Thin, colourful bracelets made of rubber, Silly Bandz were all the rage in 2009. Kids snapped up the various shapes with abandon (dogs, pigs, cats – there were even Justin Bieber-themed varieties). In 2019 you’ll be hard-pressed to find Silly Bandz in any primary school classroom.
Yo Gabba Gabba
A decade ago, toddlers and pre-schoolers were all in when it came to Yo Gabba Gabba , a dare we say trippy children’s show airing on Nickelodeon. A mix of live-action and puppetry with a ton of music and dancing thrown in, little ones couldn’t get enough of DJ Lance Rock, Muno, Foofoo, Brobee, Toodoo, and Plex. However, all good things must come to an end and the series ceased production in 2015.
Zhu Zhu Pets
Every year there’s a hot toy kids just have to have around the Christmas holidays, sending panicked parents into a frenzy trying to get their hands on this in-demand item. In 2009, the kiddos were loving Zhu Zhu Pets, plush robot hamsters that scurry around the floor with the push of a button. Zhu Zhu Pets do still exist, but they’ve fallen from the hot toys list over the last ten years in favour of newer playthings.
If you’re raising a family of TV fans (there’s no shame in that game), then chances are a kiddo in your brood was begging for a Snuggie in 2009. The ‘As Seen on TV’ phenom took off like a rocket with its silly, but clever, commercials boasting a fleece blanket with sleeves so that your arms would never feel restricted again! Snuggies went beyond basic solid colours and were also produced bearing the faces of some beloved cartoon characters. Once the novelty wore off, Snuggie’s popularity declined.
Before she became a more controversial celebrity in pop culture, Miley Cyrus was the star of Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana. There was music, comedy, romance, and the type of tween angst that makes for a hit kids’ show. Cyrus graced the covers of many a teen magazine a decade ago before quickly moving into a more adult stage of her career.
‘Single Ladies’ dance
Each year a dance move takes over schoolyards everywhere, and between 2008 and 2009, Insider points out that there was no move copied more than Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ dance. You could hardly blame them, the song is an earworm for sure. Today you’re more likely to see kids ‘flossing’ (a move that became popular thanks to a viral Internet meme).
Ten years ago, tweens and teens across the globe were hanging posters of Twilight stars Rob Pattinson and Taylor Lautner on their bedroom walls. The films, based on Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga book series, made international stars out of its young cast. Today the Twilight craze has subsided and kids have found new obsessions – just ask them about Riverdale or their favourite YouTuber.
Nintendo introduced its Wii gaming console in 2006 to much fanfare. People loved the concept of motion-controlled gaming in the comfort of their own homes. In the years since, the company has ceased production of the original incarnation of the Wii. An updated take on the original, Wii U, launched in 2013 to lacklustre review.
The Black Eyed Peas
In 2009, the Black Eyed Peas dominated the music scene, with two top-five singles on Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 Songs chart (‘Boom Boom Pow’ and ‘I Gotta Feeling’). The Peas are still making hits, but without group member Fergie – today’s kids will have to enjoy their musical serving of Black Eyed Peas as a trio.
Diet Coke and Mentos challenge
Internet challenges go way back to digital’s more primitive age, but in 2008 the challenge to try was the Diet Coke and Mentos Challenge. According to Vocativ, it evolved from a couple of dudes adding the chewy candy to a two-litre bottle of Diet Coke to watch it explode to folks filling their mouths with Mentos and then drinking the fizzy beverage to see if they could do so without it spilling out (the answer is no). Thankfully the Internet community has moved on from this one.
High School Musical
A little over ten years ago, High School Musical, a Disney Channel Original Movie, premiered on the network and kids of all ages went absolutely ga-ga for it. So much so that a sequel quickly went into production and the third was a feature film released in cimemas in 2008. You couldn’t go anywhere without hearing the catchy tunes made famous by the movies. A decade later, it’s Descendants that reign supreme on the Disney Channel. Apparently, for High School Musical, we were only ‘All In This Together’ for a few years.
If you were an on-trend tween or teen, you likely paired every outfit with an extra-wide belt. They accessorised absolutely everything and were spotted on many a red carpet from the Kardashians to Taylor Swift. Today’s fashionistas are opting for a more normal standard belt width.
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