Best Reading Websites for Kids

Free resources are always a teacher’s dream, but when it comes to free sites to use during reading instruction the choices can be few and far between.  Whether you are looking for a site to use during the Daily 5’s “Listen to Reading” time or want to provide students with a fun early finisher activity, the sites below are ideal.

Designed for elementary-age students, these reading sites are both free and kid-friendly. We hope you find this article and the free resources it contains helpful!

Here we recommend some reading websites for kids where you will find educational materials that will help your children practice their reading and know new words.

1. Storyline Online

With more than 150 million visitors a year, this site is successful for transmitting videos of famous actors reading children’s stories; This site streams featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more. All supported by colorful and creative illustrations that will reinforce their learning and keep their attention.

2. Free Children’s Stories

Founded in 2008, operates on the simple principle that children’s development is paramount. Their mission is to offer traditional, meaningful storytelling to every child, parent, or teacher around the globe with access to the internet, for free.

3. Starfall

While some areas of Starfall are part of their premium service, they have many early reader stories available for free. Students can follow along as the story is read to them and can, in some instances, help create their own story.  The website is highly engaging and a favorite of young readers. For more literacy fun, introduce them to some of these Reading Apps for Kids.

4. International Children’s Digital Library

This is a great choice to allow you and your children to read diversely, and includes more than 4,000 titles from authors around the world, in more than 50 languages.  The free site does not read the books aloud, but students can read them independently during Read to Self or free time. This is a great site for extension activities when learning about different regions of the world and can be used effectively into the middle school grades. The books can be read anywhere you have access to an Internet connection, in your browser.

5. Tumble Books

TumbleBooks is a pay-for-use site that traditionally sells licenses to libraries and schools.  Many public libraries offer free access to Tumble Book Library, a service aimed especially for kids and teens.  Students can follow along as the text is read them to help improve comprehension and fluency.  Choose from picture books to chapter books. TumbleBooks offers talking, animated picture books for children and interactive e-books designed for middle and high school students. It is an ideal website for children who struggle with reading or who are visual and auditory learners. If your school decides to purchase a school license, there is also access to the Common Core Portal that includes lessons and quizzes to accompany the books.

6. ABCya!

Children can listen to short stories read aloud to them as they follow along with the highlighted text.  ABCya! has a variety of educational games in addition to the featured stories. Free resources and materials are available for grades K through 5.

7. Storynory

Storynory features a collection of an original, fairy tale, and classic children’s audio stories.  Students can follow along with the story as it is read to them, as the text is also included on the site. If your child is a little older, approximately 8 to 12 years old, you can show him this website confidently. There are several entertaining materials for them with a minimum amount of illustrations, unlike the materials for small children. There is also a section of poems and audios of children’s songs with their respective lyrics.

8. National Geographic Young Explorers

National Geographic Young Explorers is a magazine designed specifically for kindergarten and first-grade students.  Children can listen to the magazine being read to them as they follow along with the highlighted text.  It is a great way to bring interesting non-fiction stories into reading center time.

9. Online Storytime by Barnes and Noble

From The Kissing Hand read by author Audrey Wood to Pinkalicious read by Victoria Kann, Barnes and Noble’s Online Storytime has popular children’s books read out loud. While there are no supplemental materials to accompany the stories, this free site is perfect for “Listen to Reading” stations.

10. Oxford Owl

Oxford Owl for Home provides access to a collection of tablet-friendly eBooks and helpful tips and activities for parents to support children’s learning at home. Oxford Owl is an award-winning website from Oxford University Press, created to support children’s learning both at home and at school. After registering (which is free), you gain free access to many of Oxford’s ebooks for free, along with other guides and games to help children develop their reading skills.

11. Read to Me

Similar to Storyline Online, Read to Me features popular children’s books being read by famous performers.  There are activity guides with hands-on ideas, discussion questions, and lesson plans that can easily be adapted to the Common Core State Standards.  Entirely free, the site is colorful and engaging.

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