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Are Tablet-Toting Kids Playing Outside This Summer?

Tablet ownership in households with children nears 60%

Summer is in full swing, and many parents are likely telling their kids to get up and go play outside. But as tablet ownership increases, could this be hurting children’s outdoor activities—or their time with traditional toys in general? Based on data released in June 2014 by The NPD Group, the majority of parents don’t think so.

The study found that tablet ownership in households with children ages 2 to 12 rose from 50% in 2013 to 59% in 2014. The portion of kids actually using these devices had also increased over the past year, growing from 38% to 48%, according to parents. Despite this, two-thirds of parents didn’t think that their children’s time spent with traditional toys was decreasing due to rising ownership and usage levels.

Research published in June 2014 by Ipsos MediaCT also showed impressive growth in tablet ownership among US households with children, or children themselves, with the percentage rising from 58% in 2013 to 74% this year. The higher penetration rate is likely due to the exclusion of children younger than 6, whose parents were most likely to limit technology usage, according to The NPD Group.

eMarketer estimates that this year, the number of US consumers ages 0 to 11 who use a tablet at least monthly will grow 14.8% to 13.8 million, representing 27.9% of the age group. These lower figures are likely due to the inclusion of 0- to 1-year-olds, for whom tablet usage is on the low end, and the exclusion of 12-year-olds—whose household ownership levels were the same for technology and traditional toys, according to The NPD Group.

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