Things I Liked as a Kid

Things that had some sort of special meaning to me growing up in the 90s.
November 14, 2007
After reading so many articles and really enjoying being able to reminisce, I decided to write my own article consisting of things that have some sort of historical, nostalgic meaning to me. I broke it into several categories, since there's quite a lot that I wanted to write about, or at least mention.

By the way, for background information, I was born in January 1989, and my earliest memories start in about 1992-1993.

Computer Games and Software
Kid Pix was the first computer software that I ever used. Well, that and Pagemaker, which was the word processing program that was on my mom's computer, a Macintosh IISi. I must have been only about 4 or 5, but the magic of Kid Pix was that it kept me entertained for years, until we got a new computer. If I had had my choice, I would have kept the old computer, but the internet did not work on the Mac, and my mom needed the internet for work.

The old style Kid Pix logo

Macintosh IISi

I also enjoyed a computer program that was similar to Kid Pix, called Storybook Weaver, which my elementary school had installed on all the computers. It had the same sort of picture stamp concept, except it provided backgrounds (I know the later versions of Kid Pix provided backgrounds as well but the version that I had did not). It also had a space for text to go, so that you could write your story. When you were finished, your story was like a slideshow.

When we got our new computer when I was in fourth grade, I found out about a computer game called "the Oregon Trail". This greatly interested me, since I had found the Oregon Trail to be a fascinating topic in class. I persuaded my mom to order it from the Scholastic book order form, and I waited impatiently for it to come. It turned out to be a source of entertainment for years. I got so good that I could reach Oregon in 20 minutes with my wagon party all intact and in good health.

The version of the Oregon Trail I had

I didn't have any other gaming system besides a PC, so other games that I played included: The American Girls Premier (a play-making program in which you could make plays starring any of the following: Felicity, Kirsten, Addy, Samantha and Molly. Other characters such as Josephina and Kit had not come out at the time of this computer game), The Magic School Bus computer games (various subjects including Animals, Dinosaurs, the Solar System, etc.), The Amazon Trail (like the Oregon Trail, only it came in a cereal box and was in a boat on the Amazon river instead of the Oregon Trail), The Babysitters Club Activity Center (based on the Babysitters Club books, it basically was a game that allowed you to make cards, write journal entries and read fictional journal entries and letters from the characters), MYST (a logic game in which you are on an island and have to solve a mystery...kind of), SimCity (the classic version....where everything is brown, green, white and blue...and quite pixellated), and last but not least...Commander Keen (which I did not actually own myself, I would play it at my parent's friend's house. I was horrible at it, so I would get someone who was good at it to play it, and I would watch, fascinated. I wished I could pogo stick like that)!


The American Girls Premier

Toys and Dolls
When I was in fourth grade (it seems fourth grade was the year for everything!) my friend got me into American Girls. She had Molly and Felicity, and I was horribly jealous. I desperately wanted one for Christmas, but as they were around $72 I didn't think my parents would actually get me one. However, on Christmas morning, I opened a box, and there was Samantha. I still have her, along with Kirsten who I bought a few years later.
Tamagotchis - I think I had one of these in 3rd grade. It was purple with lighter purple coils on it. I really liked it, but I always ended up killing it. Probably because I would always change the time to make it sleep 24 hours a day. I wish I still had it, but I think it got stuck in the give-away box a long time ago.

The tamagotchi I had.

I know a lot of people like to talk about pogs. I like to talk about them too. I didn't have a lot, but I thought they were the coolest things ever. I liked the sparkly ones, and was especially proud of my sparkly slammer.

I read a lot. I liked horses a lot (still do) so I read lots of horse books. Pony Pals, Saddle Club, Thoroughbred. Though I did read some non-horse related series - mainly The Babysitters Club and Babysitters Little Sister and the Magic Attic Club. When Harry Potter first came out, my aunt gave it to my sister and I for Christmas. It was an unknown, unpopular book at that point, but we loved it. I remember thinking it was kind of funny a few years later that everyone was so obsessed over it. In 5th grade, our teacher read it out loud to our class (I wonder if you could still do that being on so many banned book lists.)

One of the books from the Pony Pals series.

Movies and Television
I did not have cable TV growing up, so my television viewing consisted soley of shows shown on PBS and other non-cable channels. Such as:
Zoom, Wishbone, Adventures of Dudley the Dragon, Sesame Street, the Puzzle Place, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, Popular Mechanics for Kids, Mr. Rogers, Barney, Theodore Tugboat, Magic School Bus, Goosebumps, Home Improvement, Full House, the Nanny, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Doug, Pepper Ann, Third Rock from the Sun, Friends, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Sabrina the Animated Series, Seinfeld and Frasier. Only when I would rarely go to my friend's house would I watch cable shows - All That, Kenan and Kel, Rugrats and Hey Arnold.

The Puzzle Place


As for movies, although the first movie ever saw in theaters was the Beauty and the Beast, I don't remember it. I think the first movie I remember seeing in theaters was the Lion King, when I was 5. That became my favorite movie, I had every line memorized. Other movies that had a big impact on me (not necessarily having come out at a time I would remember) were Balto, Home Alone (first one), the Little Rascals, Matilda, the Parent Trap, Beethoven's 2nd, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (and Honey, I Blew Up the Kid and Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves).

I never liked either the Backstreet Boys or N*Sync. I still don't. I can't even tell them apart, and I don't know which song belongs to which band. Sometimes I wish I did, because at dance parties and things of the sort, people always seem to play songs by them, and I appear to be the only one who does not know all the lyrics. However - once you turn on Spice Girls, it is a different story. I was quite into the Spice Girls. I went and saw their movie, Spice World in the movie theater on opening day, and I'd go next door to my friend's house and we would dance in her attic to them.

Other songs that bring me back when I hear them include: "The Sign" by Ace of Base, "Mmmbop" by Hanson, "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day, "When I Come Around" by Green Day, and "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion.

Other things that I have some good memories of are things like:
Hair scrunchies, jelly shoes, walkmans, Chia Pets, the Help! I've fallen and I can't get up commercial, the Bob Dole/Clinton election, slap bracelets, fanny packs, Tickle-Me-Elmo (thought they were creepy), Elian Gonzalez, Skip-It (was never good at it), sea monkeys, spirographs, and clackers.

I may write another article soon, so I can elaborate on some of the other things I didn't talk much about here.
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