How to connect with your inner child
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.
Home Pottery Kit
Get your hands dirty with Sculpd’s at-home pottery kit, containing everything you’ll need to sculpt, carve, paint and seal your own pots, trinket dishes, vases, pendants and so much more. To make the activity even more enjoyable, invite a friend and pretend to be kids again messing about with Play-Doh. You’ll wonder why you don’t get creative just for fun more often.
The Full 'Origins Collection' Puzzle
Puzzles, but elevated. Turn off your mind for a while and focus instead on these 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzles from Rejig. These are puzzles for the modern age, designed by specially commissioned illustrators Sofie Birkin, Marylou Faure and Jose Mendez to respond to the theme of 'Origins'. The result is this 3-part puzzle collection, with each artist interpreting the brief in their own way. This way, you can connect to your inner child’s love of play while still having a cute artwork to hang on the wall when you’re done.
LOVE DETOX BUNDLE
On a deeper level, connecting with your inner child is about healing past traumas or wounds. This is where meditation can be an important tool. Psychic Sisters’ Love Detox Bundle is all about healing and positivity. So show yourself some love as this crystal and candle set may help heal past emotional pain and focus on positive vibrations.
YELLOW HAPPY FACE RUG
Decor for dopamine! Remember when your childhood bedroom was filled with vibrant, colourful things that sparked joy? Tap into that same upbeat energy with Wavey Casa’s smiley yellow rug. With a super soft fabric, the half-moon design is cosy AF and guaranteed to make you smile.
Happy Flower Face Shock iPhone Case
Phones might be a functional essential of adult life, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun. And who doesn't want a ton of happy lil flowers on the back of their phone? It's as simple as that! Plus it'll keep your phone safe from cracks and scratches too.
ARTS AND CRAFTS
Ultimate Pottery Bundle
This ultimate pottery bundle can facilitate hours of crafty fun. It’s for those that decide they want to start something, to learn something, and then go out and do it because there’s no age limit on discovering a new hobby. If your intention is to create some truly jaw-dropping home pottery pieces, then this is the bundle for you. You’ll have all the special tools, colours and inspiration you'll need, along with some gorgeous glossy varnish to 100% waterproof your pieces and give them that glossy ceramic finish.
HOP TO THE TOP
To be honest, we never really grew out of seeing cute, animal-shaped things and going all mushy inside. This candle does just that. The bunny-shaped hand-poured soy wax candle by Nata Concept Store makes an adorable ornament if you can’t bring yourself to light it.
PASSION FOR FASHION
Moxie Bootcut Belted Collage Print Jeans
Bratz were the coolest dolls out there and we all wanted to dress like them. Well, now there’s nothing stopping you. These spirited and bright bootcut jeans from Elsie & Fred express their fearless, Y2K passion for fashion. Wear with chunky platforms for the full effect.
PINK TOURMALINE CRYSTAL
Pink Tourmaline is a stone of universal love, working with the heart chakra to promote emotional healing from old wounds. It supports us in times of deep personal self-growth, infusing the aura with a sense of compassion and kindness. Its Lithium inclusions also help us work through any inner chaos, and physically work to calm states of worry, stress and anxiety.
GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY
Air Dry Clay Bag
Stay crafty with Sculpd’s clay kit that leaves you free to make whatever you’d like. It contains enough clay for two people to sculpt and paint a couple of pinch pots each, but you might have a larger creation in mind or invite more people to join. It’s up to you!