You want your child to be successful. Studies prove kids who read develop their knowledge and imagination, along with higher levels of empathy and awareness. And nothing engages a young mind better than a great character.
After analyzing Google search data over the last 12 months for more than 100 popular characters, experts at The Ellie Sparkles Show reveal the most popular kids' characters in the US, and it's true to say that some things never change. They found that kids sure love superheroes, with recognizable characters such as Spider-Man, Batman, and Harry Potter coming to the rescue.
But as children explore diverse protagonists, they learn values and life lessons about the importance of acceptance from a young age, The Ellie Sparkles Show reports.
From the unrivaled ogre Shrek saving Princess Fiona to the unforgettable team-ups between Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, these beloved characters have earned their place in history as some of the most iconic figures in storytelling. They inspire the imaginations and build empathy with their unique personalities and courageous exploits.
And many of the top pop characters have names you probably know too:
- Harry Potter
- Harley Quinn
- Mickey Mouse
- Wonder Woman
Spider-Man Trends on The Web
It's no surprise that Spider-Man tops the list. Appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, young Peter Parker embodied the awkwardness and relatability that many teenagers experience today.
From his daring rescues to his witty banter, kids can't seem to get enough of this friendly neighborhood superhero. He has been stealing the hearts of children for decades and remains a fan favorite today, averaging 1,830,000 Google searches each month.
Spongebob Squarepants and legendary Harry Potter follow next on the list, joint second place at 1,220,000 searches monthly. The lovable Spongebob is a favorite of kids and adults alike, known for its zany characters, silly jokes, and unexpected plotlines.
The world-renowned novel series of Harry Potter, the young wizard has captivated children worldwide by selling more than 500 million copies and being translated into over 80 languages.
“They Can't Order Me To Stop Dreaming” – Cinderella
A study conducted by experts at Frontier Psychology found that children aged 9-12 develop strong emotional bonds with the characters of a story— so much so that they may skip right to the end for the assurance that their favorite character hasn't died!
Children commonly empathize with the characters and connect to their sufferings and misfortunes. They also show a preference toward story worlds and characters diverging from everyday reality, as it supports their imagining beyond what is ordinary and explicitly stated.
Fictional characters, such as Harry Potter, are amiable and reliable figures who allow children to take part in a fantasy world. No wonder these characters remain adored and celebrated by their young fans.
Batman, Harley Quinn, and Shrek join the list with 1,200,000 searches monthly each. Batman is a well-known superhero from DC Comics and has become an icon of justice, while Harley Quinn is known for her strong will and unyielding attitude. The lovable ogre Shrek continues to charm kids with his witty comebacks and honorable nature.
The ten most beloved characters are rounded out by Mickey Mouse and Wonder Woman, which ranked seventh and eighth with a joint average of 673,000 searches each; Pikachu in ninth with 550,000 average monthly searches, followed by Cinderella in tenth with 450,000 average number of searches.
Parents Want More Diverse Characters
Parents in the United States prioritize stories that include racial diversity, with nearly seven out of ten (69%) asserting the necessity to read these books with their children.
In addition to racial diversity, parents overwhelmingly recognize the value of reading books that feature religious (56%), gender (48%), and sexual (42%) diversity. Reading these types of stories helps children gain an appreciation for other backgrounds and beliefs, thus enhancing their understanding of our increasingly diverse world.
A spokesperson from The Ellie Sparkles Show commented on the study: “As children grow and learn, they are extremely receptive to their surroundings, meaning stories which feature diverse characters in inclusive storylines are great for introducing them to different cultures and lifestyles, teaching them the importance of acceptance from a young age.”
“That'll Do, Donkey. That'll Do” – Shrek
These famous characters have stood the test of time and continue to delight kids of all ages. With a focus on good moral values, likable protagonists, and entertaining storylines, they will be remembered for generations to come. So take a break from reality and explore the magical world of these beloved characters.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Caitriona is a private language tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. Caitriona has been teaching the English language since 2016. She has taught in schools in Spain and the U.K., and she currently teaches online. On her blog, you will find tons of English language articles, worksheets, resources, tips, and advice for learners and teachers.