Not Just for Kids - Why Everyone is Crazy About Squishies

While tons of people (and nearly all schoolchildren) are rejoicing about being made to work/study from home, for many of us, the working-from-home struggle is becoming very much real. With myriad distractions threatening our productivity while out of the office like email, household chores, social media, and of course – snacks, fighting off restlessness and boredom is becoming an ever-increasing concern. For kids, without the structure of school, it may be becoming all too tempting to treat studying at home like a vacation. Perhaps the drastic change in routine even has them feeling anxious (we feel you, kid). After all, nobody can really stand being cooped up inside for too long.

Enter the squishy – a brightly colored, soft foam toy you can get in the shape of just about anything from a donut to a unicorn. They’re virtually always adorable, often sweetly scented, and are inexplicably satisfying both to squeeze and to watch (slowly) re-inflate. Considering the fact that they don’t really do anything, their appeal among kids and adults alike is almost baffling, but it’s most definitely there. And it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.

Squishies’ appeal seems to transcend age to a near-unprecedented degree among toys, particularly for a toy as simple as a bit of foam made into cute shapes. But what makes a squishy different from, say, a teddy bear then?

A squishy isn’t just a comfort item or focus aid – it’s a conversation piece. While a fidget toy almost seems designed to be kept hidden and a teddy bear feels a bit strange to carry around past a certain age, a squishy is something that can both provide a tool for staying focused and calm, and be shown off. Given their popularity, a child is highly unlikely to be the only person in their class with a squishy, making their collection something they can talk about and bond with their peers over. Among adults, nobody would likely bat an eye at a squishy adorning a coworker’s desk – if anything, they’d be likely to find it fun and interesting looking – and may just be convinced to pick one up themselves.

Squishies have become a bit of a craze in the toy world, and it’s no secret why. They’re all over Instagram and YouTube, featuring in countless, surprisingly captivating haul videos that make us want to collect more and more for reasons we can’t even really explain. People, no matter their age, love things that are cute and soft, and the fact that squishies make no noise and are satisfying to touch makes them perfect for staving off boredom and helping us stay calm and focused. They provide all the comfort of a stuffed animal in a way that’s also cool – something that very much matters to school-aged children, and makes adults feel more inclined to collect them too. Countless adults have confessed to loving blankets, stuffed animals, and other comfort objects normally associated with children – but none of these are things a person feels they can carry around in public. A squishy offers all the benefits of those with an added cool factor – they’re a comfort item that can be carried with pride.

That’s something we can all use from time to time, no matter our age.

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