Latest Trend Hunter Report Analyzes STEAM Trends for the Next Generation
December 19, 2022 | TrendHunter.com’s latest free report for Toy Association members explores the tools, platforms, and toys that encourage enhanced learning and literacy in STEAM fields for the Gen Z and Gen Alpha demographics, which includes anyone born from 1997 to 2012 and 2013 to 2024, respectively. The report also examines the emphasis on education within the metaverse and Web3 spaces, whether it be tools designed to teach a specific skill set or applications that combine education with play.
“As digital natives, Generations Z and Alpha are immersed in online environments in their everyday lives, which seamlessly lends itself to the potential for advanced STEAM literacy,” said Anne McConnell, senior director of market research & data strategy at The Toy Association. “This newest Trend Hunter report provides strategies for how our members can take that connection and apply it to their products and experiences.”
Some of the key trends and examples highlighted in this report include:
- STEM Sports — In order to get kids interested in STEM, brands are creating programmable toys that are themed around sports. Merging skill-building with recreational elements that are more familiar to kids ensures that they're able to maintain consistency as they are learning. Sphero Sports is a robotics-based kit with which kids can use to program a robot to play soccer, football, and baseball. In addition to the STEM-oriented learning, the educational device increases students’ digital intelligence.
- Coping Tech — The last few years have put a spotlight on mental health, especially as the pandemic caused an uptick in kids’ feelings of anxiety and sadness globally. This shift has impacted how consumers choose to raise their kids — they're now prioritizing their children's mental health as part of their overall development. Tech products including hand2mind’s Pawz The Calming Pup focuses on social-emotional learning and helps kids manage their emotions with several breathing exercises.
- Kid Metaverse — Brands are creating immersive metaverse experiences specifically for kids, offering engagement that's both educational and entertaining. These metaverse-based experiences exist across a range of industries that kids are interested in. Ahead of the 2022 European Women’s Championship tournament in July, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) created a Roblox experience where kids could create a character and train with three virtual mascots. In the metaverse, kids were challenged to complete obstacle courses, score goals, and collect golden tournament tickets as part of the virtual adventure.
- Web3 Literacy — As Web3 becomes more prevalent, some brands are focusing on building Web3 literacy among children. Programs and products in this space include everything from metaverse coding practice platforms to family-friendly NFT platforms. Tech startup Toekenz Collectibles has launched TOEKENZ, an invite-only marketplace where users can buy, sell, and trade blockchain-based digital collectibles. According to the company, all of the collectibles featured on the platform will be tied to well-known kids’ brands.
This report is the latest in a series from Trend Hunter offering in-depth perspectives and trends in various areas related to the toy industry and youth markets to help spark unique ideas. For additional relevant trends, toy companies can click on the report’s consumer insights examples, scroll down, and click the images for further information.
TrendHunter.com has accumulated nearly 3 billion views from more than 100 million visitors. The data research company helps clients “Dive Deeper,” “Work Smarter,” and “Save Effort” in order to increase the overall success of their companies and brands.