What did children do in the 1990s?

Watch: Children in the 1990s

Find out what life was like for children in the 1990s.

An invention that changed the world

In the 1990s the world was changing fast.

  • In 1991 the world wide web (www) became available to the public for the first time.
  • It was invented by a British man called Tim Berners-Lee.
  • People were now listening to music on compact discs (CDs).
  • Personal computers known as PCs were finding their way into many homes.
British computer scientist and engineer Tim Berners-Lee. Inventor of the World Wide Web.

A new way to travel

  • In 1994 the Channel Tunnel was opened by Queen Elizabeth II.
  • It connected England to France with a tunnel under the sea.
  • This idea had been refused by Queen Victoria’s government way back in 1867 as too silly!

What were toys and entertainment like?

  • The Spice Girls were a huge sensation.
  • Teletubbies were the most sought after toy in 1997.
  • Well-loved books included Esio Trot by Roald Dahl and Northern Lights by Philip Pullman.
  • Digital pets like the Tamagotchi were all the rage.
  • Children collected special coins and stickers for the Olympics and FIFA World Cups.
The Teletubbies were a TV and toy sensation when they launched.
Tamagotchis were a digital pet that you had to feed and take care of, like a real pet. They were very popular with children in the 1990s.

Did you know?

  • The first ever World Book Day was in 1995. It was on the 23rd April. That day was picked to celebrate the anniversary of the famous playwright William Shakespeare's death.

  • In 1997 the first Harry Potter book was published, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling.

  • In 1990 England reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in Italy but were beaten on penalties by Germany.

  • The football Premier League began in 1992. The first team to win the Premier League was Manchester United.

West Germany celebrating winning the World Cup in 1990.
Children arriving at school on World Book Day


Activity 1: Children in the 1990s quiz

Activity 2: 1990s colouring sheet

  • Download and print this colouring sheet of Lucy, Nathan and Mum in the 1990s.
  • Can you colour it in and label it with some of the items that were familiar to children in the 1990s?