Readingmate: Incentivising children to read #AD

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Have you found it a struggle to motivate your children during lockdown? Do you find children who once loved to read books are constantly drifting towards screens for entertainment? If so, Readingmate is an app that could help your children develop good reading habits. I’ve been using it with my kids and thought I’d share my thoughts.

Izzy settled down and reading, something that will get her rewards on the Readingmate app.

What is Readingmate?

Readingmate is a free app aimed at parents and carers. Through the use of regular reading reminders and timers, the app encourages youngsters to settle down and read books.

You set up a profile for your child and as they read, they get awards. There are awards for reading for five days in a row, 10 days in a row, 25 days in a row and for finishing a book.

The Habit Tracker

Having been using the app for a few weeks now, I’d say the Readingmate Habit Tracker is the most important part of the app. This is where you log your child’s progress and hopefully this will encourage them to make reading a part of everyday life.

The app only recently launched so we’re early adopters. In time, the app’s algorithm will learn what my kids enjoy reading and suggest books that Helen and Izzy might enjoy. It’s a bit early for us to have reached this stage, but in time it will be interesting to see what books the app recommends the two of them read.

You can see what days of the week Helen has read and she has received rewards for reaching the five day and 10 day reading milestones (Click on picture to visit the Readingmate website). 

How have we got on with Readingmate?

I was a bit apprehensive about using Readingmate at first. Apps like this can be incredibly complicated to use. My concerns were unnecessary. The reverse was true and I was impressed with Readingmate’s simplicity.

It was very straightforward to set up profiles for both my kids. Both of them are reasonably enthusiastic readers anyway, but showing them the Habit Tracker gave them both extra impetus to read.

Seeing the daily reading record and allowing the kids to update it themselves (with my oversight, obviously) has been a simple, effective way to encourage them to read. It’s also helped divert them away from screens, a complaint I have heard from a lot of other parents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Readingmate enables you to keep a record of how many days your children have read and what they are reading.

Buy new books

Readingmate also comes with a facility to buy books. As an added incentive, for every book purchased via the app, Readingmate will donate 10p to your child’s school and a further 10p to your chosen charity.

The other nice thing to mention about Readingmate is that it’s been set up by a husband and wife team, one of them being an English teacher who was concerned about the reading ability of some students when they started secondary school.

Final thoughts

In all honesty, what is there not to like about Readingmate? It’s free, easy to use, encourages children to do something constructive with their time and you can buy books without using a retail monster like Amazon.

There’s nothing to lose and you can find out more and download the app from Readingmate’s website.

Do also keep an eye out on the blog and my Instagram in the weeks and months to come. I have a Q&A planned with Readingmate’s founders and also a couple of Instagram posts in the pipeline.

4 thoughts on “Readingmate: Incentivising children to read #AD”

  1. This seems a great app, it has been a struggle at times to get my girls motivated to do some form of reading or school work. We have amazon fire kids tablets for 2 of the girls which have parental settings which allow us to set time limits for games and videos but also set goals for reading but this would be great for the older 2 who mainly use their smartphones.

    1. HI Eddie – yes it is a great app. IF there’s one thing we all need at this point in time, it’s motivation and that includes kids. Readingmate is one great way we can encourage kids to read. More to the point, it’s about developing habits that will hopefully last.

  2. This looks a fantastic app. My twin girls love reading and yes I agree it’s been a struggle to keep the screentime down. I will definitely be trying this for the girls, to keep there reading going. Excellent review

    1. Best of luck with screen time management. I hope you give Readingmate a go Nigel. it;s a great and very simple to use app.

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