Creating a Sense of Nostalgia for The Next Generation of Kids


The wistful yearning to return to a magical moment from your youth.

In recent years, there has been a sad trend of kid-centric places disappearing from public life. From the beloved McDonald’s Playplaces of the 80s and 90s to local ice cream shops and arcades, these spaces filled with fun characters, friendly mascots, play areas, and bright colors have been replaced with more mature establishments.

Places for Kids
Mascots for Kids

This grey washing of our public spaces may result in a generation that could be devoid of fun nostalgia as they look back on the places they visited in their youth. But what if we could bring back this sense of nostalgia; bring back color, bring back fun?

The Benefits of Fun Places for Kids

Millennials’ memories of play places in their childhood will influence how they view your business today. With decor aimed at children, parents will seek to take their children to your location to recreate those magical memories. While McDonald’s attempted to shift its focus away from children to avoid criticism for selling unhealthy food to them, many other companies that can embrace their child-friendly image. Examples include community libraries, children’s ministries, family hair salons, pediatric dental clinics, and mall play areas, which can enhance their appeal to families by incorporating child-focused decor.

Fun places for kids not only create a sense of nostalgia but also provide other benefits to both children and adults. These include increased physical activity, improved social skills and confidence, and strengthened bonds between parent/caregiver and child.

Creating Kid-Centric Spaces with Theming & Bright Colors

To create these much-needed kid-centric spaces, businesses should look at introducing theming, colors, and mascot characters into their establishments.

You can turn any business into a kid-friendly space with:

Creating Memories
Noah’s Ark Children’s Ministry Reception Area
Bayou Play Area
Full view of jungle-themed kid-friendly hair salon showing partition walls with 2D murals, a washing station with 3D sculpted sign, and large waiting area bench wrapped around a 3D sculpted waterfall and characters
Kid-friendly Hair Salon
Insect Mall Play Area

Even small changes can make a big difference – something as simple as introducing bright colors or adding a character can create an instant connection with kids while still appealing to adults.

Mushroom Library Reading Area

Compare those examples to what happened to Mcdonald’s. Great for adults, but not inviting for the imagination of children.

I don’t remember kids asking to take the fun away and replace it with beige.

By creating kid-friendly environments that are inviting, businesses will be able to capture the hearts (and wallets) of parents while also giving kids their own special place to hang out and have fun.

Become a Place of Nostalgia

While it’s true that many kid-centric places have disappeared from our lives over the past few decades, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to bring them back. By introducing theming and color into our commercial spaces – big or small – we can recapture some of the fun nostalgia of childhood for the new generation while providing significant benefits for all involved.

It’s time to bring back the fun!

Do you like this article? Here are a few other resources that you might be interested in:

5 Benefits of a Mascot for Pediatric Dental Offices

Play Areas & Kids Clubs

Landmark Characters

 Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your facility from a mundane to a magical guest experience.




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