New York, NY – Data from LMX Family, Ipsos MediaCT’s recently released annual study of the media and technology attitudes and behaviors of kids aged 0-12 years old and their parents, revealed important shifts in how today’s kids aged 6-12 and their parents think about playing. “Understanding these changes is essential for developers designing leisure-time programs, products or communications for this audience,” says Donna Sabino, SVP at the Ipsos MediaCT Kids & Family Center of Excellence.
Previous generations of parents may have imagined board games, basketballs or blocks when encouraging their kids to ‘go play’. Today, the concept of play is undergoing a transformation with three-quarters of parents believing their children would rather play online and with video games than with traditional playthings. In addition, about three-in-ten feel playing on devices such as computers and tablets provide greater benefits for their children's future than playing with traditional toys.
Interestingly, this sentiment is significantly more likely to be held by Millennial Parents than either Gen X or Boomer parents. Additionally, as the kids themselves get older they become more likely to abandon traditional for digital play experiences.
When looking at sports participation, the same kind of pattern emerged with the majority of parents agreeing that kids today would rather play sports video games than real sports.
Kids themselves also expressed a preference for digital experiences with three times as many choosing playing their favorite video games over their favorite sport. In addition, more than twice as many kids favored playing video games over playing with their favorite toys.
“As more and more kids gain access to internet-enabled devices their quest for fun and competition are being satisfied in new ways. While kid leisure-time motivations remain fairly constant over time, the way they choose to play continues to evolve.” observes Sabino.
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