The latest Tiktok craze is here and Irish stores have stepped up to meet demand for the 2021 version of the fidget spinner.
Pop its, or push poppers as they are sometimes called, are simple devices. Made of plastic and silicone, colorful toys usually come in the form of discs or squares and work the same as bubble wrap – except there is no end to these reusable items. You push the bubbles down, flip over and push again.
“It’s like bubble wrap, you can’t resist it. I was playing with one myself the other day. It’s a bit addicting. There is something so calming, ”says Sheila of Sensational Kids, a national network that provides support to children with additional needs.
Sensational Kids specializes in sensory toys, available in their online store. Over the past few weeks, pop its has become one of the most popular items.
Smyths Toys also sold pop its, which they introduced in stores as part of their new sensory line. As they describe: “Sensory toys encourage play that engages one, two or all of our senses: sight, touch, smell, taste, hearing, movement and balance.
“A lot of sensory toys are generally recommended by therapists for children who might have additional needs. They are specifically designed to hone a certain skill or they may be for a child who has a sensory processing disorder,” says Sheila.
“Push poppers are really therapeutic. It’s the most important thing with every kid right now, but more specifically, the reason we make them is that they’re great for fussing around. A lot of kids have it. need to keep their hands busy and release the tension so the push button is great. “
Toys appeal to a wide range of children and adults alike, who likely have Tiktok to thank for their new addiction. Videos tagged #popit have been viewed more than 3.4 billion times on the platform so far and thousands of pages dedicated to toys have appeared in recent weeks.
“It’s literally just exploded overnight. It’s a really huge thing. It’s like the fidget spinners a few years ago. We make all kinds of choppy toys like soft balls etc. go for this one.” Sheila said.
Claire Buller of siopashop.ie has also noticed the trend, selling over 100 toys, which typically cost less than $ 5, over the past two months. They have been siopshop.ie’s most popular fidget product for the past two years.
“They were very popular. I bought 100 just to have some because I saw they were going to be the latest craze and I just had to buy more, ”she says.
Claire’s nine-year-old son, who suffers from ADHD and OCD, is a huge fan of pop music. His only fear is that, like restless spinners, the devices will end up being banned in schools.
“They are brilliant sensory toys. I have a son with ADHD and OCD, so I know how important these things can be for children who need them. But because they then became a trendy toy, they ended up being banned in schools, ”she says. “He really needed a fidget spinner at school when they came out but couldn’t use it and we had to find another way for him to fidget without being disruptive.”
A teacher at a primary school in Cork who spoke to theon the subject says she has allowed the devices in her young children’s class so far, where she has four students playing with the toys. The ones they brought are quiet, and she thinks the devices help relax them while working their fine motor skills.
Sheila also doesn’t think pop will be a problem in schools, especially for kids who need it. “If a child is diagnosed with a disease, it is highly unlikely that a school will prohibit that child from having a sensory object,” she says.
There’s also no need to worry if you haven’t got your hands on one yet. “They’re very popular, but I don’t think not having one will be a problem. I’ve seen them everywhere.”