As people enter adulthood, many divert their attention toward work and family commitments that they forego the nonchalance and carefree fun of childhood. So, somewhere between the cusp of tweens and teens, we stopped playing.
We’re more likely to be lost in translation in front of our phones, computers, or TVs than rekindle the old-fashioned playfulness from years back. But toys and playtime aren’t only a child’s affair. It can be an essential source of badly needed relaxation for adults too!
So can adults still play with toys?
The simple answer is YES, and we’ll dig more into this topic in the following texts.
The Benefits of Toys for Adults
• Relieves the body and mind from stress
Do you remember how kids evoke squeals of delight when unboxing their gifts during the holidays? Especially adults need that same kind of satisfaction as stress and anxiety are common among adults since most of their time is devoted to the workplace.
Thankfully, toys and play can help alleviate stress because they trigger the release of endorphins or the body’s natural pain-reliever. This hormone can promote an overall sense of well-being and free them from stress.
Adults fond of children’s games are also likely to be happier since the body releases dopamine (a.k.a. The feel-good hormone) in response to pleasurable sensations like winning a game.
• Improves cognitive function
The mind-numbing routines in the workplace are likely to cause cognitive decline among adults, especially when they fail to exercise their brains in fulfilling their responsibilities. But toys and games that stimulate the mind like chess, jigsaw puzzles, fast-paced card games, and other strategy board games can prevent adults from developing memory problems and cognitive decline.
Additionally, the social interaction involved during playtime can aid in warding off stress and anxiety.
• Stimulate the mind and boosts creativity
Playtime is a vital pillar in a child’s development because they learn best through play. And the same principle applies to adults. Learning a new skill, accomplishing a task, or problem-solving is more achievable when pursued in a relaxed and playful mood.
Toys serve as tools for children to make sense of the world around them while boosting their imagination as they devise playful scenarios inside their heads throughout the playtime. In the same way, adults can benefit from toys as it stimulates their imagination, helping them think of creative solutions to problems.
• Improves social relationships
While adults spend most of their time surrounded by workmates, it’s different when they share laughter and fun through enjoyable activities like playtime and games. Playing can foster empathy, sympathy, trust, and togetherness among family or peers.
From a professional standpoint, using childhood games as tools to break the ice or loosen up stressful situations can lead to fruitful connections and business opportunities in the right setting.
• Maintains youthfulness and vigor
Playtime that involves physical activity strengthens the muscular integrity of adults and reduces the health risks associated with age like dementia, coronary problems, osteoarthritis, and obesity, all of which further increase one’s vitality and vigor.
As the late famous playwright, Mr. George Bernard Shaw once said:
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
Essentially, toys remain beneficial regardless if children or adults play with them. The definition of toys commonly undergoes a radical refinement as children transition to adults. For most adults, sports equipment, luxury cars, electronic gizmos, and even power tools are the toys they buy for their amusement. But in this list, we’ll take a closer look at toys that both adults and children can play with.
What Are the Best Toys for Adults and Children?
No other toy in the market sells itself to both children and adults than LEGOs. This public enemy number of all bare feet has been targeting adults by tying into themes that resonate with adults.
Aside from their regular construction pieces, LEGO now offers pieces to recreate popular elements from the classic Star Wars franchise like the Death Star or the Millennium Falcon. While non-Star Wars fans can also re-create historical vehicles like the Vespa 125 or the Land Rover Defender.
LEGO has never failed to tickle the sweet spot of adults. That’s why they remain seated atop the list of toys for adults and children.
Microscopes have always been scientific tools STEM professionals use in their fields of study. But many microscopes nowadays are marketed toward children, who companies like to call “budding scientists.”
These kids’ microscopes function the same as professional ones but have more kid-friendly features and are sold at cheaper price tags. Nevertheless, the exhilaration of seeing the micro-wonders of this world is still the same regardless of the microscope and no matter the user's age.
Portable microscopes like the STEMscope kids' microscope are perfect for adults who want to bring their devices on the go. In comparison, the Superscope 3-in-1 digital microscope may be the ideal choice for adults who like the convenience of a tabletop microscope, technological integration of a digital microscope, and portability of a handheld microscope with powerful magnification.
3. Children’s Board and Card Games
Card games and board games are timeless wonders that both children and adults can enjoy playing. It doesn’t matter how childish the premise and art style of the game is like Sleeping Queens, UNO, or Snakes & Ladders, and they can still be a competitive source of fun and entertainment for adults.
Playing these games can not only forge bonding and improve relationships but are excellent mental exercises and cognitive stimulants for adults.
4. Action Figures
Most people dismiss toys for adults as simple collectibles to reminisce about their childhood, but there’s more to action figures than mere displays. Whether that’s a He-man collection or a set of Thundercat memorabilia, adults can always take their toys out of the box for some open-ended imaginative play, similar to what they used to do as children.
Playing with action figures can be a splendid way to boost adults’ creativity and stimulate their imagination. This results in improved thought processes and a more creative way of devising solutions to problems.
5. Arts and Crafts Kits
Everyone is an artist. While some had repressed their artistry when they entered adulthood, people tend to maintain their creativity in thinking or solving problems. In reality, we never lose our inner Picasso. We simply don’t let it shine through as much as we used to when we were kids.
Tinkering with an arts and crafts kit can help bring us to a relaxed and carefree state that conjures up positive thoughts and helps us become more creative thinkers. From children’s coloring books to craft boxes down to bracelet-making kits, any arts and craft kit can set the stage to rekindle an adult’s former passion for the arts.
So Don’t Be Ashamed of Playing!
There are many reasons why adults feel reluctant to play with toys, no matter how much they miss the feel of an action figure or how enticing a children’s craft set looks. But there are equally as many benefits that toys for adults can bring if they set aside the social norms and simply play.
Don’t be ashamed to play! It might just be the thing you need to relax and get you back on track.
If you’re looking for toys for adults (and children!), check out TheSTEMKids’ complete catalog of science toys and gadgets!