Over the past couple of years, pop it fidget toys have exploded in popularity, becoming one of the hottest toy trends. But what exactly are pop its and why have they become so ubiquitous?
Pop its are simple sensory toys made from flexible silicone that have bubbles or bumps that can be pushed inside out repeatedly to make a loud popping noise. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, from small keychain-sized pop its to large boards covered in hundreds of poppable bubbles.
The satisfying tactile and auditory feedback from popping the bubbles on these toys has made them appealing as stress relievers and fidget toys, especially among children, teens, and adults with anxiety or attention issues who like to keep their hands busy. The toys allow them to channel nervous energy into repetitive motion and help them focus.
Fidgeting Population Drives Trend
It’s estimated that 20-30% of children and adults are kinesthetic learners or fidgeters who concentrate better with tactile stimulation. With remote work and virtual schooling becoming more common since 2020, the population seeking fidget toys has rapidly expanded. Simple, portable pop its have become the perfect desk companion for kids and adults alike looking for a silent, subtle fidget toy to occupy their hands during Zoom calls or online classes.
The rise of anxiety, depression, and stress during the pandemic has also fueled the trend. Having a sensory soothing outlet in the form of a pop it has been comforting for many. Market research shows Gen Zers and millennials have been the driving force behind demand, using the toys to alleviate tech-fueled anxiety.
Soothing Qualities Ease Stress
Beyond just having something to keep their hands busy, fans of pop its tout their soothing qualities. The visual stimulation and sounds from the popping bubbles create a satisfying feeling. Parents of children with ADHD, autism, and sensory processing issues report the toys help their kids self-regulate emotions and release pent-up energy. Adults also experience a calming effect from the rhythmic nature of popping.
There is a growing body of evidence supporting sensory play for regulating emotions and anxiety. Fidget toys like pop its allow for mindful focus on repetitive motions that can lower stress hormones, heart rate, and blood pressure. The items provide mood-boosting stimulation and a constructive outlet without being too distracting from tasks at hand. Their portability and silent nature makes them suitable for school, work, or public settings where minor fidgeting may help concentration, interaction, and focus.
Simple Sensory Play
Beyond therapeutic benefits, most fans are just enamored with the simple sensory experience and nostalgia pop its provide. They bring back childhood memories of bubble wrap popping. The toys appeal to our senses of sound, sight, and touch in a unique way objects don’t normally stimulate multiple senses simultaneously.
Watching the bubbles pop in and out and hearing the snapping noises is visually and auditorily interesting, while feeling the smooth silicone and pushing the bubbles triggers touch receptors. When multiple sensory channels are activated at once, more dopamine is produced which translates to more pleasure, enjoyment, and excitement. The multi-sensory factor makes repetitive popping activity more interesting and rewarding.
Customizable Stress Relief
An advantage of pop its over other fidgets is customizability and variety. With different sizes and bubble patterns available, users can choose options aligned to sensory preferences. Some people enjoy making music by popping to a beat, while others like focusing on one area at a time. The ability to seek out different textures, sounds, colors, and popping mechanisms allows for personally tailored sensory experiences.
As stress relief tools, pop its are also extremely customizable and accessible. They can be taken anywhere discreetly and require no batteries or apps. People can fidget precisely when and how they want with immediate control over the experience, unlike electronic fidget spinners or other toys. The simplicity and affordability makes them available to anyone looking to ease anxieties.
Ongoing Popularity Expected
Judging by the exponential growth and social media buzz around pop its, their popularity is unlikely to fade soon. They meet emerging mental health needs as society becomes more technology focused and anxious. Their versatility as fidget toys for concentration or stress relief makes them helpful across ages. Viral videos of the toys continuously intrigue new users as well who want to experience the sensory joy for themselves.
As more pop it options emerge offering new textures, colors, and bubble patterns, engagement is expected to rise. Their simplicity gives them mass appeal as a sensory tool almost anyone can enjoy while also providing calm, comfort, and joy during turbulent times for those needing an outlet. For these reasons, pop its are predicted to remain a hot commodity and staple desk accessory for the foreseeable future.