When I was growing up, I was mostly given traditional toys for Christmas. According to a new survey, that’s quickly changing as more parents opt to gift their children tech-related items.
PBS Kids recently surveyed 1,000 parents with children between the ages of 2 and 10 about the tech-related purchases they intended to make this year. The survey found that 54 percent of parents planned to buy their children something tech related. The number grew a bit more among parents aged 18-34 with 59 percent planning to buy a tech-related gift for their children.
Of course, technology is a pretty loaded word these days. So, what kind of tech gifts can kids expect from their parents this year? Twenty-eight percent of parents said that they were planning on buying their kid a tablet while 18 percent said they were going the traditional route by buying them a video game console. When you toss smartphones into the mix, the survey found that more than a third of parents are buying their children a mobile device this year.
“There’s a vast and ever-growing population of young children who have ready access to mobile media and, as many parents recognize, that presents an important opportunity to utilize tablets and smartphones to advance children’s learning,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children’s Programming, PBS. “It’s essential that parents think through what kind of apps, online games and video content they make available to their kids. This is one important reason why PBS KIDS has been so innovative in making sure our high-quality, research-based educational content is available across digital platforms to provide a deeper learning experience for today’s learners.”
Speaking of apps, nearly 7 in 10 parents say that they will purchase apps for their children to go along with the shiny new tablet. Those same parents are no fun, however, as 77 percent of them say that educational content is a top priority when selecting which apps are appropriate for their children. It’s all with good intention though as 90 percent of those parents believe that educational apps will “play an important role in children’s learning in the future.”
Here’s a colorful infographic PBS Kids put together about their findings:
The above survey is just further proof that tablets will be the defining technology for the current generation of children. Kids of my generation grew up with desktop PCs and we still speak of the Apple II computer and Oregon Trail with reverence. Once the kids of today grown up, they’ll look fondly back at the iPad and whatever edutainment apps are popular on mobile devices today.