3 Emerging Play Trends for the Baby & Kids Industry

Tadeas Podracky

Understanding how children will play and learn in the future is an integral part of our trend forecasting process when developing seasonal design trends for the baby and kids’ market.

In this article we spotlight 3 key play trends you can expect to see informing new toys, games, and play experiences over the next few years.

Taken from our ‘Play Moments’ series, available to our Premium subscribers of My TrendBible, these reports expand on our seasonal trend forecasts. The trend application reports interpret each trend and provide inspiration with key action points for designers, developers and creatives who need to understand children’s play and learn trends within their product categories.

Comfort and Cocoon

Davidjnf, Intibag, STUDIOLITE, Roel Deden

As the childhood mental health crisis worsens, prioritising the process of recovery becomes a key driver for baby and kid’s trends over the next few years. This unlocks new holistic play opportunities that are designed to calm, protect, and preserve children’s energetic boundaries.

Creating a cocooning sense of comfort is key to this story, inspiring new sensitive and reassuring play moments for Spring Summer 2024. Marshmallow-like, pillowy forms inspire giant plushies which children can melt into for relaxation, fostering compassion and promoting healing. These oversized, soft toys blur the lines between playtime and downtime, with their padded and tangible qualities appealing to children whether they’re playing, napping or relaxing.

Outdoor Discovery

Greenlody – Dong Yihan, Dream Kids, HABBA Terra Kids, Oliver Helfrich

Sparked by a newfound sense of adventure and escapism, toys and products inspired by conserving nature and practical exploration gear come to the fore. Children make time for outdoor pursuits as life on the road encourages a learn-as-you-go attitude, turning life experiences into learning opportunities. Developing a greater appreciation for nature, outdoor life is fully embraced as campervans are parked up in desolate landscapes, forests, wetlands or woods.

Digital Driven Design

Leonardoworx, Melissa Mathieson, Cobb Studio, Neil Jackson

Increased focus on the digital realm sees hyperreal aesthetics come to the fore, with 3D rendering software turning the imagined and impossible into reality. Mixing photo-realistic and surreal elements blurs the lines between real and virtual. This experimental and innovative style permeates physical products, influencing form and finish across toys and games.

Our full Play Moments Spring Summer 2024 series is available when you subscribe to our Premium membership at Your TrendBible. Your TrendBible is our trend subscription service designed to inspire and spark ideas, give your teams confidence in actioning trends and provide validation from across the globe.

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