From the beginning of time, kids have always been adorable, heartwarming...and totally weird. And what's the best way for a kid to show off their weirdness? Show and tell of course! From glass eyes and famous knives to animals both dead and alive, these are certifiably the most bizarre things kids have brought to school.
In fifth grade, we were studying human anatomy. When we got to the eyes, a kid brought in a bag full of cow’s eyes. His dad worked in a slaughterhouse. The teacher was horrified. He had brought them in, unannounced. The teacher had no plans for dissection and was just going to show us a filmstrip about eyes or something.
The teacher put them in the staff refrigerator for the day since we were living in the Arizona heat. Afterward, when the teacher returned the bag of eyes to my classmate, he took them home. On the walk home, he gave them out to any kid who wanted one. I’ll leave all that to your imagination.
I once had a kid in my class who was around the age of six and had a lot going on in his life. A part of it was that he was a compulsive liar with absolutely no sense of when a lie was so poorly constructed that everyone would know. Every single day, he would say he had something for Show and Tell. Most days, we “didn't have time” for his Show and Tell.
Every so often, we kind of had to let him have a go at Show and Tell. He'd stand up, ready to do his Show and Tell, then wander over to my desk, browse for a minute, and pick up the most random things. It would be things like a post it note, a sharpener, and once it was the custom "well done" stamp that actually had my name on it.
Then, he would say some poorly constructed story about how he found it in Africa when he went there for tea yesterday with his auntie or some such thing. He'd get really upset if he realized nobody believed him, though even at that age, most of the kids had the tact or gullibility to just smile and nod.
My mom was a teacher. I didn’t live with her, but I would occasionally go help her move stuff around, hang stuff up, and clean her classrooms. Occasionally, I’d bring a friend or two while we were in high school. My six-year-old sister attended the school that our mother taught at. One day, my mom called and asked if I’d come by with the two friends that I usually brought.
We showed up about 20 mins later. Without explaining, my mother sent us to my sister's classroom. We knocked, walked in, and my sister yelled, “My Show and Tell is here! These are my brothers. They are funny.” I am so lucky to be friends with these two guys to this day. Without hesitation, they started an age-appropriate 3 Stooges routine.
One climbed on the other’s shoulders. They juggled school supplies. They pretended to trip each other. They made funny noises. I barely played a role. My sister's class was a continuous roar of laughter. Even the teacher was crying. She asked us to stop/leave because she didn’t want kids passing out from laughing. I’ll never forget my sister's little face, looking so proud.
When I was in the fourth grade, since my grandpa lived so close, I called him to go to my house to pick up this beaded necklace that my dad told me he got from a monk in Vietnam for Show and Tell, unbeknownst to my parents that were at work. Months later, during a parent-teacher conference, the teacher mentioned my dad being in Vietnam and the item I brought in.
My mom was very confused and had to tell him that my dad was never in Vietnam. She had a laugh about it when she realized this was one of my dad's "stories." He knew I was gullible and would always tell me weird stories about him like getting shot with arrows while the "wound" scars he had were from getting moles removed. He got a kick out of it but never thought I'd share these stories with other people.
As an elementary school kid, we were supposed to bring toy animals from home and tell why we picked or liked that animal. Most kids brought stuffed animals or action figures, but this one crazy girl brought a real-life bearded dragon. She brought it in a plastic bag and just whipped it out and flopped it on the table when it was her turn. The teacher, who was female and usually very chill, freaked out and called her parents to come get the "beast."
A few minutes later, her Russian dad steps into the room and you could see in his face that he didn't understand what the problem was with the bearded dragon. The teacher freaked out again and talked to him how it could have gone on a rampage and could have bitten someone and how it's animal cruelty to transport a live animal in a regular one-time-use plastic bag.
The dad realized that she was super scared and overreacting, so he just said, "Excuse me madam," with a thick Russian accent, took the bag, and walked out. The whole time, his face didn't show any emotion at all, as if that type of stuff happens to him all day. The girl was the hero of the day and she somehow didn't get into any trouble because it actually was her dad's idea.
The weirdest thing someone brought to Show and Tell was a bag full of his own hair. To be fair, he didn’t actually try to show and tell it. He also brought in an action man. I noticed him and his best friend playing with the action man. They were putting something on its head. I went over to him and asked them what it was.
“It’s hair!” he said. “Hair?” I said, “Where did it come from?” The kid said, “It’s Stevie’s hair! He got it cut on the weekend!” The child had a hair cut, brought the clippings home, then put them in his school bag and brought them into school. That hair stayed in his school bag for a full week before his mother noticed.
I taught fifth grade in a school with really rich kids, while really low-income kids bussed in. One of the low-income kids brought a coconut for her Show and Tell to talk about Trinidad, where her dad was from. When she cracked it open, it was completely rotten inside and smelled awful. I was so worried about the kid being embarrassed.
Then, one of the rich kids, who was also of a pretty low intellect, looked at it with wide eyes and said, "It's like the earth: the core, the mantle and the crust!" which is something I think he had never really understood before. So, it actually turned out pretty well.
Once, one of the kids in my class brought a remote control helicopter to class and flew it around for Show and Tell. It was super cool until he accidentally got the blades wrapped around a girl’s hair. I think the nurse spent an hour getting it out.
I did a similar thing as Show and Tell in primary school. I think it was year seven. I brought darts to school and when I got to my first class, I showed the teacher. They immediately took them off me. I got sent to the head teacher’s office where I was given a sort of detention. Essentially, I couldn't go to the school event that was happening at the time and I was supposed to sit outside his office at both lunch and morning tea for a week or so. I just wanted to show everyone the darts.
When I was in the fifth grade and going to school in Arizona, this girl in our class brought in a glass jar with a tarantula and a black widow. I have no clue how she caught both in one day, or why. Within an hour, the tarantula was upside down in the jar, not moving. On the same day, there was a fire drill and yes, someone knocked it off the girl’s desk, breaking the jar and releasing the black widow.
We never found the black widow, but the teacher made sure to stomp on the dead tarantula just in case. The same thing happened with our glass fire ant farm in the second grade, now that I think about it. I don’t know why people kept bringing these kinds of insects into school, or why our teachers let them.
When I was in the sixth grade, I took a belly dancing bralette into class for Show and Tell that my brother sent me from his deployment. We were studying the Middle East and I had something from there, so I thought it would be cool to bring in. I remember my teacher gulping, eyes bulging, asking, “Just…that? That’s all they wear?” Then, I said, “Yeah, I guess so.” A few weeks later, I realized I'd made a hilarious mistake.
Turns out, he sent me his girlfriend’s present and his girlfriend got my camel book. At least I was very, very popular with the sixth-grade boys for a little while.
I had a student bring in “her grandfather's skull” for Show and Tell. The class was absolutely horrified. It turned out that the student’s grandfather was a doctor and it was the skull that he kept in his office as a model. He was still very much alive.
I went to school in a tiny town in eastern Colorado. A kid in my class drove his dad's combine to school for Show and Tell. At the time, we were in the fourth grade. I still find it absolutely crazy that nobody really cared that he drove it and that there was this humongous piece of farm equipment sitting on the front lawn all day.
When I was in the third grade, this dumb kid in my class decided to bring a live bat to class. The only problem was that he put the bat in a plastic bag in his book bag. Obviously, the bat didn't survive the trip because it couldn't breathe. I still remember the kid removing the ex-bat from the plastic bag almost 26 years later.
When my son was in preschool, he brought me in for a Show and Tell a couple of months after I had brain surgery. I had a shaved head, gnarly scar, and a crazy eye. He made sure I showed everyone my crazy eye up close. It was funny to me and made me happy. He had a hard time seeing me like that in the beginning.
One Show and Tell, I brought two knives. My dad is from a region in France where they make famous knives, Laguiole, and I owned two of them. One was made of horn and one was bright orange. At the time, it didn't cross my mind that it could be a problem, but they called my parents who weren’t mad at me for bringing them.
I'm a preschool teacher in a state that allows the use of weed. One of my students brought in a plastic tube the local dispensary uses for pre-rolled joints. He said he found it in his parents' room and he brought it because he liked the popping sound it made when he opened it.
When I was in the fifth grade, my friend brought a metal hip replacement piece from a human body for Show and Tell. It was from a human body that her father had cremated and kept. It was for a "What would you like to be when you grow up?" sort of Show and Tell. She wanted to be a mortician like her dad. And do you want to know the worst part?
She allowed for this piece to be passed around the class before telling everyone, including the teacher, what it was. Obviously, chaos ensued afterward.
When I was in second grade, I brought this multitool thing that I got from a nearby aquarium. It had things like binoculars, a compass, a mirror and I think one or two extra gadgets. It was cool because each part of it folded back nicely! The binoculars were ingenious. Anyway, the only word second grade me knew how to describe the multitool was as a “pocket knife.” My teacher had a panic attack and wouldn’t let me show it.
My wife is a teacher in a major US city. One of her fourth-grade students brought in a packet of his mom's illicit substances to show the class during drug awareness week. He got some visits from the principals and school counselor, maybe even the men in blue.
The teacher whose classroom across the hall from me had a student who brought what he thought was a lucky rabbit's foot to show to the class. He had excitedly announced he had enough for everyone in the class. The rabbit's foot was a tampon.
At my school, some kid brought in his collection of “laundry rocks” which were crumpled up pieces of paper that he put in his pockets. When his mom did the laundry, they would turn hard like rocks. He said he did it by accident once, liked it, and started deliberately putting crumpled paper in his pockets to make more.
A student of mine once brought in a taxidermied bear from the shoulders up that his dad had hunted with a bow. The best part was that his parents didn’t know he brought it. He snuck it to school in a huge black garbage bag. A couple years later, he brought homing pigeons that he and his dad are raising and training and did a whole presentation with a headset mic and everything for the school.
The whole family is full of the nicest and coolest people I’ve ever met. It was easily one of my top three favorite families of all time.
A teacher once made me the subject of a Show and Tell. My parents, for reasons understood only by them, thought it'd be a great idea to get raw, still-in-the-husk black walnuts by the bushel. Taking the husks off resulted in all of us getting our hands dyed a nice, deep walnut brown color. I guess it never occurred to anyone to wear gloves until it was too late.
The teacher said, "Ocelot, show the class your hands and tell them all why they look that way!" It was so humiliating to walk around with what looked like dirty hands and black fingernails for a week.
Once, I caught some live salamanders in our basement to bring to Show and Tell. I put them back when I got home. My dad had helped me do it. When mom found out later, she went ballistic because she didn't want people to know that we had salamanders in our basement. It was an old farmhouse with a really damp cellar. It's actually really funny looking back at it now.
When I was about eight or nine, I brought a pill case containing mouse organs preserved in olive oil to Show and Tell. Monday was the heart, Tuesday the liver…you get the idea. My cat had caught the mouse, I confiscated it, and then our exchange student and I dissected it on the back porch. I swear neither of us are psychopaths!
We were both aspiring doctors/surgeons, so we thought it was super cool. My teacher did not agree, and my parents definitely got a call home. The happy end of the story is that our exchange student is now a cardiothoracic surgeon, so the mouse’s sacrifice was not in vain.
When I was in the fourth grade, I once got in trouble for bringing two bayonets and a pistol to Show and Tell. One bayonet was from WWI and the pistol and other bayonet were from WWII. I had okay’d them with the teacher beforehand and my parents knew about it, but alas, there was a substitute teacher that day. What 4th-grade boy wouldn't think those would be awesome Show and Tell items?
This was the same substitute teacher that requested a parent-teacher conference about how I was "influencing his peers by talking about Satanism." My Dad politely told her that I was reading The Lord of the Rings at the time. Those weren't spells, they were elven script. He's not drawing violent images, he's drawing Helm's Deep..." If you were familiar with English Literature, you would encourage him to read TLotR instead of the garbage you have on the preferred reading list."
My husband and young daughter found a pretty big wasp nest one fall. We brought it in, and I put it in a big ice cream pail, into the freezer. After Christmas with school back in, my daughter took the wasp nest for Show and Tell. Everyone really thought it was cool, including the teacher, and it got placed on a counter by the window. About a month later, I got a call from the teacher telling me the wasp nest had started buzzing, and could I come and get it. So I did.
My mother is a teacher and back in the 80s, a kid brought a baseball bat to Show and Tell. When my mother asked why, he explained that at the weekend, his parents had a huge party that spilled onto the street and the officers turned up. When his dad got told by the officers to turn down the music and pack up the party, his dad grabbed the baseball bat and said to the cop, "If you don't leave, I'll ram this so far up your butt you'll be a copsicle" My mother shut down Show and Tell after that.
Where I was schooled, we didn’t do Show and Tell, except for on one occasion at age 10. I brought in the 2001 Gorrilaz album and I honestly thought it was the best thing ever. My school was a Catholic school and they obviously confiscated it. It could possibly have been the “worst” thing that they saw.
When I was in the first grade, one of my classmates brought her dad's glass eye and a photo of him holding it with his eye socket all empty. First grade me didn't really fully understand the concept, so I went home and told my parents that my friend's dad could pop out his eyeball and I fully believed it was real.
I brought my life-size Speedy Gonzales stuffed animal on three separate occasions to class in the second grade. It was so old and beat up that the foam pearls were spilling on the floor every time, and I had "sewn" it shut with staples to no avail. The third time my teacher asked why on earth I needed to bring it over and over again and I tried to lie and say I'd never brought it in before.
No one cared when the kid brought his boa constrictor that desecrated on the floor numerous times. I felt cheated.
This was a great Show and Tell item gone wrong. A girl in my class brought a piece of the Berlin Wall that her grandmother gave her since she was of German descent. A kid dropped it while passing it around and she went home that day with several smaller pieces of the Berlin Wall
I am a teacher, but avoid Show and Tell like the plague because I don't want to see booger collections or whatever. I do remember in fourth grade, we had a bring your pet day. Everyone mostly brought normal pets, but one girl brought in her pet skunk. It had had its scent glands removed and was like a puppy or a kitten and really quite cute. Sadly, my mom refused to even entertain the idea of our own skunk.
When I was in Kindergarten, my mom used to call my aunt or uncle to come over and babysit me every once in a while. This was the 70s, so they were the really "cool" aunt and uncle since they were significantly younger than my mom. They were always more than willing to play with me on the swing set or in the sandbox.
They would smoke and it smelled really funny. One day, while we were playing and they were smoking their smelly cigarettes, I noticed a barrette on it with really pretty fluffy white feathers. I wanted it so bad. My aunt gave it to me and put it in my hair. I LOVED IT! It was like no other barrette I had ever seen.
I brought it with me to school the next day for Show and Tell. The teacher asked if she could see it, so I showed it to her. When my mom came to pick me up from school the teacher wanted to talk to her for a minute. She told me to play outside and wait for her, so I did. When we got in the car, my mom asked me, "Do you know what a roach clip is?" I was like, "I don’t know?" She said, "Where did you get that barrette from?"
I said, "Auntie V gave it to me." She just said, "I knew it...ok, Auntie V and Uncle M will not be babysitting you anymore." I was absolutely devastated.
When I was in kindergarten, my mom would occasionally let me play with tampons by putting them in water and watching them expand. Clearly, there was no TV or Internet in my house. I called the tampons ‘water flowers’ and snuck one into my backpack for show and tell. My teachers were in hysterics when they called my mom about it.
My mom was in good spirits, she even teased my teachers by saying I’d bring some condoms or pads the next week
We looked after a small Joey after we hit and injured his mother while driving when I was in grade four or five. It wasn’t the worst animal to bring to Show and Tell...until he thought it would be a great idea to go for a skip around the school. At the end of the day, he was a wild animal. My mum fed the little fella and whatnot until he got large enough. Then, he went to a small zoo just outside of Brisbane to live.
When my cousin was a little kid, he brought my 100-year-old great-grandmother in for Show and Tell. She still had her mind intact so it ended up being a hit because she told them stories of how she lived before electricity was in every home.
I had a student bring in a jelly "bracelet." He was so excited to show it to all of the other first graders. What made it so special was that it vibrated when you pushed a little button. Upon further inspection, I saw that it was a ring, not a bracelet. And it definitely wasn't for a wrist.
I was in the fourth grade when the Cedar Fire happened in San Diego County. There were two or three inches of ashfall on our driveway, so I picked some up and put it in a baggy. Two years later, we moved to Florida and we did an "introduce yourself with one thing" presentation at the beginning of the school year. I brought my bag of ashes. The teacher made me verify, several times, that I had not brought in a baggy of cremains.
On the first day of class, everyone brought something they loved. One sweet girl brought a teddy bear her boyfriend bought her for their anniversary and was talking about how good and caring of a boyfriend he was. The boyfriend, on the other hand, brought an iPhone that he bought himself. Everyone was kind of uncomfortable and I was trying not to laugh.
In fifth grade, we had to Show and Tell a recipe we had made, with or without parental help, explain the recipe, how it’s made, etc., and bring some in class. Someone homemade sushi about three days in advance, and brought them to school on a super hot day, with the Show and Tell in the afternoon. I didn’t eat sushi for ten years after that because I thought this is what it was supposed to taste like. It’s a miracle people didn’t get sick.
My wife is a kindergarten teacher. One year, a kid in her class brought in his parent’s drug money. The problem was, he didn't wait until Show and Tell time to show everyone. The kids were having a little free playtime in the classroom. My wife was getting things together for a lesson. One of the kids came up to show her the money the other kid gave him.
It was $50 in fives and tens. Then she looked around and half the class had handfuls of money. She gathered it all and called the mother. The mother told her it was the rent money, and they kept it safe under a couch cushion. My wife said she counted almost $2,000 in fives, tens, twentys, and fifties. Yeah sure, rent money.
When I was in grade 6, I brought in a photo of my grandfather shaking hands with Winston Churchill. My grandfather was in low-level politics and met him. I didn't think it was that cool but my dad promised me it would be worth bringing in. Nobody in my class cared at all. But my teacher called in other teachers to show them and they all asked me a million questions. I have no idea where the photo went.
When I was in the 1st grade, I forgot to pick something out for Show and Tell. So, in the morning, I panicked. Just so I had something to bring, I asked my dad if he would be my Show and Tell. He was so excited and happy, he called out of work and went to the basement to grab some stuff. 10 minutes later, he came running up with a weird-looking briefcase and told me to get ready for school.
He was so excited. He drove me to school, went inside with me, and asked when Show and Tell was. After finding out it wasn't until before lunch, he got a little disappointed, but he went to go get coffee. The time came around for Show and Tell and he came in right as it was my turn. I tell everyone that this is my dad. He raised me.
Then, my dad told me to take a seat because he wanted to show everyone something. I had no clue what to expect—but he still shocked me. He opened the briefcase and, to my surprise, he brought magic stuff. He put on a show for the whole class and finished up with some cool yo-yo tricks and gave my teacher a bouquet of roses. She ended up blushing and everyone teased her for liking my dad. The whole class was in awe and my classmates wanted him to be at their birthdays. It was great.
When I was in Kindergarten, I brought in all my Power Rangers toys. They were the transforming ones where the head would flip around to show them normal, then in their ranger helmet. Some kid asked to have a play with the black ranger. Then, he threw it over the back fence and I never saw it again. I was so devastated.
I tried to bring my goldfish. Unfortunately, I didn't tell anyone I wanted to bring him and tried to take him out of the tank with my hands. My parents caught me before he croaked. My sister, whose fish shared the tank with him, on the other hand, wasn't so lucky.
When I was in kindergarten, I brought cheesy broccoli to Show and Tell because it was my favorite thing that my mom made to eat and I wanted to share it with everyone. I was really excited to bring it and helped her prepare it the morning of. I thought everyone would think it was cool. I brought something everyone could eat instead of my favorite toy.
The rest of the class was not as excited as me and no one, except the teacher and I think maybe one other kid, ate any of it. I was a bit disappointed that nobody liked it, but at the same time was happy because it meant there was more for me. Looking back, it was a really weird thing to bring, but I was also a really strange kid.
There was a girl in my brother's year whose dad owned a junk/salvage place. The girl once brought in an old thermometer. It seemed like it was cool, whatever. She then goes, "And then this is the most fun part," and proceeds to smash the thermometer on the desk and play with the mercury. I don’t know how that situation got resolved, but I do know that by the time I got to first grade, we no longer had Show and Tell.
In grade six, we had a girl off a farm bring in, “The Most Powerful Weapon in the World.” We were so excited to see what it was because it fit in a shoebox. It turns out the “Weapon” was a cow tongue from a beast her father had hunted recently. She went on to say something to the effect of that, "The words that come from your mouth and tongue are so powerful they can be a weapon for good or a weapon for destruction. And that's why a tongue is the most powerful weapon in the world." I have never forgotten that show and tell.
In the early 90s, one of my students brought a pink vibrator and called it something else, I can’t remember exactly what it was. He honestly thought it was some kind of toy. The rest of the class was young enough to not notice what it really was since this one was not detailed, just a simple one. I remember calling his mom that evening. It was pretty scary and insane.
She just laughed it off and came to school the next day to pick it up. The crazy part, that’s how we met and she is my wife for 15 years now. We even have 2 more kids.
My brother found a scorpion at our house and captured it to bring for Show and Tell. The scorpion got out somehow and the teacher had everyone on high alert to look for it and capture it. But it was even worse than we imagined. Several children returned to the teacher having “found” the scorpion. That was the day we found out our school was infested with scorpions.
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