I’m a big kid. There’s no doubt about it. From bubbles (MY BUBBLES) to bouncy castles to Freddo bars, my pleasure lies in the small things in life. Everything I was told to outgrow by society is making a come-back. Anything goes, I say, but I find it interesting how we hide our interests behind new words to make them feel acceptable. Cosplay or just plain old dressing up? It’s like Harry Potter books with special adult covers. We can hide it behind whatever image we like, but we’re following no-one. Kids might enjoy the same thing, and guess what? That’s fine.
People are cashing in on our repressed desire to lighten up. Here are 8 things society told me I had outgrown, which have been remarketed to an adult audience.
Picture books: I’ve heard parent after parent tell children they are too old for the ‘baby books’ and I always want to ask whether their child is too old for visual literacy. Too many people think pictures are only there to help new readers visualise the text.
Rant aside, too many people ‘outgrew’ picture books. Graphic novels? Coffee table books? Those are acceptable, even trendy. *rolls eyes, and goes back to Anthony Browne’s latest offering. *
Soft-play: By eleven, I got strange looks when I turned up for a go on the indoor slides. It was packed away in the trunk of fond memories, but I knew it would make a come-back. As I type, there is an oversized soft-play world touring the country. As well as family sessions, it opens to adults. There’s a special-needs play park in London which raises money by hosting an annual adult fun day, cos guess what? Adults will pay good money to have a go on swings.
Bubbles: Yep, we’ve established I’m crazy about bubble mix, and yep we’ve done the fish-thing (MY BUBBLES!) Let me guess, you’re much too old for a little bottle of bubble mix, but a festival with a bubble machine? A giant bubble wand? Bubble art? That’s different, right? If we all outgrew bubbles, we wouldn’t keep reinventing them.
Stationery: Let’s face it. We’re too old for the back to school shop. But wait a sec, Paperchase sent a discount voucher, and there’s a cute new range. We’re all stationery addicts, and never more so than late summer/early autumn, when nostalgia and the high street marketing wizards prompt us to stock up.
Petting Zoos: Last time you went to a petting zoo? Unless you took children, (which may or may not be cheating. Depends on your motives, and how much you hogged the bag of feed,) I’m guessing you were about six-and-a-half. OK. Last time you went Alpaca trekking? Guinea Pig Fishing? To see the reindeer at Winter Wonderland? Oh, yeah. Hang on a sec. Same hobby, different price-tag.
Playground crazes: Not since Pokemon cards? So you’ve never stalked Primark for an impractically-cup-shaped-purse, because everyone else has one?
Which leads neatly into …
Character PJs: Remember when Disney PJs only came in sizes measurable by age? Heck to that.
Claire’s Accessorises: We totally got over that when our acne broke out. Yeah. We moved three doors down to Accessorize, which is a different thing altogether.
Lego: I’m betting you’ve done one of four things:
- Invested heavily in Lego, and used the special adulthood tactic of MIAWA (Making it acceptable with acronyms.) You’re an AFOL (adult fan of Lego. That’s a thing.) You don’t play Lego, you construct MOCs (my own creations) using techniques like SNOT (studs not on top). Which is not remotely childish.
- You outgrew Lego at a respectable age, but that Architecutre range? It’s made for adults.
- Explored a treasured childhood collection ‘for nostalgia’.
- Helped the kids. I saw a lot of this during my stint in the Lego store. ‘He really wants the Death Star.’ Yeah. He’s 18 months old, but hey. You’re there to help.
Can you think of anything which had been rebranded as fit for adulthood? Do let me know in the comments below.