The Science & Nature category is booming as the thirst for knowledge about the world we live in continues. Sam Giltrow investigates how learning can be made fun.
The demand for toys that mix fun with educational benefits has shot up in recent times and nowhere was this more evident than at the recent London Toy Fair, where there was a huge focus on the STEM category, including science and nature related toys. It was great to see such a wide offering, with STEM toys featuring in the Fair’s list of 23 Hero Toys for 2022, as selected by industry experts.
Many parents and relatives buying toys, it seems, want more than just something that will keep children amused for a while. They want an educational aspect too, as Katharine Spence, owner of Wigwam Toy Shop in West Dulwich, London tells Toy World. “There has been noticeably more demand for STEM toys since the start of the pandemic,” she says. “They are becoming especially popular for gifts; parents and grandparents like to buy something that is educational but fun at the same time. There’s such a variety on offer now that we can stock a really good selection across a wide range of price points.”
The pandemic has certainly acted as a catalyst for innovation in educational toys, not only due to the long periods of time away from school, but also with the slow start in re-implementing practical science lessons due to Covid restrictions.
Parents are also keen to provide activities that help children learn while also keeping them active. “I am certain kids are yearning to get outside and play, discover more about what is around them and return to just the basics of exploring and getting their hands and knees dirty with their families and friends,” says Simon Tomlinson, head of marketing EMEA at Learning Resources.
With more input from Simon; Sarah Dayus, sales director at Great Gizmos and Nick Saunders, sales and marketing director at Brainstorm; plus news of the latest developments in the category from these companies, as well as new introductions from suppliers such as Bandai, Clementoni, Galt and Vivid Goliath, read the full article which appeared in the March edition of Toy World, here.