Children spend three times as much time looking at a screen than they do reading books, research suggests.
On average, children watch TV for 90 minutes a day, play on computers for 42 minutes and go online for 28 minutes, compared to 44 minutes a day reading a book, a survey by publisher Pearson's found.
Some 410 English teachers and 2000 parents of children aged two to 11 were questioned online about children's reading habits.
More than three quarters (77%) of teachers said that children's attention spans in classrooms are shorter than ever before by the tome children start secondary school. Most teachers (94%) also said that children don’t spend enough time reading for pleasure and would rather spend time online than reading books.
Almost all teachers (97%) thought that parents could do more to help encourage reading for pleasure at home.
Meanwhile, nearly half of parents (49%) said they read to their child every day, but thirty per cent admitted that they only read with their child once a week or less. More than one in 10 parents said they read with their children less than once every six months or never.
And more than one in six parents said that they never read a bedtime story to their children.
Pearson has today launched a national "Enjoy Reading" campaign which aims to inspire more children to develop an early lifelong love of reading.
Broadcaster and mother Mariella Frostrup who is backing the campaign said: "It’s vital that we as parents take every step we can to ensure that our children develop a love of reading from an early age.
"As a parent, I know how difficult it can be when there are so many different demands on a child’s attention.
"Putting great books in the formats that children enjoy and helping parents and teachers find new ways to inspire a love of reading in children of all abilities is a vital job for the Enjoy Reading campaign.”
Rod Bristow, President of Pearson, said: "Study after study has shown that reading for pleasure is a key indicator of future success for children, but demands on children’s attention and the difficulty of inspiring reluctant readers mean many are missing out.
"The Enjoy Reading campaign is designed to support parents and schools to inspire children of all abilities to read."