What Toys Are Trending This Holiday Season?
That’s the question on the lips of every parent, grandparent, carer and family friend this Winter: what Christmas gifts can I get the youngsters which they’ll actually like? It’s not as easy as it once was; the transient yet global rise and fall of fidget spinners showed us that.
One superstar post on Instagram can ignite the deepest desires of a kid’s heart, before the next week it blows over and becomes yesterday’s news. But that’s where we come in: we’ve done the research, analysed the polls and observed the buying trends to create the definitive 2017 Christmas gift guide for kids of all ages.
From board games to drones, every item is on wish lists across the country. The snows are fast approaching now, so let’s dive right in with the hottest products for kids this winter.
Boys Over 12
It’s true what they say: boys love their toys. The good thing is that while technologies and trends are always changing, the core qualities that boys look for in their toys remains fairly constant: they want cool stuff.
A growing area of interest is boardgames. Not simple stuff like Monopoly and Scrabble, but games like Pandemic and Codenames which require strategy and teamwork to complete. They’re not complex, necessarily, but these games transport kids into another world and can be played time and time again, without boredom.
The other exciting niche at the minute isn’t simply cool stuff: it’s flying cool stuff. Drones and RC ‘copters are seriously popular this Christmas, and our guide to RC helicopters gives you an idea of what’s available in today’s market!
Boys Under 12
The last few years there’s been a resurgence in the popularity of comic book characters in the mainstream; collecting comics and rocking Marvel apparel is trendy nowadays (much to the chagrin of lovable geeks!) and so everything superhero is on the “nice list” this year.
It’s not just Marvel and DC either: the Star Wars franchise has been revived with aplomb and video games are developing cult-like followings – the Elder Scrolls series is a great example. These pop culture talismen (and women) have inspired a range of top-quality action figures which are must-haves for kids under 12 across the country.
The thing with action figures is that they’re timeless – young boys still love to play with their favorite characters, but when they become older boys, they’ll be loathe to part with them. Check out our list of action figures for boys for some inspiration on this year’s favorites!
Girls Over 12
The gap between “girls toys” and “boys toys” is narrower than it’s ever been, and plenty of teenage girls would be horrified to see themselves treated differently from their brothers: if that sounds familiar to you, check out our piece on action figures for girls to ensure everything is equal!
In a similar vein, one of the most fashionable products for girls right now is Lego. Historically a boy’s toy, it’s realistically one of the most unisex toys you could make! That said, some girls have a tendency towards brighter, more colorful creations than the boys: check out our favorite lego sets for girls to see what we mean.
Girls Under 12
Getting young girls involved in science, maths and engineering has never been more popular than right now. The world is changing, and there are more opportunities for your little girls than we’ve seen in previous generations; kids around the world are starting to write “build my own robot” and “magnetic science kit” on their letters to Santa just as much as “new barbie doll”.
The great news is that these sorts of gifts aren’t reserved for older kids anymore – whether she’s in the early grades at school or close to her teenage years, there are fantastic science and learning kits available to suit. Don’t worry – you don’t need a scientific background to help them out, either!
There was a time when the surest recommendation for toddler toys was, well, anything at all. As long as it had a bit of color and could survive a regular dropping, it was perfect! Today’s toddlers have outgrown that and are now active inhabitants of the world of apps.
Even 1-2 year olds are developing incredible skill at working with tablets and touch screen technology, so it should come as no surprise than toddler-friendly educational apps are viewed as some of the best presents in 2017.
The reason? They are fun, relevant and do wonders for your child’s development. Whether it’s practising animal sounds, learning shapes or doing the Cookie Monster Challenge, there are fantastic apps for toddlers which are guaranteed to make this Christmas a memorable one!
Of course, not every family wants to bring their kids up on technology. We’ve also compiled an article on traditional educational toys for preschoolers – don’t worry, they’re also the most fun ones!
Latest Tablets & Other Devices
Tablets & Laptops
Probably the most popular piece of technology in the world (behind the smartphone), tablets are in huge demand this winter. One thing that’s really come on this year is the availability of sufficiently powerful, well-designed tablets that are made for a younger audience. In short, tablets which stop the kids from pinching your iPad all the time!
Tablets are being used in schools and are becoming as important a staple as handwriting when it comes to your child’s education. We’ve created a list of tablets designed specifically for children. Offering a range of price points and unique designs, it acts as a handy guide for parents who aren’t sure which child-friendly tablet to go for.
If there’s one thing in 2017 that you’re not going to be short on, it’s gadget ideas. 2017 is the year of the smart “stuff” deluge, but a few genuinely impressive and desirable products have slipped through the cracks!
Whether your kid likes to pretend they’re James Bond, or just likes partying under hovering disco lights, there’s a tech gadget for everyone this Christmas. Once featured item on our Toys for 16+ Year Olds list is a remote-controlled speed boat – a guaranteed winner!
Everyone thinks of gadgets as being small and quirky (like a remote control speedboat…) but they don’t have to be. For example, have you seen our Top 10 Karts for Kids? Go Karts are definitely gadgets in our book, from simple toddler-pushing models to more complex ones, like the Nerf Battle Racer!
Supplies & Accessories for School
Backpacks can be a tricky sea to navigate: you need to get the right size and type (different compartments and so on), but also nail the style and theme besides. There’s a Spider-man Homecoming-inspired backpack which is flying off the shelves, while simpler patterns are equally popular. You can see a range of options at our Top 10 Backpacks for Back to School page if you’re struggling for inspiration!
Well, as we all know, the best backpack in the world is nothing without the right supplies to fill it up! Of course what supplies your kid needs depends partially on their own interests, but mostly on their age and grade.
Supplies are probably the most important shop of the school year, so in order to save you a few headaches, we’ve gone ahead and compiled some lists of essentials: use them for inspiration to ensure that the kid’s new backpack is full of useful, age-appropriate and colorful stationery and supplies:
Sometimes there are extra bits, pieces and accessories which are required when the kids go back to school; could be for homework, other times just to make things a little simpler in class. Depending on your child’s grade, they could truly benefit from using a proper calculator – a fact that’s often overlooked in schools. By the time you get to college, calculator skills are absolutely essential, so learning to use a great electronic calculator today will set them up well for the future.
For older kids, laptops in school are no longer uncommon. If you’re thinking of packing your kid off to school with a laptop (either as a unique learning tool or for another reason), then you need to know what makes for good value. Terms like RAM, processing and graphics can be confusing – we’ve created an article on school-friendly laptops at a range of price points to give you a helping hand.
Other Cool Stuff
There’s one particular technology which has become more affordable in the past 12 months than at any previous point in its history, and it’s a frontrunner in the Christmas present requests this in 2017, and that’s the drone.
Of course you can grab a DJI Mavic Pro for a few thousand bucks if you have that lying around, but not many parents realise that drones can also be very affordable: our article on the top 10 drones for kids and teens is a comprehensive guide to buying budget drones this year. These are robust models, designed to take a few hits while your kid gets a hang of the controls.
The drones might be more suitable for older children, but there’s another technology craze happening in 2017 that’s accessible to children (and adults!) of all ages: smart technology. Introducing the best AI robots for kids! If you’re looking for something truly inspiring that still falls within budget, one of these friendly, talkative moving robots should do the trick nicely!
Gift shopping for the kids is always a stressful time for parents, but hopefully a few ideas inspired by our Christmas Guide will help lighten the load in 2017 – good luck, and have a very Happy Christmas!