Skip to main content
Family Time is Number-One as Millennial Parents get Ready for the Holiday, According to Survey from PBS KIDS
Email share

Millennial parents want a simpler season, with less shopping and more family fun 

ARLINGTON, VA, December 4, 2014 – Fatigued by a myriad of "hot gift" lists, millennial parents say that fewer gifts and more family fun top their holiday wish lists, according to the Millennial Parent Holiday Survey from PBS KIDS, the results of which were released today. The survey of millennial parents (ages 18 – 33) found that 82% crave more family time and 80% want to spend more time playing with their kids this holiday season. Conversely, many of these younger parents want to dial back gift prep and shopping, with 37% saying they would like to spend less time shopping. Even more parents (45%) would like to spend less time assembling gifts.

Learning and Eco Factors Rank High

When millennial parents do go shopping, more than half (54%) say that “hot toy” or “hot gift” lists aren’t as important in the purchasing decision as other factors. Almost all millennial parents (97%) want to buy their children gifts that will stand the test of time and toys that provide learning opportunities (another 97%). That’s especially true for parents of toddlers and preschoolers (68% of parents of kids 2 – 6 compared to 58% of parents of kids 7 – 8), according to the Millennial Parent Holiday Survey. The eco factor is top of millennial parents’ minds, too, when selecting gifts for their children: 70% say it’s important to purchase eco-friendly toys, and 61% are more likely to purchase an eco-friendly toy this year than in holidays past.

Playful Family Holidays 

Technology is a big part of entertaining children and staying organized during the holidays, but millennial parents, especially moms, are also looking to balance technology with a broader array of playful solutions. This includes a return to the basics of creative, open-ended play, to connect with their children in fun and meaningful ways1. Based on the survey, almost all of millennial parents (95%) think it is important to give their kids toys that the family can enjoy together.  Millennial parents place high importance on playing with their children and actively participate in learning experiences, especially during the holidays.

Greener Dads

Interest in eco-friendly toys is even higher among dads, with 31% reporting that it is very important to purchase toys made from eco-friendly materials. This compares to 17% of moms who find it important. Dads are also more likely to purchase eco-friendly toys this year than in years past (74%), compared to 59% of moms.

Millennial Parents Get Cooking!

Along with spending more time with family, topping the list of activities millennial parents want to do more of this season are cooking/baking (69%).

"We learned from this survey that during the holidays parents value quality family time and educational resources for their kids,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children’s Programming, PBS. “At PBS KIDS we share these core values, and are dedicated to providing families with educational content and resources that they can enjoy together, not just during the holidays, but all year-long.”

Tips to Simplify the Holidays 

The spirit of the holidays can sometimes get lost in the hectic holiday season. But there are easy ways for parents to help their family simplify and embrace the season, including these tips from PBS Parents:

 Downscale holiday plans and expectations.  Keep the focus on family, on meaningful traditions and simple activities that replenish rather than exhaust.

Ask your children what they most love about your family's holiday.  You may be surprised by their answers.

Whether you're decorating, baking cookies, or making gifts for grandma, remember that the process is more important for your child than the outcome.  Keep it simple, and you and your child will enjoy it more.

Create small special moments in every day. Go for a sledding adventure or a winter nature walk outside. Turn off every light in the house at dinner time, light candles, and invite everyone to be perfectly still and perfectly silent for a minute.

Celebrate the holidays as a season of giving and doing for others.  Grab the kids and head next door to shovel an elderly neighbor's walkway; make Christmas cards together for the mail carrier; deliver soup to a friend with the flu and focus on gifts that give back. Watch as your children begin to discover the secret pleasure of small kindnesses, offered with love. PBS KIDS provides a unique solution for parents looking for presents with a purpose, offering a new line of sustainable toys in partnership with Whole Foods.

PBS KIDS Millennial Parent Holiday Survey Methodology

The 2014 PBS KIDS Parent Survey was conducted by Smarty Pants, November 14 - 17, 2014. A sampling of 500 US parents ages 18 – 33 with children ages 2-8, participated in the online survey.


About PBS KIDS PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online, mobile and community-based programs. Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning provides engaging interactive content, including the PBS KIDS video player, now offering free streaming video accessible on computer- and mobile-device-based browsers. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.



Atiya Frederick, PBS, 703.739.5147 /

Caitlin Melnick, 360 Public Relations, 617.585.5775 /