Were the ‘90s the best or were they the best? Maybe it's my intense nostalgia, but I am so glad I grew up in a decade when John Stamos sexily rocked a mullet, Celine Dion topped the charts, and a tiny plastic oven could make mediocre desserts. Seriously, ‘90s toys truly shaped the childhoods of people who played with them. Not only that, but there were plenty of '90s toys that impacted the way you parent. Or, at least, they did for me.
Think about some of the incredible toys you played with as a kid. Now think about how each of those toys impacted your life. Did you know you wanted to be a vet because of the Pound Puppies you raised? Was styling your favorite Barbie head the hobby that pushed you to go to cosmetology school? I'm not saying what you play with as a kid determines your destiny, but it sure does have an impact. If not for anything else, think about the memories you have with your toys. Don't you try to implement those same things in your own children's lives? You remember how much you loved cuddling with your stuffed animals, so it's second nature to bring those to your own children for comfort. And because these particular ‘90s toys were incredible, I have no qualms about the way they influenced my life, especially as a parent. And neither should you.
1. Easy Bake Oven
You thought life was going to be perfect because you could make your own tiny cupcakes to serve everyone. But you quickly realized that nobody wanted to eat those "baked goods." This is exactly what happens when you're a parent. The Easy Bake Oven prepared you for a lifetime of busting your ass to make something cute and delicious for your toddler, only to have them eat food off the floor.
2. Bop It
You figured you wouldn't be able to handle being a parent, but look at you signing permission slips and cooking dinner while balancing a baby on one hip and sidestepping Legos. You are a multi-tasking queen and Bop It is the reason you're able to be super mom today.
It didn't take long to realize that the Furby never shuts up, bursts into random songs, and repeats everything you say. Welcome to having a toddler. Your Furby taught you to keep your mouth clean around your kids, or else they'll wake up at 3 a.m. shouting curse words.
4. Jewel Hair Mermaid Barbie
You had this thing and now your daughter is sporting a bob, right? The Jewel Hair Mermaid Barbie taught you that long hair tangles in two nanoseconds, and just isn't worth the effort .
5. Baby Born
You decided fairly quickly that you were going to make your own baby food once you became a mom, because that gritty orange mush you had to mix up for your Baby Born was so gross.
I dress my daughter the same way I played Perfection — quickly before she bursts.
7. Mall Madness
How did Mall Madness impact my parenting? Well, it was hard enough to beat that damn game with just six items on your list. Now add a box of diapers, a new pacifier, and a kid with an ear infection that refuses to stay in the stroller. Without Mall Madness, I'd be in the fetal position inside Macy's, but now I'm enjoying a Starbuck's while my kid's asleep in my arms. Boom.
8. Sky Dancers
Beautiful, lovely, and fun, Sky Dancers were some seriously cool toys. And then you weren't paying attention and snapped the cord a little too hard against your finger or got whacked in the head with your fairy as it spun around the room. Lesson here: even the cutest things can annoy the sh*t out of you.
9. Doodle Bear
Without the Doodle Bear in your life, you might've panicked when you saw your kid drawing all over her American Girl doll. Now you just think it looks cute. That thing taught you patience and perspective, my friend.
"It'll teach me responsibility!" you told your parents when they asked why you wanted a Tamagotchi. And then, after three solid hours of playing with it, the thing sat in the bottom of your Caboodle and withered away. Nothing puts more of an impact on a parent than a Tamagotchi.
11. Skip It
How else do you become a ninja at sneaking into your kid's room to check on them without stepping on a singing Elsa doll? Thanks be to the almighty Skip It.
12. Gooey Louie
You literally have to pull all of the boogers out of this thing until his head explodes. There is no greater game to impact parenting, because this is exactly what happens every time I get my daughter's nose clean. I have to pull boogers until she blows up at me.