parents

For all those parents who get caught up in their kids’ fads.

Woolworths
Thanks to our brand partner, Woolworths

Yoyos, Cabbage Patch Kids, loom bands, Tamagotchis, Tazos, Beanie Babies…

Kids have always been into fads. But there’s something I’ve noticed since becoming a parent myself; I get caught up in my kid’s current fad too, whatever it is. And my friends who are parents are doing the same.

Take loom bands. My daughter was a bit young when the fad hit her school, so I would sit with her and make bracelets for her friends, while she chose the colours. I’m not particularly crafty, and I had to look up the instructions on YouTube, but I got the hang of it. Plus it was nice to spend time with my daughter in the evenings, working on something together.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only mum doing this. (Or maybe I was…)

toy fads
Fad toys can be a great way to bond. Image via iStock.

Then there was the time my daughter wanted to collect a set of Smurfs that came inside very specific chocolate eggs. Only problem is, she doesn’t like chocolate — shock horror, I know. So I would eat a chocolate egg every evening and she would check what Smurf was inside until she got the whole collection.

I do believe that’s called a win-win situation.

And now it’s my son’s turn. He’s completely fascinated by the Ancient Animals cards at Woolworths.

“Mum, can we go shopping today?” he asks me daily.

It’s nice to have a kid who actually wants to go to the supermarket, and will be (mostly) well-behaved so he can get to the checkout quicker to get his greedy paws on more packs of cards. It’s better than having him race his sister up and down the aisles while other parents smile at me sympathetically.

On the drive home, once my son has checked whether he’s got any new cards, he’ll start sharing facts with me.

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Him: “Mum, did you know that triceratops was as heavy as a 10-tonne truck?”

Me: “No, I did not know that.”

I’m sure he’s astonished at how little I know about dinosaurs. But I like these conversations. It’s a pleasant a change from, “Are we there yet?” “No.” “Are we there yet?” “No.”

toy fads
“Mum, did you know that triceratops was as heavy as a 10-tonne truck?” Image via iStock.

Plus – and this is a big plus – the cards are free. My son also happens to love a particular book series, which contains approximately 180 books. (Yes, 180. Who even writes 180 books in their lifetime?) My son would like me to buy the entire series for him. Well… no. I’m keen to encourage reading, but not that keen. There are libraries.

The good thing about kids nowadays collecting things like cards is that it’s so much easier to get an entire set. I can remember, when I was young, finding a few odd cards in cereal packets or somewhere like that. But there was never any hope of getting them all.

Nowadays, kids can go to school and swap with their friends, just like in the old days, or they can swap online. Or, as a wonderful, caring parent, you can just post something on Facebook and see if your friends have kids who are collecting the same things. A simple exchange, and suddenly, you’re a hero to your child, when you hand them the final card they were looking for. What could be more satisfying than a completed collection?

I guess, maybe, the real reason why my friends and I get into our kids’ fads is that even though we’re parents, there’s still a bit of kid in all of us.

What kids’ fad have you gotten sucked into?

Here are some of the most popular collectibles kids have gone crazy over…

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