From stickers to Calpol: 51 silly little things that were weirdly exciting as a child

Nothing will ever come close to Coco Pops giving out free bowls

British childhood: the time where pick n mix and going to the local park was the height of sophistication. Yes, many of us feel like we may have peaked somewhere around year five, and to be fair, this is probably with good reason. Could life really ever get any better than nativity plays in winter, daisy chains in summer and weekends with nothing else to do except play games?

Minus the odd questionable fashion choice and obligatory family do, childhood was pretty ace. But really, it’s the small things in life that make us happy, and so many things just got you inexplicably excited for as a kid. Stickers, anyone?

These things were all just simply SO exciting as a child, but had absolutely no reason to be:

1. Getting to press the button for the lift

Always added fun if you beat your sibling to it.

2. Sitting in the front seat of the car


3. Getting to press any buttons in the car

Specifically, opening the windows or sunroof.

4. Going food shopping

Sitting in a trolley? Sneakily adding things to the basket? Not paying? Lush.

5. Or, even better: Getting to push the trolley

Putting those Mario Kart skills into real life practise.

6. Going down the magazine aisle

I know, your mum never actually let you BUY one.

7. Leisure centre swimming pools

Somehow, the floating plasters, verruca breeding ground and queues for the slides didn’t put us off…

8. Ball pools

You definitely thought you could drown in there at least once.

9. Getting to pay for stuff in a shop

Especially if it was a £10 note which you handed over for a £9.95 item, telling them to keep the change x

10. Having a library card

And going to the library – you know, the time when it was a fun experience rather than one which made you was to cry.

11. Going on a train

Not just the excitement of going on a trip, but the train snacks and all the entertainment your parents panic provided.

12. Posting a letter

Especially if it was a special letter to Mr Claus.

13. Sitting at a ‘proper’ chair

Did everyone have “kids’ chairs” and “grown up chairs” or was this just my family?

14. Your parents having a dinner party


15. Or just any guests round

Usually, the centre of attention, people fawning about either a) how cute you are or b) how much you’ve grown – depending on the amount of time since they last came round. Plus, you may be able to sneak a little booze from an abandoned glass when no one is looking.

16. Sleepovers

Two words: midnight feast.

17. Wearing an item of your parents’ clothing

Your mum’s just jealous that her dress looked better on you x

18. Losing a tooth

The earliest form of entrepreneurship.

19. Getting a plaster

Especially if it was a cool colour or design – apparently it’s weird to have Peppa Pig plasters aged 21??

20. Getting anything in the post

You know, the days before you had to sort out bills.

21. Getting your first email address

One of your most embarrassing memories I guarantee.

22. Opening an umbrella

Bonus point if it was a boujee one with an electric button which shot the umbrella open.

23. Finding sand in your bed

Post-holiday, back home and missing all that beach fun, when suddenly your toes grate against some sand that has travelled back with you, giving you sweet, sandy dreams, bliss.

24. Going to the dentist


25. Getting your feet measured

Nothing, absolutely nothing will beat that feeling of the tape measure sliding across your feet. This process leads everyone down one of three routes: feet phobia, foot fetish, or a fan of massages.

26. Coco Pops giving out free bowls

Sadly, you had to collect tokens from at least four different boxes, and Coco Pops were a birthday treat only.

27. Being ill

Waited on hand and foot, in pyjamas all day, missing school work which you never had to catch up on, and of course, the best reason of all:

28. Calpol

That sweet, sweet nectar.

29. Eating anything raw

Okay, raw cake batter is still good as an adult.

30. Going upstairs on all fours

Somehow not noticing the carpet burn on our hands.

31. Drinking out of a wine glass

Scientific fact: immediate superiority comes automatically with sipping juice out of a wine glass.

32. Getting to start the washing machine cycle

Again, buttons = exciting.

33. Rain

Pure excitement, before the days of worrying about driving conditions, wet hair, and the sudden panic of trying to get the laundry in.

34. Birthday parties

Hey Siri, is it socially acceptable to go to a soft play centre in your 20s?

35. Goody Bags

Cake and a toy, just for turning up? Yes please.

36. Chocolate Christmas tree decorations

I mean, they’re still exciting as an adult to be honest.

37. Stockings


38. Stickers

Bonus points if you had one of the sticker albums they all lived in – you were definitely one of the cool kids of the playground.

39. Graduating from writing with a pencil to writing with a pen

Bringing us on to…

40. New pens

I am still sad that you cannot write university essays in pink gel glitter pens.

41. Putting your chair on your desk at the end of the day

Especially by year four when you had perfected the swing and drop.

42. Having to leave for a doctor’s appointment

That smug walk out of class after the receptionist came and interrupted your lesson…

43. Having an inhaler

Automatic playground celebrity.

44. Breaking a bone

And having a cast, which everyone signed obvs.

45. Erasers

Especially if you had poked your pencil into it on every available surface.

46. Owning a lip balm

Bonus point if it’s in a cool container or it’s a cool flavour.

47. The smell of crayons

Does anyone else remember doing tree bark rubbings?

48. PE

Come on, we all remember the pure excitement of seeing the gym apparatus being brought out

49. Getting to sit on a swivel chair

It was the closest to rollercoasters some of us got, and the OG two player game: one person in the chair, all limbs tucked in, one person doing the spinning

50. Drinking water from a lid

And pretending you’re doing a shot.

51. Swapping pen lids with someone

It was basically one step down from a blood pact.

Related articles recommended by this author:

If you spent your childhood playing these Nintendo DS games, you’re an icon now

You can only say you’re a zillenial if you relate to at least 59/65 of these things

Take this quiz and we’ll tell you how crunchy your childhood was