To recap, these were my top five key play predictions for 2019:
- Less single use plastic and more environmentally friendly, sustainable toys and resources.
- An increase in outdoor play encouraging children to explore nature, inspiring their curiosity and giving them an appreciation for the world around them.
- The continued rise of the play date with social groups and meet-ups springing up all over the place thanks to Instagram, Facebook and apps such as Peanut encouraging parents to meet up in real life (IRL) and provide invaluable support for one another.
- More activities centered around the art of problem solving, supporting children to be proactive, independent thinkers.
- And finally, thanks to a growing awareness around the importance of mental health, more play generating discussion around our emotions, feelings and worries.
These are all themes which I have certainly been focusing upon within the playHOORAY community. But how about yourselves? Do any of these ring true for you?
Moving on to 2020, here’s my top five predictions for next year.
- Versatile toys and play resources - As awareness steadily grows around sustainability, we will start thinking more about how many toys our children have and how much they actually need, steering our little ones towards those resources which offer greater potential for play i.e. the more ways something can be played with the better!
- Making memories - Leading on from the above point, 2020 will see a greater emphasis on making those precious moments together count. Instead of buying more toys or giving actual tangible gifts, we’ll put a much higher priority on spending our time and money making magical memories.
- Learning about the natural world - We will continue to seek out activities that teach our children about, and encourage their curiosity in nature, giving them a greater appreciation and understanding of the world around them and an increased motivation to better look after it as they get older. Are you spotting a theme here yet?
- Expressing our feelings and emotions - This was one I made last year and with mental health being talked about more and more, we will in turn seek to give our children the space, tools and language required to better express their feelings and emotions.
- More coding and ICT - As artificial intelligence continues to gather pace with a fifth of our workforce estimated to be automated by 2030* (how crazy is that?!) we will be investing more in the kind of play which will help our children learn and develop the skills which will become essential components of the future workplace.
So there’s a couple of new themes here but some continuing ones too, particularly as we seek to live more responsibly, and look to future proof our children, raising resilient, emotionally-intelligent and flexible individuals who are prepared for an ever-changing world (no pressure then!).
What trends do you think will be big in the world of play in 2020? I’d love to hear your thoughts.Claire x