When my daughter first decided that the classic PBS show Arthur was one of her favorite shows, my heart sang out with glee. My younger self was thrilled because sharing something with her that I also loved as a kid filled with me some sort of wonderment and nostalgia.
Sitting down and watching an episode with her or reading the very same Arthur books that I used to check out from my elementary school library was such a full-circle moment for me.
For other parents, they experience that same positive force through the power of play.
One TikTok dad is raving about one of the most “unsung benefits” of having a kid and it all revolves about playing.
“You literally get to relive your childhood through play with them,” dad Andrew says.
He then gives multiple examples of different games, activities, books, and shows that his child has asked him to participate in with him, to which Andrew always gives a resounding “Yes!”
From playing with Play-Doh to swinging on the swings to reading Harry Potter, this dad is up for anything his sons wants to play. The added bonus lies in the fact that all these fun activities just so happen to be the same ones from Andrew’s childhood.
After his video went viral, several TikTok users weighed in on this unsung benefit with their own memories.
“My daughter is obsessed with Toy Story and her birthday is this month. I got her ALL the characters and I can’t wait to play with them 😂!” one user wrote.
“Halloween, Christmas, zoos, childrens museums, arcades, fireworks, everything that maybe lost a little magic as an adult, gets all the magic back💕,” another said.
One user said, “When my husband learned our two year old is in LOVE with Pokémon, never seen this man more happy and excited! And he had a good childhood 😁”
One user made an interesting point surrounding the all-too-common story from millennial parents and said, “Honestly aside from the OCCASIONAL game of monopoly as a family I don’t really remember my parents playing with me. My son will know different”
Some TikTok users, who are child-free, chimed in on the viral video and said that what Andrew is touting is all well and good, but any adult can play with Hot Wheels or Play-Doh too. You don’t need a kid to do those things.
Andrew’s follow-up video response to this point hit the nail on the head. It’s not about the games or the activities — it’s about the child.
“Yes, of course you can experience those things as an adult, but getting to experience them with your kid creates this sort of magic that isn’t the same as you just doing it as an adult,” he said.
“You’re not gonna go on and buy Candyland and play with your friends. But man, playing it with your kid brings back this level of nostalgia. It puts you in this place where you were enjoying it as a kid. So it’s less about how you’re feeling about playing it as an adult and it’s more about seeing them and how much they enjoy it and being a part of that experience for them.” Preach!