Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Activities Of Toddlers And Preschoolers market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Toddlers’ and preschoolers’ worlds have turned upside-down in the last year. They are spending more time in their home doing digital and analog activities and less time out of the home playing with their family and friends or attending pre-primary programs like day care or preschool. This has resulted in parents’ concerns for their children’s academic and social development as well as emotional wellbeing. However, while parents may be concerned about the long-term impact of the pandemic, toddlers and preschoolers are resilient, have a basic understanding of what is going on and are adapting to their new normal well.

While parents may feel like it is difficult to explain, the majority also agree that their children have a working understanding of the pandemic. Additionally, parents recognize that their toddlers/preschoolers are extremely resilient, as 73% report their children having adjusted well to the new normal of the pandemic. What worries parents at this point are the unknown, lasting impacts this experience may have.

Parents of young children have not only felt overwhelmed with childcare duties and virtual learning this year, they have also felt immense guilt over the fact that their children are missing out on the typical aspects of childhood, especially during these formative years. As a result, parents are look for ways to still make childhood enjoyable by spending more on their kids. Nearly six in 10 parents say they bought more holiday gifts in 2020 to make up for all the things their kids were missing out on. Brands can take advantage of this by emphasizing smaller holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter and Fourth of July as gift giving holidays and reasons to celebrate.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our US  market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the activities of toddlers and preschoolers.
  • Parents’ short-term and long-term concerns around academic, social and emotional wellbeing.
  • Top in-home and out-of-home leisure activities for families with young children.
  • Learning priorities prior to entering grade school and enrollment in pre-primary education.
  • Baby and toddler market.
  • Preschool industry analysis.

Covered in this report

Brands: Folgers, Apple, Crayola, Big Little Feelings, PBS, Penguin Randomhouse, Fisher Price.

Media Brands: Sesame Street, Elinor Wonders Why, Paw Patrol, Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood, Cocomelon, Snoopy, My Little Pony, Batwheels, Pinkalicious & Peterrific.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Ariel Horton, a leading analyst in the Consumer Lifestyle sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

While toddlers and preschoolers are aware that their world looks different, they are resilient in the face of change. Brands have opportunities to help bring parents peace of mind through products and services that help support their child’s academic and social development as well as their emotional wellbeing. Done with understanding and empathy, this can result in brands becoming a go-to resource for parents post-pandemic.

Ariel Horton
Lifestyle and Leisure Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
          • COVID-19: US context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Market overview
                  • Figure 1: Households, by presence and ages of own children, 2020
                • Changes in pre-primary enrollment
                  • Figure 2: Out-of-home activities – Preschool and day care, January 2021
                • Impact of COVID-19 on activities of toddlers and preschoolers
                  • Explaining and adjusting to the pandemic
                    • Parents feel guilty that their young children are missing out
                      • Figure 3: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on activities of toddlers and preschoolers, March 2021
                    • Opportunities and challenges
                      • Social development is a top concern
                        • Figure 4: COVID-19 parenting – Concerns for children, January 2021
                      • Moms take the lead, but there is room for dads to be more involved
                        • Figure 5: family analog activities, by gender of parent, January 2021
                      • There is some staying power in virtual
                        • Figure 6: Out-of-home activities, January 2021
                      • Increased screen time offers digital entertainment opportunities
                        • Figure 7: Family digital activities, indexed to all parents, January 2021
                      • Parents are taking an active role in education
                        • Figure 8: Learning priorities, January 2021
                    • Target Audience – Key Takeaways

                      • Market will remain stable
                        • Keeping kids physically and emotionally healthy
                          • Enrollment in childcare and pre-primary programs impacted
                            • Keeping children entertained is a struggle
                              • Opportunities for learning resources
                              • Toddlers and Preschoolers by the Numbers

                                • Number of toddlers and preschoolers will remain stable
                                  • Figure 9: Households, by presence and age of own children, 2020
                                • Household make-up
                                  • Figure 10: Composition of family households with own children under 6, December 2020
                                • Language spoken at home
                                  • Figure 11: Population distribution, by age and race/Hispanic origin, 2021
                                  • Figure 12: Language spoken at home, January 2021
                                • California is paving the way to support dual language toddlers and preschoolers
                                • Impact of COVID-19 on Toddlers and Preschoolers

                                  • COVID-19 has affected even the youngest Americans
                                    • Lockdown
                                      • Re-emergence
                                        • Recovery
                                          • Figure 13: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on activities of toddlers and preschoolers, March 2020
                                        • Parents struggle to explain the pandemic to their children
                                          • Figure 14: COVID-19 parenting – Struggles, January 2021
                                          • Figure 15: Sesame Street, Elmo’s World News – #Caringforeachother, July 2020
                                        • Children are adjusting well, but parents worry about the long-term effects
                                          • Figure 16: COVID-19 parenting – Adjusting, January 2021
                                        • Keeping kids entertained through the pandemic
                                          • Figure 17: COVID-19 parenting – Entertainment, January 2021
                                      • Market Factors

                                        • The changing market for pre-primary education
                                          • Enrollment in day care, preschool or kindergarten
                                            • Figure 18: Percentage of 3-5 year olds enrolled in pre-primary programs, 1900-2018
                                          • Effects of the pandemic on employment and childcare
                                            • Figure 19: Out-of-home activities – Preschool and day care, January 2021
                                          • Some parents are holding kids back a year
                                            • Working parents are juggling their jobs and childcare
                                              • Figure 20: Pandemic employment situation, by gender, September 2020
                                            • Brand spotlight: Folgers
                                              • Figure 21: Parenting : 15 | Coffee Commercial | Folgers, February 2021
                                            • Higher family income does not always result in larger budget
                                              • Figure 22: Median household income of families with related children, in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2007-19
                                              • Figure 23: Household income distribution, by type of household, 2019
                                          • Market Opportunities

                                            • Offer opportunities to celebrate
                                              • Figure 24: COVID-19 parenting – Making up for child missing out, January 2021
                                            • Provide more age-appropriate video content
                                              • Figure 25: COVID-19 parenting – Age-appropriate content, January 2021
                                            • Partner spotlight: Common Sense Media
                                              • Figure 26: Apple Tv partnership for content that sparks empathy and courage, July 2020
                                            • Help parents optimize their child’s sleep health
                                              • Figure 27: Areas of health concern for children, November 2020
                                            • Help parents teach STEM skills
                                              • Figure 28: Elinor Wonders Why – The science of staying warm/the seed of an idea, September 2020
                                          • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                            • Brands focus on supporting wellbeing
                                              • Digital entertainment solutions combine education and entertainment
                                                • Brands step up to provide guidance and new experiences
                                                • Competitive Strategies

                                                  • Mintel Global Trend Drivers
                                                    • Mintel Trend Driver, Wellbeing
                                                      • Figure 29: Mintel Trend Driver, Wellbeing
                                                    • Wellbeing strategy: help make healthy choices easier
                                                      • USDA provides new nutrition and dietary guidelines
                                                        • Crayola makes wearing a mask fun and functional
                                                          • Figure 30: Halloween Crayola Kids Mask Set, September 2020
                                                        • Big Little Feels helps navigate children’s feelings
                                                          • Figure 31: Tantrum try saying, January 2021
                                                        • Brands show the importance of learning how to swim
                                                          • Figure 32: PAW Patrol and Michael Phelps Water Safety PSA Sing-Along!, July 2020
                                                        • Mintel Trend Driver, Technology
                                                          • Figure 33: Mintel Trend Driver, Technology
                                                        • Digital entertainment strategy: a blend of education, entertainment and characters
                                                          • Standout toddler and preschooler television content
                                                            • Figure 34: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – Daniel Gets Mad, July 2020
                                                          • Top free streaming content
                                                            • Figure 35: Yes Yes Vegetable song + More nursery Rhymes & Kids songs Cocomelon, September 2018
                                                          • New content to watch
                                                              • Figure 36: The Snoopy Show – Official Trailer, January 2021
                                                            • Mintel Trend Driver, Experiences
                                                              • Figure 37: Mintel Trend Driver, Experiences
                                                            • Experiences strategy: offer playful options in a stressful time
                                                              • Virtual story time offers new reading experiences
                                                                  • Figure 38: Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, reads “Duck! Rabbit!” for Archie’s birthday, May 2020
                                                                • Free play may offer more benefits than youth sports
                                                                  • Figure 39: Out-of-home family entertainment activities – Participation in organized sports, January 2021
                                                                • Reflect the new reality in play
                                                                  • Figure 40: Work from Home Toys, August 2020
                                                              • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                • Changes in digital behaviors
                                                                  • Audio entertainment opportunities
                                                                    • Virtual staying power
                                                                      • Analog activities are still a priority
                                                                        • Moms take the lead
                                                                          • Social development concerns
                                                                          • In-Home Digital Activities

                                                                            • More time is being spent with technology, but screen time is still a concern
                                                                              • Figure 41: COVID-19 parenting – Screen time, January 2021
                                                                            • Opportunities for more toddler and preschooler audio content
                                                                              • Figure 42: Family digital activities, indexed to all parents, January 2021
                                                                              • Figure 43: Science of canned laughter, February 2021
                                                                            • Tablets are a popular digital device for content viewing
                                                                              • Figure 44: Device used for watching video, indexed to all parents, January 2021
                                                                          • In-Home Analog Activities

                                                                            • Free-form play away from screens is a priority
                                                                              • Figure 45: family analog activities, indexed to all parents, January 2021
                                                                            • Brand spotlight: Melissa and Doug
                                                                              • Figure 46: Deluxe magnetic standing art easel, February 2020
                                                                            • Moms lead involvement in analog activities, with more room for dads’ involvement
                                                                              • Figure 47: Family analog activities, by gender of parent, January 2021
                                                                          • Out-of-Home Activities

                                                                            • Outdoor play saved 2020
                                                                              • Brand spotlight: Wild Mountain Child
                                                                                • Figure 48: Flower Press Kit, November 2020
                                                                              • Playdates are still popular, but parents are cautious
                                                                                • Parents plan on their children taking skill-building classes
                                                                                  • Families await theater reopenings
                                                                                    • Figure 49: Out-of-home activities, January 2021
                                                                                  • Some parents have struggled to get tickets to out-of-home leisure activities
                                                                                  • Characteristics of Toddlers and Preschoolers

                                                                                    • Understanding toddlers and preschoolers
                                                                                      • Preschoolers show (slightly) more reserve
                                                                                        • Figure 50: Characteristics of toddlers and preschoolers, by age of child, January 2021
                                                                                      • Moms are more perceptive of their young child’s milestones
                                                                                        • Figure 51: Challenges and milestones, by parent’s gender, January 2021
                                                                                      • Siblings encourage both social and skill development
                                                                                        • Figure 52: Challenges and milestones, by number of children, January 2021
                                                                                      • Brand spotlight: Magna-Tiles
                                                                                        • Figure 53: Magna-Tiles cooperative play, July 2020
                                                                                    • Learning and Education Priorities

                                                                                      • Development concerns because of COVID-19
                                                                                        • Figure 54: COVID-19 parenting – Concerns for children, January 2021
                                                                                      • In their own words: measuring a child’s development
                                                                                        • Parents are taking a more active role in education
                                                                                          • Figure 55: COVID-19 parenting – More active role in education, January 2021
                                                                                        • Soft social skills are top-learning priorities
                                                                                          • Figure 56: Learning priorities, January 2021
                                                                                        • Moms are prioritizing most skills over dads
                                                                                          • Figure 57: Learning priorities, by gender of parent, January 2021
                                                                                        • Younger parents prioritize more progressive values
                                                                                          • Figure 58: Learning priorities, by age of parent, January 2021
                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

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

                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Projected 5-year age groups and sex of the population
                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Language spoken at home other than English, January 2021
                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Percentage of 3-5 year olds enrolled in preschool programs, by parent’s employment status, October 2018
                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Percentage of 3-5 year olds enrolled in preschool programs, by race and Hispanic origin, October 2018

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