UK Crazes

A craze is a sudden popularity for an activity or an object that is widespread but often short-lived. Crazes are typically seen with fashion items but also among younger generations with toys and play equipment. Crazes became such a popular thing that many schools caught on and decided to implement a “Craze of the Week” idea, giving children the opportunity to learn new crazes. Not only is this a fun and interactive way for children to spend their breaks at school but also an educational strategy, expanding children’s adaptability, acceptance of trends and change and helping them to feel included. 

Crazes rise, fall and change with the times but there have been many throughout the decades. Let’s go back in time and take a look at some of the top crazes from the UK over the years.

Conkers requires two players and often take place in the autumn months, when conkers fall down from horse chestnut trees. Children carefully select their conkers and drill a hole through the centre, attaching a piece of string. The aim of the game is to swing the conker and try to hit and break your opponent’s conker.


Friendship Bracelets

Friendship bracelets were supposed to be made and worn by your friends. They’re typically made with different pieces of coloured thread tied together in different patterns. You may find beads, sequins or other bits and bobs added to the bracelet too.

The Tamagotchi arrived in the UK from Japan in the 1990s. It is a digital pet, which you must feed, look after and play with to keep growing. On some versions of the game, you could connect with your friend’s Tamagotchis to form digital friendships and even marriages.


Top Trumps is a card game, which is sold in packs with different central themes. It can be played with 2+ players and the aim of the game is to win all the cards off the other players. A character is displayed on the card with statistics. You must choose a statistic, all players read out that number and the person with the highest number wins that card. There are numerous different themes that encourage children to learn about the world, such as dinosaurs, dogs, Harry Potter and Star Wars.

Mood rings are rings that supposedly change colour according to your mood. In the school playground, you’d often find kids passing around a mood ring to see how each person is feeling.

Mood Ring

Alien Birthpods are small plastic eggs filled with gel, in which you can find an alien. The gel is like putty and can be squeezed for stress relief. The gel forms different shapes and, supposedly, the aliens can “give birth” to more gel aliens.

Slime has been a growing craze in recent years. Different colours, consistencies and shapes are now available and kids often use them to squeeze for stress relief. Slime can easily be bought and kept in plastic pots or made from household materials.


The slinky is a spring toy that can make lots of different shapes and patterns when thrown around and can infamously travel down stairs by itself. Slinkys can be made out of plastic or metal and come in many different shapes and sizes.

The traditional yo-yo is a game that can be played alone. The yo-yo is two wooden or metal disks separated by a piece of string wound round. You can hold the loop at the end of the string and throw the yo-yo down, it should spin back up again and you can keep going until you lose momentum.


Power Balls

Power balls are rubber balls that are extremely bouncy. There are varying sizes, styles and colours including some that glow in the dark. They’re great for bouncing around the garden and trying to play catch, although they are often quite small.

Marbles are also balls but they’re typically made of glass. There are many different games that can be played with the marbles, such as marble runs and races. However, many people collect them based on their patterns and colours.


Cat’s Cradle can be quite a challenging game with one circular piece of string i.e. a piece that’s been tied together at both ends. At least two players are required for this game, where different shapes and patterns are made with the string, which is passed back and forth between the players. Players must know the order of patterns to be able to pass the string around.

With numerous different spellings, the scoubidou is a handcraft where you tie pieces of thin plastic string together in different patterns. You can make keyrings or bracelets and mix and match different colours. 


Panini Football Stickers

Perhaps one of the most popular games in the playground was the Panini football stickers and cards. Each Premier League footballer has a card/sticker and the aim of the game is to collect all cards/stickers in your album. Kids often exchange or even sell cards to their friends and fellow collectors.


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