We asked kids to look back at 2020 and share what they thought the biggest kids trends of the year have been. Here’s what they told us.

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. 

Each year, we ask kids to recall the biggest kids trends of the year. It is important to remember that the trends that they share will only be as accurate as what they can remember (a year is a long time for a kid — and, arguably, 2020 has seemed longer than most). However, it’s clear that the trends that stuck around made a big impression on PopJammers!

What were the biggest gaming trends of 2020?

The kids gaming ecosystem is changing, and kids are the core catalyst for these changes. Amid an unprecedented year, with kids less connected than ever before, we saw games become multi-purpose worlds for everything from creation and entertainment to social connection. Check out our recent report for more on this.

Kids told us that the following gaming trends made the biggest impression in 2020:
  • The online multiplayer game, Among Us, has made a huge impact in a short amount of time. This is likely because it allows groups of friends to easily connect and play. In addition, the characters are cute and customizable, and there are features of the game that have lent themselves to becoming fanart and memes.
  • Imagination platform, Roblox, remains a popular outlet for kids to create and play. Adopt Me!, which allows them to hatch and raise creatures, was the most popular game with PopJammers. Piggy, which combines elements of Peppa Pig with Five Nights at Freddy’s frights, is also a favorite among kids. This showcases the variety of games that are accessible within Roblox, whether they want scaring or caring.
  • Additional mentions included: Animal Crossing, Fortnite, Rocket League, and Fall Guys. Animal Crossing was incredibly popular at the start of lockdown, and many kids desired a Nintendo Switch to play the game.
The online multiplayer game, Among Us, is a favorite among kids in 2020

What were the biggest social video trends of 2020?

With kids and families spending more time at home due to Covid-19, many are turning to their devices for entertainment, with views surging across popular social video platforms. So it’s not surprising that TikTok reigns as the ultimate trend of 2020 for PopJammers. It’s worth noting that some kids aren’t allowed to use TikTok, as the platform isn’t safe for under-16 audiences; however, many kids watch TikTok content and compilations on YouTube. 

Kids told us that their favorite TikTok trends this year included:
  • Dance trends were popular with young viewers, as they are fun to learn, perfect, and share—especially during periods of coronavirus isolation. In particular, the Renegade dance and the Savage dance won the hearts of PopJammers.
  • Charli D’Amelio was the number one TikTok influencer mentioned this year (not Bella Poarch, who has been mentioned in previous trends).
  • Additional TikTok trends included Harry Potter’s Draco Malfoy, LED lights, hacks, and Karens (middle-aged women who complain or cause a scene). 

How did an unprecedented year affect kids in 2020?

A year filled with much uncertainty and hardships, from Covid-19 to global movements, has impacted kids just as much as it has adults. Coronavirus, for one, has changed everything for kids from how they experience learning to how they play and socialize. Featured heavily on PopJam this year, kids often share their thoughts and feelings about the virus (we moderate this sensitively). Masks are part of the new normal for kids; they feature them often on drawings, Gacha, and Original Characters. 

Kids also frequently mention the following Covid-19 specific trends:
  • Lockdown and quarantine
  • Zoom and homeschooling
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Pandemic puppies (the trend of getting pets in lockdown)
Covid-19 was top of mind for kids during a difficult year

The US election was also an important 2020 trend for US, Canadian, and Australian PopJammers, with mentions of the election, Biden, Trump, and new Presidents. However, PopJammers did not mention their exploration of the Black Lives Matter movement, making a difference in the world, and preserving the environment as they reflected on 2020 as a whole (though we did see this activity within the platform throughout the year). 

What else was trending with kids in 2020?

  • VSCO and VSCO girls, the eco and aesthetic lifestyle obsessed with metal straws and scrunchies, were a huge feature in our trend reports both last year and at the start of this year. This trend dropped around the start of most coronavirus lockdowns.
  • Gacha remains incredibly popular with PopJammers. The various Gacha apps allow kids to build and customize anime-inspired characters to create their own comics and stories. Gacha and edits (building Gacha or altering existing images) have a huge fan presence on PopJam, likely because they empower kids who want to make their own Original Characters but may not be able to draw to get creative. As they are not always appropriate, these characters require moderation.

Are you interested in more kids trends like these?

PopJam’s highly-engaged kids audience gives us a direct insight into the trends emerging in the lives of kids globally. Sign up below to receive the report.