Nielsen: Kids like actually like tablets for educational activities

Nielsen Wire revealed its latest research about children and tablet usage, and these mobile devices play a bigger roles in kids' lives than you would imagine.

Are tablets good enough to replace babysitters or playmates? The short answer would be no, but new research suggests that kids are using these mobile devices to fill such roles to some extent.

Surveying tablet-owning households with children under 12, Nielsen Wire found that seven out of every 10 kids used the tablet during the fourth quarter of 2011 -- up 9 percent from the previous three months.

Based on the side graph, amazingly it would seem that kids like tablets for educational purposes (57 percent) almost as much as for playing downloaded games (77 percent).

Of course, if you add up all of the entertainment purposes together (games, movies, or simply distractions while traveling or at a restaurant to keep a kid quiet and a parent sane), then it would seem that entertainment outweighs education by a long shot.

Nevertheless, the implication here reinforces the argument that tablets do offer the potential for serving as an educational tool (albeit a very expensive one) rather than just another medium for mindless video games.

Graph via Nielsen Wire