Viacom Unveils Findings From Global Study “Little Big Kids: Preschoolers Ready For Life”

Feb 15, 2017
By ViacomCBS Staff

New Research Released by Viacom, Home to the Preeminent Kids Brand Around the World, Nickelodeon

Study Shows Parents Prioritize Learning Through Play, Tactical Tech Time, and Enabling Experiences

Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), today announced a new global study LITTLE BIG KIDS: PRESCHOOLERS READY FOR LIFE. The research takes a closer look at preschoolers (kids ages two to five) and how their families are preparing them for an ever-changing future. From a shift in parenting trends to the expanding role of technology, LITTLE BIG KIDS offers insights into how preschoolers are growing and learning today.

“Every few years, an entirely new group of preschoolers come of age, making it critical to examine and reexamine this important life stage,” said Christian Kurz, Senior Vice President of Global Consumer Insights at Viacom. “With LITTLE BIG KIDS, we’re seeing how shifts in parenting are impacting preschoolers today, and noting trends which will continue to impact them as they grow into kids, teens, and adults.”

LITTLE BIG KIDS highlighted three important trends in current preschool parenting:

Learning Through Doing
LITTLE BIG KIDS revealed a shift away from a more sheltered or “helicopter” style of parenting to parents preparing preschoolers for life in an uncertain world by exposing them to a variety of experiences. 74 percent of parents globally believe that children should learn through their own experiences, and 68 percent believe one of the most important developmental opportunities for preschoolers is learning to do things for themselves. In fact, 70 percent of parents say they always listen to their child’s opinion before making a decision that affects them. This can range from what’s for dinner to whether the family moves to a different city.

Additionally, the top two reasons parents send their two to five year olds to preschool are centered on peer-to-peer development:

  • #1 (at 76 percent) - Socializing with other children.
  • #2 (at 65 percent) - Learning to share and communicate with others.

Learning Through Play
Viacom’s research also showed that parents are prioritizing play more than ever, with 72 percent saying they believe their preschoolers learn best through play. In fact, that same percentage believes that learning through play is even more important than traditional learning at this age.

Learning Through Tech
Around the world, technology and devices are seen by parents as tools to prepare their preschoolers for life. 64 percent of parents agree it’s important for their kids to keep up with tech developments, and 65 percent of preschoolers have access to a tablet – which they interact with an average of 1.3 hours per day. In fact, globally, preschoolers spend about 14 hours per week on devices, although this number varies dramatically from region to region (with the US at the highest end of the spectrum at 25 hours, and Germany at the lowest at six hours).

However, while parents are embracing the role of technology in their children’s lives, it’s not without caution. 61 percent of parents worry about their kids coming across inappropriate content, 53 percent think too much time is spent on devices can interfere with learning and development, and 79 percent of parents say they limit the amount of time their child spends on devices. Overall, though, the perceived benefit of technology outweighs these concerns, with 52 percent of parents saying their kids use tablets for educational content – a number which rises to 67 percent in the Philippines – and 61 saying they think technology is making their kids smarter.

For this study, researchers at Viacom spoke with nearly 6,500 families – mothers, fathers, grandparents, and siblings – of preschoolers across 12 countries through digital diaries, an online survey, and in-home ethnographies. Countries included: Australia, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Additionally, Viacom outfitted preschoolers with action cameras to literally see the world through their eyes as they explored, learned, and played.

To find out more about Little Big Kids and Viacom Insights, please go to:

About Viacom
Viacom is home to premier global media brands that create compelling television programs, motion pictures, short-form content, apps, games, consumer products, social media experiences, and other entertainment content for audiences in more than 180 countries. Viacom's media networks, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Spike, BET, CMT, TV Land, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., Logo, Nicktoons, TeenNick, Channel 5 (UK), Telefe (Argentina) and Paramount Channel, reach over 3.9 billion cumulative television subscribers worldwide. Paramount Pictures is a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit Keep up with Viacom news by following Viacom's blog at and Twitter feed at

Kate Laverge
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Maggie Hollander
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