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The Next Big Thing: Are You Ready for the Major Toy Trends of 2022?

Straight from the CAMP crystal ball: The toys kids will be playing with (and begging for) in 2022!

Nicole Kear

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If the past few years taught us anything, it’s that we never really know what the future holds. But even in a world that’s ever-changing, there are some things that always stay the same, and one doozy of a constant is this: Kids just wanna have fun. After the roller coaster of a year that was 2021, there’s no doubt they deserve it.

So we’ve put our fingers on the proverbial pulse, asked people in the know, and done a little bit of light fortune telling to forecast the hottest play trends of the upcoming year. Behold the toys that you’ll be hearing about for months to come . . . 

Toy Trend 1: Toys That Go Pop! (and Click! and Squish!)

gifts for slime lovers

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2021 brought shortages of everything from Nintendo Switches to Covid at-home tests. And one thing that was never in short supply, regrettably, was stress. So it’s no wonder kids are over the moon for all manner of fidgets — from super stretchy, satisfying putty to twisty tangles to physics-defying sand. And you can rest assured that the pop-its that dominated the scene in 2021 aren’t going anywhere — if anything, they’re getting even more pop-tacular. All of which is to say: Stress, you were so 2021! 

Toy Trend 2: Toys That Help Kids Make Cool Stuff

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With school shutdowns, vacation cancellations, and constantly changing rules on how to do things that used to be simple, kids didn’t have a whole lot of control over their lives in 2021 (heck, none of us did!). Makes sense that they’re craving the chance to be all-powerful — and what better way to give kids the keys to the kingdom than by letting them make something from nothing? Considering that activity kits, crafting sets, and maker toys are hotter than ever, we predict pipe cleaners and pottery wheels in your future.

Toy Trend 3: Toys That Unleash Imagination

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If there’s one thing that makes quarantine better, it’s chocolate. Oh, wait, we mean imagination! (Combine the two and you’re really talking). Holed-up kids pine for adventure, and nothing brings adventure like open-ended pretend play toys. From the mundane (kitchen appliances!) to the magical (wizarding capes for the Potterheads! fairy capes for Tink lovers!), these toys are portals into other worlds. You may just feel the need to don a cape yourself ...

Toy Trend 4: Toys That Involve an Element of ... SURPRISE!

Harry Potter Magical Mixture Putty

Wizarding World

You’d think that after 2021, we’d all have had our fill of surprises. But here’s the thing: You can never have enough surprises! It must be a forgotten Newtonian law of physics. And when those surprises come concealed in a barrel drum, hidden under piles of sand or a furry exterior, or covered in layers and layers and layers of wrapping, well, they’re pretty much irresistible. Prepare to unbox, unwrap, and unwind with mystery sets!

Toy Trend 5: Toys That Give Kids the Glory of Being Grownup (Minus All the Boring Parts)

Fisher-Price My Home Office

Fisher-Price

Despite all evidence to the contrary, kids seem to think grownups have all the fun (have they not witnessed us doing our taxes? Puh-leeze). We’ve all had the experience of looking high and low for our keys/phone/coffee cup only to find the toddler has them clutched in their grimy fingers, but even bigger kids get a thrill out of mimicking adult behavior with carefully-chosen accessories. 2022 will see an explosion of “kidult” toys, from classics (a toy doctor’s set never goes out of style) to modern must-haves (toddler Peloton, anyone?).

Toy Trend 6: Toys That Make Kids’ Voices Heard

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TikTok didn’t invent music, but it sure did bring it into kids’ lives in a massive way in 2021. Everybody's got an opinion about that scarf in Red, Taylor’s Version or Billie Eilish’s Vogue cover, but one thing that’s not a matter of opinion is this: Kids love making music — and not just on TikTok. Classic instruments like guitar and piano are awesome, but if your kid is looking for more immediate gratification, you can keep the music coming with modern takes like DJ spin studios and a code-your-own drum kit.