The Reading Week: Focus on reading quality content with the family this half term

Research by YouGov for Readly, the all-you-can-read subscription service, has shown that despite evidence that reading and literacy are essential for children’s development in early years, reading to children has not been a priority for many parents over the last year. With the British weather being so unpredictable this half term, experts say reading quality news, magazines and books with children should be top of every parents holiday list. 

Whilst it can be tempting to rely on the iPad to keep children occupied and let YouTube’s algorithm decide the entertainment, parents are right to be concerned about the nature and quality of the information their children are accessing. 

Ofcom reported in April that during lockdown, more than 6 in 10 children struggled to know what was true or false about Covid-19, while the average number of news sources checked by 12-15 year olds fell. There’s never been a more important time to give children access to quality news, so that children can learn about the world from trusted sources. 

The study of over 2,000 parents on family reading habits for Readly digital subscription app also found that whilst 45 percent of parents believe that it is important for children to read verified journalistic content, only 15 percent believe they have access to this content.  Of those who read journalistic content such as magazines and newspapers with their children, 13 percent read daily and 35 percent do so several times a week. 

Chris Couchman, Head of content at Readly, a digital subscription app which offers access to over 5,000 magazines and newspapers said, “This half term is the first break since the schools returned to some normality so it’s a great time to focus on reading and making it fun and accessible for children. Our platform offers a range of comics and magazines for children to be inspired and immerse themselves in a world of visual storytelling plus newspapers for parents to discuss topical issues with their children.”

Whilst fiction is often the go-to for parents to read with their children, it is also beneficial for children to read newspapers and other journalistic publications, even if it is just to open up a discussion or conversation on a current topic. Reading material such as newspapers, magazines, and other journalistic content allows children to be connected to the community, promotes literacy, and encourages conversation and awareness of the world around them. 

Readly currently offers over 5000 titles on its unlimited digital reading platform with many titles for children to choose from including National Geographic Kids, Beano, Minecraft Secrets & Cheats, Go Girl, Animal Planet, Cocoa Boy and Cocoa Girl.

Fay Lant, Head of School Programmes at the National Literacy Trust said: “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. Comics help children who struggle with their reading to develop their understanding of character and storytelling using engaging images and the connected words. Reading news articles strengthens children's critical literacy skills which are vital for navigating information and the world around them. All reading counts!”

Her top tips to encourage reading this half term include: 

1.       Make reading fun: start with your child's interests and find reading materials to support them, for example 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 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. 

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. 

Chris Couchman, Head of Content at Readly added, “Now more than ever, we should be discussing journalistic content with our children to help them understand the changes in our world. Newspapers and magazines are real-time relevant reading which help shape their thoughts about news and issues. Journalistic platforms cover sports, events and include incredible imagery, which are all important for children.”

Readly offers unlimited all-you-can-read access to over 5,000 digital magazines and newspapers in one app with many UK and international titles available - something for all the family to choose from.  Readly is offering 2 months of free reading for sign ups throughout October then the usual £7.99 a month for unlimited reading thereafter. For more information visit


Notes to Editors:
The survey was carried out during the period from 15-17 March 2021 via the Internet, on the basis of a YouGov Panel of 2000 parents or caregivers

Reference: Ofcom, Children’s Media Lives, August 2020 see link:

For media enquiries:
Kate Tegelaars, press contact at Readly UK
+44 (0)7879 818 711,  

About Readly
Readly is a digital subscription service that lets customers have unlimited access to around 5,000 national and international magazines - all in one app. Founded by Joel Wikell in Sweden in 2012, Readly is today one of the leading companies in digital magazine subscriptions in Europe with users in 50 markets. In collaboration with around 900 publishers worldwide, Readly is digitizing the magazine industry. Our purpose is to bring the magic of magazines into the future, enabling the discovery and survival of quality content. During 2020 Readly distributed approximately 140,000 issues of magazines that have been read 99 million times.