Seven In 10 Tweens Surf Web At Home

Children between the ages of 8 and 11 are almost as likely to surf as they are to watch television, according to a new report by market research company Youth Trends.

Youth Trends reported that 81% of 8- to-11-year-olds have a computer at home--just slightly less than the 95% that have a TV at home. The vast majority--87%--of the tweens between 8 and 11 that have computers at home also access the Web from them, according to the report.

Overall, about 70% of children between the ages of 8 and 11 go online from home, according to Youth Trends. That figure appears to be similar to an estimate by research company eMarketer, which reported earlier this month that 67% of U.S. children ages 8-11 are online.

Youth Trends reported that 60% of the tweens with Web access from home go online at least once a day. An additional 33% said they go online at least once a week.

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What do they do online? More than one in three--37%--said they have used instant messaging in the last month, while 35% have played games, 31% have visited sites geared toward youngsters, 30% sent an e-greeting card, 23% posted photos, and 18% watched music or video clips. Also, they shop--or at least are beneficiaries of online purchases. Forty-six percent said their parents have bought something for them online.

Youth Trends also asked youngsters about their ad preferences. Thirty-seven percent expressed a preference for free samples, 24% said they liked catalogs sent via postal mail, and 22% chose movie theater ads. Just 15% counted TV commercials among their preferred forms of advertising, while a scant 11% said they liked online ads.

The report was based on interviews conducted in August with 900 youngsters ages 8-11.

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