Whether you’re designing your new baby’s nursery or deciding which toy to buy your toddler for his birthday, we’ve rounded up some of the most popular kids’ trends already making their debut in 2019.
What drives trends?
“Digital media means we now live in a primarily visual culture, where we consume images rather than words,” explains Jonathan Openshaw, editor of The Future Laboratory, one of the world’s leading futures consultancies. This cut-and-paste digital culture has also accelerated trends that may once have taken years to filter through society, and has given them the lifespan of a Snapchat message, he adds. So, the “in thing” yesterday might not be trending today, making it difficult to keep up with global trends.
However, when it comes to kids’ trends, the good news is, classic trends are making a comeback.
Watch trackers for kids
When it comes to children’s safety, parents can never be too careful. The latest range of devices are not only child-friendly and fun, they’re also made with a built-in alarm that’ll go off if anyone tries to remove the watch from your child’s wrist. Some watches are also made with a small button that your child can press in an emergency.
Besides the smart GPS tracking feature, some watches are designed with additional games and apps that can be enabled as your child gets older. One of our current favourites is the Polaroid Moji Kids GPS Tracker Watch, R599.
More focused screen time
In our digital society, it’s not uncommon to see a child with a screen of some sort in his hand. In fact, a survey conducted by PBS reports that 70% of parents allow their toddlers and young kids to use their iPad. The same polled parents have downloaded an average of eight apps designed specifically for kids. And according to a report by Webroot, a cyber security company, new apps catering for kids aged three to five years are being developed every day; many of which are digital variations of timeless kid classics, like “Wheels on the Bus”.
However, there’s been a move towards more focused screen time, and away from mindless watching. Parents are using tablets, mobile phones and gadgets like the iPod for structured learning and particular activities. As the Webroot report explains, “Technology is an incredible tool that can be tailored to meet individual learning styles and promote collaboration, a vital skill for the 21st Century. From toddlers on, the trend toward embracing technology is here to stay, so the challenge is to learn how to make it work for you and your children. There are certainly pitfalls, but they are largely avoidable by paying attention to how your children are interacting with digital devices.”
Toy rentals and box subscriptions
Gone are the days where kids’ play rooms are packed with mounds of old toys, books and games. Parents are now embracing a more minimalist approach and clearing away the clutter. This trend goes together with the idea that less is more, and we need to be kinder to the environment by reducing waste.
Even better, there’s a rise in the number of parents investing in kids’ subscription boxes (which are age-appropriately themed) and toy rentals, rather than consuming meaningless toys. The Smart Toy Club is a monthly toy rental subscription service for children between the ages of six months and five years.
Each month, you’ll receive a selection of age-appropriate toys for your child. You’ll keep the toys for four weeks and just as your child loses interest, you’ll have the chance to exchange the toys for new ones. Each bag contains around R700 worth of toys with a varied selection chosen by Smart Toy Club moms. All toys are thoroughly cleaned before they’re packed and sent off and if your child breaks a toy, you’ll have to pay for it, although most of the toys chosen are durable. If your child wants to keep a toy for good, you’ll have the opportunity to pay for it.
Calmer nurseries and kids’ rooms
According to Australian-based children’s room décor company Poppet and Wildflower, the latest trends in nursery and toddler room décor are swans and floral prints for girls, as well as enchanted forests filled with magical creatures (think unicorns, exotic birds and dinosaurs) for both boys and girls. It’s all about creating an experience for your child and transporting them to their very own wonderland in their bedroom.
Wondering which colours are trending for 2019? For parents who like brighter rooms and pops of colour, the Dulux colour trend forecast for 2019 shows that botanical green, royal blue and mustard are key colours for both boys’ and girls’ rooms. If you prefer a softer, more subtle colour palette, the Dulux forecast shows dusty pinks, off-white shades, and subtle hues of purple and tan are in for nurseries and kids’ rooms. Of course, all shades of grey and charcoal remain the most popular gender-neutral colours for 2019. In terms of design, Pinterest searches and statistics reveal eco-friendly baby furniture is trending, as well as the popular Scandinavian style. “Scandinavian style is characterised by three key components – functionality, simplicity and beauty,” explains Ikea’s communication and interior design manager, Craig Ritchie. A strong link between functionality and aesthetics is at the core of Scandi design, which is why it’s a popular design choice for kids’ rooms.