According to the Cambridge Edition Dictionary a "Kidult" is an adult who likes doing or buying things that are intended for children.

A Kidult is also said to be "A person who has a great fondness for his or her favorite cartoons, superheroes and collectible toys that remind him/her of his/her childhood.  They also buy clothes or accessories that have a design that is aimed primarily at young teenagers."

Believe it or not, the "kidult" demographic of consumers is the largest driver of growth in the toy industry. They account for nearly $9 billion in sales each year. 

“We know that this generation does take their jobs very seriously, but at the end of the day, they also want to have fun,” said Josh Shave, senior director of marketing for Razor.

Many of you reading this are kidults.  I confess...I am one.  I'm just a big kid.  I have a video game system right here beside me and I often play it.  I also frequently play games on my cell phone.  Look around the next time you are in a waiting area (like a doctor's office). You will see adults playing games on their cell phones.

I remember my wife in the early days of our marriage, would have to tell me to shut down the video game system because it was time for bed.  I would often say the famous words "I will be there in a minute...just let me finish this level."  It would sometimes be after midnight before I finished playing the video game "level" I was playing. 

I still love playing some of my favorite games from when I was a kid.  Donkey Kong.  All things Mario. Wii games. Madden football. Pac Man. Galaga. Dig Dug. Frogger.  The list could go on.

My boys (who are now 33 and 29) still love to play some of the video games they grew up with. Minecraft.  Runescape. Lego games. Mario and many more.   

Toy companies are realizing this trend and are creating toys that are tied to nostalgic for adults. Toys and video games like Harry Potter, Barbie, Hot Wheels, Star Wars and Marvel superheroes are big sellers for kidults.

Often you will also see kidult parents and their children playing games together.  From video game systems to board games to outdoor games, parents and their children love the shared experience of playing together . This is a good thing.  It's a win anytime you get kids and parents spending time playing together.

79% of parents believe that play is an important form of self-care for children and 77% use toys to help with learning.

Covid kick-started the upswing of parents and their children playing together.  Families were huddled in their homes with lots of time to spend together.  In the last year, toys and games targeting kidults represented 60% of the financial growth in the toy and game industry.  

Based on this information, here are some key thoughts about how we should respond to this as children's ministry leaders.

1. Use play as a learning method when you teach.  But don't play games just to be playing games.  Make sure every game reinforces the main teaching point you are trying to communicate. 

Here's an example.  At my home church, we are currently in a series called "The Enormously Gigantically Big Game Show." (click to see more)

The series teaches kids how big God is.  We use games throughout this series to reinforce the main point.  Last week, we were teaching the kids how powerful God is.  The Bible story came from Elijah telling the king it would not rain for 7 years. When the rain returned, it started with a small cloud in the sky.  It was a spectacular display of God's power.  

Right after the story, we played a game to reinforce it.  The kids had a cotton ball (represents the little white cloud in the Bible story).  Each child had a straw and raced to see who could use the straw to blow the cotton ball (cloud) across the finish line.  This reminded the kids about the cloud in the story moving in because of how powerful God is.

2. Create shared experiences for kidults and their kids at church.  Parents are looking for ways to create great memories with their children.  There are lots of ways you can do this.  Milestones work great for this. Some other ideas are a family show, Easter egg hunt, Fall Festival, VBS family night, Christmas services, father-daughter dance, camp outs and more.

3. Create shared experiences for kidults and their kids at home.  A family discussion about the week's lesson.  A prayer guide for kids and their parents.  Take home papers that kids and their parents can do together.  Online games and activities that kids and their parents can do together at home.

4. Always be thinking about how you can engage Kidults. How can you encourage them to invest in their children spiritually?  How can you equip them to lead their children spiritually?  How can you create resources that they and their children will study and play together?

God can use kidults in a great way in children's ministry.  Make yourself available and watch what God does in and through your life.

p.s. Have you registered for the upcoming webinar entitled "Build the Volunteer Team You've Always Dreamed About?" It's going to be amazing.  Don't miss this opportunity to help build your volunteer team.

Here's more info. and you register at this link.