BEIJING, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Dai Xiangting, a young mother of two-year-old twins in Shenzhen, said she was more than happy to receive cartoon stickers as gifts when she was little, and now thirty years on, her sons' favourite gifts are picture books and role play toys.
This year International Children's Day falls on Friday, a day when children very much look forward to receiving gifts from their families, dining at themed restaurants, and visiting amusement parks.
Gifts like AI robots, toy drones, car models, sportswear, Lego bricks, and Peppa Pig cartoons among others are being displayed on the shelves of children's stores in Hopson One Mall in Beijing.
Celebrated in China since 1949, the holiday has seen an increasing variety of gifts for children since the country began to reform and open up its market in 1978.
The booming children's products market is both offline and online. More than 5,500 domestically-made and imported items are listed on JD.com under the search term "children's gift." A cartoon-style lamp, one of the best-selling gifts for children on Taobao, has sold 40,000 units in just one month.
Facing all these choices, educational toys are some of the most popular gifts purchased by parents.
"Lego bricks are the best selling toy in my store. They help children learn to build things with their hands. They also provide different products targeted for different ages," said a shop assistant at the mall. Robots and other hi-tech gadgets are also favored for their educational value.
Amazon.cn, the e-commerce giant's Chinese site, has a special section with more than 50,000 toys in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Many bestselling toys on the site are from this section.
While many children are attracted to knowledge and books, some turn to the world of fashion and beauty.
"I asked my daughter what kind of gift she wanted, with a list of choices from clothes to toys. She finally chose a pair of high heels," said Wang Xue, a sales consultant at Beijing Carson Automobile Company, who received her first pair of high heels in her early twenties.
But with hundreds of toys available, the interest in a new gift seems to fade quickly. "To be honest, my sons never linger over one particular toy for too long," said Dai.