Holiday toy trends include fun toys to teach kids about money!

coin counting jarIn a move that's sure to help parents of indecisive children, Toys R Us has just released its five toy trends for the holidays. The list is culled from data which Toys R Us collects from its stores throughout the world in order to determine what toys kids will want this holiday season.

Toys R Us doesn't just look at sales figures to determine these trends, the list also includes influences from the adult world. Bob Giampietro, the Senior Vice President of Trend and Innovation for Toys R Us, provided the following commentary on how some of the categories and toys made the list: "Children continually emulate and adapt based on what they see and hear in real life, and this is reflected in the trends we've recognized this year.".

The Toys R Us Toy Trends for Holiday 2008 include:
  • $avvy Savers
  • Adorable Animatronics
  • Curious Kids
  • Earth-Friendly Fun
  • Music: My Way
While all of the categories should prove helpful to gift givers this season, the $avvy Savers category caught my eye, especially after Bob Giampietro linked the trends to current events. The $avvy Savers category focuses on toys that help kids save their allowance as well as budget for a big ticket item that they didn't get to unwrap on Christmas morning. I know I would have loved to get one of the items, a laser protected safe, back when I was saving up for a Super Nintendo!

Keep reading for 3 toys that aren't only fun but can educate your children about money. And also see the best discounts in the toy book catalog.

Toys R Us Trends 2008

    Toys R Us has identified five trends for hot holiday toys, and several toys for each category. Among them are the trend $avvy Savers and the Zillions Laser Beam Safe from Summit Toys.

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    Trend: $avvy Savers Toy: Zillions Counting Money Jar from Summit Toys

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    Trend: $avvy Savers Toy: Shop & Learn Walker from Fisher-Price

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    Trend: Music My Way Toy: iPods of all varieties

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    Trend: Music My Way Toy: Acoustic guitars from First Act Discovery

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    Trend: Music My Way Toy: Nickelodeon's iCarly boom box

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    Trend: Music My Way Toy: Activision/Blizzard's Guitar Hero: World Tour

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    Trend: Earth-Friendly Fun Toy: Natural Wood Alphabet Block Wagon from Toys R Us

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    Trend: Earth-Friendly Fun Toy: Green Toys' Cookware and Dining Set

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    Trend: Earth-Friendly Fun Toy: Laura C Martin's Nature's Art Box

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My favorite toy is the new Zillions Laser Beam Safe, which sounds an alert if the protective laser beam is broken or a wrong thumbprint is entered.It even comes in pink making it an fun toy for anyone on your gift list. Not only does the safe protect your kid's money it also provides an opportunity for you to talk to them about the importance of saving.

Another cool toy is the Zillionz Counting Jar which tallies the coins as they are deposited. This is another fun way to demonstrate saving to children and it re-enforces the value of a pocketful of change, which should encourage kids to save more. One of the reviewers mentioned that the only downside was the small size of the jar, but I think a full jar presents the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about a high yield savings account.

I found another toy at Toys R Us that has been around for a while but is definitely worth looking into if you want to teach your kids about money or open up a conversation about family budgets. The Large Money Savvy Pig Bank, splits your kid's savings into four categories; save, spend, donate and invest. This simple breakdown method of saving is a really cool way to talk to your kids about money, and what better time to start them on budgeting than when Christmas money comes in from friends and relatives.

There's no doubt that the current economic situation is being felt across the board and if you think children including yours haven't noticed then you should step away from the computer for a reality check. Kids are hearing about the economy from many sources; giving them a bank, a fun one to boot, is an excellent way to talk to them about what is going on and share age appropriate facts about your family's situation so they aren't frightened by what's going on around them.

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