I Don’t Wanna Grow Up
Playtime never gets old. As a person ages, the Monopoly board gets replaced with an iPhone and the football with a high-end set of golf clubs, but the fact remains that people never stop playing. From the cradle to the recliner, the only thing that changes in regard to leisure activities is taste. With that in mind, below is some advice on keeping your toy promotions relevant for the proper age group.
Early on in this demographic, from kindergarten through third grade, play is often combined with simple educational goals, such as bolstering creativity or encouraging group play. Margaret Dengler, marketing coordinator for Jericho, New York-based WOWline, recommended items like sidewalk chalk, crayons and molding clay to fulfill such a purpose, singling out crayons in particular. "Crayons are by far our best-selling item because they allow kids to express themselves and encourage creativity," she said. She pointed out these items are ubiquitous at nearly any venue that children visit, from restaurants to municipal organizations like fire or police departments.
Familiarity also is important when working with young children. They tend to gravitate toward what they know, but since their knowledge can be limited, it may be better to keep product choices simple. Weston Parker, marketing director for Douglas Company, Keene, N.H., gave an example.
"Younger elementary age children like breed-specific dogs and cats because they are like pets that they have at home, which can also include wildlife, horses, as well as exotic and jungle animals they might see on TV or in a movie," he said. He also mentioned gender guidelines often set in early, so stuffed animals may not be suitable for young boys.
TIP FOR WORKING WITH THIS AGE GROUP: "It's important to have safety certificates readily available for the client," said Dengler. "When it comes to kids, the number one concern is safety."