The Top 10 Toys For This Year and What Children's Ministry Can Learn From It (Pt. 2)

Yesterday I talked about the top 10 toys for this year.  The list is based on consumer popularity and predictions from major toy merchants.  We looked at the first 5, today we are looking at the remaining 5.

As you look at this list, take a moment and think about WHY these toys are so popular.  I begin to look at WHY certain toys resonate with children after reading the book "Creating Ever-Cool...A Marketers Guide to a Child's Heart."  If you've never read this book, I would encourage you to do so.  It dives into the inner needs of children and shows how they are drawn toward toys that connect with those inner needs.

There's a lot we can learn from this as we seek to connect kids to God's Word.  The Bible has the answer to kids inner needs.  We just have to know what they are and connect the two.  When we do, kids will respond with engagement and participation.  I have highlighted a few inner needs these toys are meeting.  Would enjoy hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

The XBox Kinect Sensor is one of the most exciting new innovations in gaming to hit the shelves in years.  Use your entire body to control the on screen action without holding any controller in your hand whatsoever!  The XBox Kinect System Bundle and the XBox Kinect Sensor (the add-on) both come available with the Kinect Adventures game.  There are also other exciting XBox Kinect games that can be purchased for the XBox Kinect Sensor.  Buying an XBox Kinect can provide you and your family with a whole world of fun and is sure to keep everyone laughing, jumping, and having a great time! 

Inner needs met:  adventure, power

The Air Swimmers are large, helium filled versions of aquatic animals.  These are completely original and wonderfully unique toys that bring radio controlled fun to a new level.  They are incredibly easy to control, and can be moved in all three dimensions.  The Air Swimmers Shark is a fearsome looking toothy beast, measuring 4.5 feet from end to end.  The Air Swimmers Clown Fish is a much more whimsical looking toy, with its orange, black, and white stripes.tail.  Watch as these wonderful creatures actually swim through the air around your house.  They make a wonderful gift for this holiday season, and Christmas day will be made much more interesting by the sight of aquarium animals swimming around the living room.

Inner needs met:  recognition, control, power, adventure

The Lalaloopsy characters Crumbs Sugar Cookie and Jewel Sparkles are now for sale as Silly Hair type dolls, with strands of stylish and bendable Silly Hair extruding from their heads.  Silly Hair Crumbs Sugar Cookie wears a bright and adorable white and yellow checkered outfit.  She comes with a cute red curling brush to help keep her hairstyle in place, along with other accessories.  And with Crumbs is her animal companion, a yellow-eared white mouse.  This mouse can also join in on the Silly Hair styling fun, since it's tail is also made to be bendable and fun, inciting hours of play styling.  Silly Hair Jewel Sparkles wears a lovely purple dress that's quite glamorous. She comes with several accessories, and also comes with several decorative hair beads.  Then they can be off to enjoy a lovely tea party, looking wonderfully stylish and showing off their do's to all their Lalaloopsy friends.

Inner needs met:  companionship, nurturing, relationships, beauty, valued 

Fijit Friends are adorable little soft plastic robot friends for girls that move and interact in fun and surprising ways.  The story goes that the Fijit Friends were created when a “gooey science experiment was brought to life by the power of music!”  These colorful and soft robots can interact with their owners by actually understanding what they say and speaking and moving in response.  Each Fijit Friend can respond to over 30 verbal cues, and can draw on a selection of over 150 built in phrases and jokes.  Fijit Friends can also move about and dance.  They've got their own music already inside of them, but they're willing to dance to any music that's playing.  Sensors under their soft plastic skin let them know when they're being handled, and they'll respond by saying things like “That Tickles!”

Inner needs met:  friendship, companionship, relationship

My Keepon by the company Wow!  Stuff is an adorable little dancing robot that resembles a newly hatched chick.  It has a tiny microphone in its nose, and it will detect the rhythm of any music being played, or even rhythms that people make by doing things like clapping their hands in its vicinity.  Once it hears a rhythm it will begin to rock and gyrate in time to the music.  An array of touch sensors hidden somewhere in that plush interior will detect any poke, pat, squeeze, or tickle and elicit a response.  Depending on its mood, it will look towards the source of the touch, scrunch up, or making some sort of expressive sound.  Left to its own devices, the My Keepon doll will chatter away and try to get people's attention.  Sophisticated programming results in a soft and cuddly doll with a big personality that will actually react depending on how it feels and what's going on at any specific point in time.