How to connect with your inner child

3 mins
09 Feb 2023
Young Lindsay Lohan in Freaky Friday

From at-home pottery kits to smiley bright decor, here’s how to spark joy for your inner child

image ABC Photo Archives / Getty

words Sophie Lou Wilson

When was the last time you did something that made your inner child happy? Remember when you could while away hours doing arts and crafts or playing in the garden. As we grow up, it can be hard to find time for things that we enjoyed doing as children. One day, without knowing it, you went outside to play with your friends for the last time and never did it again. But why should we give up playful activities just because we’re grown-up now?

What is inner child work?

Everyone has an inner child and studies suggest that those who engage in inner child work demonstrate better emotional intelligence and adjustment. Psychotherapist and spokesperson for the UK Council for Psychotherapy, Noel Bell, explains how, “Having an inner child is to recognise the childlike part of your unconscious mind that continues to affect your adult life. Inner child work is about engaging in activities where you can become creative and rediscover your purity and innocence.”

Think about what you loved doing as a child. Maybe you used to spend time drawing or playing sport, but gave both up when life got busier. Inner child work can also be a chance to experience hobbies you always wanted to explore, but maybe didn’t have access to at the time. For example, ballet classes for adults are becoming increasingly popular as more of us revisit interests we abandoned or couldn't afford as kids.


Connecting with your inner child can be fun, but it also has some pretty helpful therapeutic benefits as well. According to Bell, embracing inner child work can help “address and heal from the harmful maladaptive experiences that occurred in early stages of your development. Learning to live a more confident and happy life, free from the emotional burdens of the past is the ultimate aim of inner child work.”

How to connect with your inner child

Inner child work might look different for everybody. Engaging in inner child work with a therapist might help you address and heal from past wounds. This can be uncomfortable at times. An example of inner child work is writing a letter to your younger self to let go of past emotional wounds.

However, connecting with your inner child doesn’t always have to be a heavy, painful experience. Some of the best ways to do the work involve engaging in playful activities that are just as enjoyable as an adult. Bell recommends “activities such as painting, meditation, music, dancing and storytelling" that "can be transformational in healing your inner child.”

Following this advice, we’ve selected a bunch of playful products to connect with your inner child and pick up some new, fun hobbies while you’re at it.

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