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Activities of Kids and Teens - US - March 2018

For kids, few activities compare to the enjoyment and excitement that the internet, cell phones, and media can provide. The internet, in particular, plays a significant role in the types of activities kids are participating in now, and are interested in doing more of in the future. However, despite prevalent usage of connected devices, kids are skeptical of what they see online. This may help drive the prominence of peer recommendations. As socializing with friends becomes an increasingly important activity as kids age, brands may look to understand the different reasons kids use specific social media platforms to inform their marketing strategy.

This report examines the following issues:

  • Teens don’t believe what they see online
  • Kids don’t feel they have enough free time 
  • Nontech activities may struggle to compete with cell phones

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • Figure 1: US population by age, 2018
        • The issues
          • Teens don’t believe what they see online
            • Figure 2: Kids’ attitudes and opinions – Internet items, by age, December 2017
          • Kids don’t feel they have enough free time
            • Figure 3: Kids’ attitudes and opinions – Time items, December 2017
          • Nontech activities may struggle to compete with cell phones
            • Figure 4: Cell phone ownership, by age, 2017
          • The opportunities
            • Media-based activities are most desired
              • Figure 5: Activity aspirations – Select items, December 2017
            • Girls want to be creative, boys want to play
              • Figure 6: Why kids enjoy the activities they do – Select items, by gender, December 2017
            • Teens’ go-to website: YouTube
              • Figure 7: Teens’ social media use, December 2017
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Under 18 crowd accounts for 74 million Americans
                • Number of births remains flat, households get smaller
                  • More than half of kids aged 11+ have a cell phone
                    • Kids have more influence over toys and games, less over media choices
                    • Family Demographics

                      • Kids account for nearly a quarter of the population
                        • Figure 8: US population by age, 2018
                      • Young Americans are increasingly racially diverse
                        • Figure 9: Distribution of population, by age and race, 2018
                      • Two-parent households most common living arrangement for kids
                        • Figure 10: Living arrangements of children under age 18, 2017
                    • Market Factors

                      • “Baby bust” continues
                        • Figure 11: Annual births, 2006-16
                      • . . . which has led to fewer households with children
                        • Figure 12: Households, by presence of own children, 2007-17
                    • Market Perspective

                      • Cell phone ownership correlates with age
                        • Figure 13: Cell phone ownership, by age, 2017
                      • Teens are on their phones while watching TV or when they’re online
                        • Figure 14: Teens’ concurrent cell phone use while watching TV or on a computer, 2017
                      • Teens are spending their summers studying, not working
                        • Kids have more say on toy purchases, less on TV and movies
                          • Figure 15: Kids’ influence on family entertainment purchases, November 2017
                      • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                        • Kids look up to parents, teachers, and . . . YouTube
                          • Kids and teens get more digital access but parents still run the show
                            • Social media challenges and unrealistic standards
                              • Robots and Big Bird help kids develop academically and emotionally
                              • What’s Happening?

                                • YouTube informs career path for kids
                                  • Product reviews for kids from kids
                                    • Figure 16: Ryan’s Most Favorite Top 10 Toys for kids of the year, video, Dec. 31, 2017
                                  • Kids’ products and related messaging center around inclusivity
                                    • Toys
                                      • Apparel
                                        • Entertainment
                                          • School
                                            • Celebrating multiculturalism in kids’ literature
                                              • Amazon for teens, Facebook for kids, Google for family
                                                • Figure 17: Amazon, Your teen has connected to your account, email, Dec. 6, 2017
                                            • What to Watch

                                              • (Un)realistic standards on social media
                                                • Figure 18: Are You Living an Insta Lie? Social Media Vs Reality, video, Feb. 20, 2017
                                              • I challenge you!
                                                • Figure 19: Gronk knows that Tide PODS® are for DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else., video, Jan. 12, 2018
                                                • Figure 20: Tide Pods – Child-resistant packaging, Feb 2018
                                              • Marketing diversity flops could lead to viral consequences
                                                • Arts and crafts struggle to appeal to kids
                                                  • Figure 21: DIY Crunchy Slime | Michaels, video, April 14, 2017
                                                  • Figure 22: Teens’ and kids’ participation in specific crafts in the last 12 months (Simmons), 2009-17
                                              • What’s Next?

                                                • Technology in toys
                                                  • Robot teachers in the classroom or at home
                                                    • Figure 23: Spicing up preschool lessons with Pepper & NAO, video, Aug. 10, 2016
                                                  • Teaching kids how to spot fact from fiction
                                                    • Kids’ favorite characters can help them emotionally develop
                                                      • Figure 24: Traumatic Experiences, video, Aug. 8, 2017
                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Kids spend more time with friends as they age
                                                      • Watching TV and hanging out are most desired activities
                                                        • Teens like activities that let them relax, kids like to stay busy
                                                          • Internet is meant for consuming entertaining content
                                                            • Teens love YouTube and use it to share videos, find out about products
                                                              • Activities that incorporate animals or travel appeal to most kids
                                                                • Kids are internet lovers, future worriers, and skeptical readers
                                                                • Who Kids Spend Free Time With

                                                                  • Kids more likely to spend time with family than friends
                                                                    • Figure 25: Free time companions, December 2017
                                                                  • Friends become increasingly influential as kids age
                                                                    • Figure 26: Free time companions, by age, December 2017
                                                                  • Gender plays little role in who kids spend their time with
                                                                    • Figure 27: Free time companions, by gender, December 2017
                                                                • What Do Kids Want to Do More of?

                                                                  • Kids want to do more with media and their friends
                                                                    • Figure 28: Activity aspirations, December 2017
                                                                  • Teens want to do more activities that connect with others . . .
                                                                    • Figure 29: Activity aspirations – Spend time with family/friends, go out to eat, by age, December 2017
                                                                  • . . . while kids want to play and make things
                                                                    • Figure 30: Activity aspirations – Select items, by age, December 2017
                                                                  • Boys like to play, girls prefer to make and learn
                                                                    • Figure 31: Activity aspirations – Select items, by gender, December 2017
                                                                  • Hispanic kids want to watch more TV and spend more time with others
                                                                    • Figure 32: Activity aspirations – Select items, by Hispanic origin, December 2017
                                                                • Why Kids Enjoy their Activities

                                                                  • Spending time with others is key to activity enjoyment
                                                                    • Figure 33: Why kids enjoy the activities they do, December 2017
                                                                  • Kids like activities where they can use their imagination and make things
                                                                    • Figure 34: Why kids enjoy the activities they do – Use imagination, make something, by age, December 2017
                                                                  • Teens prefer activities that let them relax and enjoy alone time
                                                                    • Figure 35: Why kids enjoy the activities they do – Relax, be by myself, by age, December 2017
                                                                  • Activities that promote creativity appeal to girls, boys want to be active
                                                                    • Figure 36: Why kids enjoy the activities they do – Select items, by gender, December 2017
                                                                • How Kids Spend Time Online

                                                                  • Internet is mostly used for entertainment purposes
                                                                    • Figure 37: How time is spent online, December 2017
                                                                  • Teens go online for music
                                                                    • Figure 38: Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey – The Middle (Official Music Video), video, Jan. 28, 2018
                                                                    • Figure 39: How time is spent online – Listen to music item, by age, December 2017
                                                                  • Kids turn to the internet for games and TV/videos
                                                                    • Figure 40: How time is spent online – Select items, by age, December 2017
                                                                  • Playing games more common for boys, social media and music for girls
                                                                    • Figure 41: How time is spent online – Select items, by gender, December 2017
                                                                  • Hispanic kids consume media online more than non-Hispanic kids do
                                                                    • Figure 42: How time is spent online – Select items, by Hispanic origin, December 2017
                                                                • Teens’ Social Media Use

                                                                    • Teens’ go-to social media site: YouTube
                                                                      • Figure 43: Teens’ social media use, December 2017
                                                                    • YouTube used to discover content, Facebook used for family chatting . . .
                                                                      • Figure 44: Correspondence analysis – Social media websites by reasons for use, December 2017
                                                                    • . . . but most social media sites serve multiple purposes
                                                                      • Figure 45: Reasons for social media website use, by social media website, December 2017
                                                                    • Girls use Instagram to follow brands and celebrities
                                                                      • Figure 46: Reasons for social media website use, by gender, December 2017
                                                                    • Most teens don’t trust social media for product information
                                                                      • Figure 47: Attitudes (social media), April 2016-May 2017
                                                                    • Personal recommendations are more effective than branded ones
                                                                      • Figure 48: Attitudes (social media), April 2016-May 2017
                                                                  • Kids’ Future Goals

                                                                    • Activities that incorporate animals or travel will be most appealing
                                                                      • Figure 49: Kids’ future goals, December 2017
                                                                    • World travel and culture intriguing for tweens
                                                                      • Figure 50: JetBlue | Little Tickets, video, July 9, 2017
                                                                      • Figure 51: Kids’ future goals – travel the world and learn a new language, by age, December 2017
                                                                    • Business and space appeal to boys, animals appeal to girls
                                                                      • Figure 52: Kids’ future goals – select items, by gender, December 2017
                                                                    • Kids from affluent homes consider travel an important goal as they age
                                                                      • Figure 53: Kids’ future goals – travel the world, by household income, December 2017
                                                                  • Attitudes toward Technology, Time, and the Future

                                                                    • Kids love the internet, but they’re also skeptical of what they see
                                                                      • Figure 54: Kids’ attitudes and opinions – Internet items, December 2017
                                                                    • Teens are most skeptical of content online
                                                                      • Figure 55: Kids’ attitudes and opinions – Internet items, by age, December 2017
                                                                    • Parents have significant influence over what kids do
                                                                      • Figure 56: Kids’ attitudes and opinions – Future items, December 2017
                                                                    • The future worries kids more as they age
                                                                      • Figure 57: Kids’ attitudes and opinions – Future items, by age, December 2017
                                                                    • Kids are busy, but not with the things they want to be doing
                                                                      • Figure 58: Kids’ attitudes and opinions – Time items, December 2017
                                                                    • Multitasking becomes more common as kids age
                                                                      • Figure 59: Kids’ attitudes and opinions – Multitasking item, by age, December 2017
                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                    • Data sources
                                                                      • Consumer survey data
                                                                        • Correspondence analysis
                                                                          • Direct marketing creative
                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                • Terms
                                                                                • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                    • Figure 60: Population by age, 2013-23
                                                                                    • Figure 61: Married share of population, 2006-16
                                                                                    • Figure 62: Teens’ cell phone and tablet ownership, 2006-17
                                                                                    • Figure 63: Cell phone, 2006-16
                                                                                • Appendix – Key Trends

                                                                                    • Figure 64: Teens’ participation in crafts in the last 12 months – By net and specific types, 2009-17
                                                                                    • Figure 65: Kids’ participation in crafts in the last 12 months – By net and specific types, 2009-17
                                                                                • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                    • Figure 66: Cable TV channels watched by teens in the last seven days, May 2017-February 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 67: Cable TV channels watched by kids in the last seven days, May 2017-February 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 68: Toys and games kids own or use, May 2017-February 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 69: Digital music services used in the last 30 days, May 2017-February 2018

                                                                                Activities of Kids and Teens - US - March 2018

                                                                                US $4,395.00 (Excl.Tax)