From bracelet-making kits to building sets, creative play is holding its own against electronic games and apps.
A recent report from The NPD Group found that arts & crafts and traditional games topped the list of play products purchased in the past 12 months.
Its Evolution of Play 2014 report found that parents of kids ages two to 12 were more likely to have purchased arts & crafts kits or traditional games, as opposed to apps or electronics. The rise in popularity for Rainbow Loom and Cra-Z-Loom in particular has seen a resurgence in kids crafting. Along with the bracelet-making kits, the report found that Lego minifigures and World Cup-related toys – especially stickers – are helping to boost creative play.
Overall, parents are continuing to invest in arts & crafts for their kids, in what The NPD Group’s president of the Toys division Juli Lennett calls a parental thirst for balance between traditional and technology-assisted play experiences for kids.
“Some imaginative play experiences may be nostalgic for parents, but they are not a thing of the past,” notes Lennett. “Creative, hands-on, and physical play activities aren’t getting lost in the electronic mix, and should continue to be marketed with the same enthusiasm.”
Kids, however, are of a more digital mindset. The report found that kids’ most requested play product was apps, at 27%. However, arts & crafts kits did tie for second with electronics, both at 19%.
The top play products purchased in the past 12 months:
Children’s Arts & Crafts supplies kits or supplies (37%)
Traditional Games (36%)
App Games (31%)
Stuffed Toys (31%)
Kids’ most requested play products:
App Games (27%)
Arts & Crafts Kits or Supplies (19%)
Physical Video Games (19%)
Building Construction Sets (17%)