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Brief Published: 1 Mar 2017

Gen Alpha: iPad Independents

US preschoolers interact with a tablet computer for 25 hours per week

A survey by global media group Viacom has found that parents prioritise learning through play, tactical tech time and enabling experiences for their kids. For the study, released last month, Viacom spoke with nearly 6,500 families of preschoolers across 12 countries through digital diaries, an online survey and in-home ethnographies. Additionally, Viacom outfitted preschoolers with action cameras to see the world through their eyes as they explored, learned and played. Highlights include:

  • Enabling Experiences: Some 74% of parents believe that children should learn through their own experiences, and 68% believe one of the most important developmental opportunities for preschoolers is learning to do things for themselves.
  • Prioritising Play: Parents are prioritising play more than ever, with 72% saying they believe their preschoolers learn best through play. The same percentage believes that learning through play is even more important than traditional learning at the preschooler age.
  • Tactical Tech Time: Tech and devices are seen by parents as tools to prepare preschoolers for life. Some 64% of parents agree it’s important for their kids to keep up with tech developments, and 65% of preschoolers have access to a tablet – which they interact with for an average of 1.3 hours per day.
    While 53% of parents think too much time spent on devices can interfere with learning and development and 79% of parents say they limit the amount of time their child spends on devices, more than half (61%) think technology is making their kids smarter.

For more, see Marketing to New Parents and Decoding Digital Parents.