From popping bubble wrap to rolling down a hill: The 50 things you are never too old to keep doing

Lego fan Siofra Connor. Photo: Steve Adams Lego fan Siofra Connor. Photo: Steve Adams

Monday, February 24, 2014
9:11 AM

As a teenager, you wish your life away, desperately wanting to reach the holy grail of adulthood when you can do all kinds of brilliant things like drink, drive a car, have a tattoo, pay all your own bills, get saddled with a gigantic mortgage, get a badly-paid job and marry only to inevitably divorce.

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Lego fan Siofra Connor. Photo: Steve AdamsLego fan Siofra Connor. Photo: Steve Adams

Being an adult is rubbish.

A new survey of 2,000 adults conducted by TV station Nick Jr UK has revealed that one in five of us still loves doing silly things like riding on shopping trollies and kicking piles of leaves, 90% of parents sneakily relive their favourite childhood moments through their children, half believe being more imaginative makes them feel better at work and one in six says it is important for their children to see them occasionally being a bit stupid.

The survey also includes a top 50 list of some of the very best youthful urges that we are supposed to suppress now we’re responsible and grown-up and staid and a bit dull – drawing faces on steamed-up mirrors, doggedly refusing to eat crusts, saying “jinx” if someone says the same thing as you at the same time, shouting “shotgun” to secure the front passenger seat in a car and licking the bowl after making a cake all make the grade.

Building snowmen, prodding wet paint, cracking through ice on puddles, being the first to press the button at a pedestrian crossing, drawing moustaches on celebrities’ faces in magazines, drawing on car windscreens – these are all brilliant things. And far better than their adult equivalent – making a will, sorting out a pension, comparing utility providers online, doing the weekly shop…

Lego fan Siofra Connor. Photo: Steve AdamsLego fan Siofra Connor. Photo: Steve Adams

Most people in the survey said their imagination and ability to see things with a child-like eye had dwindled by the time they were 26 but one in 10 admitted they still indulged in pranks and half said they were regular daydreamers (a fifth spending time at work wishing they had super powers).

A huge 86% of us think it’s crucial to try and remain imaginative as an adult, a fifth of us use ‘young’ slang phrases such as ‘selfie’ and ‘lol’ (laugh out loud, not ‘lots of love’, as Mr Cameron believes it to be) and one in four confess to ‘photobombing’ other people by sticking their fingers up behind an unsuspecting person’s head.

I was talking to my friend Siofra Connor, 33, who is editorial assistant at Archant (I asked her what she wanted me to put as her job title – other suggestions included ‘Awesome Milliner’, ‘My Little Pony Enthusiast’ and ‘Lego Master Builder’), this morning about The Lego Movie (number three on the list), which she’d seen the night before.

She said to me: “I came out of the film and said to my boyfriend Pete: ‘I want to play with my Lego now!’ but he said no, it’s too late, it’s 10.30pm!

The 50 childlike activities Brits still like to indulge in

1. Popping bubble wrap

2. Trampling through snow

3. Sticking fingers in cake mix/lick the bowl

4. Kicking piles of leaves

5. Going on a swing

6. Watching kids’ movies

7. Pulling silly faces

8. Building a snowman

9. Touching hot plates

10. Having a snowball fight

11. Prodding wet paint

12. Doodling in meetings

13. Running away from the sea when at the beach

14. Watching cartoons

15. Cracking through ice on puddles

16. Drawing smiley faces in the mirror

17. Playing with your hair

18. Jumping out and startling people

19. Blowing bubbles with chewing gum

20. Picking your nose

21. Being the first to push the button at a pedestrian crossing/lift

22. Wheeling around on a trolley in supermarket

23. Splashing in puddles

24. Running/skipping for no reason

25. Having a water fight

26. Saying ‘jinx’ when someone says the same thing as you at the same time

27. Drawing faces on celebrities’ faces in magazines

28. Popping crisp packets

29. Blowing a blade of grass

30. Slurping through your straw

31. Dressing up in fancy dress

32. Swinging like a monkey on any bar that’s around head height.

33. Doing handstands/cartwheels/snow angels

34. Repeating everything a friend says to annoy them

35. Shouting ‘shotgun’ and running for the front seat in the car

36. Not eating crusts

37. Racing to be first at anything

38. Pretending to walk downstairs ‘to the cellar’? when you’re stood behind a counter

39. Drawing on car windscreens

40. Pretending the shopping trolley is a car/motorbike

41. Popping fuchsias

42. Running through a sprinkler

43. Blowing bubbles in milk

44. Going to bed with a toy

45. Rolling down a hill

46. Dressing up animals

47. Sleeping with the light on

48. Stealing someone’s hat

49. Leapfrogging bollards

50. Sliding down banisters

“Just seeing the old-style Lego like the old Robin Hood set that I had took me back to all the fun times I had. When you’re a kid, you make the Lego sets look like they do on the box and then you take them apart and make your own random things. You’d make the most amazing castle – no one else would know it was a castle, but you would. When you’re an adult you lose that and I think it’s a shame.”

Siofra added that she refuses to give in to boring adulthood without a fight.

“I love making snowmen, sledging, jumping in puddles – I’m such a kid,” she said.

“Being silly sometimes keeps you young inside and stops you getting bogged down by all the boring grown-up stuff like bills and mortgages. I think if we all concentrated on a few more of
the little things, we’d be a lot happier.”

The Lego creations in these pictures are brought to you by Siofra Connor (editorial assistant), Steve Adams (EDP and Norwich Evening News picture editor) and Emma Harrowing (Norwich and Royal Resident editor).

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