What are Fidget Pop-it toys and why are they so popular?
A Pop-it toy is a fidget toy where users continually pop bubbles in and out with a satisfying click - it’s a silicone (and slightly more sophisticated) version of bubble wrap! From different sizes, shapes colours and price points - there’s really a Pop it toy for everyone!
Despite usually having many years in the making, toys like this seem to come out of nowhere then suddenly everyone in the playground, their sisters and brothers, friends and acquaintances and their dogs, has one. Soon people’s homes are flooding with them and parents are finding them in their knicker drawer. Crazes tend to last between 12 - 24 months, or for some kids they turn into full blown collectible items and they’re never able to let go of the fad - that’s if they don’t get banned by schools first!
The rate that a toy / trend spreads through the playground has been accelerated in recent years due to social media. For fidget pop it toys in particular, their success is largely driven by the thousands and thousands of TikTok and YouTube videos which are out there. From random kids to YouTube sensation Ryan’s World and even animals getting their hands on the toys!
They have significant therapeutic benefits for those who have anxiety, ADHD, autism and other conditions which might mean people struggle concentrating or focusing in academic situations. The satisfying mechanism of the Pop-it is particularly useful for anxious or excitable energy to find an outlet. Sensory toys stimulate more than one of our senses at a time which can distract from overwhelming feelings of anxiety, sadness or fear. Beyond this, some say there can be many educational benefits of the Pop-it toys. They can be used to help with counting, simple addition, exploring syllables in words, coordinates, memory, even the act of popping can develop fine motor skills.
Six reasons why kids love Pop it toys…
- Satisfying and tactile sensory experience - Kids love the satisfying ‘pop!’ the toy allows them to make over and over and over again. It’s a multi-sensory experience that they can’t get enough of.
- Simple and easy - Kids feel accomplished when they are able to do something easily. You can pick up this toy and without any instructions know you are smashing it!
- Same same, but different - From circles to triangles, dinosaurs to unicorns, (knock off) peppa pig to baby yoda - these toys come in all different shapes and sizes allowing kids to play the same game but feel different at the same time!
- Repetition - Kids love to repeat things over and over and over - I don’t think I can think of a toy that plays into their desire for repetition more easily?!
- 1,2,3... focus! - They give kids something to occupy their hands which can focus their attention and help them feel less agitated.
- Everyone else has one! - No one wants to be the kid on the playground without the one thing EVERYONE has.
Despite their so-far cyclical appearance in TikTok and YouTube videos, prevalence in playground chatter and even with their therapeutic benefits, we don’t have too high hopes for an everlasting life expectancy for the Pop-it toys. Chances are something will come along that’s just a little bit more fun, a little bit more satisfying and Ryan raves about it, and then the Pop-it toys will become a distant memory that today’s 5 year olds look back on in 10 years time with nothing more than a nostalgic smile.