According to Nielsen Media Research, 70% of tablet owning households with kids under 12 say kids use the device. Kids' digital TV providers, from Netflix and Hulu, to dedicated kids-only providers, like Kividoo in Germany to Kidobi in Canada, are rolling out their subscription services as mobile apps.
But what do children and parents actually want?
"Kids are increasingly multi-tasking when watching TV, and when they are using tablets they expect to be able to interact," says Berlin-based teacher Leah Hinton. "Parents I've spoken to are looking for truly engaging educational experiences. They don't want to feel guilty about letting their kids use devices."
The role of tablets in developing creative thinking
According to Hinton, mobile devices create a unique opportunity to fundamentally involve children in the content creation process, shifting their role from passive consumers. She is part of a wave of educators emphasising the role of mobile devices, and particularly tablets, in developing creative thinking skills. "The nature of work is changing," says Hinton. "Where we once needed conformity, now we treasure visionaries who can apply their inner creativity to problems."
A changing approach to children and content
Hinton believes that touch devices herald an entirely new model for involving children in content creation, where children's media essentially comes disassembled for children to shape and share anyway they see fit. The jury is still out - traditional kids TV is continuing to make the move into mobile, while mobile startups continue to expore the creative possibilities for a touch native approach.
Hinton’s edtech startup, TechSpaghetti, launched the first app in their ToonSpaghetti series on 3 September. The app is the first step towards a full cross-promotional platform that will bring kids' content into the touch screen era. It has been globally featured in the Apple App Store and is ranked in the top five for kids aged 6 - 8 in 26 countries.