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Evidence Base

Orig. title: miniKIM-Studie 2014: Basisuntersuchung zum Medienumgang 2- bis 5-Jähriger in Deutschland

Engl. transl.: miniKIM 2014: Study of the media use of 2- to 5-year-olds in Germany


Preschool Kids Children Media Internet Media use Digitalization

Publication details

Year: 2015
Issued: 2015
Language: German
Authors: Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest
Type: Report and working paper
Publisher: Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest
Place: Stuttgart
Topics: Learning; Internet usage, practices and engagement; Literacy and skills
Sample: The data were collected through the survey of the main educators, who are mostly the mothers. Therefore, the results reflect the children's media use from the parents' perspective. A quantitative survey of children between two and five years of age would be problematic for methodological reasons due to the inadequate ability to provide information. The many years of experience from the results of the KIM study, in which both children and primary educators are interviewed, show that parents are very good at assessing the children's media use. As part of miniKIM 2014, 623 primary educators of children between the ages of two and five were surveyed between May 9 and June 20, 2014. The survey was carried out using a self-filling questionnaire (paper & pencil). The field work and the data check were carried out by the IFAK Institute, Taunusstein. (mini-KIM Study, p. 3-4)


Media play a major role in children's everyday lives, and girls and boys of preschool age by no means grow up media-remote. When it comes to media use by two to five year olds, television and (picture) books play a central role. Almost half of the children in this age group (44%) watch TV every or almost every day, 43 percent read a book (almost) every day. There is a clear shift in preferences with age: while books are indispensable for the majority of two- to three-year-olds, television is the most important medium for four- and five-year-olds. This is also noticeable in the length of time it is used: Children between the ages of two and three watch TV an average of 34 minutes a day, while four to five-year-olds watch 52 minutes a day. Regardless of this, the time the children spend reading books remains constant in both age groups (26 minutes per day). In addition, according to the main educators, the two to five-year-olds listen to the radio for an average of 18 minutes a day, play three minutes of computer, console or online games and use the Internet, mobile phone and tablet games for two minutes each. These are the results of the miniKIM 2014 study (toddlers and media) by the media education research association Südwest, in which the primary educators were asked about their children's use of media. The most popular television channel for children between the ages of two and five is "KiKA" from ARD and ZDF. The boys and girls' favorite television program is “Our Sandman”. "Die Sendung mit der Maus", "Wicki und die stark Männer" and "Sesame Street" follow at a distance. The favorite books of two- to five-year-olds mainly come from the genre of animal or farm stories. According to the parents, the book is an important medium that stimulates the imagination of children. In addition, the majority of primary educators think that children learn through books and that these are an important factor for later school success. Many parents view the Internet rather critically: a good half of parents think that the Internet has an influence on their propensity for violence, that their children come into contact with unsuitable content and that the Internet also turns them into "couch potatoes". In the opinion of the parents, film media such as television, videos and DVDs harbor similar dangers, but are nevertheless important for the children to be able to have a say in their circle of friends. Computers and the Internet play a very subordinate role in everyday life for two to five-year-olds; only 15 percent of children have already had their first experience with the PC. Only seven percent of boys and girls use the Internet, but five percent of two to five year olds are already regular users of online services. Only 15 percent of all children between the ages of two and five have used a tablet PC at some point. In terms of content, the focus here is on playing alongside looking at photos or videos. Half of the primary educators are also of the opinion that tablet PCs are not for children.


The results of miniKIM 2014 show that preschool age children grow up not distant to media; television, and the study of books already play a major role. With regard to television, the use of which already takes up nearly an hour per day for four to five-year-olds, issues such as function and effects of television could be addressed playfully already in this age group. The topic of media education should not be addressed only with entry into school, but a basis for the competent media handling should ideally be created already in early childhood. Although the two to five-year-olds themselves still do not use too wide a range of different media, they come into contact with many different media. Here, they should be accompanied by parents and educators. (mini-KIM Study, p.34)

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