LIFE

15 Retro School Supplies That Will Bring You Right Back To Childhood

by Laura Caseley
Laura is a writer, illustrator, and artist living in New York City.

Going back to school after a relaxing summer vacation was always kind of a bummer. It meant no more sleeping in, no more lazy days spent outside, and no more running around doing whatever you wanted.

But it was also an exciting time. You’d get to see your friends again and start a whole new year.

And it also meant school supplies. Even if school wasn’t your favorite thing in the world, there was something so satisfying about new school supplies. They were all so crisp and neat, and you could arrange them carefully in your desk.

As the years have gone by, though, school supplies, as well as school in general, have changed. Today, kids’ supplies are more tech-oriented, and because of the way technology has changed so rapidly, many of the supplies that you might have had have fallen by the wayside.

But that doesn’t mean they’re not remembered fondly.

In the list below, we’ve collected some old-fashioned school supplies that you might remember using, but that might baffle your kids!

Take a stroll down memory lane, and let us know which of these you remember the most fondly, and which you’re glad you don’t have to deal with anymore.

When it came to getting new school supplies, you might remember getting a list sent home with everything you’d need for the coming year.

You might have carried your supplies, as well as your books, in a satchel like this, with everything tucked in snugly.

You might have kept your pencils neatly in order in a cardboard pencil box like this.

Or you might have had supplies for different subjects in their own boxes, like this little math kit that includes a compass, protractor, and ruler.

And speaking of compasses, how many times did you poke yourself with one of these?

And if math took you a little while to get the hang of, you might have practiced with flash cards like these.

When you got to higher level math and sciences, you would have used a slide rule to figure out equations.

And no school day was complete without a little creativity. You might have wished to be one of the older “cool kids” when you were little, but by the time you were older, you probably longed for the days of coloring!

And if you had to cut something out (maybe some paper snowflakes), you, of course, used the rounded safety scissors, specially designed to keep little fingers safe.

And after cutting, you might have used this paste, with its weirdly appealing, almost minty smell. Maybe you knew a few kids who even snuck a taste.

When you were older, you’d be trusted with liquid glue from a bottle. It didn’t smell as good and came with a rubber applicator tip that would get all gunky if you didn’t clean it.

If you took a typing class, you might have used one of these silly-looking typewriter erasers.

The narrow wheel was for rubbing out a single line, and the brush was for whisking away the eraser dust.

Of course, even if you took typing, you would still have had to practice your penmanship on paper like this, specially lined to make sure everything was spaced correctly.

While this might not have been one of your supplies, you probably saw these every day, especially if you checked books out of the library a lot.

And your classroom probably had one of these somewhere, making you wonder what kinds of pencils were supposed to go into all of those other slots.

But really, there was nothing better than a freshly sharpened pencil.

And when the lights dimmed? It was time for this classic mainstay to come out.

Do you remember these items from your school days?

If we missed your favorite, let us know what it was in the comments, and SHARE to jog the memories of all your old school friends!