Forget the beeps, buzzes and whistles – while tech toys are still popular, non-tech toys remain strong favorites. This is according to a new study released during Sandbox Summit®, New Playing Fields: Building a 21st Century Sandbox, in New York City.  “While traditional toys are still popular, the nature of “play” is changing for today’s youth, both in terms of the activities they participate in and the outcomes they expect from play. In today’s world, kids are actually more likely to be playing alone with their favorite toys versus playing with others. While the most important goal that kids have when playing is still to have fun, toy makers and marketers need to keep their designs and messages in tune with evolving forms of play – across age ranges and gender preferences– in order to engage with kids and their parents in current, relevant and profitable ways,” says Peter Shafer, vice president for the Youth Center of Excellence.  Harris Interactive’s Youth Center of Excellence collaborated on the development of this study with Claire Greene and Wendy Smolen, founders of the Sandbox Summit, an organization dedicated to looking at how technology is changing the way kids play, learn and connect in today’s world.  According to Green, “We’ve crossed the digital Rubicon. We know technology is here to stay. As adults we have a responsibility to understand how tech toys, from electronics to online communities, affect the way kids learn to play and think.”

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