Kid on phone Beano Brain study

Kids seek escapism and friends during pandemic

Gen Alphas are bored and seeking content they can watch with their families, finds a new study from Beano.
May 26, 2020

Kids in the US and UK are changing their at-home routines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with more Gen Alpha’s seeking more family time and content they can co-view, according to a new study from UK market research firm Beano Brain.

In lockdown, almost half of all kids aged seven to 14 in the US and UK (44%) want more shows they can watch together as a family, Beano found in its Gen Alpha: The Rebirth of Resilience study. At the same time, kids online behavior has shifted with the amount of those visiting websites dropping after 8 p.m. in order to spend more time with their families. This study matches the findings from Kid Insights from earlier this month, which also found that families were spending more time together.

Companies wanting to engage the stuck-at-home Gen Alphas should focus on creating content that requires interaction and involvement from the whole family, according to Beano.

What kids are doing while at home is shifting too, with youth turning to gaming and video-calling platforms to connect with friends. Gaming app Roblox’s popularity soared a month into lockdown, with a third (31% in the UK, 34% in the US) of kids used it to connect with friends each week in April. Gaming is also the most common activity for both children in both countries while on a video call, with 48% of them saying that’s how they spend time with friends.

In the US, 28% of kids used Xbox Live in April, up from 22% in March. While in the UK, social network HouseParty gained traction with kids climbing to 25% in April, compared to 9% in March. The reach of Google Hangouts has doubled for both audiences with 23% in the US using it, up from 10%, and 18% in the UK, compared to 9% for the same period.

The popularity of these platforms will endure after the pandemic as well, with kids continuing to look for escapism while connecting with others, Beano predicts.

Despite kids adoption of these different platforms, children’s lockdown lives have been dominated by boredom. Around a quarter of kids in both countries (26% in the US, 23% in the UK) said they were bored in early May. On the positive side, few kids expressed that they felt concerned or worried, with only 1% in the UK and 4% in the US saying that’s how they felt during the same period.

The rise in family-led trends, including decorating neighborhoods with rainbows, show that there’s a gap for companies to connect with kids and fill their time, the researcher finds.

Beano Brain is the research and insight arm of UK studio Beano (Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed). Beano Brain has been tracking sentiment and behaviors of Gen Alpha, and their Gen Z siblings and Millennial parents, since March. To date its study has surveyed 3.5 million seven-to 14-year-olds on its website.

Photo courtesy of Beano Brain.

About The Author
News editor for Kidscreen. Ryan covers tech, talent and general kids entertainment news, with a passion for kids rap content and video games. Have a story that's of interest to Kidscreen readers? Contact Ryan at



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