Grownups Pay Big Bucks to Attend NYC “Adult Preschool”

[Preschool Mastermind class picture | Photo: Barcroft Media/Landov]
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Introducing one of the most elite pre-schools in the country—for adults! That’s right; Brooklyn, NYC, offers Preschool Mastermind—adults get to enjoy all the things they once did as children including show & tell, arts & crafts (e.g., finger painting), various games (musical chairs is a big hit) and the extremely crucial naptime. (WHAT??)

[Candice Kilpatrick (L) & Michelle Joni (R) in the midst of a magical day at Adult Pre-School | Circa 2015 | Photo: Barcroft Media Landov]
It’s a place for overwhelmed adults to escape from their responsibilities—up to $1K is the entry fee—and totally forget about having to be an adult. (And why would you when there’s all this nonsense to immerse in?) “I realized all the implications of what we learn in preschool,” Founder Michelle Joni explained in an interview. Her degree’s in childhood education and dreamt of being a pre-school teacher. “People come here and get in touch with their inner child. It’s magical.”

Magical and mostly expensive. Play-Doh must be costly these days. But hey, if you can scam adults into paying big bucks for hanging out in a children’s area while indulging in rudimentary activities, why not? (More like “Why??”)

This month-long March-madness effort is once a week with six adults becoming fast friends—all looking to gain some sort of unforgettable moment(s) out of it.

“One person’s here because they want to learn not to be so serious,” Joni added. “Another’s here to learn to be more confident.” While others are there to simply goof off and dismiss obligations—to whomever or whatever.

[Joni sitting with her troop, so they can use kiddie tools to manage adult problems. | Photo: Barcroft Media/Landov]
Again, if the big kids want to play, they’ll have to pay NYC prices (comparable to the city’s real preschools). Joni offers a pricing range—$333-$999. (Maybe the pricier cost gets better glue and paint?) According to Joni, “Preschool is all about choice. I want them [the students] to feel good about the choice they’re making.”

This niche experience takes place at Joni’s Brooklyn-based apartment—must be more like a condo. Students go on field trips too. There’s even a “parent day”—you can bring any-two people you want. One student really brought her parents to class—how proud they must’ve been.

Preschool Mastermind enrolls all walks from NYC including photographers, authors and even high-priced lawyers—they can’t wait to digress once a week. (Some students have kids of their own.) Why use that throw-away money for something sensible when Christopher Robin, Peter Pan and Mr. Rogers are waiting for you to return to them for a month?

[Pipe-cleaner-macaroni accessories, anyone? | Photo: Barcroft Media/Landov]
Joni has observer her students enjoying the scheduled activities, but spontaneity’s where the real magic is. “It’s the things you don’t plan for—the sharing between friends and learning from and working off each other.”

While Joni and her school seem a little familiar (…wonder why), apparently some folks need to take nostalgia to the next level—without their kids.

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