May 19, 2017

4 New Toy Trends That Provide Great Insight for Your Children's Ministry

If you want to know what kids like, then take a look at the toys they are into.  What they enjoy playing reflects what captures their attention.

Here are four toy trends that provide great insight into what kids like and how you can use it to connect them with God's Word.

Collectible Toys
Collectible toys is the biggest trend of the year so far.  The number of collectible toys has increased by 33% in the last twelve months to reach $1.8 billion in sales.

Children's ministries should take note of this.  Kids love collecting things.  Think about what collectible things you could create in your ministry.  Trading cards?  Pins?  Bible pictures?  Buttons?  Posters?  Small toys tied to a lesson series?  Collectibles can be a great way to encourage consistent attendance, scripture memory and promoting teaching series.

S.T.E.M. Toys (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)
This segment includes toys that are both educational and fun.  They teach kids about spacial relationships and critical thinking.  Kids have the opportunity to design things, build things and create code.

Children's ministry should take note of this.  Kids love to create and build things.  Rather than just telling kids about Noah's ark, why not have them build a mini-ark?  How about letting older kids design an evite to use on social media?  How about using some science object lessons in your lessons?
                                                                            
Educational Toys
These are toys that connect to smartphones and tablets and teach skills like coding, deductive reasoning and math in a way that is fun and engaging for kids.  Some examples are Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studios that pairs physical Play-Doh with virtual animation.  FurReal Friends are moving, robotic animals that kids can code to take specific actions.

Children's ministry should take note of this.  Kids love to learn through technology.  Think about ways you can use technology in your lessons and programming.  For pre-teens, how can you let them use their smartphones to learn about the Bible?  What are some review games you can use with technology?

Cooperative Games
Sales on cooperative games increased by 18% last year.  Cooperative games involve players working together to achieve the same goal.  These games teach teamwork.  Some examples are Mole Rats in Space.  Players work together to help mole rats escape enemy snakes.  Hive Mind is a game that encourages players to think like other members of the hive.  Operation: Escape is an escape room game where players work collaboratively to free a player who has been captured. 

Children's ministry should take note of this.  While kids love competitive games, they also love cooperative games.  Think about creating games where kids work together to solve puzzles, find answers and learn Bible truths.  What about group activities that require a team to complete?  

Bring these four trends into your children's ministry and you'll see kids' engagement rise.

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