I am a big believer that children should be encouraged to read – and by that I mean read everything they can get their hands on: books, comics, letters, fiction, non fiction, magazines and everything else. If they enjoy it then it will improve their reading skills and give them a love of reading. Not every child loves classic fiction just as not every adult will get a kick from reading Jane Austen. I think it is our job as parents to help children find the books and other reading materials they love – encouraging them to read widely as they discover their preferences.
I think children are so lucky. There is so much choice and variety and the arrival of the internet means they can have instant access to what will hold their interest. I love the fact you can go on the internet and find a story for kids – completely free. Most kids are highly motivated by reading on the computer. It might be the same story in their class book but for some reason put it on the screen and it is a million times more interesting. I know there is an argument for limiting screen time but how can you argue when you see a normally reluctant reader entranced by their online story?
Anyway type in online story for kids and you will find dozens. Here are mine and the girls’ favourites.
1. Oxford Owl
The reading scheme in the majority of UK school is Oxford Reading Tree. It isn’t for everyone but so many children I have read with love the books and their familiar characters, magical adventures, Floppy dog and incredibly clumsy Dad. The best thing is most of the books are available as ebooks for free! You can choose the reading age of your child and then access most of the stories. It is a simple system with an animation for page turning. I like how the books are levelled so you know your child is reading the right level. Molly loves to read me a story and then to let the computer read one to her.
This website is brilliant for learning to read. It is very interactive with lots of games. The girls like the game where they can make themselves and choose their favourite things. You can also rad and online story based around different phonics sounds.
This website has a good selection of stories. It is intended for kids to learn English but the online stories would appeal to native English speakers too. The animations are sweet and the stories are engaging. Unfortunately you can’t seem to turn off the sound and read it yourself. It would be nice to have this option.
This site is brilliant if you want your children to read and listen to a story or play a game without any interference from ads or pop ups. Cbeebies shows are well made and engaging and the online stories are the same. There are a lot of favourites here and you can follow the words while you read the story. It would be nice to be able to turn off the sound and read the story yourself.
This is a fun series which has been converted to an online story for kids. There is the option to read the story yourself or hear it and each page has a comprehension style, multiple choice question where you pick the right word to fit in the sentence.
This is a cute site with lots of personalisation. You can add children’s faces for the songs and stories. The stories are simple and the animations are nicely integrated. I’m not too keen on all the ads and pop ups which encourage you to sign up, but that’s a common annoyance on the web. One of the features I like is that you can click on some highlighted words and see a picture cue to help you.
SOme lovely classic stories for children like The Rainbow Fish read by members of the Screen Actors Guild on You tube. A great way to find stories on Youtube. I love the animations and you can read along with the story.
This is a beautifully crafted online story. Although you can’t read along it is a lovely story to listen to and the rock songs which go with it are really catchy. It’s great to hear some children’s music that adults will enjoy too.
These are very simple books with a text to read aloud and a few sound effects. The real swan pictures are lovely and it would work well if your child was doing a topic about birds or was particularly interested in them.
An award-winning FREE interactive digital storybook destination. Classic children’s stories brought to life by TV star Kathy Kinney as Mrs. P. This is great fun and a lovely way to listen to a story.
A Child Like You
Finally a little bit of cheeky self promotion!
This is my online story for kids. It is for middle grade children age around 9-11. It is an adventure story for girls told in instalments and is full of magic and adventures.