Kroger is helping to fill the void left by the closing of Toys “R” Us through Geoffrey’s Toy Box in 600 Kroger stores.
Perhaps you’ve seen – or shopped- the designated area. Products vary by location, but include exclusive toys from familiar brands including Animal Zone, Imaginarium, Journey Girls and Edu Science.
The sounds, motion and flashing colors on this year’s holiday toys are intended to do more than engage your child.
Mere playthings are designed with a higher purpose: teaching foundational concepts that will turn into actual job skills someday.
Purposeful play has been a theme for several years, but it appears to be reaching a fever pitch this month.
Moms who are gamers is a new initiative on the diversity front.
Networks that encourage women in the gaming industry to share their experiences are helping to even the playing field among parents.
Girls and boys who grow up as gamers might not understand that a concerted effort has been needed to insure gender diversity for their moms.
Holiday shoppers looking for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) toys will discover interactive playthings have shifted in a couple of ways.
As the STEM market has matured and competition has increased, prices have gone up. Buyers will spend more, because many view STEM products as more than a toy. Developing core skills is seen as an investment in a child’s future.
Second, there’s a stronger overlay of technology. Science and math are still primary. However, because many parents anticipate that future jobs will require some tech aptitude, look for a stronger emphasis on games and toys to enhance technological skills.
Playing together contributes to positive family life.
Researchers have documented that a family who plays is happier, feels more in touch with each other and is less stressed than those who don’t spend down-time together.
Perhaps this holiday weekend will offer opportunities for the fun and games that can raise the happiness quota for everyone.
Standing up to uncertainty increases a sense of resilience.
Historically, that’s been true, so it will be interesting to see if today’s kids learn coping mechanisms that strengthen their character.
We know that watching YouTube and playing video games are popular stress reducers. But humor and music (either listening or dancing!) are increasing as kid coping mechanisms.
How would you describe your child’s relationship with Alexa?
That will be a key question as today’s children are the first to grow up with artificial intelligence (AI). Whether it’s Siri, Alexa or others, educators are beginning to gather data on how AI is impacting infant language development and patterns, plus relationships with personified technology and humans. Heavy stuff.
The future has arrived.