In last month's article, An Educated Society Seeks Enrichment & Edutainment, we reported on the increasing importance to college-educated consumers of making their entertainment and leisure experiences more meaningful and relevant by including education or enrichment content. New research shows there is a cultural change underway along a generational shift on how mothers of young children look at their children's play.
Market surveys by Fischer-Price, the well-known manufacturer of children's toys, have found that unlike Boomer moms, who see their children's play and learning as separate activities, Gen-X moms in their 20's and 30's want their children to play and learn at the same time. Gen-X moms now make up two-thirds of all moms with infant and preschool children.
This trend is further evidenced by the sale of educational electronic toys. Electronic learning toys are one of the fastest-growing categories in the toy industry, now accounting for 27% of all toys sold for preschoolers. The electronic learning toy category has grown 60% since 2000.
These trends further support the nascent popularity of children's edutainment centers. Edutainment is exactly the same concept incorporated in educational toys that combine play with learning. However, children's edutainment centers offer children a much more diverse and enriching play and learning experience. That's because children can also develop their social skills by interacting and playing with other children, an opportunity becoming increasingly scarce in children's lives due to parents' growing anxiety their children will be abducted at public playgrounds, or even from their own yards. See Security: A Quality-of-Place Issue article for more details on parents' fear of their children's abduction.