Childhood · family · Modern Nostalgia

The New Trapper Keeper Game is a Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane

This year, my daughter started third grade. I’m unsure how this happened as I swear she just learned how to walk, but I digress…

Third grade is a big year at her school, because not only do third graders finally move upstairs with the big kids, they get their first lockers. What this meant was that she spent the better part of the last half of the summer deciding how she wanted to decorate her locker. She eagerly awaited back-to-school night with the enthusiasm of a kid on Christmas morning. And when that night finally came and I watched her unload a tote bag full of trinkets and decorations and pictures and magnets and a mirror into that sacred metal space, the one that had been assigned specifically to her, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own schoolhood days.

I wasn’t as lucky as my daughter when I was a third grader. There were no lockers for the grade school kids, which meant we were stuck lugging around our books and folders in our backpacks. When the school year rolled around, we weren’t assigned lockers, so we had to look forward to getting school supplies instead. New backpacks, pencil boxes, folders, pens and pencils fueled our enthusiasm for those Monday through Friday days.

I never longed for a locker of my own, mostly because I knew it wasn’t an option.

Instead, my childhood was mostly spent longing for the one school supply that everyone else other than me seemed to have:

A Trapper Keeper.

Image result for trapper keeper

Oh, long-lost Trapper Keeper of yesteryear, how I loved you. From your bright, 80s-inspired colors and graphics to your oddly sweet plasticy smell, you were a were a treasure. 

While I somehow managed to go through school without ever owning a Trapper Keeper, my nostalgia for them remains, even now, decades later.

So when I was presented with the opportunity to check out the new Trapper Keeper Game from Big G Creative, you better believe the little girl inside me raised her hand and waved it around as excitedly as I used to when I wanted to be picked for Heads Up 7 Up.

The packaging alone for the Trapper Keeper Game is enough to send any 80s or 90s child into nostalgia-laced trip down memory lane. An adorable, miniature-sized Trapper Keeper holds all the game pieces, which includes Trapper Keeper folders and a variety of cards you collect during the game. The homework, quizzes, signatures, report cards, notes from classmates, and field trip slips will make you feel like you’re right back in school, waiting for the bell ring for lunch. 

You score points by stashing these cards in your carefully selected (no fighting or you’ll get sent to the Principal’s office…) Trapper Keeper folder. Your overall total points will increase based on how many doodles you collect, too, so be sure to pay attention in class! At the end of the “school day”, the player with the most points wins the game!

The Trapper Keeper Game is actually a simple game, although it doesn’t appear that way the first time you read the instructions and play it. I think it was because it wasn’t quite clear at first what the “game” was beyond collecting cards and totaling up the points. When we were first reading the rather lengthy instructions, we felt there were too many things to do, too many types of cards, too many ways to get points, and the strategy behind it was not that apparent. 

But there actually is some fun strategy involved in deciding what cards to take, what “doodles” to collect, and where to put them in your Trapper Keeper folder. (There are a few YouTube videos you can watch that I think better explain the game play than the written instructions do).  

After playing one round, we understood the strategy, the game got easier, and we got into a groove with the rules and strategies for getting a good score. It seems appropriate for a game with its roots in school, where the same rules generally apply: once you get the hang of things, it’s so much better.

Even though my daughter has never seen a real Trapper Keeper, she thought this game was pretty awesome. Turns out you don’t need to have lived in the 80s or 90s to appreciate the fun products those years are famous for.

Keeping score.

Overall assessment: The quality and design of the Trapper Keeper Game is very good and certainly nostalgic. The instructions are detailed (7 pages), but one thing that seems to be missing is a clear and simple statement about the object of the game. The game is indeed simple to play, but it seems like you need to play it once to really understand how to play it. We actually discussed the game structure and thought this might actually be a better game if it were developed as a board game, along the lines of The Game of Life. For what it is though, it’s a pretty fun game.

So for some old-school fun, pick up the Trapper Keeper Game, play a few rounds, and stash away some new memories courtesy of an old favorite. (Ages 8+)

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 42: Why It’s Important to Channel Your Inner Child, No Matter Your Age

We have to listen to the child we once were, the child who still exists inside us. That child understands magic moments. – Paulo Coelho

It’s 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning, a time that would normally find me sitting at my desk or sitting in a meeting or, even worse, still sitting in traffic. But today, this early morning hour finds me doing something different: although I am sitting, I’m on my living room floor, next to my daughter, Zoey, and there are crayons to the left of us, Legos to the right, and there we are, stuck in the middle of fun.

Parent-Teacher conferences are in full-swing at Zoey’s school, so she’s off for the day. And after scrambling earlier in the week to try to find a babysitter for her and then realizing I had a vacation day I could use, I am too.

This unexpected three-day weekend has Zoey so excited she can barely contain herself. Continue reading “Week 42: Why It’s Important to Channel Your Inner Child, No Matter Your Age”

Childhood · Nostalgia

Let’s Go Fly A Kite: How a Favorite Childhood Pasttime Can Help Your Health & Happiness Take Flight

 

Let's Go Fly a Kite | The Nostalgia Diaries Blog

We’re letting fun take flight today to reminisce about one of the most quintessential, nostalgia-inducing, childhood activities we can remember: kite flying. Because, after all, it is National Fly a Kite Day.

The origin of the kite dates back more than 2,000 years to Shandong, China: a Chinese farmer tied a string to his hat to keep it from blowing away in strong winds, and with his simple solution, the concept of the kite was formed. The first kites created were constructed from common but durable materials, such as bamboo, silk, and paper.

By the 16th century, the popularity of kites grew as books and other literature publicized them children’s toys. But as the 18th century approached and the initial novelty of kites wore off, they started being used in field of science. Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite flying experiment during a thunderstorm in 1752 proved that lightning was a form of electricity. Kites even played a part in the development of the airplane in the late 1800’s when the Wright Brothers used them for research purposes. Continue reading “Let’s Go Fly A Kite: How a Favorite Childhood Pasttime Can Help Your Health & Happiness Take Flight”

Childhood · Nostalgia

Remember Reminder #9: Have Fun

remember-to-have-fun-nostalgia-diaries

#rememberreminder: Have Fun

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Remember playing silly games with your friends? Freeze-tag, Red-Rover, Marco Polo, Simon Says, Don’t step on the cracks… One silly activity making a recent comeback on the internet is “the floor is lava.” Yeah, being silly is fun…

And “the floor is lava” reminded us of this fun video at :55 Continue reading “Remember Reminder #9: Have Fun”