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Digital Sandbox: Kids spending more time online

July 6, 2009 | 10:44 am

Nielsen Report on Kids Online

Is the Internet the new boob tube?

Kids ages 2 to 11 years spent more than 11 hours online in May, up from seven hours in May 2004, according to a report released today by the Nielsen Co. What are they doing? Many are watching videos -- boys flocked to Pokemon, and girls followed Barbie. Another gender difference: Boys spent 7% more time online in May, but girls zipped through 9% more Web pages.

Children in this age group made up nearly 1 in 10 Internet surfers in May, up 18% since 2004. That's 16 million kids under 12, according to the report.

One explanation for the jump in activity -- there's just a lot more for kids to see and do on the Web since 2004, including virtual-world games such as Free Realms and Club Penguin and websites featuring offline kids' brands such as Nickelodeon and Sesame Street. With many of these sites focusing on Internet safety, parents are also becoming more comfortable letting their children explore the Web, particularly when sites such as KidZui offer a higher level of parental control.

You can download a copy of the press release here.

-- Alex Pham