Yesterday when I was writing about the coolest erasers, I was reminded of the long-forgotten trend of Yikes! pencils and erasers. The neon colors and funky designs gave me pangs of nostalgia, which then of course started a Google and YouTube binge for other old-school school supplies. Many of our ’80s and early ’90s favorites are off the shelves for good, but luckily there are some modern alternatives to the retro kids classics:
If you loved YIKES!….
…then you’ll want to get your kids SMENCILS:
Each generation has a school supply trend that can be collected and traded, and while YIKES! looked wild and funky in that ’90s neon, these SMENCILS appeal to a different sense. And because modern parents are a bit more concerned about what children are sniffing up their nose (see “Mr. Sketch” alternatives below), these pencils (wrapped in recycled newspaper) are made from #2 graphite coated in eco-friendly fragrance.
Continue reading for more school supply favorites, like Lisa Frank, Trapper Keeper and metal cartoon lunch boxes:
If you loved Lisa Frank…
…then you’ll want to get LISA FRANK!
I think we can all agree the colorful, girly goodness that is Lisa Frank simply can’t be redone. Luckily eBay has quite a few of the classic products that girls of any generation will love, from stickers to stationary tins. (We’re talking about the original characters like Rainbow Seal and Panda Painter.) Of course Lisa Frank’s new designs are all still fun and colorful, but much more modern.
If you loved Mr. Sketch….
(This box is from 1991 via flickr)
…then you’ll want to get Clementine Art Products.
Because what on earth were we sniffing?? Of course the best “smelling” alternative would be Smencils (see above), but a better modern-day art product would be these all-natural markers from Clementine Art, made from plant and mineral pigments. They might not be as addicting, but maybe that’s a good thing…
…But if you do love all things smelly, they now make “Smens,” which, like Smencils, are made from recycled newspaper and come in a variety of yummy smells.
(Psss, they do still make Mr. Sketch! You can buy them at a bunch of online venues like Amazon. Hope they smell the same!)
If you loved Trapper Keepers…
…then you’ll want to get The Children’s Place binders.
Back in the day we all stuffed oversized Trapper Keepers into our backpacks, inevitably ripping holes at the corners of our Jansports. And then one day the cool Trapper Keepers suddenly disappeared, leaving us with cheap plastic binders or stacks of notebooks. But now kids can finally make a stylish statement again with this Children’s Place organizational binder with three rings, inner pockets and a stain-resistant covering.
…And if you loved your TV-character lunch boxes and thermoses
…you can still find them!
Jordan found an adorable metal lunchbox featuring The Little Prince — a much cooler character than the typical Disney or Nickelodeon cartoons.
But for a modern (read: new) version of the classic metal style, Jordan found this insanely cool lunch box:
Compartmentalized, insulated and BPA-, lead- and phthalate-free, this is one of our favorite lunch boxes of the year. (Read more here.)
Find more of our favorite school supplies and gear in Babble’s Back to School Guide.