30 nostalgic things all 90s kids did back in their primary school days during recess

Recess was a magical time in the 90’s, we weren’t allowed a lot of talk time during class and the smartphone wouldn’t be invented for another decade.

Which was why we had to get so creative to prevent death from boredom during recess. So what exactly did we do?

1) Play country rubber

Every recess was a World War back in the 90’s. And all’s fair in love and war… except dragging the eraser with your thumb. That’s blatant cheating sia.


2) Monkey bar fight

The Singapore version of gladiator. If you lost your grip, you lose your life… or at the very least, go back to the end of the line lor.


3) Play soccer, 90’s style

That means using a plastic ball or empty water bottle or even crushed cans of soda as 20 kids ran up and down the court kind of unsure whether you’re chasing thrash or soccer balls. In our mind, the school court looked a lot this.


4) Flirt subtly with the girl you hate but kinda like


What you want to say: I love you with the intensity of a thousand exploding supernovas, you are my light through the dreariest of maths lessons.

What you really say: Eeeeeh, your hair so dirty, so stupid, i hate you!

5) Finish homework for the lessons after recess

See la, never do in advance, now you have to copy from your friends


6) Digivice battle

Then you gotta buy a new file afterwards because you keep cutting off small parts of the plastic to use a cheat code.



Pokemon took whatever Digimon did, and just added more everything, more monsters, more characters, more storyline. Most recesses were spent trading our Haunter for another kid’s Machoke. WIN-WIN



8) Make fun of the kid playing tamagotchi


Go get a gameboy la Xiao Ming


If you’re feeling slightly nostalgic, Lazada’s got some Tamagotchi up in their trunk of junk! It’s only SGD 5.70!

9) Buy some super cheap snacks

Replenish the energy sapped away from morning lessons with a healthy dose of unhealthy snacks!


10) Browse the bookshop

Everyone who was anyone piled together at the bookshop to find interesting things to show off after recess.



11) Impress your friends with Yo-yo tricks

Around the world, walk the dog, cradle the baby. The really pro ones will shout out the trick before attempting it. Whoever did it well, became the undisputed king of recess.


A decade later, you can still show your yo-yo prowess… with the help of Lazada!


12) Update your autograph book

This was before social media became a thing. So we had to go around with our autograph books, “liking” each others post and telling everyone individually your status updates and list of best friends.



13) Pepsicola

Half of our friends got crippled during recess and the other became masters of the ancient martial art of PepsiCola. Wait, why is it called Pepsicola again?


14) The Principal’s office

See la kick people leg until kena see principal. We might laugh at it now but the Principal’s office was large, cold and intimidating to a kid back in the 90’s


15) Collecting saga seeds

We placed the seeds lovingly into clear bottles and just admired them, no hashtags or Instagram needed.


16) Rushing out to get malt candy from the MRT auntie

So sticky but soooo delicious and the way the auntie wraps it up around the stick… perfect


17) Old Maid

It was our Daidi before we could get our hands on actual poker cards


18) Catching in the school hall

So much space! And if you were lucky, the fans would be on as well


19) Wrestling

Back when Dwayne Johnson was still The Rock, everyone rushed off to carry out ankle locks and Walls of Jericho on their helpless friends.


“Just tap out Xiao Ming, you still have your Tamagotchi to think about”

20) Put salt in pepsi

It might sound disgusting but after one brave friend tried it and converted to the salt life, we all started sprinkling salt onto our soft drinks



21) We were never happy with just one drink

Kids in the 90’s were never happy with just one drink, but we couldn’t afford more than one cup. Sooo


Uncle, mix drink, mix drink, give me Sprite, Coke, Ice Cream Soda, Green Tea, Oolong Tea and everything else

22) Love letters as straw

I don’t know who he or she was but using a love letter (the snack, not a declaration of romance) as a straw is nothing short of genius!


23) Catch spiders

Just get yourself an empty matchbox and start your spider fighting career! Useful tip: look under the leaves after rainy days for a cluster of spiders to join your army.


24) Zero Point

Like jump rope, but with an extremely long cluster of rubber bands meshed together. Yeah, even then, Zero Point was quite weird.


25) Chee Ko Pa

No one liked Scissors, Paper, Stone. It was just so childish.


But double the options, dialect up the name and you have yourself hours of mindless Chee Ko Pak fun.

26) Capteh

We battled to see who could keep the Capteh up the longest, be it 3 hits or an unfathomable 4 hits.


27) Chopsticks

The only maths we enjoyed, go past 5 fingers sticking out and KABOOM, your hands gone.


28) Prank teachers (Ding dong dash)

Back when there were no cameras and teachers still understood that we were children and not really short, young looking adults. Press the bell to the staff room, run away a safe distance and watch as your teacher answers the door with confusion painted on her face. Repeat until you get caned.


29) Unfriend someone

Recesses were also a great time to unfriend  someone even easier than using Facebook. Just go up to someone, yell “I don’t friend you” and walk away, maybe cancelling their name from your autograph book. But no fear, you’ll probably be friends again by the end of the day.


30) Eat a proper meal

If you had the time after doing all those 29 other things, maybe you could grab a proper meal. Everything was so cheap and delicious and cheap and had such variety and cheap.


All this for $2.50. (No, not really)

Ahhh 90’s, we miss you

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