Going Old School: Introducing the Kids to the Totally Radical ‘80s/’90s 

April 21, 2019 | by ashlynn reynolds-dyk

Before I begin, I know my mom is going to go bananas when she reads “’80s/’90s” alongside “old school.” After having my college students repeatedly compared me to their mothers, however, I feel I am officially qualified to categorize things from my ‘80s/’90s upbringing, as “old school.” That said, let’s take a trip down memory lane as I discuss some of the old school drinks, foods, music, movies, games, and toys we have introduced to our children.

Let's go old school...

Yoo-hoos have been revived in the past few years and a couple years ago, rather unfortunately, our yoohoo neighbor (thanks, Mike!) introduced our kids to these chocolate drinks. They are filled with sugar so naturally the kids love them—you got the right stuff, baby. On occasion, I buy them as a special treat for the kids. I also treated the kids to some of the wax bottle candies with the juice inside after finding them at Candy Town USA recently. They were a hit because… sugar.

Now, once the kids are all hopped up on Yoo-hoos there is nothing quite like a little AC/DC or Guns ‘N Roses to get our dance parties going. For real, welcome to the jungleStep by Step can get the kids burning of some of that sugar too. New Kids on the Block, I’ll be Loving you Forever and so will my children. “Remember kid[s]… legends never die.” Speaking of The Sandlot, that’s another great one to introduce to the kids along with Little Rascals (my 6-year-old loves this one and there is a newer Little Rascals 2 that she also likes). One of my all-time favorites that the kids really enjoyed this year is Home Alone—the original and Lost in New York. We are holding off on introducing ours to the National Lampoon’s until they get a little older, but I’m thinking this one will be a success. It’s a series that is probably more classic than old school, anyway.

You know what else is classic? When you move out of your house and your parents are like, “Finally! Get this junk out of here!” and they repeatedly show up to your house with random boxes of things from your childhood. I don’t love the extra clutter, but this can be fun for the kids. Once my kids found my Popples, we never actually put him away. He stays out with all the other stuffed animals because the kids play with him regularly. They also regularly play house and restaurant with my old mini Tupperware dishes. When my husband went through one of the boxes from his mom, he found his old Gameboy. I’m actually not sure the kids got a chance to play with it because someone else was hogging it (ahem…). The kids did get to play with Kory’s old Lite Brite game, however, and they love it! You can still find Lite Brites to buy today, if you don’t have one from your childhood; this has really been a hit with the kids. Two other winners are The Game of Life and Boggle. Kory and I made the decision that we will not do game consoles at our house because we have plenty of other electronics, but when he found his original Nintendo with Mario and Duck Hunt, he had to set it up. We allow our kids to play every so often, and the kids enjoy playing different games on the old, original Nintendo.

Now, I certainly do not mean to overlook things like Legos, Play-Doh, trampolines, Monopoly, and American Girl Doll - I think these are all more timeless than anything.  At the same time, for anyone who has Samantha, I would say she is old school while Tenney and the Wellie Wishers are new school. Likewise, Kory and I both have some of our Legos from our childhood which are definitely old school, but we have also accumulated quite the collection of new Legos from the City, Star Wars, and Friends collections, for example. All in all, we grew up in some pretty great times. What do you have from your childhood that you have introduced to your kids?

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