The best way to understand what kids are thinking is to ask kids themselves. So, to predict the biggest kids trends for 2021, we turned to the experts.
PopJam is our content-sharing platform for kids ages 7-12, where they can play, create, and game in a moderated digital community. We don’t collect any personal information on PopJammers, but we ask questions and listen to our community to gain important insights. Every year, we ask PopJammers to share their predictions for the year ahead to get a better sense of the emerging platforms and trends that will resonate best with young audiences.
What kids trends did kids predict for 2020?
Last year, kids predicted the following kids trends:
- VSCO girls (and tribes)
- TikTok and gaming, with a focus on Roblox and iPhones.
There were also some mentions of Gacha, Disney+, Harry Potter, Instagram, and climate change.
The kids are all right, but nobody expected a global pandemic— and their 2021 predictions have been dramatically affected by what they experienced this year.
What do kids expect to be the biggest kids trends in 2021?
Not surprisingly, Among Us reigns supreme as the biggest predicted kids trend for 2021. The game is already huge and remains popular with kids, who create Among Us-themed artwork, as well as consume memes and influencer content. There is also much discussion about Among Us 2 arriving in 2021, which will likely create continued buzz throughout the year.
Kids also think that Roblox will remain popular, and recent updates to Adopt Me! (PopJammers’ favorite game, alongside Piggy) have kept kids excited. Fortnite and Minecraft also received multiple mentions this year.
It’s not a new concept that kids love gaming. But this year, during lockdowns and quarantine periods, multiplayer games have also become social experiences and digital playgrounds.
Covid-19 had a massive impact on kids’ lives, so it makes sense that it is top of mind for them this year. When reflecting on Covid-19 as a trend, kids mostly discuss just that: how it has affected everything from day-to-day life to schooling. Top mentions included masks, social distancing, lockdown, and homeschooling. Some kids also anticipate that 2021 will include many memes and jokes about Covid-19.
Masks are the most iconic part of Covid-19 for kids; we see this represented in the characters they draw, and the art they make, as well as the amount of times masks were mentioned as a prediction for 2021. Kids also expressed an interest in masks that match their outfits, have patterns, or are created by designer brands.
Kids imagine that life after Covid-19 will mean seeing family and friends and returning to school. They also think it will mean freedom, holidays, vacations, stores opening, and catching up on all of the events that were missed in 2020, especially birthdays. Some kids predict further lockdowns or a new virus, and others don’t expect immediate changes (even with vaccines mentioned).
Social and video content
TikTok is predicted to once again be an impactful kids trend in 2021. Kids know that TikTok is a specific platform for watching videos and being social, but it’s also the place where trends are created and amplified. On the platform, they can get inspiration for hacks, crafts and DIY activities, products, or new dance routines. Influencers The Norris Nuts and Flamingo were also mentioned by kids as likely to be trending in 2021.
Being social is important for kids and adults alike, but it was especially critical during periods of isolation due to coronavirus restrictions. It’s worth noting that TikTok isn’t an age appropriate platform for under 13s, which highlights the importance of moderated, safe spaces for kids online to connect, create, and socialize.
Additional kids trends
PopJammers are smart when it comes to answering questions about the future, as some predictions are easier to make than others. Many kids say the biggest kids trends will be new games, new apps, new songs, and new TikTok dances. iPhones 13 and 15 also received mentions, as kids know yearly update events take place (especially because new phones increase the chances of older phones moving through the family).
Other notable mentions include:
- The new President of the United States
- Scrunchies (related to the VSCO tribe trend)
- Flying cars (we get this every year—it’s the pinnacle of predicting the future)
Gacha also remains incredibly popular and it’s predicted that popularity will continue into 2021, having now become its own aesthetic/edited artform. Additionally, talking about 2020 has been mentioned as a trend for 2021, with many kids firmly sold on the fact it was such a disastrous year that we’ll constantly reference it even in the new year.
No matter what 2021 has in store, it’s clear that kids will hope to make up for lost time and see their friends and family. But this might not happen for a while — in the meantime, they’ll continue to engage and discover online. Brands must connect with them appropriately and sensitively on safe, non-toxic platforms.
PopJam’s highly-engaged kids audience gives us a direct insight into the trends emerging in the lives of kids globally. Our monthly PopJam Kids Trends Report deep-dives into a series of questions.