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I Miss The Prize In The Cereal Box And Other Gems From My Childhood

Trading stickers was huge and I'm really hoping it will make a comeback.

11/17/2017 14:37 EST | Updated 11/20/2017 12:11 EST
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Whatever happened to the prize in the cereal box? I have recently begun to fear that it's been replaced by the "find coupon inside" movement in the cereal industry and I am sorely disappointed on behalf of my children. Not once have my children ever chosen a box of cereal because of the prize inside. When I was little that was the only reason on which I would base my cereal choice. Not the nutritional value, not the taste, not even the price. It was the prize. Now there is only a coupon for a special offer inside. Gah! Not exciting at all. Here are some of the other things that seem to be MIA but were a pretty cool part of my childhood. Can you think of any to add?


1. Playing chestnuts in a pile of dirt


Remember the days of tying a string to a chestnut, slamming it down on another chestnut and calling it a game?

2. The Walkman


Before earbuds were invented. Big old headset included.

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3. Cassette tapes


They'd get eaten by your boom box. We would wind the loose tape back up by hand and hope for the best. If you found a strong kink in it, it would inevitably get eaten again.

4. Taping your favourite songs off of the radio


Impeccable timing was required. But it was worth it to make a mixtape of all your favourites. It took about two months of sitting faithfully by the radio every night to get the exact tape that you wanted and there was almost always talking at the beginning and end of each song.

5. Double dutch


What ever happened to it? Very rarely will I see a child even regular skipping anymore but double dutch? I fear that it's no more.

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6. Saturday morning cartoons


You'd get up on a Saturday and literally watch from morning until noon. None of this newfangled tablet and Netflix. It was always the same shows and you watched whether you liked them or not. "Looney Tunes", "Smurfs", "He-man", "She-ra", "Thundercats". All a part of a good Saturday-morning routine.

7. Devil sticks


Two sticks and a baton that we would twirl around and do cool tricks with. Possibly the fidget spinner of the '90s?

8. Sticker books


Trading stickers was huge and I'm really hoping it will make a comeback. Photo albums filled with fuzzies, puffies, sparklies, googly eyes and smellies. Did I miss any?


9. Banana clips


Yep, I rocked those banana clips pretty hard. Maybe they are on their way back in, but don't expect me to let my daughters wear them. They're all mine.

10. Jelly bracelets, jelly shoes


Anything jelly, really.

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11. Friendship pins


Little safety pins with beads on them and I believe we pinned them to our shoes and called it friendship.

12. Pinning our pants


Anyone remember pinning the bottom of our pant legs to get that cool tapered look? I guess since skinny jeans weren't invented yet, we must have been just making do.

13. Really curly, teased high bangs


The higher the bangs, the better. If you got caught in the wind, the hairspray you had applied ensured that your bangs moved up and down as a single unit.

14. The Sunday-night Disney movie


Each week we waited anxiously to see what the Disney movie was for that Sunday. And if it wasn't something that interested you, then too bad. That was the only choice you had. This is what we did before Netflix.

15. Leg warmers


Was this a nod to Flashdance? I'm not sure, but we rocked them.

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Model Lisa Taylor wearing a Ralph Lauren plaid hooded jacket corduroy jeans and leg warmers.

16. Get in Shape girl


It came with such cute exercise accessories including arm weights and a skipping rope. It probably wouldn't fly today.

17. Acid wash jeans


Could we have gotten any cooler? And if we pinned the acid wash jeans to make them tapered, then even better.

18. The VHS and Beta war


Which one would win out? We all know the answer to that one now.

19. Atari, Nintendo, Gameboy


These were all the electronics we had. We rotary-dialled our friends on a landline that was attached to the wall if we wanted to talk to them. Or better yet, we just went out and "called on them." It was quicker.

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Close-up photos of vintage Atari 2600 video game cartridges including Space Invaders, Mrs Pac-Man, Pole Position and Kangaroo.

20. Tennis ball games


Ice cream, soda, ginger ale, pop! This was played with a tennis ball against a wall. Or what about taking one of your mom's nylons and putting a tennis ball inside and then swinging it against a wall from side to side — remember that one?

21. Making tree forts in the forest


We used branches, trees stumps and other found materials. Most of the "tree forts" these days come attached to a rope ladder, climbing wall, slide and two swings and require three days and four people to put them together. Oh, and they're almost always located in the backyard.

22. Four square


Do the kids still play it? I've seen the markings on the pavement at school but never once have my daughters mentioned four square and since it was literally the best game ever, I can only assume that they've never played.

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23. The Halloween costumes


That were basically a rubber paint smock with a character's body painted on it and a plastic face mask with a tiny hole in the mouth area (so we could breathe, presumably?) We spent half the night covering that little hole with our tongue.

24. The streetlights


That were our cue to come inside after a day of roaming free. Sure they are still there, but does anyone really give them the attention they deserve anymore?

There were just so many great things from my childhood. I know my kids will have their own cool list when they grow up too because they are having a super-fun childhood, but right now I'm nostalgic for mine! Feel free to add more!

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