Flashback to the First Day of School in the 80’s

Do you remember what back to school was like in the 8o’s? First off, we usually didn’t start until after Labor Day. Now kids are starting in mid August! I remember we all marched back into class with our head’s held high wearing our newest duds from places like Kmart, J.C. Penny’s, The Bon Marché, and Sears. We all had those first-day jitters and were a little sad to see summer gone so soon but it was great to see all of our friends again! This probably doesn’t seem that different to what kids are feeling today. While the sentiment might be the same, the similarities end there. Here are a few highlights to reminisce over.

Back to School Shopping

Stores like The Bon Marché were filled with parents and their kids looking for the best deals and the coolest new styles for back to school. Parents usually didn’t go overboard on school shopping in the 80’s and buy a ton of apparel for their kids. Nope, they kept it pretty simple and made sure you had the essentials when you headed back to school. Pair of jeans? Check. Neon colored T-shirt? Check. Over-sized Miami Vice style sweatshirt? Check. If your earned your own money or if there was an especially good deal at Kmart you might also stock up on some leg warmers, bows, scrunchies, plastic bracelets, charm necklaces, and a myriad of other amazing 80’s accessories.  

School Supplies

I loved holding the checklist of school supplies at the store! The items were very specific and you definitely couldn’t show up to school without every item stuffed into your backpack. If you were lucky you could sneak a couple of other awesome items into the shopping cart. Mr. Sketch scented markers were a must and upgrading your crayon box to the one with the built-in sharpener made you the coolest in your desk pod. Don’t forget your puffy stickers or scratch and sniff collection! If you were a little older in the 80’s what was absolutely essential was your Trapper Keeper. If you could match your Trapper Keeper look to your pencil case you walked the halls with even a little more swagger. There were so many different varieties that we could pick the style that best fit our personality.  These were the items that made the top of the back to school supply list in the 8o’s.  

Character Lunchbox with Matching Thermos or Brown Paper Lunch Sack?

Were you rocking the character lunchbox or the brown paper lunch sack in the 80’s? Both had their perks. Kids happily went back to school with their favorite 80’s pop-culture icon on their lunch boxes. Yes, it was fun to select your favorite themes like Strawberry Shortcake, Hello Kitty, Cabbage Patch, Star Wars, Gremlins, Knight Rider, Hulk, Dukes of Hazard, and many more. Semi-cold milk or Kool-Aid usually filled the matching thermos. While this was a super cool option for lunch, we had to remember to keep an eye on it and put it away so that we didn’t lose it during the play period after lunch. If you didn’t have the cool lunchbox you usually showed up rocking the brown paper sack. While maybe not as fun, it was still filled with our favorite foods and the best thing was it was easily thrown away after lunch. No fuss, no muss!  

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Wishing you and your family a wonderful year at school! Go put on some of your favorite 80’s music, get your kids off to school, and give yourself a moment to remember all of the amazing times we had at school in the 80’s.  

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