You’re a Genuine 70s Kid If You Can Remember These 18 Things

Photo of author

By Jonathan Trent

Life was very different in the ‘70s. It was a simpler era when children played until the sun went down, with much less fear than today! If you’re looking for some nostalgia, here are 18 things that you will only remember if you grew up in the ’70s.

Pet Rock

Photo Credit: Laura Jarriel/Shutterstock

The idea of keeping a painted stone as a pet is unlikely to generate a great deal of excitement these days. However, for around six months in the mid-’70s, pet rocks were all the rage, with their creator Gary Dahl selling over a million of them, according to NPR.

Tube Socks

Photo Credit: Superlime/Shutterstock

In almost every nostalgic 1970s photo, there will be at least one pair of tube socks on display, a trend made popular by the athletes of the time. These knee-high socks have floated in and out of fashion for decades but have never reached the height of their 1970s popularity.

Colorful Tupperware

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Before Tupperware began solely producing clear plastic boxes, it had some fun with its designs, making them colorful and easy on the eye. There was even a brief period in the ‘70s when Tupperware was considered cool, especially if you had an item from the company’s latest range!


Photo Credit: Grenar/Shutterstock

The video game industry first emerged in the 1970s, with the most primitive games making their way into ordinary people’s households. Games such as Pong, a virtual table tennis game, were all the rage, entertaining kids for hours on end. We’re not sure the gamers of today would be so impressed, though!

Shag Carpets

Photo Credit: Design gallery01/Shutterstock

It was inevitable that shag carpets would go out of fashion one day, as they were garish and uneasy on the eye. However, spreading your bare toes out on a shag carpet has to go down as one of the most comfortable feelings of the ‘70s.

Mood Rings

Photo Credit: Reimar/Shutterstock

There was an element of wonder surrounding mood rings, especially among ‘70s kids who genuinely believed that the ring could sense how they were feeling. The changing colors of the rings represented a certain emotion, with blue meaning a person was relaxed and black meaning they were angry.


Photo Credit: Anita Handayani/Shutterstock

Health and safety were very much an afterthought in the minds of toymakers in the 1970s. This allowed for the rise of clackers, small acrylic marbles on strings that would shatter if you smashed them together enough times, which CBC remembers was akin to ‘flying projectiles.’ Yikes!

Wide Collar Shirts

Photo Credit: Willrow Hood/Shutterstock

In terms of loud patterns and crazy color combinations, there aren’t many eras throughout history that come close to the 1970s. Everything was way larger than it ever needed to be, but wide-collar shirts are particularly amusing to look back on.

Roller Discos

Photo Credit: Marcelo Murillo/Shutterstock

In the height of the 1970s, roller discos were all the rage and a perfect place to make new friends… if you could stay on your feet. Only the bravest and most confident roller skaters would dare approach someone they didn’t know while wearing shoes with wheels on them.


Photo Credit: Veselin Borishev/Shutterstock

Before a handful of high-profile criminal attacks on hitchhikers came to light, it wasn’t uncommon to see someone on the side of the road with their thumb outstretched. Hitchhiking is no longer a common practice and is illegal in six US states. We wish things didn’t have to be this way.

Unsafe Playground Equipment

Photo Credit: MakeStory Studio / Shutterstock

Nowadays, playground equipment is padded, the floors are lined with impact-softening bark, and there is minimal risk of seriously injuring yourself. Back in the ‘70s, this wasn’t the case, with concrete floors doing little to cushion a fall off a piece of cold, metal play equipment. We’ll keep the playgrounds of today, thanks!

Bowl Cuts

Photo Credit: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

Not many aspects of 1970s fashion have survived into the modern day, and it’s easy to see why. Take the bowl cut, for example; this was a homemade haircut performed by a child’s parent involving the placement of a large bowl over the child’s head. Why on Earth did we do this!?

Playing Out

Photo Credit: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

The awareness of ‘stranger danger’ has sent the number of children playing outside in the evenings into an unsalvageable decline. CBS News reports that just 51% of children spend time playing or exercising outdoors on a daily basis nowadays, an unimaginable statistic for ‘70s kids.

TV Antennas

Photo Credit: PitukTV/Shutterstock

Televisions were still a novelty for many in the 1970s, and the technology remained fairly clunky until the ‘80s and ‘90s. Not only were TVs chunky with small screens, but they’d also have to be manually tuned using their in-built antennas. We were forever moving them about, trying to get the perfect signal.


Photo Credit: Alexey Fyodorov/Shutterstock

Loud, space-consuming, and physically strenuous to use, it’s a relief that typewriters were eventually replaced by the much simpler computer keyboard. Type too softly, and the keys wouldn’t register, but type too quickly, and they would jam. There was an art to typing in the ‘70s.


Photo Credit: Hugo Goudswaard/Shutterstock

Polaroid cameras have experienced a resurgence in the last decade or so as younger generations attempt to emulate the style of their grandparents’ childhood photos. They certainly looked cool, but kids don’t realize how many duds were printed and how often we had to repair the cameras!

Metal Lunch Boxes

Photo Credit: Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock

While most kids now get sent to school with Tupperware for a lunch box, there was a lot more pride that went into the lunch boxes of ‘70s kids. They were often made of metal and decorated with color and vibrance; if you were lucky, your lunchbox sported your favorite band or cartoon!

Everybody Smoked

Photo Credit: Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock

Finally, remember when everyone smoked in the ‘70s? Now, we have a greater awareness of the dangers of smoking. Tobacco smoke could be found everywhere back then, but thankfully, Forbes shares that US smoking has dropped from 43% of adults in 1972, to less than 15% in the modern day. Let’s keep it that way!