Weirdly Specific Things We All Did In Elementary School That We Definitely Forgot About

Growing up, we did all kinds of strange stuff that we’d never do now with a ton of old school equipment that probably doesn’t exist anyone. Those projectors with the special sheets and special green markers? They’re gone, and kids these days will never know the feeling of falling asleep watching the teacher draw the water cycle on them.

Check out all of these extremely random and specific things we all used to do in elementary school that we’ll never do again. Warning – there are serious nostalgia feelings ahead and lots of saying ‘hey, I remember that!’

Trying To Run Under This Parachute Mushroom

Students enjoy a parachute activity
Photo Credit: Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

This was the best thing ever. Gym class never rocked as hard as when we all gathered in a circle and sang songs and tried to get this thing to inflate as big as possible. It was like a cool technicolor sweat lodge. So fun.

The best part of this was disappearing under it and running to the other side. It was like wack-a-mole and teleportation for kids – nobody ever knew where you were going to end up. You could also just hide under there and disappear for a while.

The Chicken Burger That Was The Best Part Of Your Day

chicken burger school lunch cafeteria
Photo Credit: @alicein1Dland / Twitter

These were incredible, absolutely incredible, and every single cafeteria across the country seems to have them. It’s that soft sesame bun coupled with that crispy light brown chicken patty. Maybe you added mayo and lettuce, or maybe you didn’t. Either way, these things always made a lunchtime appearance.

They would always run out of these though. You would have to basically run to the cafeteria after class to be one of the first people to receive this holy meal. There was something about these that restaurants have never been able to master – maybe it was the school ambiance.

These Pinnys That They Said Were Washed But Never Actually Were

gym class pinnys red gagging
Photo Credit: @brynna_nelson / Twitter

Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. When the gym teacher pulled these out and asked you to get into color teams you wanted to scream. They would always say they ‘washed’ them recently. Yeah, okay, Mr. Smith. You definitely just stored them closer to a window so they would ‘air out.’

These would make you feel sick they stunk so bad. The worst part was you could feel them touching your skin for the rest of the day – it was an itch that never went away. Weirdly enough, the yellow ones always smelled the least bad right?

This little worksheet was also in the running for the title of the worst part of your day…

Trying To Push All The Colors At Once

color pens multiple colors push at once
Photo Credit: Melissa Moore / Pinterest

You always knew someone who said they could do it. They bragged about it and swore on the playground that it happened last week. But mysteriously, whenever people would ask them to prove it, they always had somewhere else to be.

It was definitely the deepest and darkest secret of the universe how this pen worked. Did a different ink tube come down? Was it several completely different pens? Was there a little elf siphoning the ink from the inside? These are the questions we all asked while we struggled to press them all down at once.

Dropping Mad Money At The Scholastic Book Fair

scholastic book fair books toys kids stuff
Photo Credit: Twitter

These events were big time. If you needed to really impress somebody, you asked your mom for $10 before school and rolled up to the coloring book table feeling fresh and ready to spend the big bucks. Maybe you made eye contact with a cutie who wanted a new eraser set and bought it for her.

These events always had snacks at them too. The best part of your day was chilling in the corner with your Rice Krispies square and flipping through the new Where’s Waldo book. Where is he? Who cares. You’re cool and you’re here.

A Whole Sheet Of No Thank You

times tables scary numbers lots of multiplication
Photo Credit: @JordanGreenwald / Twitter

This sheet should give you the same feeling that the sound of a phone alarm does – pure unadulterated dread and anxiety. Just looking at this and not even doing it sends trails of cold sweat running down your back.

This exercise was timed too, as if it wasn’t bad enough. When you got to the 7’s and the 9’s the thought of doing it in under an eternity was pretty much impossible. What is 7×9? I still don’t know and have no desire to figure out. That’s what Google is for.

You definitely cheated while playing this game coming up and didn’t feel bad about it at all…

Running Over Your Hand On These Scooters

gym class scooters multi color
Photo Credit: Thrifty Geek / Pinterest

We all know the feeling of seeing these and getting so excited when the teacher pulled them out at the beginning of gym class. Anticipatory feelings of power, speed, and dexterity washed over you and got you amped. All those feelings quickly disappear when you actually sit on them and suddenly you suck at every sport.

Nevermind the thigh burn you get from basically crawling around like a crab on these – your feet get tangled, your bum hurts from sitting so long, and you’re running over your fingers every 5 seconds. These are the worst and we’re all glad they’re out of our lives.

Finding Out Your Future *Gasp*

fortune teller paper thing
Photo Credit: @BerMEWdez728 / Twitter

You were definitely an expert at making these, or at least an expert in playing them. Someone without a doubt would make a new one every day and we would all huddle around them trying to see what our future dog’s name would be. So what if 3 people got Sally? Maybe that was the popular dog name of the future.

These things were way more mysterious than MASH too. The mesmerizing hand motions are basically Pagan hand signs, the numbers inside are old Nordic runes, and the fortunes? Pure whispers of fate.

Pretending To Close Your Eyes During Heads Up 7-Up

heads up 7 up in class
Photo Credit: @5H4H4N / Twitter

You definitely peaked. No self-respecting 3rd grader ever truthfully played this game. If you didn’t angle your head to see who was coming, you’d sit far enough back from your desk that you could see the shoes of the people walking by. This was basically MI6 training in the classroom.

You also never felt more loved and wanted then when someone would put your thumb down. You always hoped it was your crush touching you. Unfortunately, it was always ended up being the weird kid who had tuna for lunch every day.

Doing this made you feel so embarrassed you cringe now at the very thought…

The Recorder That Smelled So Bad

recorder concert kids school
Photo Credit: @chesterufsd / Twitter

These were great when you first got them out of the box. You could toot and blow away to your heart’s content with little afterthought. But after a couple of weeks of repeated use and accumulating dried saliva, these things smelled like the devil’s armpit.

Some of us had to use inherited ones from our older brothers and sisters and those were way worse. Saliva is not meant to be served as a vintage. You also totally judged the kids who would chew on theirs and leave little bite marks. They were complete animals.

Basically Breaking Your Fingers To Cut Paper

safety scissors metal rusted
Photo Credit: Amber Summers / Pinterest

These were the worst. First of all, they were never sharpened, you could barely fit a finger in their little holes despite having tiny 3rd grader hands, and they were always rusty. You had to get a tetanus shot every time you wanted to cut a strip of paper.

The inadequacy of these things was the reason why the pair of ‘good scissors’ was always missing. The teacher would ask everyone in the room where her big black scissors were and everyone would shrug, then they’d mysteriously appear on the craft table 2 weeks later. Suspicious.

Spending An Hour Sharpening Your Pencil At These

pencil sharpener school
Photo Credit: @BSEMustangs / Twitter

These are a big no from everyone. That walk across the classroom in front of everyone was torture enough, but then you had to spend an inordinate amount of time at this thing. It was so loud and took so long and you just stood there so embarrassed while your HB pencil grew smaller and smaller.

Forget about emptying these as well. You would let it overflow to the point where shavings were coming out of the holes because that was someone else’s job. Did your pencil even get sharp?

Receiving this meant you were the chosen one and your day got immediately better…

Learning To Tell Time On These

wooden clocks help tell time
Photo Credit: Pam Pedraza / Pinterest

Ah, the fabled analog clock that they told you that you would need to learn how to read. Little did they know that digital clocks eliminated the use of these bad boys and an entire generation probably doesn’t think this is an essential skill now. These are basically as handy as sundials now.

These things made great frisbees and ping pong paddles when you couldn’t find the ones at the back of the room. The cork made a good slap sound too when you hit your friend’s shoulder. It’s clobbering time baby.

The McDonald’s Orange Drink

orange drink mcdonalds
Photo Credit: @bryanplitz / Twitter

This was not orange juice. This wasn’t even a consistent shade of orange – it would change depending on how much sugar-powder they mixed into the water for each batch. The ‘orange drink’ was the perfect way to describe something that had an ambiguous sugar flavor and a neon color.

McDonald’s recently discontinued the orange-drink. What will people drink at school dances, fundraisers, and bike parades? Kids today will never know the taste of literal sugar-overdose in a dixie cup.

The *Special* Chalk Holder You Could Never Use

metal chalk holder teacher's chalk
Photo Credit: andwind / EBay

This was strictly the teacher’s domain. They would guard this thing with their life because they knew the kind of thieving kids we were. We would watch them hold this thing up with envy and wonder how great it must feel to grasp chalk without your fingers feeling all dry and dusty.

You knew a kid was a teacher’s pet if they held one of these. This was the mark of the chosen one that the teacher deemed responsible enough to handle this sword and not lose it. Everyone else truly was not worthy.

Pull-Down Maps Meant The Teacher Was Getting Serious

pull down maps school world maps
Photo Credit: @ClarissaT / Twitter

When 4th-period geography rolled around and the teacher busted out one of these bad boys, we all got excited. Who cares about the location of the Serengeti or what a tributary was? The real fun of these was watching the teacher roll them back up without it wrinkling.

We all tried to spot where our school was on one of these. We might’ve gotten close but we definitely never nailed it. We would spend all day squinting at the tiny black text all over saying ‘oh, there’s NYC! We’re probably somewhere over there.’

This Chalk Invention Made You Look Like A Straight Up Line Master

thank you theo line maker chalk
Photo Credit: @theo_wiles / Twitter

When you walked into the classroom and saw this lining the board you felt a mix of emotions – confusion being the biggest one. Are we practicing our printing or writing music? Are we testing our cursive abilities? How did the teacher find so much red chalk? How are the lines always so straight?

This device was pure wizardry and its inventor deserves a Nobel prize just based on the satisfying look of 4 un-deviating straight lines running across the board. If there was an inconsistency it was basically impossible to think about anything else.

Basically A Versace Calculator Carrier

calculator carrier for school
Photo Credit: Barby Williams / Pinterest

When the teacher rolled up carrying one of these stylish bags, we were all impressed. We were also very scared because that meant math was upon us. At least the fashionable look of a giant yellow calculator purse took the edge off a little.

The buttons on these things never worked either. They were so worn down with use that you would have to press the nail of your thumb into the middle just to get the ‘3’ to pop up on the screen. You also definitely typed 8008135 in every day for a giggle.

Pretending To Give Yourself A Needle With These

mechanical pencil needle
Photo Credit: @katiefauci / Twitter

Fake mechanical pencil needles were how you proved you were hardcore to your friends. Yeah, you’re not scared of a little graphite in the skin because you’re a true cool cat. Now pass me the Bic. I want to give myself a shot of adrenaline to get through Language Arts.

The first time someone did this at school we all felt a whirlwind of emotions. You definitely stood there amazed and terrified at their power before realizing you could do it too. Your mom was always so confused at all the grey marks on your body.

There’s No Comfortable Way To Lean Against A Bus Window

staring out the window witherspoon
Photo Credit: @sarahramos / Twitter

Buh-dum-buh-dum-buh-dum – the rattle you felt every single time you leaned your head against to bus window. Putting your backpack and your sweater in between your head and window didn’t help either because you could still feel it and now you had to hold them up. It was just a whole mess and you were never comfortable.

I totally relate to Reese Witherspoon’s face of pure rage here. All you want to do is just zone out and nap on the bus after a long day of recess and math and the constant rattle just makes it impossible. Big no.