“DIY” Trend Hits the Toy Aisle

Skill-Building Toys & Games Promote Hands-On, Creative Fun

July 18, 2013 | The “Do-It-Yourself” trend seen on reality television shows and online is heating up in the toy aisle, with games and crafts that inspire kids to pursue their interests, build skills, and showcase their hidden talents.

“Thanks to the runaway success of shows on Food Network, HGTV, TLC and more, little ones are eager to get in on the fun and explore everything from fashion and cooking to interior design and construction,” explained Adrienne Appell, trend expert at the Toy Industry Association (TIA).  “Hands-on toys that promote creativity and encourage kids to display their personal style and taste are richly rewarding!”

Many of the toys listed here were first spotted at TIA’s 110th American International Toy Fair in New York City and categorized under the “Pop Culture Persuasion” trend for 2013. From toys for little chefs to crafts for budding fashionistas, read on for a few examples of the many playthings on store shelves that will get creative juices flowing:

  • Engenius (Blue Orange Games)
    This collection of three wooden aviation models with interchangeable parts allows kids with an interest in engineering to design and build their own toy. Pieces are easily screwed, pushed and bolted together into dozens of unique designs that hold together for hours of play.

  • Color Splasherz Design Station (The Maya Group)
    Aspiring jewelry designers can change the color of their jewelry using hot and cold water – dipping or splashing their beads to create patterns and shapes with vibrant colors. 
  • Farmer’s Garden (DuneCraft)
    Curious kids can start their own “micro farm” and grow a variety of crops that they can eat – from crunchy sweet peppers, snapping green beans to mouth-watering strawberries! The Farmer’s Garden fits on a windowsill and can be decorated with decals and plant stakes.

  • “One Direction” 2D and 3D Nails (Wish Factory)
    Tweens and teens will love decorating their nails with licensed 2D and 3D nail art. These nail charms include One Direction logos, art and pictures of the band.

  • Tasty Dough Maker (Wicked Cool Toys)
    Kids can create their own dough by combining the provided mix and water to produce a flavored or colored dough that can be used to make tasty gourmet food.

  • Sew Cool (Spin Master)
    A threadless sewing kit with retro appeal, Sew Cool allows kids to stitch together and decorate accessories and pillows for display in their room and around the house.
  • Easy Pro DJ Mixer (JAKKS Pacific)
    Beginner DJs will love to mix and play their favorite songs from their own music library using the one-button control for sampling and looping tracks. Users can seamlessly cross-fade and add samples and scratches.

  • The Glitzi Globes Glitzi Showcase (Moose Toys)
    The ultimate kit for the “Glitzi Chick,” Glitzi Globes allow creative kids to make their very own snow globes that can be displayed, worn, and swapped with friends.

  • Wooden Sushi Set (Hape)
    An eco-friendly, classic toy that encourages toddlers to role play and become acquainted with exotic food.

These are just a few examples of the many DIY and pop culture playthings that are trending right now. For more information about toy trends and play, regularly check TIA’s ToyInfo.org website.

TIA members who would like their toys featured on ToyInfo.org are invited to consult the Editorial Calendar and submit product information to TIA’s Jackie Retzer.