10 Things We Had As Kids That Our Kids Will Never Understand

Childhood memories 70s 80s 90s can't explain to kdis
Explaining retro stuff to kids is tough

Ain’t technology cool? So cool, in fact, that some of our relics of yesteryear are unrecognizable to our kids – like the rotary phone, record players and the ever fabulous ditto machine.

They never knew of cassette tapes and VHS tapes, if they ever saw them, are now a distant memory.

Take a look at our rundown of some of the items that will have your kids scratching their heads and saying, “What is it?”

It’s all vintage now, yo.

For more fun, check out this video of kids trying to identify old technology and read some of the old-school experiences our kids won’t have in this fun post at Babble’s Kid Scoop.

  • Record Player 1 of 10
    Record Player
    Explaining how the record needle meets the record to make music... it's a concept lost on my kids.
    Photo Source:
  • 8 Track Tapes, Player 2 of 10
    8 Track Tapes, Player
    Where to begin on explaining this ancient technology? I'm definitely showing my age here, but I have a vague recollection of 8 track tapes like The Oakridge Boys and the Broadway recording of Annie in our family's music library. I'm old. Shut up.
    Photo Source: 8 Track Shack
  • Cassette Tapes 3 of 10
    Cassette Tapes
    Remember how cool cassettes were? Remember how impossible it was to get exactly to the starting point of each song? Oh, but making mix tapes was the coolest, even if we did have to record the songs off of the radio.
    Photo Source:
  • Rotary Phone 4 of 10
    Rotary Phone
    There's a scene in "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules" where the characters try to use a rotary phone. My kids asked "What kind of phone is that?" Scary.
    Photo Source: Amazon
  • Polaroid Camera 5 of 10
    Polaroid Camera
    Heck, they can barely remember life before digital cameras! The song "Hey Ya," where they sing "Shake it like a Polaroid picture" was a bit of a head scratcher for the kids.
    Photo Source: Amazon
  • Life Without Cell Phones 6 of 10
    Life Without Cell Phones
    More of a have not here, but my kids are baffled by how we ever got by without cell phones and texting. Seriously... how did we manage?
    Photo Source:
  • Ditto Machines 7 of 10
    Ditto Machines
    Ah, the smell of a freshly copied test paper, right off the ditto machine. How can I ever explain this one to my kids?
    Photo Source: 1965 advertisement for the Ditto Corp. spirit duplicator
  • Walkman 8 of 10
    Oh, how cool was it to have portable music? Even if the jumbo sized player was cumbersome, we had portable music! I unearthed one of these recently and showed my kids. They thought it was some strange relic.
    Photo Source:
  • VHS Tapes 9 of 10
    VHS Tapes
    Depending on the ages of your kids, they may have a foggy recollection of what videotapes are, but moving forward, kids will probably never see a VHS laying around their house again.
    Photo Source:
  • Encyclopedias 10 of 10
    "You mean, you didn't have everything available online when you were a kid?" Uh... no. When I was a kid, I thought we were pretty cool to have a whole library of encyclopedias though.
    Photo Source:

Plus, we also share 10 tech relics we’ll have to explain to our kids!


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Article Posted 5 years Ago

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