Grownups Pay Big Bucks to Attend NYC 'Adult Preschool'

Adults pay up to $1k to nap, do crafts and get in touch with their inner child.

ByGENEVIEVE SHAW BROWN
March 17, 2015, 5:29 PM
PHOTO: Candice Kilpatrick and Michelle Joni at the Adult Pre School in Brooklyn, N.Y., March 10, 2015.
Candice Kilpatrick and Michelle Joni at the Adult Pre School in Brooklyn, N.Y., March 10, 2015. Stressed out adults are spending up to $1,000 to unwind at the World's first grown up preschool.
Barcroft Media /Landov

— -- Getting in touch with your inner child has never been so expensive.

The Brooklyn-based Preschool Mastermind, as it's called, is a preschool-type experience for adults. No, really. And according to its founder, there's show-and-tell, arts-and-crafts such as finger paint, games (think musical chairs) and even naps.

PHOTO: Michelle sees the class as a form of therapy, allowing adults to deal with their real world problems using the mind of their inner child.
Michelle sees the class as a form of therapy, allowing adults to deal with their real world problems using the mind of their inner child.
Barcroft Media /Landov

"I realized all the implications of what we learn in preschool," said founder Michelle Joni, who said she went to school for childhood education and always wanted to be a preschool teacher. "People come here and get in touch with their inner child. It's magical."

PHOTO: The full class starts at $333 and goes up to $999 with the adults paying as much as they can afford.
The full class starts at $333 and goes up to $999 with the adults paying as much as they can afford.
Barcroft Media /Landov

The class runs through March and meets weekly. Joni was getting ready for tonight's class when we spoke. She facilitates the class with two assistants. There are six students in the class, each hoping to get something different out of the experience.

PHOTO: The class takes place once a week during March after the grown ups have finished their humdrum nine to five jobs in the city.
The class takes place once a week during March after the grown ups have finished their humdrum nine to five jobs in the city.
Barcroft Media /Landov

"One person's here because they want to learn not to be so serious," she said. "Another's here to learn to be more confident." But some are there just to have fun.

Adult preschool -- not unlike New York City's preschool's for children, doesn't come cheap. Payment for the class is on a sliding scale ranging from $333 to $999. Joni said that "preschool is all about choice. I want them [the students] to feel good about the choice they're making."

PHOTO: New Yorkers come from across the city to Michelle Joni's Brooklyn apartment to finger paint, sing, snack and nap.
New Yorkers come from across the city to Michelle Joni's Brooklyn apartment to finger paint, sing, snack and nap.
Barcroft Media /Landov

Next week there's a field trip. Then the last week of class is "parent day" when the students bring two adults of their choice to class. One woman is actually bringing her parents.

PHOTO: The concept of an adult preschool has attracted photographers, authors and even high-flying corporate lawyers who want to connect with their inner child.
The concept of an adult preschool has attracted photographers, authors and even high-flying corporate lawyers who want to connect with their inner child.
Barcroft Media /Landov

Joni said that while the planned activities are fun, it's often the spontaneous moments that resonate with the students. "It's the things you don't plan for, the sharing between friends and learning from and working off each other."

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