The top parenting trends to try in 2017

Pinterest is bursting with ideas for things to do with kids, but you could easily lose valuable hours searching through the many, many pins on the site – who has the time?

Thankfully they have released their 100 for 2017 – a list of top emerging trends they predict will be huge this year It’s no secret that parents want the best for their children and that’s evident from the popular pins and searches, which reveal the latest parenting trends. So, whether you’re looking for nursery décor ideas or creative activities to do with your children, check out this list first.

1. Focus on your child’s development through play

Play isn’t just fun, it’s the most important key to your kid’s development. The rise of screen time is showing a return to ‘70s-era basics. Experts say play is a child’s most important job, teaching them everything from social confidence to self-regulation to problem solving, and it’s increasingly being threatened by screens. Which explains why productive and fun activities like finger painting are up 35% on Pinterest. The trend is cheap and easy-to-do, all you need is paints, paper and a little wipe clean apron! Play is valuable, so it’s time to get your kid in the habit of doing it every day – and time for you to reach for your inner child and enjoy it too!

2. Build a fairy garden

Remember building your first ever den? It was the glue that held the 1980s childhood together and, before the mobile phone, you’d be playing outside, gone – and out of your mum’s hair – for hours at a time, as you foraged for sticks and large leaves (for the floor) and begged and borrowed for materials to make your den homely. Well, the traditional den has had a magical twist for 2017, with search for ‘building a fairy garden’ up by a whopping 106%. So, it’s time to get your little one outdoors and encourage their hidden love for gardening with these over-the-top but adorable mini gardens a den for the fairies!

3. Story prompts to encourage conversation

Kids can be shy and quiet when it comes to making new conversations with new people. This can be crippling in later years, so get them used to it at a young age with the help of story prompts, the search term is up a huge 121% because parents want fun ways to inspire their kids to write and read and using a prompt will encourage your kid’s creativity no end.

They can be anything, you can even collect flat stones and paint prompt words or pictures on them, such as a dog, or house – like these homemade pebble people – then jumble them all up in a bag and get your kid to pick one, and then they have to start a conversation or make a story up about it.

You’ll be amazed at their imagination and what they come up with. Another prompt to try is, when reading their bedtime story, randomly close the book on a page and ask them to continue the story and how they think it ends. This will engage in conversation and get their imagination flowing.

4. Decorate the nursery with a woodland theme

Gone are the days of pink for a girl and blue for a boy, one of the hottest trends to emerge from 2016 was the gender-neutral nursery. Oh yes, lots of expectant parents washed their nurseries in neutral colours with the uber stylish greys, stars and zig zag motifs shunned in favour of the fun woodland themes and Pinterest called it. Think fairies, forests, antlers and other woodland motifs to really nail the trend for your little ones. Trust us (and Pinterest) they’ll be popping up in nurseries and kid rooms for the rest of the year. And it’s easy to see why, considering that finding the perfect theme for your baby’s sleep space is up 97%.

We’ve got to be honest, we love that it’s not too babyish and will grow with your child, why not give it a personal touch with this family tree cushion – it’ll fit right in with the décor!

5. Play with virtual reality

Kids and virtual reality. This is 2017. We’ll be honest, the old adage ‘evolve or die’ has never been more true for us than right now, a tad dramatic? Maybe. But this is probably how our grandparents felt when the radio became popular. OK, so while we’re not quite the Jetsons just yet 2017 sees virtual reality gear gaining in popularity, with the search and pin term up an impressive 65% bringing screen time into real life. And Pinterest is helping parents deal with it IRL (in real life…) But, this is not a craft for the faint hearted, this wil most certainly will need adult supervision, but making your own cardboard Virtual Reality Glasses is the cheap and fun alternative.

6. Make homemade ice lollies

And from the scarily modern virtual reality to something a bit safer. Let us settle you down and bring you back to something we’ve all tried and all loved… the humble homemade ice lolly. Oh yes, homemade popsicle recipes are up 44% in Pinterest searches and pins. There’s something empowering about shunning the shop-bought bubble gum blue icicle lolly in favour of your very own. Not only are they a great way to hydrate your child with extra water intake you can also sneak in some fruit there too, plus you can watch the sugar levels. And these ice lolly recipes are easy to put together, meaning our kids can help make them, and they’re delish!

7. Know more babies with classic names

Pinterest reported that the ‘classic baby name trend is up by a massive 78%. Long gone are the days of the Chardonnay’s and Mercedes monikers, classic and traditional names, like Effie and Nora are making a massive comeback. We can only guess that nostalgia is playing a huge part in the choices that new parents are making for the top baby names of 2017, because let’s be honest, most are (very lovely) Nan names. And, not to be outshone by the girls, the boys’ choices are also made up of some rather old fashioned names too, with Hector topping the chart. Need some name inspiration? Try some of the traditional names that are dying out – time for a revival!

8. Take a family road trip

The whole family, in one small space, for a length of time… this can be heaven or hell for parents, but kids love a road trip – no matter the destination! So, the first thing for you to remember and focus on, is that you have it a lot easier than your parents did. Honestly, hear us out. In the hazy days of yesteryear there was no blue dot sat nav to blindly follow no cheery voice telling you to turn left in 1mile, instead there was a lot of arguing over an Atlas and which you way you did or didn’t have it turned. There were no travel DVD players, there was eye spy, on loop. And there was no helpful site like Pinterest guiding you to ideas and hacks to make it a much nicer experience. So, keep a grip on this as you plan your next family road trip and think of all the funny memories you’re about to make for the whole clan.

9. Teach your kid Spanish (even if you don’t speak it!)

Growing up in the UK, you usually only had a choice of German or French to learn in secondary school, so you won’t even be able to join in with basic Spanish words, but that’s OK the family who learn together stay together… or something like that. Did you know that Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, behind Chinese, with English coming third, so it makes sense really that according to Pinterest trends, the search for learning Spanish is up by a seismic 305% – making it the number one parenting trend predicted for 2017, repeat after us ‘yo no hablo español todavía’ which means, I don’t speak Spanish… yet! But once you get onboard with this trend you, and your little ones soon will!

10. Finger puppet plays

The pin activity for finger puppets are up 70% on Pinterest. And it’s easy to see why, there are so many fun, easy and affordable DIY craft ideas on Pinterest to make with your own kids. Let’s face it, kids today can lose a whole day hidden behind a screen or sat in front of one – and there’s no judgement here – some days you just need that time. But other days, get them to shun the screen in favour of more interactive, imaginative forms of play. Finger puppet plays can help with communication and imagination skills. Plus, half the fun of putting on a puppet play is planning the performance and creating a puppet show as a family is a great way to help kids learn to work as part of a group and strengthen family ties at the same time. Win, win!