KIDSMARTS 101

TO vs ABOUT

A common adult mistake made when creating things for kids is thinking that kids see, feel and think the same way adults do. 

Kids are not small adults. Just because an adult associates something with children doesn't mean that a child has the same perception.

There is a big difference between communication about children and communication to children.

For example, adults frequently assume that the "kid lettering" frequently used to spell out business names, products or places makes it appealing to children. 

Adults see "kid lettering" and think, "This is for kids." That's an adult-to-adult message—communication about children. That's okay if that's the intent.

Kids see "kid lettering" and they simply are doing their best to read the word. They just see letters—not "kid letters."

AGE COMPRESSION

And once a child is literate enough to simply read the words, the "kid lettering" becomes a message "this is for babies"—which is not what a reader is! 

A child's desire to identify with an older age group is what's known as age compression. Kids like to be associated with the age level above them whether they are shopping, reading, watching, playing... pretty much doing anything. 

The challenge is to, 1. Create images and experiences that accurately connect with a child's point of view and that align with child childhood instead of a misinformed adult version of childhood. And, 2. Create images and experiences that embrace children's desire to associate with older kids' behaviors, belongings and appearances.

A one size fits all approach doesn't work. 

A custom solution is the best choice. 

Customized to the children's age, and

customized to the organization's brand.