40% of Kids Wish Their Parents Still Read to Them

BY Courtney Huckabay
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Reading aloud to a child is a wonderful bonding moment, but the research also shows that reading aloud to children all the way up to age 11 is a predictor that children will become frequent readers. And kids love it: 83% of children of all ages surveyed say they loved or liked a lot being read aloud to, according to the Kids & Family Reading Report. And 40% of kids ages 6–11 whose parents have stopped reading aloud to them say they wish their parents had continued.

While 73% of parents with children ages 0–5 say they started reading aloud to their children before age 1, only 30% say they began before the age of 3 months, in accord with the recent recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics that parents read aloud to children starting at birth.

More than half of children ages 0‰ÛÒ5 are read aloud to at home 5‰ÛÒ7 days a week. This declines to only 1 in 3 kids ages 6‰ÛÒ8 and to 1 in 6 kids ages 9‰ÛÒ11; 4 in 10 children ages 6‰ÛÒ11 who were read books aloud at home say they wished their parents had continued reading aloud to them.

When it comes to being read aloud to at home, more than 83% across age groups say they love(d) or like(d) it a lot‰ÛÓthe main reason being it was a special time with parents.

While both children and parents agree that reading skills are the most important skills kids can have, children are reading somewhat less often than they did 4 years ago. In the home, especially for older children, reading competes with games on smartphones or computers.

Kids ages 6 to 17 report that they want books that make them laugh (70%), and 91% agree ‰ÛÏmy favorite books are the ones that I have picked out myself.‰ÛåÊKids also want books that:

  • ‰ÛÏlet me use my imagination‰Û (54%)
  • ‰ÛÏtell a made-​up story‰Û (48%)
  • ‰ÛÏhave characters I wish I could be like because they‰Ûªre smart, strong or brave‰Û (43%),
  • ‰ÛÏteach me something new‰Û (43%)
  • ‰ÛÏhave a mystery or a problem to solve‰Û (41%)

While the percentage of children who have read an ebook has increased across all age groups since 2010 (25% vs. 61%), the majority of children who have read an ebook say most of the books they read are in print (77%). Nearly two-​thirds of children‰ÛÓup from 2012 (60%)‰ÛÓagree that they‰Ûªll always want to read books in print even though there are ebooks available.

AudienceSCAN surveys report that 27.5% of U.S. adults said "spending more time with family" was a personal goal for the next year. One way this audience can achieve this goal is to read with their children and/​or grandchildren. 60% of this audience is married, and 41% have children younger than age 9 living at home.

21% of family-​time seekers enjoy reading religious/​devotional books, and another 14% enjoy writing/​blogging. Thrift stores and used book stores should note: 27% bought or sold an item in a resale/​consignment shop. Small bookstores and book sellers should also know that 66% of this audience prefers to shop at locally owned businesses.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.