There has been a resurgence in trends of the board games and puzzles category in recent years. There has been a movement, from kids right through to grandparents, of adopting board games as a way to not only spend time with their families face-to-face but as a way to get excited about engaging with one another. This growth has been enabled thanks to the wide range of interest in a variety of licensed, cooperative, niche and innovative board games. Social media has also played an influential role in spreading the word about these laugh-out-loud games and silly games as viral videos have become commonplace.
Toys that Teach
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) toys have risen to prominence as an increased emphasis has been placed on “playing with a purpose”. These new toys provide a way to incorporate new technologies which can get kids excited about learning. Current predictions estimate that STEM jobs and the demand for those qualified in these areas are due to increase significantly both in the next ten years and beyond. STEM toys cater for toddlers right through to school-age kids and enable kids to explore topics and subjects that were previously solely reserved for the classroom.
Playing with pretend pets continues to be a growing trend for children who are eager to foster the skills and learn to care for their own pets but aren’t yet ready for the responsibility of a real, live animal. Pet toys run the gamut from fantastical creatures (like unicorns, dinosaurs, or other made-up animals) to cats, dogs, horses, and other pet toys that feature realistic details, grooming, and food accessories, and online worlds that bring toy pets to life. Parents love these toys because they prepare kids for the real thing by teaching them how to be empathetic and nurturing. Included in this trend are “anti-virtual pets” that interact with kids in a funny way by being grumpy or gross and collectable or wearable pets that are fun for kids to trade and display.