Understanding your grandkids: decoding what’s trendy

22 December 2017

Christmas, Grandchildren

There have always been trends around what kids are interested in. Some disappeared as fast as they arrived, while others have remained popular over many decades. Yo-yos, marbles and Rubik’s Cube all fall into this latter category. But do you remember Tamagotchi, Furbies or Polly Pockets? Maybe not.

What is for certain is that there will always be another fad. They used to arise from TV shows and toys, but now there are also apps, video channels and online games to contend with.

If you want to keep in touch with what your grandchildren are interested in, here are some trends and terms and popular pastimes de-coded so you can ‘talk shop’ like a pro.

On trend toys this holiday season

The toys your grand kids covet change year to year. Let’s take a look at this year’s trends.

The collectable trend is huge at the minute, replacing the large dolls you may be more familiar with. The L.O.L Surprise Doll has seven layers to unwrap to reveal a new mystery that hints at doll the child will receive. The layers include accessories and clothes for the doll.

This year we have seen an increase in games with built-in technology features as a result of the spike in digital and technological skills children are developing from younger ages. The timeless Play-Doh we all know has seen such advancements. A popular toy this Christmas (2017) is the Play-Doh Touch which allows children to shape their creations then scan them with a tablet or smartphone to bring their inventions to life on screen.

VR (Virtual Reality) has had a lot of attention this year. Using headsets, it creates realistic images and environments for the user to immerse themselves in. Imagine for example you wanted to swim with dolphins? VR allows you to do so from the comfort of your own home. A virtual reality gaming company VRSE has brought this technology to children this season. Batman and Jurassic Park fans can find themselves fending off T-Rex’s to learning Batman’s skills, whilst being physically part of the adventure – not just watching it on a screen.



There is nothing complicated about the selfie: it is a photo of yourself. However it now also refers to any picture people take of themselves with other people also in the photo. The emergence of the smartphone is where selfies came from. All of a sudden people had a way to take a photo of themselves with a forward-facing camera, and could also upload it onto social media. Selfies are so commonplace and referred to so often that the word is now in the dictionary.


A meme is an image or text or video that is culturally relevant, usually humorous, and often says something about human behaviour. Memes are spread around by social media or online forums, and internet users can alter them or put text over the image. Because a meme is spread through the internet, it can become popular very fast and often reaches the mass media in no time at all. The rapid growth in popularity of a particular meme also means the lifespan is typically short-lived. Also, it is pronounced “meem” not “me-me”.


Not everybody is tech-literate. You might be wondering what on earth an app is – especially if you haven’t owned a smartphone before. An app is a software application that can be downloaded to a smartphone or a tablet (like an iPad). There is no limit to what can be in an app nowadays. For example, it could be a game such as Scrabble, or a source of information or news such as the Bureau of Meteorology, or a selection of radio channels to listen to music. Many businesses have their own apps too.

The latest lingo

Slang and lingo have always been around and it is usually youth steering the ship. Here are a few terms that the young people in your life might be using:

Lit – fun, great, exciting

YOLO – You Only Live Once

Throw shade – insult, disrespect, sneering

Squad – a group of friends

FB – Facebook

Savage – say what you like and disregard any consequences

There is an endless list of terms and items that are currently ‘cool’ but there’s no doubt that list will change in just a year or two, or even a few months. Some might find a place in popular culture, while most won’t. But if you want to know what on earth your grandchildren are talking about, it helps to know little bits and pieces of what’s trending right now.

St Ives Home Care works with the whole family. If you or someone you loved one needs support at home or even an extra helping hand or just some company leading into the holiday season, get in touch by calling 1300 20 20 03 or email us

You might enjoy this article on Grandparents Day