Difference Between Kids and Children

Main Difference – Kids vs Children

‘Kids’ and ‘children’ have the same meaning and are often used interchangeably. Both refer to human offspring, or human beings who have not yet reached adulthood. However, there is a slight difference between kids and children, depending on the usage and we are going to look at this difference in this article. The main difference between kids and children is that the word kids is more used in informal usage while the word children is seen in both formal and informal usage.

Kids – Meaning and Usage

Kids refer to children, i.e. humans who have not yet reached adulthood. When talking about the origins of this word, it is interesting to note that kid used to refer to the offspring of goats until the end of 16th century. It was first used in slang, to refer to children in the 1590s. From then onward, this words slowly came into the accepted usage. However, we should always remember that ‘kid’ is not often used in formal usage. For example, this word should be avoided in formal or academic writing. ‘Kid’ is more often used in spoken language, among people you are familiar with.

“Why didn’t you bring your kids?”

“I have two kids, a girl and a boy.”

“My kids love to eat chocolate cake with ice-cream.”

It is also used as an informal form of address.

“We’ll be seeing ya, kid!

“Shut up, kid.”

Note that this usage might be sometimes considered as derogatory when the person being so addressed is an adult.

Remember that, in formal usage, ‘kid’ refers to a young goat or leather made from a young goats’ skin.

“She was wearing white kid gloves.”

“He treated the goat kids as they were his own children.”

difference between kids and children

Meet my kids, Nile and Kara.

Children – Meaning and Usage

Children refer to the human offspring. This is the plural form of ‘child.’ This word is derived from the Old English term ‘cild’ of Germanic origins. This word is used in both formal and informal usage. In formal or academic writing, always use ‘children’ instead of ‘kids’. 

“She adopted two children from Sri Lanka.”

“The true character of a society is revealed in how it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela

“A house without children is not a home.”

“I have three children, two girls and a boy.”

main difference kids vs children

Children are playing together.

Difference Between Kids and Children


Kids refer to human offspring, young goats or leather made from young goat’s skin.

The word Children refer to the human offspring.

Word origins

The word Kids only came into the contemporary usage in the seventeenth century.

The word Children is derived from an Old English word of Germanic origins.


The word Kids is used in informal usage only.

The word Children is used in both formal and informal usage.


The word Kids is sometimes used as an affectionate term with people we are familiar with.

The word Children can be used with both familiar and unfamiliar people.

Derogatory meaning

The word Kids can be used in an insulting manner too.

The word Children does not give a derogatory meaning.

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