When the schoolbooks are put away for the weekend, America’s tweens and teens use their ‘me time’ in a variety of ways. The top two responses reveal a favorite weekend activity age-gender bias. 16% of American kids ages 8-15 say ‘hanging out with friends’ is their favorite weekend activity according to our 2014 February/March Trend Tracker. That places it #1 in things kids like to do when school is out.
A distinct gender bias is present in those who said “hang out with friends” (22% girls vs. 10% boys) is their favorite weekend activity. Gender isn’t the only factor that provides better definition to kids’ responses.
Another factor crucial to this understanding the results is the social developmental stages of the tween (ages 8-11) and teen (ages 12-15) age segments. The effect of this is most evident with tween boys. Tween boys said “hang out with friends” as their fourth favorite (7%) weekend activity; friends placed well behind the tween boys’ highest priority – video games. Tween girls rank hanging out with friends as their favorite weekend activity (11%) but their favor for friend time on the weekend increases 200% by the time they are teens (33%).
So what else do America’s kids like to do with their ‘me time’? We mentioned tween boys’ proclivity toward video games; it’s the second overall response. It is probably no surprise; gender bias is even stronger for video games responses (4% girls vs. 24% boys). What’s more interesting is the age segment has much less of an effect on this weekend activity when comparing within the same gender.
Tween boys ranked video games slightly higher than their older teen peers – 27% vs. 21% respectively. From qualitative interviews with teen boys KidSay knows many of the 13% who named “hang out with friends” as their favorite are playing video games while hanging out.
Tween and teen girl segments ranked video games almost the same – #8 – 4% vs. #10-3% respectively. iPad (3%) and computer/internet (3%) were also mentioned by tween girls, hinting that for some tween girls “video games” may connote a traditional gaming console. App games and online games very likely play a role in these tween girls’ weekend activities.