Photos That Will Overwhelm You With Grade School Nostalgia

As you get older, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember what it was like to be a kid: what your hobbies were, how you felt, and what school was really like. However, there are some items or images that can instantly spark memories from decades ago.

These are some things that will give you instant grade school nostalgia when you see them.

These Were The Best Snacks

scooby doo gummy fruit snacks
Photo Credit: Reddit / ipsboi
Photo Credit: Reddit / ipsboi

If you had a pack of the Scooby-Doo gummy snacks in your lunch, everyone else was jealous. These were the elite of all gummy snacks, and the second you opened the pack, people would be asking to have one.

Just About Every Lesson Was Taught On The Overhead Projector

person drawing on acetate sheet on overhead projector
Photo Credit: Reddit / ScrunchJeans
Photo Credit: Reddit / ScrunchJeans

The worst was when the teacher was using an old marker so you could barely see the words. Runner up for a bad time was when your teacher had messy handwriting.

Running Your Fingers Down These Cracks While Walking In The Hall

child's finger against crack in concrete wall
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit

I feel like every school had this same “brick” imprint on the concrete walls in the hallway, so naturally, you’d have to run your fingers across the lines as you walked to the bathroom.

This Is How I Learned Math

blue cube/stick math learning apparatus
Photo Credit: Reddit / RefrigMike
Photo Credit: Reddit / RefrigMike

In terms of hands-on visualization tools, these blue cube things were probably the most helpful ones they ever gave us in school. What I’d give to go back to having my goal of the day be to understand addition and subtraction.

The Ones From 1997 Are Probably Still There, Too

photo of mike wasowski's head in rafters captioned: the kickballs that have been stuck in the middle school gym ceiling since 2011
Photo Credit: Twitter / @cowboij
Photo Credit: Twitter / @cowboij

There was always a seemingly excessive number of balls stuck inside the rafters of the gym ceiling despite me never once in my life ever seeing someone throw/kick one up there. I guess the staff just never took them down.

The Legendary Square Pizza Slices

lunch lady holding tray of rectangular pizza
Photo Credit: Reddit / Whitlow14
Photo Credit: Reddit / Whitlow14

Round pizzas? I guess they now are the crème de la crème in adulthood, but I can still feel the collective sense of joy and excitement we felt when it was square pizza day in the cafeteria.

The Sweet Cruelty Of Smothering Your Calculator

person covers solar power panel on calculator with finger
Photo Credit: Reddit / Mea05cer
Photo Credit: Reddit / Mea05cer

Children’s brains are so simple, yet so evil. For some reason, our first instinct upon learning that the top panel on a calculator was so it could absorb light to power it was to try and kill it like this.

The Original Weapon

several Crayola washable markers stuck together to make a
Photo Credit: Reddit / TheBlackoutEmpire
Photo Credit: Reddit / TheBlackoutEmpire

I don’t care if you were in the first grade or the sixth: whenever the markers came out, someone in your class felt overwhelmingly compelled to make a sword out of them.

This Pencil Case Haunts My Nightmares

plastic rectangular
Photo Credit: Reddit / FatSloppyPecker
Photo Credit: Reddit / FatSloppyPecker

When I see this pencil case, I distinctly think of that one girl in my class who always had a minimum of 10 pencils, seven different highlighters, and the 72-color pencil crayon pack on her at all times.

Pamphlets Like These Were The Keystone Of Health Education

Pamplet aimed at teens titled
Photo Credit: Twitter / @ROSNALJU
Photo Credit: Twitter / @ROSNALJU

Rather than actually teaching students anything about their bodies, we got pamphlets like this. My personal favorites are “I have a sunburn,” “I’m allergic to sex,” and “School comes before sex.”

Anyone Who Religiously Used These Pencils Is In Jail Now

pencil with cartridge
Photo Credit: Reddit / Lexjiggler
Photo Credit: Reddit / Lexjiggler

I distinctly remember when these pencils initially came out and they seemed like fun, but anyone with a sane mind gave up on using one after a month or two.

The Best Gym Class

kids sitting under tri-colour parachute
Photo Credit: Reddit / burnedMoth
Photo Credit: Reddit / burnedMoth

Do you remember the quiet hype that would spread throughout your entire class when you walked into the gym and this four-color parachute would be lying out in the middle of the room?

This Was Pure Euphoria

tweet: remember those days in elementary school when the Janitor would go on the roof and throw down all the balls lost up there? a vibe
Photo Credit: Twitter / @MarkScamurra91
Photo Credit: Twitter / @MarkScamurra91

I wish I could capture the feeling of the janitor throwing down my soccer ball—which an older kid had kicked on the roof months ago “as a joke”—and then bottle it so I could drink it every morning.

The End Of Day Routine

chair flipped upside down resting on desk
Photo Credit: Reddit / Lateroni
Photo Credit: Reddit / Lateroni

I’m ashamed to admit that it wasn’t until I reached adulthood that I understood that we did this so the custodial staff could clean the floors. I literally thought we did it for no reason.

What Did We Gain From This?

diagram of girl using
Photo Credit: Reddit / mikencapo
Photo Credit: Reddit / mikencapo

As a child who had weird proportions—my legs were extremely long in relation to my torso—the sit and reach test in gym class was truly the bane of my existence.

The Pull-Down Map Was A Classroom Staple

map pulled down on wall with draw string
Photo Credit: Reddit / mmajunkie77
Photo Credit: Reddit / mmajunkie77

I swear we all had the same childhood, because I really thought that the pull-down maps in my school were unique for years, only to realize that every classroom across the country was basically the same.

Wishing For A Snow Day So School Would Be Canceled

NO SCHOOL written in snow on street
Photo Credit: Reddit / Avenger101
Photo Credit: Reddit / Avenger101

Waking up in the morning, you’d impatiently huddle beside the radio while still in your pajamas after a snowstorm, waiting to hopefully hear the local news station declare that school is canceled.

Why Did We Always Choose The Corner?

child's drawing has sun placed in the upper left corner
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit

I don’t know who decided that the best way to place the sun in a drawing was to have it sticking in from the corner, but for some reason, we all did this.

Another Top-Tier Gym Class

square, four-wheel scooters
Photo Credit: Reddit / burnedMoth
Photo Credit: Reddit / burnedMoth

I don’t know who designed and manufactured these scooters, which might be the most inefficient mode of transportation of all time, but I love them for creating the best toy to play with in gym class.

We All Believed It

blue and pink eraser with caption: legend said that the blue part could erase ink
Photo Credit: Reddit / Lauren092916
Photo Credit: Reddit / Lauren092916

Okay, but real talk: what did the blue side do? Was it actually able to erase pen ink? If not, why was it so much rougher than the pink side?

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

displays of book, pencils, and other goods set up
Photo Credit: Reddit / MccreesKnees
Photo Credit: Reddit / MccreesKnees

What I would give to be walking into the opening day of the Scholastic Book Fair on a crisp, autumn morning to buy a bunch of cool pencils and erasers to flex on my classmates.

The Old Way To Check Out A Library Book

library book pocket card has fake names scribbled on it
Photo Credit: Reddit / Jfonzy
Photo Credit: Reddit / Jfonzy

There was something exhilarating about having the librarian stamp this card in your copy of a large hardcover non-fiction book about Vikings. Of course, once you were old enough, you started writing fake names on the card and thinking it was peak comedy.

The Lunchtime Juice Container

plastic drink cup with colorful lid and straw that pops up
Photo Credit: Reddit / Jeffrey_Strange
Photo Credit: Reddit / Jeffrey_Strange

From kindergarten to the second grade, it seemed like everyone would bring in their juice for lunch in one of these containers unless they were the lucky ones whose parents packed them a Capri Sun.

The Legendary Grade Book

rows of grades recorded in grid
Photo Credit: Reddit / -icon
Photo Credit: Reddit / -icon

Even though they had computers with Excel spreadsheets at their disposal, I feel like every teacher had an enormous binder full of sheets like this, and whenever they’d leave the room, we’d try to sneak a peek.

Burning Your Own CDs Gave You Clout

CD with tracklist written on it titled
Photo Credit: Reddit / JeffreyStrange
Photo Credit: Reddit / JeffreyStrange

I distinctly remember feeling so slick with my CD player and my 2005 punk rock mix of songs including a combination of Blink-182, Green Day, and Sum 41. Not to brag, but I would still listen to it today.

Every School Had These Same Blue Mats

blue padded exercise mats stacked up
Photo Credit: Reddit / burnedMoth
Photo Credit: Reddit / burnedMoth

I feel like every single gym equipment room across the country housed a large stack or two of these blue mats that definitely have not been effectively cleaned since the 1990s.

This Man Was A Science Class Staple

bill nye the science guy
Photo Credit: moviestillsdb / NBC
Photo Credit: moviestillsdb / NBC

I think, if someone put it on today, I could still sing the Bill Nye the Science Guy theme song by heart. I can still feel the sense of excitement that came when the teacher would roll out the TV and put on an episode.

The Shoebox Diorama Project

shoebox diorama
Photo Credit: Reddit / assumingdirectcontrl
Photo Credit: Reddit / assumingdirectcontrl

I feel like every student, at some point during grade school, was forced to construct a shoebox diorama. Did I learn anything from this project? No. Did my mom have to help me do most of it? Absolutely.

Where Did This Even Come From?

ice cream cup with small wooden panel
Photo Credit: Reddit / 42iseverywhere42
Photo Credit: Reddit / 42iseverywhere42

Whenever there was going to be an “ice cream” treat, some teacher would roll in a tray of these small ice cream cups with these weird sticks they tried to convince us were adequate “spoons.”

The Thrill Of Being At School After Dark

dimly lit classroom hallway
Photo Credit: Reddit / mr_plopsy
Photo Credit: Reddit / mr_plopsy

There was something exciting and kind of eerie about the way the school looked when you were there after regular school hours for a play or other performance. The hallways managed to look so different.

Remember Portable Classrooms?

children walking in front of portable classroom
Photo Credit: Reddit / jsakic99
Photo Credit: Reddit / jsakic99

Being in the portable classroom seemed really cool when they were first installed at your school until you realized that you had to run through the rain to get to the main building every time you had to use the washroom.

These Paper Reinforcements Were An Absolute Necessity

page of circle sticker paper reinforcements
Photo Credit: Reddit / PMMEANUMBER1-10
Photo Credit: Reddit / PMMEANUMBER1-10

These tiny circular stickers were the only thing keeping all the pages and notes in your binder from ripping and falling out. Without them, I would have probably lost all my science worksheets.

One Pen To Rule Them All

pen with different color options
Photo Credit: Reddit / PizzeriaPirate
Photo Credit: Reddit / PizzeriaPirate

This pen was the elite pen. Just writing with one during class was such a flex. Also, it was really fun to attempt to push all the colors out at once.

These Were Essential For Field Trip Days

kodak disposable camera
Photo Credit: Reddit / 300mcaffeine
Photo Credit: Reddit / 300mcaffeine

Remember the good old days when you would take one of these on a class field trip, snap a bunch of pictures, and then have to wait until your parents got the film developed to find out all the photos were terrible?

Why Did Milk Come In These Crates?

small milk cartons in plastic, blue crates
Photo Credit: Reddit / holidayatthesea
Photo Credit: Reddit / holidayatthesea

Did anyone else have a regular milk time during the school day where someone would roll up to the classroom with a crate and hand out cartons of milk to everyone, or was that just my school?

Pizza Party!

class of students having a pizza party
Photo Credit: Reddit / gamerguy287
Photo Credit: Reddit / gamerguy287

I love that, during grade school, the ultimate prize your class could win for any contest was a pizza party. We were so easily pleased and overjoyed by simply getting a couple of slices of pizza.

These Are The Only Reason I Know Different Shapes

colorful blocks shaped like hexagons, trapezoids, squares, and parallelograms
Photo Credit: Reddit / moesickle
Photo Credit: Reddit / moesickle

The worst thing about playing with these shape blocks was that the orange square never fit anywhere neatly. All the rest were so easy to mesh together and the square was a nightmare.

The Random Stage In The Cafeteria Was Key

cafeteria with stage on one side
Photo Credit: Reddit / Zolebrow
Photo Credit: Reddit / Zolebrow

I wonder why the person who was behind the creation of cafeterias in public schools decided that there should be a stage in the cafeteria out of all places. What was their logic?

This Calculator With 80085

blue, red, and white basic calculator
Photo Credit: Reddit / eldersveld
Photo Credit: Reddit / eldersveld

Firstly, why was this the universally chosen calculator across seemingly every school in the country? Second of all, boys really thought that typing this in was the apex of comedy.

All In All, Grade School Was A Time Full Of Memories

elementary school classroom
Photo Credit: Reddit / Lostscribe007
Photo Credit: Reddit / Lostscribe007

Playing kickball in the yard, terrorizing your substitute teachers until they cried, cheating while playing Seven-Up by looking at people’s shoes—whether grade school was good or bad, it sure was memorable.