What's THE BIG THING with kids at this moment?
April 10, 2010 8:33 AM   Subscribe

What is are THE cool things (movies, toys, whatnot) with elementary-school-age kids these days?

I would like to get gifts for my friend’s daughters, ages 7 and 9. Last year, MeFites kindly helped me with a similar question. (Thank you!) This time, my question is a bit more specific: what are the must-have cool things that kids of these ages are into right now?

The kids' parents and I usually get these kids gifts that are well-made and that have merit—learning-oriented toys, good books, etc. The kids like these kinds of gifts, and they enjoy them for hours and hours. However, I have learned that the kids go wild with joy when they get gifts that are the very things that they’ve seen the kids at school playing with, even if the gifts are shoddily made or (in my opinion) kinda dumb. For example, receiving Webkins (a few years ago) and Tech Decks (last year) made them unbelievably happy. The kids’ parents are sane and they don’t let themselves be bullied by trends. This is why the occasional trendy gift is such a big deal, I think. This year, I plan on getting the kids something that I think is cool, but I’d also like to get them a little trendy something as well. What do you suggest?
posted by TEA to Shopping (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
my wife works with kids, and she says silly bandz are popular to have and trade here in NJ
posted by Mach5 at 8:45 AM on April 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

Puzzle erasers from Japan are hugely popular with the K-5 kids I know.
posted by jamaro at 8:58 AM on April 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

A good friend of mine has a seven year old and a nine year old. Right now they are really into this robotic hamster toy. Evidently you can buy several different hamsters and tubes and things for them to crawl around in. Kind of weird, but WAY better than a real hamster!!!
posted by junipero at 8:58 AM on April 10, 2010

Lego Star Wars. More Lego Star Wars. Then perhaps some Lego Star Wars. That's what my seven-year-old is into, and I think many of his peers are too.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:01 AM on April 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

My six year old sister just asked Dad for a Nintendo DSi, but those aren't limited to little kids.

Zhu Zhu hamster toys were the IT toy of last Christmas, and are still pretty popular.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:09 AM on April 10, 2010

In "everything old is new again", my 8 year old is now into Pokemon.
posted by Lucinda at 9:24 AM on April 10, 2010

Club Penguin is an online Disney game, and just about every elementary school girl I know plays it (and/or the Tinkerbell Pixie Hollow game). I hear about lots of DSi games, particularly animal-related (and Pokemon, yes). The board game Apples to Apples Junior is really, really, really popular (although I'm not sure if that's skewed because of the nature of my interaction with kids). And another vote for Zhu Zhu Pets.
posted by so_gracefully at 9:34 AM on April 10, 2010

This is such a regional question. The problem is in every elementary school trends are started.

Here everyone is playing Bakugan another Pokemon imitation.
posted by lakerk at 10:39 AM on April 10, 2010

I've heard that smencils are currently trendy amongst the elementary school set.
posted by shesbookish at 11:43 AM on April 10, 2010

It seems to me that there are a bunch of different trendy toys, and kids choose one and follow it obsessively.

Lego is always popular. The Lego Star Wars line is pretty cool, but it's expensive and you can't really build new or different ships with the pieces.

I like the Lego Power Miners line, as does my son, and the Atlantis stuff and Space Police collection is also pretty cool. I would avoid the Indiana Jones stuff, as it really is not possible to mix and match pieces to build something original.

Some kids play Bakugan, others Pokemon.

Cheap remote-controlled helicopters are also popular, as are Air Hawgs.

Nerf guns are a status symbol around the neighbourhood.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:55 AM on April 10, 2010

All of the things posted on this thread above are popular with my kids and their friends.
posted by kch at 3:18 PM on April 10, 2010

We are talking and talking and talking about the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.
posted by iscatter at 7:43 PM on April 10, 2010

Tech Decks, WebKinz are a couple.
posted by burhan at 8:54 PM on April 10, 2010

> The Lego Star Wars line is pretty cool, but it's expensive and you can't really build new or different ships with the pieces.

Sure you can. Why on earth wouldn't you be able to? Same for the Indiana Jones sets -- there are some cool pieces in there that you can use to build whatever you want (note the net). Unless you mean you're going to have just the one box and nothing else, any Lego set can be combined with any other.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:28 AM on April 11, 2010

Response by poster: Y'all are awesome! Thanks very, very much. I'm placing my lego/silly bandz/smencils Amazon order today. (I have to wait on the book order, though--I have a few questions out to the kids' mom about what they already have. The Wimpy Kid books are on my short list.)

Also--I was totally going to do the Zhu Zhu pets thing until I saw a video and heard the noises they make. I just couldn't do that to my friend (the kids' mom).
posted by TEA at 9:01 AM on April 11, 2010

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