As the pandemic continues to reshape our world and ways of living families are spending more time at home together. The University of Calgary’s ongoing study showed that 55% of parents felt that the pandemic had brought their families closer together.¹ With this shift in the home dynamic toy brands saw huge growth within the games, puzzles and activities categories. The Toy Association reported that families will be seeking out toys that promote family togetherness through play and this trend will continue throughout 2021.² These trends will include educational toys and activities, family games and puzzles, outdoor and active toys, nostalgic brands, and role play toys.

The Toy Association states that Toys are not just for fun, but offer emotional support and wellness during stressful and uncertain times. Through their Genius of Play initiative, the families surveyed found the best way for children to process their emotions was through playing together as a family.²  Over the years there have been many studies conducted around the benefits of learning through play and how these learnt skills will equip children later in life. In a 20-year study conducted in Jamaica by the University of California, healthcare workers made weekly house visits and taught mothers from impoverished communities how to play and interact with their children in a way that it would promote cognitive and emotional development. 20 years on, the study has found that intervention through childhood play attributed to correcting early development delays and reduced later-life inequality.³

Playing is learning, according to Parenting for Brain who recently released an article on the importance of play. Some of the benefits of play include stimulating early brain development; improves intelligence; sparks creative thinking; improves communication, vocabulary, and language; promotes impulse control and emotional regulation; grows social competence and empathy; better physical and mental health; teaches life lessons and strengthens relationships with caretakers and peers.4

As the need and demand for family activities is becoming an increasingly important focus, Blue Horizon Licensing in partnership with our Licensee’s will be introducing new product lines throughout the year to keep families playing together. Watch this space for new developments!