Children's Fashion Gear & Gadgets

Beyond Fidget Toys – The Top Playground Crazes

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

It’s impossible to escape fidget toys right now, but what are the best ever classroom crazes?

What differentiates something you just don’t understand from a schoolyard craze? Were kids always crying out for shiny fidget toys? Does a childhood fascination with sticky alien birthing toys mean something? Why would a school ban dabbing?

Welcome to FQ’s Top 7 Classroom Crazes. This stuff is important.

  1. Conkers

Let’s start at the beginning. This fad is as old as the wind through the horse-chestnut trees.

Stringing Conkers

From exploring the wilderness for the perfect conkers, to stashing, baking and varnishing them ready for combat, and carrying a champion conker through to legendary playground status, conkers has everything. The conker health and safety fiasco of the early 2000s was more of a media myth than anything else, so get your kids into it this autumn!

  1. Pokémon Cards

We all want to be the very best, like no one ever was. To catch kids with Pokémon cards is teacher’s real quest, to stash them is their cause.

The craze might have been superseded by Pokémon Go, but we still live in a world of Pokémon card fanatics. Leading grime artist JME recently traded ten gold copies of his Integrity album for the shiny Charizard cards he was never able to collect at school.

  1. Tamagotchi

Did you know the inventor of the Tamagotchi won the 1997 Ig Nobel prize for economics? The prize was given ‘for diverting millions of person-hours of work into the husbandry of virtual pets’. Aki Yokoi, we are eternally grateful.

  1. Rubik’s Cube

Go on, there’s no judgment here: can you complete a Rubik’s Cube? Without breaking it, or removing the stickers? How fast?

Faster than Will Smith?

  1. Top Trumps

It’s easy to find out the best conker. But what about the best TV character? The best fighter jet? The best historical figure?

What if you didn’t have internet?

Enter Top Trumps. Tense, competitive, and vaguely educational!

  1. Alien Birth Pods

Don’t worry. We definitely don’t need more enlightened sex education in schools. Not when kids can breed weird aliens sticky with imitation amniotic fluid. ‘Multiply and Destroy!’ The perfect tagline to encourage safe sex.

‘The alien will give birth by gently squeezing around the alien and the baby will be born from the back of the Alien head or from its back’.

Per the manufacturer’s description: ‘Alien Birthpods….It’s a fun thing!’

  1. Fidget Toys

The 1990s was the decade of the classroom craze. Fittingly, A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip laid it all out for us in 1991: ‘Daddy, don’t you know that things go in cycles?

Now we have fidget spinners, bits of plastic that just … go in cycles. The polarising gadgets are perhaps the ultimate here today, gone tomorrow classroom craze. Check out our useful guide right here on FQ.