This period in history will always be remembered by all in many different ways, affecting beliefs and behaviour, arguably for the rest of our lives. One of the behaviour shifts is the extent to which children have embraced the making and sending of greeting cards, be it to their grandparents, to the NHS and of course to Captain Tom Moore on his 100th birthday yesterday.
Having received an astounding 140,000 birthday cards (and counting) Colonel Moore has paid tribute to the huge number of cards that he has been sent by children. Speaking on BBC Breakfast yesterday, he said: “When you see all those cards, if you are a weeping person, it would make you weep…All the work and all the thought those children have put into those cards.”
Designer Laura Sherratt, the founder of Staffordshire-based greeting card business, Laura Sherratt Designs is among those to concur how children making and sending so many greeting cards is one of uplifting elements of these troubling Covid-19 times.
Laura recently co-judged a greeting design competition initiated by retailer Donna Frith of Donna Marie Gifts in Warrington which saw an “overwhelming” number of entries.
As Laura summed up: “Donna and I were so impressed by the level of creativity shown by the children, not just in the artwork, but in the true messages of kindness they also feature. These are not just the next generation of card senders, but also the card publishers of the future!” As Laura adds: “Now more than ever before, children have come to appreciate that they can play a part in making someone’s day brighter by sending them a card, something I think will remain with them.”
Sparked by his own five-year-old daughter Robyn’s voracious greeting card outpourings, Adam Short, managing director of digital greeting card printing company, The Imaging Centre developed a pack of 24 greeting card ‘blanks’, printed on 100% recycled uncoated board (to be decorated with the sender’s own creation) which come with 24 recycled Kraft envelopes. The packs are being offered for sale on The Imaging Centre’s website for £7.99 (including VAT).
As part of its ongoing support for good causes, envelope and post packaging company, Blake Envelopes has been lending a hand to support crafty kids at home as well as those stuck in hospital by creating some packs of coloured paper and envelopes for children to use to make cards and other craft projects. Over 350 free #colourwithBlake and #craftwithBlake resource packs have been sent out to the public. Another 100 packs have been donated to the Bristol Children’s Hospital and a further 50 to the Children’s Ward at Yeovil District Hospital, where it is hoped they will keep the young patients busy and bring some happiness and cheer to them during their time in hospital.
Interestingly, while becoming a greeting card publisher may not feature in youngsters’ aspirations of what they would like to do when they grow up, recent research findings by Kids Insights (which surveys more than 3,000 children every week, across four continents and nine countries) has shown there has been a significant shift in the 12.3 million UK children’s attitudes and behaviour since the outbreak of the coronavirus compared to prior to it.
Nick Richardson, founder and managing director of Kids Insights (who is no stranger to the world of greeting cards since his late father Chris and step-mum Kim used to work in the industry) told PG Buzz: “While children of today have grown up in a digital world, the increase in board game play and crafts as well as appreciation of family members and friends signals how greeting cards will continue to have a relevance in post Covid times.”
The highlights of the new Kids Insights survey include…
· Becoming a doctor is now the number one career aspiration for all 5-18-year olds in the UK and there has been a 9% increase in children who now want to be scientists.
· An increase in anxiety with teens (13% increase), and concerns over mental health have more than doubled over the last month.
· Kids between the ages of 3 and 18 years are receiving more pocket money now than pre-Covid, with the average increased to £8.26 from £7.79 a month, which is equivalent to an extra £5.8m a month.
· The effective closure of the high street has also led to more children shopping online, which now sees 44% of children spending more online than offline. This means that by the age of 14 children are now spending more online than they are offline.
Five Future Trends
The Insights People predict a handful of future trends…
– A Sense of Belonging – As children readapt to the outside world, we imagine reintegration into a community will become increasingly important and products/brands that can help facilitate this will create lasting relationships with children and families alike.
– Redefining ‘Real’ – who will kids look up to once we come out of this period? There are new heroes in society, ones which children are increasingly inspiring to be.
– Rebirth of Family Time – Home confinement, homeschooling, and home working will, without doubt, cause many stresses within family life, but there is a growing desire to spend quality time together as a family.
– The Battle Between Non-Virtual and Virtual Worlds – Children during lockdown have no choice but to facilitate ‘social’ time via a virtual world.
– Redefining Retail – It’s fair to say that this pandemic is not going to make life as a retailer easy and there is no doubt that when this is all over there will be long-term behavioural and mindset changes that will affect consumer buying patterns.
To download the complimentary report visit the Kid’s Insights website.
This news item was written by Jakki Brown, editor of Progressive Greetings Worldwide and PG Buzz.net, the GCA’s official publication and industry newsfeed