Children’s Play and Learn Trends for 2023/24

Fangzhou Design

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 our Baby & Kids Autumn Winter 2023/24 forecast, revealing a selection of key themes 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, interpreting each trend and providing inspiration with key action points for designers, developers and creatives who need to understand children’s play and learn trends within their product categories.

Endless Bloom

Play and learn
Tonari No Kaikado

In our Autumn Winter 2023/24 trend forecast play moments from our Endless Bloom trend are immersed in year-round outdoor experiences, embracing all that nature offers, even during the colder months. Nature-centred toys and games that teach patience through lifecycle learning and emphasise the importance of the natural world pique the interest of climate-conscious kids.

Conservation Play

The Den Kit, Seedballs, Oakey Dokie, Nature Nurture

Rewilding acts and wildflower gardens influence play in Autumn Winter 2023/24. Equipment and accessories, give little ones the opportunity to become the protectors of endangered local flora and fauna. Flowerbomb kits, DIY birdseed pizzas and insect-saving stations are key for this story, giving children conservation and pollination projects to use in their garden and beyond. Explorer tools remain important too, equipping little eco-adventurers with binoculars, magnifying glasses and exploration cards to identify and inspect their local ecosystems.

How to Respond:

  • Tailor conservation kits to protect the animals and insects that help keep our ecosystems in bloom during the colder months like hedgehogs, bats, squirrels and birds.
  • Create craft adventurer tools for eco-explorers from local, renewable wood and material sources. Use bioplastics, poplar plywood and recycled cardboard for binoculars, torches, headlights and magnifying glasses.

Build Us Up

Space 10

In our Build Us Up trend taken from our Autumn Winter 2023/24 forecast, children become the architects, engineers and tradespeople of their own future, rewriting the builder narrative to have a unisex, gender-neutral appeal. Championing accessibility and taking matters into their own hands, ambitious and resilient youth see vast opportunities to build themselves a better, more inclusive world.

Digital Influence

Play and Learn
Foreverbots, Part One, Leandro Leanza, Arckit

Toys merge physical play and digital gaming with sets that include digitally enhanced robot parts or link up to an integrated app so children can learn to program or code through play. The popularity of online world-building games like Minecraft and Roblox sees construction toys take inspiration from 3D artists, digital games and renders, blending the digital aesthetic with physical playsets for a futurist and other-worldly feel. Whether digital, physical or a hybrid of both, these new construction toys echo the next generation’s ‘build back better’ mantra: the responsible and sustainable ethos for their future.

How to respond:

  • Look to digital art and 3D rendering for aesthetic design inspiration, creating construction toys that have an otherworldly, futurist vibe.
  • Merge digital and physical to create new building play sets that support STEAM learning. Look to Haba’s Coding architect that mimics digital programming and the new Foreverbots 3D companion project to influence new ‘phygital’ fusions. 

Look out for us at our September Baby & Kids trade show and event talks: 

Play Creators Conference, London

Tuesday 6th September: ‘Broadening the Narrative in the Baby & Kids Industry’, Joanna Feeley, TrendBible.

 Kind+Jugend, Cologne

Thursday 8th and Friday 9th September: ‘2023 Baby & Kids Design and Macro Trends’, Jenna Galley and Danika Morris, TrendBible.