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Top trends for parents and kids in 2018, according to Pinterest

Toys that make less impact on planet will be high on list

By Mari-Jane Williams, The Washington Post
Published: December 27, 2017, 6:04am

Pinterest has released its list of top trends for 2018 in wellness, fashion, home design and other pin-worthy areas (hello, food?). According to the social media site, these are some of the things that parents and kids will be coveting in the coming year, based on how often people search for and pin them.

• A more environmentally aware generation of parents is looking for toys and baby products that make less of an impact on the planet. Forget the inexpensive plastic toys that are quickly broken or abandoned. Searches for toys made from wood are up 173 percent. (Yes, everything old is new again. See also: Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys.) Pinterest searches for eco-friendly clothing climbed even more, by 750 percent, as reusable diapers, recycled clothes and sustainable textiles have become more popular.

• Rather than buying a bunch of baby-centric furniture (I’m looking at you, upholstered gliders and changing tables) that a child will outgrow in a few years, new parents are trying to plan for the long game with pieces that can be repurposed in an older child’s room or elsewhere in the home. More sophisticated chairs, dressers that can double as temporary changing tables and neutral color palettes are all part of the trend that has pins for “mature” or “modern” nurseries up by 85 percent. Along the same lines, pins of “wall decals” were up 219 percent. They are an easy and inexpensive way to quickly take your child’s room from a safari theme to a Harry Potter scene, and when you’re done, you just peel them off to return to plain walls.

• Pins related to “pom pom decor” are up 444 percent. The colorful yarn embellishments can be used on mobiles, or to trim curtains, bedding or pillows. They are a fun way to add a bit of whimsy to a child-friendly space.

• Long used by people with autism and sensory processing issues to calm down and regroup after a stressful day, weighted blankets have followed fidget spinners and found a niche with the general population. Parents are turning to them to help kids wind down and drift off to sleep. After a year like 2017, maybe adults are drawn to their soothing effects as well. Saves of “weighted blankets” are up by 259 percent, Pinterest says.

• Sure, kids love to throw a blanket over a couple of chairs to create an impromptu hideaway. But forts have grown up and are increasingly a more permanent part of the decorating landscape. Saves for “forts” are up 108 percent.

• Babies will chew on anything they can get their hands on, particularly when they are teething. Because we spend so much time with them firmly planted on our hips, we become a prime target for gnawing. Moms are turning the practical need to give their child something acceptable to gum into a fashion statement, as pins of chunky wooden “teething necklaces” are up by 146 percent.

So there you have it. Now what’s on your list for 2018?