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LONDON — The top things adults miss most from childhood are waking up without a care in the world, school holidays, and not having to do “life admin” tasks. A study of 2,000 British adults also revealed the activities they long for from their youth, with more than half the poll (56%) admitting they have lost their sense of fun.

Getting pocket money, playing in the park, and watching TV as soon as they get home from school also made the survey’s top 40 list. Others miss their parents doing things for them including cooking, washing, and packing lunches. Some miss waking up feeling excited, particularly on their birthday.

The research was commissioned by Tropicana, which is calling for adults to reclaim a childlike positivity at the start of each day, by building a giant bed and placing it on the main concourse of King’s Cross station for adults to use as a trampoline.

The poll finds people typically remember starting the day feeling happy (35%), playful (22%), and optimistic (21%) in their youth. In comparison, adults today wake up feeling tired (42%), stressed (24%), and anxious (21%). They wake up with four things on their mind, including the weather, tasks at work for the day ahead, money, and bills.

“With so many adults across the country missing some of the fun they had as a child, such as being outdoors or singing out loud, we’re calling for the nation to embrace that nostalgic positivity and ‘Be More Kid,’” says Caroline Wilding, a spokesperson for Tropicana Brands Group, in a statement.

“We want to remind people to bring a sense of that childlike fun and sunshine to the day. The way we start each day, from what we have for breakfast to how we get to work, has a huge impact on setting the tone for the day ahead.”

Woman tired of cooking
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Hitting your peak by age 9?

The research went on to find that more than a quarter (26%) wish they hadn’t taken childhood for granted when they were young, with nine years-old being the most fun age, according to respondents. In comparison, the polls reveals that 27 is the average age adults say they lost their sense of fun.

Half of those polled agree grown-ups need to be more care-free and take a page out of children’s books, while 27 percent envy others who have fun without caring what people think. Among the things adults think they could learn from youngsters were making more time for fun (45%), seeing the best in people (40%), and starting the day with positivity (38%).

Of those polled, 56 percent have taken part in a childlike activity since becoming an adult, including having a daytime nap (41%), playing on arcade machines (38%), and coloring (33%). These pastimes made them feel happy (56%) and care-free (44%), according to the OnePoll data.

“For almost a third of adults, their mood is impacted by how they start the day,” Caroline Wilding adds. “It just goes to show how important it is to start the morning positively – a glass half full attitude if you will. It was enlightening to learn that over half said doing a childlike activity made them feel happy.”

Top 40 Things Adults Miss About Being a Child:

  1. School holidays
  2. Waking up without a care in the world (no worries about the day ahead)
  3. No life admin
  4. Being cooked for
  5. Being looked after when unwell
  6. Waking up on birthday mornings feeling excited
  7. Spending a lot of time outdoors
  8. Playing in the park
  9. Getting pocket money
  10. Seeing friends every day at school
  11. Falling to sleep quickly and easily
  12. Washing being done
  13. Watching kid’s TV shows
  14. Not knowing the concept of money
  15. The newness of everything (flying for the first time, going to the cinema for the first time)
  16. Waking up feeling excited
  17. Having friends over after school / going to friend’s houses
  18. Feeling like you could be anything you wanted when you grew up
  19. Not having to do food shopping
  20. Watching TV after getting home from school
  21. Climbing trees
  22. Being bought sweets and chocolate
  23. Having toys bought for you
  24. Drawing/coloring in
  25. Knocking on neighbors’ doors to go out and play
  26. Playing hide and seek
  27. Not worrying about getting dirty when outside
  28. Going to fairgrounds/on rides
  29. Going on arcade machines
  30. Being read to
  31. Having packed lunch made
  32. Waking up with a positive attitude
  33. Getting carried when too tired to walk
  34. Singing without caring how it sounded
  35. Jumping in puddles
  36. Walking, cycling or scooting to school
  37. Getting certificates, gold star, etc.
  38. Having sleepovers
  39. Napping in the day
  40. After school clubs/hobbies

South West News Service writer Alice Hughes contributed to this report.

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