Kidulting Is the New Adulting

Last updated October 25, 2023

The latest viral trend to hit the wellness world is kidulting — where adults relive their childhood memories by indulging in activities generally considered for children.

From playing video games and dressing up for theme parties to bouncy castles and outdoor adventure parks, kidulting is all about tapping into youthful joy.

In today’s fast-paced and stress-laden world, when the relentless pursuit of productivity often overshadows the pursuit of happiness, adults are increasingly seeking refuge in the delightful and imaginative world of children. 

The phenomenon known as kidulting has soared in popularity, allowing adults to reclaim the carefree and playful essence of their youth and to temporarily escape the complexities and demands of the adult world. 

What Exactly Is Kidulting?

Simply put, kidulting is about letting loose and channeling that carefree child within, even if just for a moment. Think coloring books, playdough, jumping in puddles or even enjoying a hearty bowl of sugary cereal without a shred of guilt.

Notably, many businesses have jumped on the bandwagon. For example, McDonald’s introduced special Happy Meals for adults featuring collectible toys. In cities like London and Madrid, the Dopamine Land museum beckons adults to reconnect with their youthful essence.

Similarly, Amsterdam’s WONDR experience tempts visitors with a pink marshmallow dive and the freedom to scribble on walls. Ballie Ballerson, a giant adult ball pit in several UK cities, is another significant attraction. 

This trend has also been fervently embraced on TikTok, with influencers donning early 2000s attire. And kidulting is not just limited to millennials; older generations are enthusiastically diving into the world of kidulting.

Why Kidulting and Why Now?

In an era dominated by technology, social pressures and the constant hustle of life, many adults are seeking a respite. Kidulting offers:

1. A Sanctuary of Stress Relief

In our high-pressure society, we are inundated with responsibilities and obligations, leading to an overwhelming need for an escape.

Kidulting offers this escape by enabling adults to indulge in uncomplicated, joyful activities, akin to the carefree days of childhood, thus allowing them to mentally reboot and detach from everyday pressures.

2. Unleashing Dormant Creativity

As children, our imaginations knew no bounds. However, the rigidity of adult life often stifles this once-boundless creativity.

By revisiting childlike activities, individuals can reawaken their dormant imaginations and inspire fresh, innovative thoughts and ideas, enriching their personal and professional lives.

3. A Journey Through Nostalgia

The allure of the past holds a timeless appeal. Kidulting allows adults to traverse back in time, re-experiencing the innocence and joy of childhood, fostering a sense of comfort and contentment in a turbulent present.

Kidulting: Adulthood Meets the Playground

This burgeoning trend is not only reshaping societal norms but is also opening up a wide range of avenues for adults to explore activities that were once deemed solely the domain of children.

In delving into the world of kidulting, adults find solace, nostalgia and a unique form of self-expression, enriching their lives in unexpected ways.

Here are eleven ways to live your best kidult life.

1. Adult Coloring Books

A worldwide craze, these aren’t your typical kid designs. Intricate patterns and scenes offer a meditative escape.

2. Board Games & Puzzles

Relive family game nights with classic and new board games designed for adult players.

3. DIY Craft Kits

From friendship bracelets to pottery kits, crafting isn’t just for the young ones anymore.

4. Play Cafés 

Cafés that serve both coffee and playtime are popping up globally, offering adults a place to chat and play.

5. Retro Video Games

The return of classic video games has allowed adults to journey back to their childhood, immersing themselves in the nostalgia and joy of simpler times while enjoying the thrill of gaming.

6. Lego Building

Lego sets designed specifically for adults offer intricate and detailed building projects, enabling individuals to challenge their minds and revel in the accomplishment of constructing intricate models.

7. Toy Collecting

Many adults have found joy and nostalgia in collecting toys and action figures from their youth, bringing a sense of comfort and a tangible connection to their past.

8. Bouncy Castles for Adults:

Some companies now offer adult-sized bouncy castles, allowing grown-ups to experience the uninhibited joy and exhilaration of jumping and bouncing around, just like in their youthful days.

9. Outdoor Adventure Parks

Adults are flocking to adventure parks featuring tree-top obstacle courses, zip lines and climbing walls, to experience the thrill and challenge of physical activity in a playful setting.

10. Carnival Games

The excitement of winning prizes at carnival games is not just for kids anymore. Adults are relishing the fun and challenge of trying their hand at various games at fairs and amusement parks.

11. Themed Parties

Themed parties based on popular cartoons, movies or TV shows from one’s childhood are becoming increasingly popular among adults, allowing them to celebrate special occasions with a nostalgic and playful twist.

Benefits of Being a Kidult

Apart from being downright fun, kidulting has three tangible benefits.

1. Mental Health

Activities such as coloring can be therapeutic, helping to reduce anxiety and stress. For many adults, kidulting can act as a therapeutic tool, nurturing their inner child.

Those who faced adversities during their younger years can experience catharsis through “mindful kidulting”— exploring what they missed out on during their youth.

2. Social Connections

Engaging in group activities can foster new friendships and strengthen bonds.

3. Learning

Believe it or not, indulging in child-like curiosity can spark new interests and even skills.

To Kidult or Not to Kidult?

Kidulting is more than just a trend; it’s a movement, a shift in how we perceive adulthood. It’s a reminder that underneath the layers of responsibility, deadlines and commitments, there’s a kid in all of us, waiting to play.

While kidulting isn’t for everyone, it’s worth a try. After all, who doesn’t want a break from adulthood every once in a while?

As George Bernard Shaw once said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

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