It’s official – pre-teens are multi-taskers

Kids today think nothing of doing many things simultaneously, but just how many do they generally take on at once?

The just-released Kids’ Leisure Time II report evaluates how American children between the ages of 2-12 spend their spare time. Extrapolating the data for Canuck kids, who receive much of the same stimuli, is a safe bet. According to the study by Port Washington, NY-based research firm The NPD Group, favourite activities such as reading, using the computer, spending time with friends, listening to music and watching TV are being enjoyed in concert with each other. Breaking that down reveals the following:

* More than 25% of the time kids spend on activities is devoted to two or more concurrently.

* The average amount of leisure time for kids 2-11 is roughly 68 hours a week, with 94 hours for pre-school youngsters 2-4, and 58 hours for 5-12-year-olds. This number has not changed from previous years.

* Among 2-4-year-olds, the largest share of the leisure time is spent playing with toys (19 hours a week) followed by watching TV or movies (14 hours a week).

* The most common leisure activity for kids ages 5-12 is watching TV or movies (12 hours a week), down 1% from last year’s number of 13.5 hours.

* 66% of children ages 5-12 listen to music, up 4% from the previous study.

* 90% of 5-12-year-olds have homework, again a 4% spike from 2006.

The data was collected via an online survey to a nationally representative sample of 8,500 adults with children in the household in the studied demographic range.

A version of this story first appeared in KidScreen Daily.