How 21st century children play: 2.0 devices & real games

Today's children's games have changed compared to those of their parents. They are the so-called digital natives and, according to a study carried out by Imaginarium, about 60% of parents are concerned about the fact that their children play more with screens (tablets and mobile phones) than with real games.

However, when playing there is a clear difference between both and the ways of doing it. While the mobile devices children play alone, 71.8% of respondents states that when their children play with traditional toys they they ask that they accompany them.

"Nowadays, the forms of game have changed due to the increasing prominence of the 2.0 devices with respect to the real games, with which the children have been playing in recent years." For this reason, we wanted to know how the children of the XXI century, what are their interests and preferences and the vision of parents regarding the use of screens, in order to continue offering toys that help children have a better and happier childhood, "says Sonia Pérez, expert in education and responsible for pedagogical contents of Imaginarium.


Real games and family involvement

Digital entertainment options such as screens (tablets and mobile phones) represent an important concern for most Spanish parents, and 59.9% of parents who have participated in the Imaginarium study have ratified it. Real Game and Devices 2.0, which has generated a total of 14,998 responses and has a 95% margin of confidence.

Family participation and company is the main difference when playing between technological and traditional toys. Thus, 71.8% of the parents surveyed affirm that when their children play with traditional toys they ask them to accompany them, compared to the 1% who relate this situation when they play with screens and 27.2% who play with their children in both situations. Therefore, the need for social interaction and company is very important for children when they enjoy their leisure time with toys and not with screens.


And, with what kind of toys do children identify the act of playing more? Play is for the 81.5% of children from 0 to 7 years old play with the real game (kitchenettes, dolls, construction games or crafts). However, starting of 8 years and up to 12 that identification drops almost 20 points average percentages, standing at 60.81%.

According to the study, among the games that children enjoy the most are those that encourage creativity such as crafts or musical instruments chosen by 29.15% of respondents, followed by construction games (19.03%) and role-plays (13.66%), the technological options such as playing with screens and watching YouTube channels represent a total of 13.32%, thus overtaking board games that stand at 8.67% .

The 2.0 devices in real life

In the lives of digital natives, 2.0 devices are present in different everyday situations of children and 61.26% of parents it shows in favor that your children play from time to time with this type of technologies.


Trips by car or public transport are the most common situation for the use of screens for age groups 0 to 3 years and 4 to 6. On the contrary, children aged between 7 and 9 years and between 10 and 12, they play more with technological toys after doing homework.

And while the game with screens is common, the weekly time allocated to this type of entertainment is less than 2 hours for 64.5% of parents, while 26.60% would place this use between 2 and 6 hours per week and 6.98% between 6 and 12 hours per week. Only 1.42% and 0.43% believe that their children play with tablets and mobile phones between 12 and 20 hours and more than 20 hours respectively.

The same line marked by this data is reinforced by the proportion of time estimated for real and digital games. In this sense, 51.65% of parents consider that their children allocate more than 90% of leisure time to the real game compared to 0.39% who believe they invest in 2.0 devices.

Marisol Nuevo Espín
Advice:Sonia Pérez, expert in education and responsible for pedagogical contents of Imaginarium.

Video: Digital Play - Potential and Possibilities: Carly Shuler at TEDxManitoba 2013


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