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The Future of Kids and Toys

Grace Mahas
December 20th, 2022

Related Trend Reports

Toys, Youth
play_circle
“Play” is an essential part of childhood that supports children’s personal, social, emotional and cognitive development. Play has been greatly affected in light of the pandemic, with more children engaging in screen-based recreation. This has impacted how toys are being marketed, which includes a move away from gender-specific products to unisex and gender-neutral alternatives. Parents can also expect to see a greater emphasis placed on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Childhood is a time for learning, and play is an essential part of that process. In this article, we’re highlighting four trends that will shape the “New Normal” for kids and toys:

STEM Sports
Sports-themed STEM toys are playing an instrumental role in getting children excited about math, science, and technology. Increased interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) generally comes from exposure to these subjects at a young age. Brands are looking to capitalize on STEM programmable toys and connected sports toys to get kids interested in these areas.

STEM Subscription
Just as it is for languages, it’s easier for children to quickly develop new STEM skills, and educational toys that teach these skills will only continue in popularity. Now, parents and educators are looking for opportunities to introduce STEM skills to young children while still encouraging their desire to play. Subscription boxes for babies and young kids offer this educational toys, visuals and activities that help build and improve children's STEM skills over time.

Storytelling Toy
The toy industry is exploring many interesting ways to interact with children through storytelling. These connected toys offer creative forms of expression, and are becoming more popular in today's market. Creative toys are being developed to allow children to tell their own unique stories, or hear them in a way that’s more engaging and interactive. These toys often include voice-controlled technology, as well as training books and accessories that help build storytelling skills while engaging in a fun passtime.

Gender Neutral Toy
In the face of shifting consumer beliefs about gender identity and/or expression, children's toy manufacturers are taking steps to be more inclusive. Toy brands are prioritizing gender-based marketing and branding much less as consumers’ values evolve. By prioritizing gender inclusion, these brands are able to appeal to a wider range of demographics while simultaneously showing their commitment to contemporary parenting methods.

Takeaways
Diverse play is now being promoted as a way of helping children learn about various fields of interest, from science and technology to engineering and math. The key is not just to promote certain fields of interest but to reinforce the idea that all types of play are valuable. Meeting the demands of modern tech, prioritizing skill-building, and gender neutrality all offer dynamic appeal to both kids, and their parents.

For more on the evolution of post-pandemic toys, download Trend Hunter's 2023 Trend Report.
References: trendreports