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The key to effectively developing products and content for kids: Understanding Ages and Stages

The key to effectively developing products and content for kids: Understanding Ages and Stages

We’re continually on the front lines of reinventing or developing products and content for kids. Maybe it’s a new line of STEM toys, in-development short-form video content, a new line of kids’ snacks or a snack line that’s losing market share. Or perhaps it’s an idea for a new TV series or an existing kids’ show that has started looking tired. Clients often tap Magid’s team of kids experts to help build, renew, or pivot.

Our qualitative researchers, quantitative analysts, and consultants are consistently working in the business of kids and talking to tens of thousands of kids each year, giving them a keen awareness of everything kids – how they are using media, the trade-offs and choices they’re making with their time, navigating the social dynamics of their families and their friend circles (IRL and online), looking for representation and authenticity of their own worlds in content, evolving with educational dynamics, continually redefining ‘play,’ establishing and cultivating their own identities, and much, much more.

These unique interactions and analyses across the landscape of kids help our experts bring kids’ whole world into each engagement. It’s also allowed us to develop an important understanding that guides us in our work – development is critical in youth and the jump from a 5-year-old to a 9-year-old is lightyears in kids’ roles, comprehension, needs, and desires. Our Ages and Stages constructs are critical in narrowing in on how to effectively connect with and engage with kids from the early preschool stages, through the transition from ‘little kids’ to ‘big kids,’ and upwards through the tween and teen years.

For example, having a deep understanding of the purchasing power of kids by age and stage underscores Magid’s status as a leading expert in the kids and family shopping journey and purchasing path because we can articulate all the little pieces that make up the big picture of kids’ roles in the family in an intimate way. Our perspective is constantly updated as new trends and technologies emerge, allowing us to stay current, with a forward-looking focus.

We contextualize further for the media and entertainment industry in the illustration below. Looking at ages and stages with a media emphasis, we can showcase the distinct expertise our team brings to each and every engagement with leading kids’ entertainment providers.


When it comes to content and storytelling, we help leading entertainment organizations lean in to better understand specific capabilities and capacities at various stages. However, this is distinctly nuanced. As illustrated, descriptions do not include exact ages and are not placed under a specific child icon. That’s intentional – there isn’t a magic age where we find each transformation takes place. The visual represents a more fluid scale because perception and communication varies by age and stage of development, also accounting for educational exposure.

We understand at what points kids can generally break down and analyze story structures, when kids develop cynicism and skepticism, when they are willing to enter into ‘grayer’ areas, when they start to understand sarcasm and irony, when they can appreciate the concept of suspending disbelief, when kids start to appreciate more complex/subjective storytelling, when kids can handle bigger blocks of text or dialogue, and beyond.

All of this is critical to know when analyzing kids’ feedback to provide our clients with rich insights and actionable guidance. At Magid, we recognize the capability and capacity of today’s multi-faceted kids. This thinking alongside our Ages and Stages construct has allowed us to play an imperative role in helping to launch and reinvent some of the products and media content best known in the landscape today.

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