put up as your image), stationery, notebooks, magnets, some jewelry, aaaah.
    I do wish my childhood had been more ‘free’, though. My parents are the overprotective type, and I couldn’t/can’t exactly go around walking in the streets nonchalantly.

    1. Hi Misty, Thank you for your comment :) I can relate to the feeling of having a taste of both worlds too. That’s awesome! They have a 小丸子 cafe in Taipei, which I’m looking forward to have a visit to! Haha :) it’s surprisingly tasty. It’s a very Kiwi & Aussie thing at birthday parties, where you put butter on white bread and some hundreds and thousands sprinkles on top. I’ve only had it a few times in my life, as it’s something you have when you’re young and going to parties. Although (off-topic) many people who try vegemite/marmite overseas dislike it, but it has to be eaten a certain way in order to taste good (toasted, lots of butter and the tiniest amount of marmite!)

      I sort of understand what you mean. I read a lot of older books too, and find a feeling of familiarity, connection and wisdom through them. It’s sort of a similar feeling when I look at Paintings from the Romantic era. Hehe yes, same, I used to have too many Hello Kitty things. One of the Hello Kitty things I have left is my suitcase which is from Taiwan!
      Ah I see, I did grow up in a very safe neighbourhood and perhaps it’s because New Zealand is generally a safe place.

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