If you’re a parent of a primary schooler, you’ve no doubt been pestered into handing over your well-earned dosh for a rainbow-hued rubber object.
Push-Pop Fidget Toys (or Pop-Its) are the latest craze that have made their way (in the tens of thousands, it seems) to Kiwi shores.
I recall being intrigued by staff installing a display at the front of my local Dollar Store in late February; and this week I’ve seen “the sensory alternative to bubble wrap” sitting pride of place in children’s clothing boutiques.
It’s clearly hot property for the primary school squad – and good business for retailers.
For some colourfully moulded silicone, the average $8-10 price point is eyebrow raising. But add the marketing sell of “relieving stress, anxiety, ADHD, as well as developing brain power and the ability to cultivate logical reasoning skills” and all of a sudden:
“Kids! Choose two… each!”
Pop-Its promise to replicate the satisfaction of popping bubble wrap, and – after a YouTube search – my mum-friends and I discovered there are in fact (fairly average) games that can be played with the toy too.
Of course, in the name of research, I handed over a tenner and bought one for Georgia, 6, mostly just to see how quickly she’d get sick of it. Granted, it did come in handy for the odd car trip and it’s super lightweight to take anywhere, but I actually think she liked having one because a lot of her school friends did, rather than liking the “toy” for its so-called purpose.
I’m still on the fence as to whether fidget toys in general are a good form of mindfulness for our kids – or whether it simply adds to the extinction of boredom, which has been proved to be beneficial for children’s creativity and curiosity.
Maybe a Pop-It will help ME with my “logical reasoning skills” to make that decision.
Pamela McIntosh Editor, Tots To Teens