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Getting Nostalgic: Iconic 2000-2010 Kid’s Items

The semester is almost over, and I just realized that I’m almost done with my first year of college. Oh, how the time has passed too quickly. It feels like just yesterday I was a kid at recess playing kickball or beating my brothers at Candyland on a Snow Day. Being a kid was fun and free, nothing to worry about! So many toys and games to choose from, all very iconic and memorable looking back now in our adulthood. 

I’ve seen so many TikToks bringing back old commercials from the 2000s, or videos that try to recreate certain feels you had as a kid. They have inspired me to think back at all the iconic and unforgettable kids’ toys of the 2000s to 2010s that I loved as a child! After asking around and looking up photos for inspiration, I forgot about some of these amazing toys that used to entertain me for hours at a time. So here is a list of some of my favorite iconic kids’ items from the 2000s-2010s! 


toys on child's bed
Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Gym Scooters

The first item that I had to talk about were those flat, square scooters from gym class! They used to come in so many colors and classmates would scramble for the best working ones. I remember the wheels always never turned right. And I can still feel the pain in my scalp and fingers after being run over by my own and classmate’s scooters. But despite the pain, those scooters were some of the best times I’ve ever had as a kid at school. 

I recently talked to my cousin who is 7, and they don’t have these anymore at her school. Maybe it is for the best because of the safety hazards. But us 2000s kids, we survived their wild ride. And now, we can look back fondly at all the collisions, run-over fingers, and exciting times we had with this iconic PE equipment.

American Girl Dolls

American Girl dolls came out in 1986, but during the 2000s, every little girl had to have one (including me). Everyone wanted Kit or Samantha, but I had a look-a-like doll. I still have the doll safely saved away at my grandma’s house for my daughter or niece if she wants one in the future. 

American Girl dolls are still big today, but I will never forget how much I loved mine as a kid. For my birthday I would always get matching clothes for us, little shoes, brushes and bows, and more. It was always a joy to come home after school and see the American Girl doll magazine of the month had come in the mail! Thinking back, times were so simple back then for me and my American Girl doll. The doll will always be an unforgettable part of my childhood!


young girl holding american girl doll
Photo by Patricia Prudente on Unsplash

Aqua Mini Water Ring Game

The Aqua Mini Water Ring Game is probably the reason I’m so patient with many things now as a grown-up. The frustration and time spent trying to get those little rings upon the poles in the water describe my childhood. The Aqua Mini Water Ring Game comes in many varieties, but I’m talking about the classic version where you try to match the ring to the same color. I spent hours hunched over trying to get those rings on the right pole, carefully pushing the buttons to trigger the water pressure in the container. One little tilt and it was all over. The Aqua Mini Water Ring Game is an iconic toy from my childhood, and one I’m sure a lot of other people struggled with as kids too! 

Polly Pockets

Polly Pockets were all the rage when friends would come over and play. Everyone would fight over who got what with those little rubber clothes and shoes. To this day I will still find random shoes and clothes in my closet hidden in corners. Polly Pocket dolls are still available, but they don’t look the same as they use to. The nostalgia hits hard with this toy, especially because when it was time to move on from playing with Polly Pockets since it really meant your childhood was over. I’ll never forget those little shoes, and I’ll never forget my time playing with Polly Pockets. 

LeapPad

LeapPad was a cultural reset for our generation. The LeapFrog movies, book, and gaming set was peak technology as a kid. My LeapPad was pink, and I think I spent hours every night playing the games and learning. I still vividly remember playing the Disney Princess games on my LeapPad when I was supposed to be asleep, or using the built-in features to color the farms or haunted house scenes. LeapFrog taught me how to count and read, and the LeapPad device was honestly better than any piece of handheld technology as a kid. I have no idea where my LeapPad is anymore, but I wish I could find it to play one last time. This iconic game device will live forever with my fondest memories as a child.

Silly Bandz

“I’ll trade you my animal set for your Disney princess Silly Bandz.” Quotes like that made up my childhood when it involved the iconic Silly Bandz. This weird, useless collectible was made during the 2010s and it exploded in all schools and areas during this time. Every kid had to have an arm absolutely covered in the colorful brands. And the most important part was the trading. 

Each band was a different shape, and it was always so exciting to open a new pack to see what new shapes you got! There were so many different varieties and colors, and with glow in the dark and sparkly bands too! Silly Bandz should honestly come back in style because it was so fun to collect all the packs and shapes! But if they don’t, Silly Bandz will go down in the Hall of Fame for one of the best 2010 kids’ toys. 

Wii

The Wii is and always will be the best family gaming device, and I will forever stand by my opinion. We got our Wii back in 2007 for Christmas. We’ve upgraded to the Wii U since then, but I still play on the Wii to this day. Nothing will beat playing Wii Sports, Garage Band, or Mario Kart on a Snow Day. My brothers and I have beat Super Mario Bros multiple times during breaks as well!

The Wii is just iconic and unforgettable. It’s my go-to gaming device, over an X-Box or PC to be honest. I’m not much of a gamer, but when I want to game, I’ll go to a Wii. It’s sort of slow, and many of my disks don’t work anymore, but the sentimental feeling I get while playing overrides all that. It brings me back to my childhood when I was free and had no worries. The Wii will remain the most iconic gaming device of the 2000s! And when mine stops working, I will buy another one so I can always go back and experience the freedom that comes with making Miis and playing Wii Tennis. 

Webkinz & Club Penguin

Webkinz and Club Penguin, the most memorable games in our childhood (and Poptropica)! For Webkinz, collecting the stuffed animal, getting the code, and playing the games was a must if you want to be on the in with the cool kids. And playing Club Penguin all day after school was ingrained in 2000s kids’ childhood! After Club Penguin was shut down, it was never the same. It was like a representation of our childhood ending. But logging onto Club Penguin and Webkinz will forever remain a positive memory from my childhood. I think anyone who plays games now should never forget their roots of Candy Bash and Sled Racing. 

Hot Wheels

And last but not least: Hot Wheels! Hot Wheels have been around since the 1960s, but that didn’t mean they weren’t a popular toy in the 2000s. Specifically, the commercial that always came on Nickelodeon and Disney about the new color change Hot Wheels. When the Hot Wheels splashed in the water, they would change colors! The commercial is still very vivid in my mind, as it played so many times on the TV! My brothers were the ones who played with Hot Wheels, but after seeing that commercial so many times, even I wanted a color-changing Hot Wheel!  

 

All these toys and games made up my childhood, and I’ll forever be grateful for them! This list doesn’t even make up a quarter of all the most iconic toys from the 2000s era, but it’s just a few that I especially loved as a kid. I have so many memories for each and every item, I could spend hours talking about them! 

Growing up is hard and difficult, but it’s a must. You can’t get back to your childhood, but that doesn’t mean you have to forget! Sometimes it’s good to be a kid again! We transfer one entertainment for another when we become adults, but we can never forget our true roots with these nostalgic toys!


Toy Donation Box with toys in it.
Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst/Shopify

Hi! My name is Alex Corbin and I'm a sophomore at KU majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience in the Pre-Med track! I'm a huge movie and TV show fan, and my life has been taken over by TikTok. I hope you like reading my articles!
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