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Activities of Toddlers and Preschoolers - US - February 2017

"Parents are continually confronted with new and different ways to engage with their children: parenting apps help track and advise; digital content offers the possibility of cognitive development; and animated books bring kids’ stories to life on a tablet. However, despite digital innovations, parents still lean on traditional activities to entertain and educate their kids including: reading from books; watching kids’ programming on TV; and participating in active play such as hide-and-seek. For new products and services to grab parents’ attention, they will likely have some relationship to these traditional activities, and speak to the qualities parents find the most valuable – the ability to improve social skills, stimulate creativity, and hold their child’s attention."
- Dana Macke, Senior Lifestyles and Leisure Analyst

This Report discusses the following key topics:

  • Dads shy away from feminine activities
  • Young parents may lack confidence in their abilities
  • Single parents may need extra support

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

          • The issues
            • Dads shy away from feminine activities
              • Figure 1: At-home activities – Select items, by moms and dads, December 2016
            • Young parents may lack confidence in their abilities
              • Figure 2: Top parenting challenges for out-of-home activities – Select items, by age of parents, December 2016
            • Single parents may need extra support
              • Figure 3: Out-of-home activities, by marital status, December 2016
            • The opportunities
              • Parents still favor traditional activities over digital
                • Figure 4: At-home activities – Traditional vs digital, December 2016
              • Moms may not take the time to indulge kids
                • Figure 5: Out-of-home activities, by moms and dads, December 2016
              • Kids’ networks can up the “fun” factor with dads
                • Figure 6: Fun TV networks, by moms and dads, December 2016
              • What it means
              • Family Characteristics – What You Need to Know

                • Kids under age six account for 7% of the US population
                  • Birthrate hasn’t bounced back to prerecession levels
                    • Two-parent households are the norm
                      • Stay-at-home parents are mostly moms
                        • Only children take over
                          • Parents lean on family for care
                            • Universal preschool could give more kids a “head start”
                            • Family Demographics

                              • Toddlers and preschoolers are living in a big kids’ world
                                • Figure 7: Total US population distribution including toddlers and preschoolers aged 2-5, 2017
                              • Little growth in population under age six
                                • Figure 8: Total US population distribution of kids younger than age six, by age group, 2012-22
                              • Birthrate expected to remain flat
                                • Figure 9: Number of births (in thousands), 2000-15
                              • Births rising for moms aged 35+
                                • Figure 10: Birthrates, by age of mother, 1990-2013
                              • Majority of children live in two-parent households
                                • Figure 11: Living arrangements of children under age 18, 1960-2016
                              • Little growth in number of stay-at-home dads
                                • Figure 12: Married couples with a child under age 15 at home, by presence of stay-at-home parent, 2006-16
                              • Honey, I shrunk the family
                                • Figure 13: Average number of own children per family, 1970-2016
                            • Factors Influencing Families

                              • Working parents rely on grandparents for childcare
                                • Figure 14: Preschoolers in types of childcare arrangements, spring 2011
                              • Childcare scarcity stretches working parents
                                • US falls behind in preprimary education
                                • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                                  • Millennial parents don’t leave home without ’em
                                    • Board books withstand toddlerhood
                                      • The 90s are back
                                        • US parents less happy that nonparents
                                          • Healthy, happy kids
                                            • Parents are the new geek squad
                                            • What’s Working?

                                              • Millennials break taboo about bringing baby along
                                                • Board books bend but won’t break
                                                  • Kids programming gets a 90s revival
                                                    • Toddler safety is front and center in latest PSAs
                                                      • Figure 15: Toddlers Kill, October 2016
                                                      • Figure 16: VeiligheidNL – Don’t Give Kids A Choice, October 2015
                                                      • Figure 17: Car Seat Monitor Cartoon, June 2016
                                                      • Figure 18: Two year old miraculously saves twin brother, January 2017
                                                  • What’s Struggling?

                                                    • American parents face a “happiness gap”
                                                      • Air travel for families is a point of stress
                                                        • Figure 19: JetBlue | FlyBabies, May 2016
                                                      • Reframing gender roles for young boys
                                                      • What’s Next?

                                                        • Raise a wild child
                                                          • Keeping kids healthy may start before birth
                                                            • New apps aim to bring parents and kids together
                                                              • CES shows off the newest in parenting tech
                                                                • Too much texting for toddlers
                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                  • Parents acknowledge the importance of reading
                                                                    • Dads avoids the easy-bake oven
                                                                      • Kids tag along on grown-up outings
                                                                        • All parents need is more time and money
                                                                          • Parents find relationship building important
                                                                            • Kids’ networks have unique positioning
                                                                              • Are you not entertained?
                                                                              • Activities at Home

                                                                                  • Traditional kids’ activities still preferred to digital
                                                                                      • Figure 20: At-home activities, December 2016
                                                                                    • Moms choose a wider variety of activities
                                                                                      • Figure 21: Count of at-home activities, December 2016
                                                                                    • Gendered activities represent the widest gap between moms and dads
                                                                                      • Figure 22: At-home activities, by moms and dads, December 2016
                                                                                    • Developmental differences drive activity types
                                                                                      • Figure 23: At-home activities, by gender and age of child, December 2016
                                                                                    • Single parents have less time for games
                                                                                      • Figure 24: At-home activities, by marital status, December 2016
                                                                                    • Employed parents more likely to utilize mobile devices
                                                                                      • Figure 25: At-home activities, by employment status, December 2016
                                                                                    • Hispanic and non-Hispanic parents are more similar than not
                                                                                      • Figure 26: At-home activities, by Hispanic origin, December 2016
                                                                                  • Activities Away from Home

                                                                                      • Kids are likely along for the ride
                                                                                          • Figure 27: Out-of-home activities, December 2016
                                                                                        • Fewer out-of-home options get exercised
                                                                                          • Figure 28: Count of out-of-home activities, December 2016
                                                                                        • Moms take the lead in the most common activities
                                                                                          • Figure 29: Out-of-home activities, by moms and dads, December 2016
                                                                                        • Older kids explore more out-of-home activities
                                                                                          • Figure 30: Out-of-home activities, by gender and age of child, December 2016
                                                                                        • Family size isn’t an important driver of activity participation
                                                                                          • Figure 31: Out-of-home activities, by number of children in the household, December 2016
                                                                                        • Single parents have lower participation in out-of-home activities
                                                                                          • Figure 32: Out-of-home activities, by marital status, December 2016
                                                                                      • Challenges of Out-of-home Activities

                                                                                          • Balancing time between children can be difficult
                                                                                            • Figure 33: Top challenges for out-of-home activities, December 2016
                                                                                          • Awareness and ease may encourage parental participation
                                                                                            • Figure 34: Top challenges for out-of-home activities – Select items, by dads and moms, December 2016
                                                                                          • Parenting challenges remain as toddlers age into preschool
                                                                                            • Figure 35: Top challenges for out-of-home activities, by age and gender of child, December 2016
                                                                                          • Young parents may face cost and behavior barriers
                                                                                            • Figure 36: Top challenges for out-of-home activities – Select items, by age of parent, December 2016
                                                                                          • Parents balance money with time
                                                                                            • Figure 37: Top challenges for out-of-home activities – Select items, by household income, December 2016
                                                                                        • Qualities of Kids’ Activities

                                                                                            • Parents are interested in activities that improve social skills
                                                                                                • Figure 38: Most important qualities of activities, December 2016
                                                                                              • Dads looking for a bit of quiet
                                                                                                • Figure 39: Most important qualities of activities – Select items, by moms and dads, December 2016
                                                                                              • Large families have less need for social activities
                                                                                                • Figure 40: Most important qualities of activities – Select items, by number of children, December 2016
                                                                                              • Midwestern parents pride creativity
                                                                                                • Figure 41: Most important qualities of activities – Select items, by region, December 2016
                                                                                              • Black parents more concerned with traditional gender roles
                                                                                                • Figure 42: Most important qualities of activities – Select items, by race, December 2016
                                                                                            • Perceptions of Kids’ Television Channels/Networks

                                                                                                • Disney leads in kid-friendly characters
                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Perceptions of TV networks, December 2016
                                                                                                  • Moms show a preference for traditional programs
                                                                                                    • Figure 44: TV networks “fun to watch,” by moms and dads, December 2016
                                                                                                  • Rural parents lean on educational TV
                                                                                                    • Figure 45: TV networks “teaches basic learning concepts,” by area, December 2016
                                                                                                  • Black parents recognize diversity in kids programming
                                                                                                    • Figure 46: TV Networks “characters are diverse,” by race, December 2016
                                                                                                • Attitudes toward Kids’ Activities

                                                                                                    • Tablets can be educational, with the right limits
                                                                                                      • Household chores are still en vogue
                                                                                                        • Entertaining kids can be a challenge
                                                                                                          • Figure 47: Attitudes toward kids’ activities – Any agree, December 2016
                                                                                                        • Dads may be looking for entertaining activities for kids
                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Attitudes toward kids’ activities – Any agree – Select items, by moms and dads, December 2016
                                                                                                        • Parents gain confidence with age
                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Perceived parental judgement – Any agree, by age of parent, December 2016
                                                                                                        • Parents balance entertaining and overscheduling kids
                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Attitudes toward kids’ activities – Any agree – Select items, by race, December 2016
                                                                                                        • Parents recognize the innate differences between their kids
                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Boys play rougher than girls – Any agree, by age and gender of parent, December 2016
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                            • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                  • Terms
                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market

                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Preschoolers in types of childcare arrangements, Spring 2011
                                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Birthrates, by age of mother, 1990-2014
                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Total US population distribution of toddlers and preschoolers aged 2-5, 2012-22
                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Married couples with a child under age 15 at home, by presence of stay-at-home parent, 2006-16
                                                                                                                      • Figure 56: Average number of own children per family, 1970-2016

                                                                                                                  Activities of Toddlers and Preschoolers - US - February 2017

                                                                                                                  US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)