Hottest New Toy Trend Should Make Free-Range Parents Very Happy

There's zero doubt in anybody's mind that kids these days are coddled. (Wait, you don't believe us? Did you hear about this school that banned swings from the playground?! Ok, moving on.)

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Helicopter parenting has been on the rise in the past couple years, but people skeptical of this extremely rigid style of raising kids have countered with free-range parenting, where you treat your kids like chickens. Not really. Well ... kind of. Free range parents just give their kids more space to make mistakes and learn from them.

And there's one thing that was evident at the 2015 Toy Fair in New York City, it's that the toy industry has noticed the backlash against hovering parents.

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One of the biggest trends in toys for 2015 is what the Toy Industry Association (TIA) is calling the "Maker Movement". From the TIA:

The Maker Movement spotlights toys that allow kids to build and create items that are unique to them. These playthings provide kids with a sense of ownership and pride; they also help children develop important cognitive and physical skills through play.

So that means that we'll see more and more of the toy aisle taken up by craft kits that give kids the materials but no instructions and building and art sets that allow for customization. You'll also see more musical instruments, cooking-themed toys, and hair and make-up toys to encourage creativity from a young age.

Creativity in kids has dropped a ton in the past 50 or 60 years, which isn't just sad -- it's bad from an economic perspective, too. Open-ended projects and activities will hopefully engage little imaginations, which is exactly what kids need right now.

Take a look at some of the hottest toys from this trend already available in stores.

Would your kids be interested in #4? What would they do with it?

 

Image via ISchmidt/shutterstock

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