At the start of this year we shared Kids’ Trend Predictions for 2018 from the 7-12 audience of our kid-safe PopJam platform. They said 2018 would be the year of slime, unicorns, fidget spinners, squishies and iPhones. They weren’t wrong.
At the end of Q1 we checked back in with the PopJammers to see what was trending, and the Floss dance, Fortnite, Roblox, slime and squishies topped the charts. Now, heading into the latter half of 2018, we’re seeing new trends, as well as some brand-new takes on their existing faves…
THE WORLD CUP
As you’d expect with such a huge global event, PopJammers say that the World Cup is one of the most discussed things at their school at the moment. Often, football is seen as ‘boy’s stuff’, but the World Cup is a massive sporting event with a wider audience, and watched by all the family (for as long as their teams stay in). While we’re seeing more engagement from our UK audience, US kids also have lots to say about the tournament.
Fortnite is still everything – and their responsiveness to the interests of their audience is one of the key reasons for their ongoing popularity. One of the main things that kids are loving about Fortnite are the character dances (or emotes) and the stories around them.
The Floss is in there, but Turk’s Dance (from sitcom Scrubs), the Best Mates dance (from Vine), the Electro Shuffle and the Flapper Dance (yes, from the 1920s) are creating a lot of fun for kids in-game and in-playground.
When Fortnite asked players to submit their own dances to feature in the game, a dancer called Orange Shirt Kid did a ‘cringey’ video that became huge with the community. He didn’t win, so the fans protested for Orange Justice (including a petition with over ten thousand signatures). Fortnite then surprised everyone by including his dance in the game, calling it Orange Justice. You can watch a ten hour loop of it here. You’re welcome.
We’re starting to see the first signs of kids saying they’re bored of it or bored of hearing about it, but we predict that Fortnite will still be big business in our Q3 round up.
Scary games for kids have largely been influenced by Five Nights at Freddy’s – a point-and-click role-play survival horror game in which you have to close doors and turn on lights to stop animatronic pizza restaurant characters from getting you. Jump scares are common; sudden, loud, screen-filling frights that kids love or love to hate. FNaF has spawned multiple sequels and even two books. We’ve seen PopJammers create fan art for the characters, even pairing the animatronic animal monsters into romantic couples (what better way to manage your fears).
More recently, kids have been talking about Granny, a free-to-play game in which “Granny keeps you locked in her house. Now you have to try to get out of her house, but be careful and quiet. She hears everything.” Granny is a sort of cannibal creature. Granny is terrifying, frankly.
Baldi’s Basics is another new horror game that has kids interested – in this one what starts as an interactive educational game becomes a survival game as Baldi chases you around a dark school with a ruler.
We know kids love jumpscares, being scared and edgy characters, but will this trend become more commercial and polished, or will that ruin the fun?
MORE DANCE CHALLENGES
Why do dance moves trend? Mostly because they’re fun to recreate. Sometimes they are easy to learn and display (dabbing) and sometimes they can be built upon to be pretty fast or skilled (the Floss). Kids love physical humour – and it sits well in the online world on YouTube or Musical.ly where kids can see other kids doing it and learn how to do it themselves.
We’ve seen an increase in mentions of the Dame Tu Cosita dance challenge. This is basically a green alien dancing to a song (that roughly translates as Give Me Your Thingy), but thanks to the platforms mentioned above it’s become a sensation for influencers to recreate. Watch it here and add to the 569,143,106+ views.
These are the main trends – but there are always new things to keep an eye on. Unicorns, iPhones, crushes, summer break, The Greatest Showman (a film that is getting more mentions by the month), Yanny and Laurel (the audio equivalent of the white VS blue dress) and Roblox are also trending. PopJammers predict July and August will feature new trends for charms, denim, new kinds of slime, new hi-tech phones and new Fortnite dances.
There’s even talk of a fidget spinner comeback. You heard it here first.