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Retro Kids

Retro Kids Toys Versus Modern Toys: What Is Better?

Retro kids toys are coming back into fashion. Part of this is due to Generation X and older millennials becoming filled with a sense of nostalgia when they too have their first children. They reminisce about their childhood and the toys they owned then. Trips to the loft or attic of the family home are made to see if they still have those old 'ABC' blocks or wooden pull toys. But part of this is also due to parents beginning to reject modern toys – which are full of technology and heavily branded – in favour of more simple, physical toys. So are traditional toys for kids better than modern toys?

A Shift Towards Retro Kids Gifts

Before we begin, it's important to explain some of the reasons behind this shift to retro kids gifts. Over the past few years, there has been a growing niche for small toy companies which provide toys that are traditional, educational and environmentally friendly. With consumerism and mass manufacturing increasing over the past 30 years to new heights, toys have become increasingly throwaway. With more parents having more disposable income at their disposal over this time period, mainstream toy producers began to broadcast a barrage of adverts aimed at children. Whilst the UK's advertising laws have somewhat curtailed this approach, parents are still left feeling fearful of how much the 'next big thing' will cost. Many parents, therefore, have taken the approach of introducing their children to more traditional or other types of niche toys (such as kawaii toys). Not only are these products generally more long-lasting and durable, they are also more environmentally friendly. For example, instead of purchasing cheap mass-produced plastic figures, you can buy durable wooden figures. With that being said, despite this shift, most of the toy market share is still owned by the major toy firms (such as Lego and Mattel) and that's unlikely to change.

Retro Toys Are Important To Development

Toys are now becoming increasingly interactive, and many parents believe that this can only be good for their child's development. However, research actually seems to suggest that these gadgets – such as tablets, electronic readers and remote controlled robots – make parents less likely to perform meaningful give-and-take interactions with their kids. There are a couple of reasons for this. With kids so focused on the voice and sounds of an electronic toy, they become less likely to vocalise; and when they don't vocalise, the parents tend to stop talking too. Secondly, parents are busy. We've never had to multi-task more in our lives than we do today. So toys that keep the kids quiet and allow us to perform those daily tasks sound ideal. But with the parent playing such an important role in child development, this approach can negate your child's progression. With that being said, these technological toys bring a whole host of benefits too – including that they can distract the kids during these busy times! However, it does seem like there needs to be a healthy balance between retro toys and comforting toys such as kawaii plushies, and gadgets.

Why Toys Retro Or Traditional Are So Important

While we may think that kids want to actually play with video games and gadgets, there is research to suggest that this might be a bit of a myth. For example, in one survey of eight-year-olds, it was found that 44% preferred to play with arts and crafts over video games. So despite our assumption that kids would prefer technology – due to it being more available and advanced than it was for us retro kids – the reality is that many kids still love being creative in a traditional way. However, this same survey found that 42% of parents admitted that cleaning took priority over playing with their children. Clearly many parents are finding it hard to make time and space for this type of play, so the instant gratification and feedback offered by video games and gadgets is seen as a replacement. The research, again, supports this notion. Despite 79% of parents in the survey saying that creative play was important to their child's development, 23% admitted they played video games with their kids over more creative activities. The reason that creative play with physical toys retro or traditional or even kawaii stuff is so important is because fostering this type of environment is crucial to young children's development. It makes children start, or go back to, school with a creative mind and more ready to learn.

So Where Can You Find A Retro, Traditional Or Kawaii Shop UK Wide?

It's a shame that so many children just don't get to experience the wonder and imagination that we felt as children when playing with these physical toys. However, at the same time, we need to move forward too. So is there a middle ground? The answer is yes, of course. Where that middle ground lies is for the parents of a child to decide. A healthy combination of modern toys such as gadgets and characters from TV shows can be mixed with physical toys and cushions, such as wooden toys and plush kawaii pillows. But most mainstream toy shops are full of the types of toys in the former category, so where can you find the latter? Thankfully, there are online stores out there set up with these types of toys in mind. These online outlets stock ranges that not only put a smile on the face of retro kids everywhere, but can also introduce you to a number of wonderfully kitsch and cute gift ideas that you'll take much delight in introducing to your kids. One such store is Retro Kids. They stock a vast selection of traditional style toys, as well as the likes of retro baby clothes. They also act as a leading kawaii shop UK wide too.

Retro Kids Is The Number One Store For Retro Kids

At Retro Kids, we work hard to bring you a beautiful selection of toys that have been designed and crafted by independent artists and smaller brands trying to break through into the market. We carefully hand-pick our products from ethical manufacturers to ensure that they were produced with sustainment and environmental friendliness in mind. We don't stock anything that we wouldn't be happy for our own children to play with or receive as presents from family and friends. So what are you waiting for? Browse our stock, feel as nostalgic as the rest of us retro kids and discover the cute, kitschy style of kawaii. Visit If you'd like further information about any of our products, just call 0333 3583 228 or email us via