The rise of gadgets is ushering in a new generation of kids who are growing up digital. According to a Nielsen survey ( of adults with children under 12 in tablet-owning households, in Q4 2011 seven out of every 10 children in tablet-owning households used a tablet computer — a 9% increase compared to Q3 2011.

Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed said children play downloaded games on their tablets and 57% said children used tablets to access educational apps. The portable gadget also keeps kids quiet while families are on-the-go: 55% and 41%of parents report that their children used tablets for entertainment while traveling or in restaurants, respectively.

This can also include watching TV shows and movies, which 43% of children often do. Communicating with friends and family is a less popular function on tablets — only 15% of kids engage in this activity.