What Kids Did a Decade Ago That They Don’t Do Anymore
The world is changing rapidly, as evidenced by these once-beloved interests of kids that have gone by the wayside within the past ten years.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Thin, colorful bracelets made of rubber, Silly Bandz were all the rage in 2009. Kids snapped up the various shapes with abandon (dogs, pigs, cats—heck, there were even Justin Bieber-themed varieties). In 2019 you’ll be hard-pressed to find Silly Bandz in any elementary school classroom. Brush up on this pop culture trivia people always get wrong before your next game night.
Yo Gabba Gabba
A decade ago, toddlers and preschoolers were all in when it came to Yo Gabba Gabba, a dare we say trippy children’s show airing on Nickelodeon in the United States. A mix of live-action and puppetry with a ton of music and dancing thrown in, little ones couldn’t get enough of DJ Lance Rock, Muno, Foofoo, Brobee, Toodoo, and Plex. However, all good things must come to an end and the series ceased production in 2015.
Zhu Zhu Pets
Every year there’s a hot toy kids just have to have around the winter holidays, sending panicked parents into a frenzy trying to get their hands on this in-demand item. In 2009, the kiddos were loving Zhu Zhu Pets, plush robot hamsters that scurry around the floor with the push of a button. Zhu Zhu Pets do still exist, but they’ve fallen from the hot toys list over the last ten years in favor of newer playthings. Go back even further and find out the most popular toy the year you were born.
If you’re raising a family of TV fans (there’s no shame in that game), then chances are a kiddo in your brood was begging for a Snuggie in 2009. The “As Seen on TV” phenom took off like a rocket with its silly, but clever, commercials boasting a fleece blanket with sleeves so that your arms would never feel restricted again! Snuggies went beyond basic solid colors and were also produced bearing the faces of some beloved cartoon characters. Once the novelty wore off, Snuggie’s popularity declined. On the other hand, these other “As Seen on TV” items have proven their worth.
Before she became a more controversial celebrity in pop culture, Miley Cyrus was the star of Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana. There was music, comedy, romance, and the type of tween angst that makes for a hit kids’ show. Cyrus graced the covers of many a teen magazine a decade ago before quickly moving into a more adult stage of her career.
“Single Ladies” Dance
Each year a dance move takes over schoolyards everywhere, and between 2008 and 2009, Insider points out that there was no move copied more than Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” dance. You could hardly blame them, the song is an earworm for sure. Today you’re more likely to see kids “flossing” (a move that became popular thanks to a viral Internet meme).
Ten years ago, tweens and teens across the globe were hanging posters of Twilight stars Rob Pattinson and Taylor Lautner on their bedroom walls. The films, based on Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga book series, made international stars out of its young cast. Today the Twilight craze has subsided and kids have found new obsessions—just ask them about Riverdale or their favorite YouTuber. Want to introduce something new to your kid? These are the 17 best books to read as children (and adults).
Nintendo introduced its Wii gaming console in 2006 to much fanfare. People loved the concept of motion-controlled gaming in the comfort of their own homes. In the years since, the company has ceased production of the original incarnation of the Wii (though you can still find them refurbished on Amazon). An updated take on the original, Wii U, launched in 2013 to lackluster reviews, as reported by Wired.
The Black Eyed Peas
In 2009, the Black Eyed Peas dominated the music scene, with two top-five singles on Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 Songs chart (“Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling”). The Peas are still making hits, but without group member Fergie—today’s kids will have to enjoy their musical serving of Black Eyed Peas as a trio.
Diet Coke and Mentos Challenge
Internet challenges go way back to digital’s more primitive age, but in 2008 the challenge to try was the Diet Coke and Mentos Challenge. According to Vocativ, it evolved from a couple of dudes adding the chewy candy to a two-liter bottle of Diet Coke to watch it explode to folks filling their mouths with Mentos and then drinking the fizzy beverage to see if they could do so without it spilling out (the answer is no). Thankfully the Internet community has moved on from this one.
Going back ten years ago kids could still snack on Dunkaroos, a graham cookie and icing pairing that was, quite frankly, more delicious than it should have been. Sadly, General Mills discontinued the old school snack in 2012. But since everything old is new again, here’s hoping some high-powered exec decides to bring the treat back for a limited run someday. Until then, these Oreo Handi-Snacks are a great substitute! If your sweet tooth is also nostalgic, here are places you can still score some fabulous vintage candy finds.
High School Musical
A little over ten years ago, High School Musical, a Disney Channel Original Movie, premiered on the network and kids of all ages went absolutely ga-ga for it. So much so that a sequel quickly went into production and the third was a feature film released in theaters in 2008. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing the catchy tunes made famous by the movies. A decade later, it’s Descendants that reign supreme on the Disney Channel. Apparently, for High School Musical, we were only “All In This Together” for a few years.
If you were an on-trend tween or teen, you likely paired every outfit with an extra-wide belt. They accessorized absolutely everything and were spotted on many a red carpet from the Kardashians to Taylor Swift. Today’s fashionistas are opting for a more normal standard belt width. Likewise, these 11 fashion trends never should have happened.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Just over a decade ago the iconic PB & J was a staple in most school lunchrooms. However, with the rise in peanut and tree nut allergies, schools began banning the sammy (and anything peanut butter or nut-related) from campuses. While not all schools have adopted this strict policy (many argue that a ban doesn’t reduce allergic reactions), you’re more likely to find a schmear of sunbutter than Skippy in a kid’s lunchbox today. Don’t miss the 10 scents every millennial will instantly recognize from their childhood.