Is a Touchscreen A Toy?

Survey conducted by The Michael Cohen Group (MCG) reveals parent's mixed reactions to touchscreens in the play space, despite children's frequent use

Feb 20, 2014, 08:04 ET from The Michael Cohen Group

NEW YORK, Feb. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading children's media research firm The Michael Cohen Group (MCG) presented the results of a diverse nationwide survey of parents at the Digital Kids Conference at Toy Fair 2014 in New York, NY. The study, conducted on February 13th, polled 350 parents of children 12 and under and found touch-screen devices were played with more often than any other toy, including game consoles.

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Despite this, only 10% of parents believed that touchscreens were "always" toys. The majority (58%) believed they were "sometimes" toys and 32% believed they were "never" toys.

Interestingly, the most popular type of touchscreen gaming reported by parents was educational (53% either "very often" or "often"), followed by music (50% either "very often" or "often"), and free play (49% either "very often" or "often").

As the number of families with touchscreens increase among families, so does ownership among children. The Zero to Eight: Children's Media Use in America study, conducted by Common Sense Media, found 7% of children under 8 own their own tablet.  Recent research by MCG suggests that more than 32% of children in families with at least one touch screen own their own device.

What does this mean for the future of the toy industry and its integration with touchscreen technology? How do parent's perceptions of touchscreens as educational influence their children's screen time, play patterns, and ownership?

For more information and video of Dr. Michael Cohen's full commentary and presentation at the Digital Kids Conference, click on the link:, or visit

About The Michael Cohen Group (MCG)

The Michael Cohen Group (MCG) is an applied research firm that specializes in children, education, media, and technology. The group has worked with clients including the U.S. Department of Education, The New York Times, Girl Scouts of America, Underwriters' Lab (UL), Nick Jr., and Disney. For more information, visit or connect at @MCGResearch.

SOURCE The Michael Cohen Group