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What Did India’s Playscape Look Like in 2020? – Shumee
What Did India’s Playscape Look Like in 2020?

2020 has been an interesting year for many reasons and it’s changed so many things about the way we live, work, and play. In what ways has the corona virus pandemic changed the playtime habits of Indian parents and kids? How did kids have fun during a year spent mostly indoors? Who is buying toys and what kind? We dived into our data and here's what we found. 

40% more Dads are shopping for toys.

In the 6+ years we’ve been around, our audience has been overwhelmingly Mums (and sometimes, Aunts.) It’s nice to see more men getting into the game!

Desktops are in vogue again.

Most of our customers shop for toys from their phones. But this year, our desktop traffic and purchases have boomed! Looks like some online shopping on the side is keeping parents distracted during virtual meetings.

Versatile, open-ended toys are bestsellers.

Parents seem to prefer toys that offer many different ways to play. Particularly the activity triangle, activity walker, and balance board. These open-ended toys offer a number of have no expected outcomes and the child decides how and what to play. This encourages them to use their creativity and keeps them interested longer. 

Puzzles & Books top the list of most wanted items.

As schools remained closed for the early part of the year and classes moved online later, parents wanted to ensure that some skill building happens during playtime too. No surprise that puzzles and books, which help with problem solving, focus, and cognitive development, are the most searched items on our website.

Hands-on activities have become a big part of parent-child time.

We saw that activities that parents can do together with children, particularly those that need minimal new supplies and keep children engaged for 20-30 minutes at a time, were popular. The DIY sessions we conducted on Instagram Live got 3x the organic views we usually get for live sessions and our printable activity sheets for ages 2 to 6 saw 3000+ downloads.

Families are re-creating outdoor play indoors.

With outings severely restricted, families improvised rapidly to recreate the same sense of fun and togetherness at home. We’ve seen an uptick in the sales of our children’s tents and games like mini bowling pins. Pictures shared by customers show them going pretend camping on the balcony and running bowling challenges in the garden!

Screen time shot up: for both adults & kids.

In a social media poll we conducted of ~500 parents, 8.6% said that screens are the easiest way for kids to beat boredom while 44% admitted that they too were spending more time on their devices. Only 47.4% said they were consciously restricting the children’s screen time.

85% increase in shoppers from non-metro cities. 

With retail stores remaining shut, more parents have looked online to buy toys and accessories for their children. We noticed a big jump in the number of customers shopping on shumee from Tier 2 and 3 cities such as Kota, Patiala, Jabalpur, Thanjavur, Ongole, Udupi, and more. It’s heartening to know that we’re able to delight children all over India.

What do these trends mean for the future of play?

The future of play is one where both parent and child are equally present and fully immersed in experiencing the moment!

As a company built on the concept of open-ended, engaged play, we're thrilled to have witnessed many of these trends. While these changes may have come about because of lockdowns and the pandemic, all of us have certainly enjoyed playing with our children, helping them learn, and watching them grow. 

With both parents involved and a preference towards open-ended play and hands-on activities, it's clear that the future of play is one where both parent and child are equally present and fully immersed in experiencing the moment! 

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