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The GenTwenty Podcast Episode 13: Kidulting—The Art of Play as an Adult

In this episode, Nicole and Marina share ways to find your inner child, get back to playing, indulging in kidulting, and discuss Nicole’s book, The Kidult Handbook

Wait, what’s that? Did we say Nicole’s Book? 

Yes, yes we did! Did you know Nicole wrote a book? If not, now you do! It’s filled with 160 ideas for fun and games for adults and kids, all geared towards embracing your inner child and playtime.

What does it mean to “find your inner child” or “embrace playtime”? 

As we age, we often become all-consumed with adulting: bills, work, chores, keeping up relationships. It can be exhausting, and overwhelming. It’s easy to get caught up in the stuff we feel we have to do, and forget what we love to do. Or worse, we think something is “just for kids” and stop letting ourselves enjoy it. 

Finding your inner child just means finding what gives you the unbridled joy you felt as a kid. Hobbies sometimes contribute to this feeling, but really you can play anytime and anywhere, you just have to try.

So why is “play” so important for us, especially as we age into adulthood? 

1. It boosts creativity.

Haven’t you heard that it’s important to try new things? Playing helps us use our brains in different ways and can inspire new ideas!

2. It relieves stress.

It’s hard to worry when you’re having fun! And taking breaks is a real necessity that we often forget to do.

3. It forces you slow down.

We all need a change of pace and playing allows us to take a step back.

4. It helps you focus.

Remove the distractions of television, technology, and adult life, and lean into the activity at hand.

Kidulting – Playing Now as an Adult

One of our favorite examples from the book is making Frosé aka wine slushies. We enjoyed making it almost as much as we enjoyed drinking it! Other examples include:

  • Puzzles
  • Playing charades
  • Playing 20 questions
  • Going indoor camping or making forts
  • Tie-dying your clothes and blankets
  • Blowing Bubbles and making your own bubble solutions

Personally, I’ve been really leaning into playing this year, as 2020 has been one of the most stressful and tumultuous we’ve ever experienced.  Some of my favorite activities have been:

  • Water Color (I may only swirl shapes, but it is soooo soothing!)
  • Baking bread / inventing new recipes
  • Having puzzle night / game night with my mom or with friends over zoom
  • Themed happy hour with family…the Hawaiian theme meant Mai Tais for everyone!
  • Tik Tok (Nicole got me sucked into this… I blame her)
  • When I was in college, my friends and I used to play tag across my college campus. We’d tap someone and SPRINT as fast and as far as we could…it was ridiculous and so so fun.

Nicole’s examples:

  • Reading Harry Potter to my son
  • Adult coloring books
  • Making forts
  • Painting 
  • Game nights every Friday night
  • Nature walks 
  • Pajama parties 
  • Dance parties
  • Making Homemade play dough

Playing is a way to reacquaint yourself with the things you love the most, have fun, and let loose! So go ahead – get to kidulting! 

About the Author

Marina Crouse

With a B.A. in French and an MFA in Creative Writing, Marina is a Writing Coach and copywriter helping creatives bring their ideas to the page. In her free time, you'll find her reading, cooking, traveling, or binge-watching sitcoms on Netflix.