We can all hear them, all the time. Adults and parents complaining about children being buried in their phones or Ipads and whatnot, and not knowing what real ‘play’ is and going outside. While this can be true, not all children are stuck to their devices and in fact, their play, methods have evolved and changed.

Say goodbye to cooking, grocery mart shopping and feeding Baby Born. Pretend games are now more pop-culture based.

Traditional toys and play themes are becoming less popular and are now being replaced.  Replaced by well-loved movie icons, cartoons and even shows that belong to a pop culture that is much more prevalent now than it was years ago.

Pop culture is now something that very often interests a child’s imagination, and pop culture-based pretend games are now the norm.  Having been a babysitter in the recent years, I’ve seen it all and definitely, it would raise a few eyebrows.

1. Not Just Any Pirates, Pirates Of The Caribbean

Long gone are the days of Peter Pan and the Hook, I’ve seen kids draw their moustaches on and stumble around pretending to be a drunk Captain Jack Sparrow (without knowing what being drunk even is). Coupled with waving their little siblings’ plastic baby bottles as if it were a bottle of rum. Parents really need to up their Parental Guidance when it comes to movies that are well above PG rating.

2. Frozen

Everyone will roll their eyes at this one. What little girl nowadays doesn’t have (or hasn’t asked for) an Elsa or Anna dress? A new age of Disney princesses have emerged. Instead of kids’ cubby house kits being pretend houses or palaces, they’re now grand ice castles based on a fairy tale that originally had so much death and bitterness. Whenever I see Frozen, I can never shake off the image of Gerda and the Snow Queen in the 2002 film with Bridget Fonda. Cringe.

3. Shrek

When Shrek was released, it truly changed the world because of how it changed everyone’s perception of fairy tale creatures. For once, an ‘ugly, bad guy’ is the hero, and an awesome one at that. Instead of charming princes and princesses, little kids are wanting to be karate-kicking Fionas or fake-Scottish accented Shreks, yelling ‘Get off my swamp!’.Charming, indeed.

4. Game of Thrones

While thankfully, I haven’t come across children who know the story well (whew!), usually their knowledge of it comes from adults and parents discussing spoilers and theories over the table or during weekend marathons. Mainly snippets of names and events. But it is still a little freaky to see toddlers waving a fake sword around, trying to win a ‘twyal by combutt’ for his beloved Queen ‘Seersee’. This is an 18+ show and let’s keep it that way, please.

While it’s entertaining and fun to have children who know so much pop culture and understand references, it’s important to pay attention to what they should be exposed to. Keep it fun, modern but also appropriate! As much as possible nowadays, anyway.