We’ve been doing a lot of research and discovery lately for some major brands around young children and their online or digital behaviors. Interestingly,there were several statistics we came across that point to a growing trend that many brands should make sure is on their radars.

Basically, young children are flocking to smartphones and tablets,  but if you’re thinking “No kid has a smartphone or tablet,” you’re right. These kids are using their parents.

Here are some stats that point to the need for brands who target kids (ages 0-8) to think smartphone and tablet apps for their digital strategy (provided by CommonSenseMedia.org):

• 42 percent of children under 8 years old have a TV in their bedroom
• Half (52 percent) of all zero- to 8-year-olds have access to a new mobile device such as a smart phone, video iPod, or iPad/tablet
• More than a third (38 percent) of children this age have used one of these devices, including 10 percent of zero-to – 1-year-olds, 39 percent of 2- to 4-year-olds, and more than half (52 percent) of 5- to 8-year-olds
• In a typical day, one in 10 zero- to 8-year-olds uses a smart phone, video iPod, iPad, or similar device to play games, watch videos, or use other apps. Those who do such activities spend an average of 43 minutes a day doing so

For some, this isn’t a revelation. So, the strategy then becomes not that you’re going to use smartphones and tablets as a delivery mechanism, but rather how those apps are going to make an impact and deliver ROI.

We’ve been providing this type of strategy for some time now and one of the big developments is in gaming, which as the statistics shows is one of the activities young children use their parents devices for on a daily basis. In addition, activities may include watching video or using music apps.

All in all, young children are starting their user experience on smartphones and tablets much earlier than many expected. So, if you’re targeting these kids, think mobile apps and how traditional content for kids can be represented on smaller screens.

Does your kid use your smartphone or tablet?