They may not be as fun to shake under the Xmas tree, but PBS Kids found in a recent survey of parents with kids ages 2–10 years old that more than half will be giving downloadable gifts. Maybe they don’t want to face the crowds or maybe, like me, they are tired of storing the endless supply of small pieces of plastic, cases, and assorted other kibble that accumulates in the holiday season, but 58% of the 1,000 parents surveyed said they were “most likely” or “definitely” going to be purchasing downloadable gifts such as apps, games, e-books and digital music. This is on top of the 74% who will be purchasing devices and pre-loading apps. Of these, they report that 95% of parents plan to spend the same or more than last year.
The press release we got also has several recommendations for how to help your kids best enjoy their new downloads, but it’s the advice to “Play Together” that I take most to heart:
56% of surveyed parents reported that they co-play mobile apps with their children “often” or “sometimes.” This is a great habit to start early in a child’s exposure to media. Talking with kids about the game or activity as you play offers both the opportunity to bond as a family and also identify teachable moments.
I couldn’t agree more.
But, what to buy? PBS Kids has a few ideas of their own. According to Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President of Children’s Media at PBS:
Tablet and mobile devices can provide learning opportunities when they are loaded with curriculum-based apps and games that are both fun and educational, but it can be overwhelming for parents to determine which apps are the right apps for their kids. At PBS, we recognize the trust that parents place in us to help them make the right media choices for their children.
And of course PBS Kids has its own line of fun and educational line downloads for parent to choose from, including SUPER WHY! ABC Adventures: Alphabet (available for $2.99 on iPhone and iPod touch or $3.99 on iPad, or at the iTunes App Store) which we reviewed her on GeekDad.