“I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us kid,” was the slogan in the 1980s for the toy-store giant. These days, millennials are singing that song in millennial preschool groups.
That’s right. Millennials are attending preschool now.
Preschool Mastermind in Brooklyn, NY, promises arts and crafts, a buddy system, snack time, show and tell and, of course, nap time, during a two-month course. Teacher Miss Joni — Michelle Joni — and assistant teacher Miss CanCan claim to help adult students explore preschool topics like outer space while exploring adult topics (inner space). They promise a field trip and slumber party, too. You get all for the happy price of up to $1,111; snacks, art supplies and trip expenses are extra.
“This is more than a stirring,” writes Miss Joni on her website, “and science is on board: playing and using your imagination are absolutely vital to your personal growth, health and overall well-being.”
This plays right into the concept of the millennial generation as the “Peter Pan” generation. These 20- and 30-somethings don’t want to grow up, scared by a reality of constant war, invasive media messages and an intense digital existence. They escape by looking backward, embracing nostalgia.
The Peter Pan theme also lives on in the cottage industry of adult coloring. Books like “Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book” have sold millions of copies. Four of the 20 top-selling books on Amazon this year are adult coloring books. Taking advantage of this trend, libraries from Los Angeles to Baton Rouge, La., are hosting adult coloring nights, attended by millennials overstressed by work and desiring an escape from their smartphones.
TRENDPOST: As millennials continue to seek ways to escape fear and stress, trends rich in nostalgic value will remain popular. Elements of millennial preschool — group nap times and arts-and-crafts therapy — are likely to spread into other realms of the millennial lifestyle. Meanwhile, adult coloring is a hobby that should only grow, becoming more a part of mainstream culture, especially as millennials introduce coloring to their own children.