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31 percent of parents don’t read to their children



Are you one of the over 60% of parents who doesn’t read newspapers or magazines to their kids

We all know that reading is essential for our children’s development. Despite this, a third (31 percent) of us parents do not read with our children and 63% never read newspapers or magazines, to their offspring.

YouGov quizzed over 2,000 adults on family reading habits. They found that only 24% of parents or grandparents read to their children or grandchildren daily. While 21% read to their children several times a week. Furthermore, 13% read to their children only once a week and 15% reported only reading with their children a couple of times a month.

These are the findings of a recent survey by YouGov, for Readly, the digital newspaper and magazine subscription service.

“Times have been extremely tough and parents and caregivers are doing the best they can,” says Chris Couchman, Head of Content at Readly. “At Readly, we want to make reading fun for children by giving them access to a range of content at their fingertips, including comics.”

Fiction books are often the first choice for parents keen to read to their children. However it’s also beneficial for parents to read newspapers and other journalistic publications. They promote literacy, encourage conversation and raise greater awareness of world issues.

But most parents don’t read publications to their children and here are the numbers:

  • While 35% of respondents read and discuss journalistic content with their children. A whopping 63% of UK parents choose not to read newspapers or magazines to their kids
  • Of those who are reading journalistic content to their kids, only 13% read this kind of content daily. 35% do so several times a week
  • 45% of those surveyed believe that it’s important their children have access to verified journalistic content, but only 15% do

Fay Lant, Head of School Programmed at the National Literacy Trust says: “The power of reading is strong. Low literacy skills can hold a person back at every stage of their life. So it’s really important to encourage young people to read, and read widely, from an early age.

“Magazines are a brilliant way to engage reluctant readers by starting with any area they are interested in. If children are particularly into cooking, for example, they could cut out recipes from newspapers, read up on chefs’ biographies, subscribe to a food magazine and enjoy these at home with their families for inspiration. All reading counts!”.

Fay gives her top tips to encourage reading:

1. Make reading fun

Start with your child’s interests and find reading materials to support them e.g. football match day programmes, leaflets or information about sea creatures, books about space etc. Comics can also be a fun way to engage reluctant or struggling readers, helping develop their understanding of narrative and character.

2. Don’t be afraid to embrace technology to encourage reading

Just because children are turning to devices doesn’t mean they have to choose between technology and reading. There are so many easily accessible materials on the web which can encourage our children’s literary growth. Many kids have tablets from a young age nowadays, so download age-appropriate reading apps that are engaging, fun, and educational. Apps, like Readly, are a great tool to encourage reading according to their interests. Readly has over 100 children’s and youth titles on the app in 17 different languages.

3. Find regular opportunities for reading

As well as during dedicated time for reading, find opportunities for reading as part of your daily activities. For example, children can use your supermarket shopping list to find the matching food item or look at signs in the park.

4. Encourage writing and drawing their own stories

Encourage your child to draw and write their own stories to allow them to explore their imagination. There are no restrictions or rules, and your child has the opportunity to read out their work to siblings, friends or grandparents. There are heaps of directed drawing videos available on YouTube to help them learn to draw, and they can use their own imagination to fill in the storyline.

5. Lead by example

Children imitate their parents and adults around them. You can set a great example by talking about the latest article, magazine or comic book you’ve read or by reading your own book at the same time as your child. If you speak a language other than English at home, talk about picture books with your child in your home language.

About Readly

Readly currently offers over 5000 titles on its platform for children to choose from and they include National Geographic Kids, Beano, Minecraft Secrets & Cheats, Go Girl, Animal Planet, Cocoa Boy and Cocoa Girl.

For more information visit

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