Life would be so much simpler if your children could have a book magically appear in front of them whenever or wherever they wanted without having to go anywhere. To sweeten the deal, the books need to be free, like at the library, but no one has to make a special trip to pick them up.
Don’t get me wrong. Nothing will ever replace our beloved public libraries. However, with the price of gas, and our busy schedules, it’d be nice to get a break from running around.
Well, ask nicely, and the World Wide Web will give you a diverse selection of options to make your wish come true.
Naturally, everyone is familiar with Amazon.com. If you have Prime and/or Kindle Unlimited, books can be downloaded to a computer, tablet, or phone at no cost. Of course, kids will not have free access to your Amazon account, so you have to supervise the transactions. Then again, that’s not so bad either. Sitting together and looking at books is a great way to spend an evening with the young ones.
There are also free, reputable, user-friendly reading websites that offer eBooks, games, activities, etc., for children of all ages. As with any site designed for kids, initial parental supervision is required to sign up or register the children and confirm the site is appropriate for their child’s grade or age level.
Weareteachers.com has approved the following websites to be safe and fun for the kids:
- ABCya has a free basic account that offers cool games in math, science, social studies, arts, music, language arts, and even typing. (Grades Pre-K– 6+)
- Between the Lions has video segments from the PBS Early Reading series, “Get Wild About Reading.” (Grades Pre-K-1)
- Bookshare makes reading easier for people with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers. It’s free for US students. (Grades Pre-K – 12)
- Explorer Magazine is the digital version of the magazine published by National Geographic. It contains nonfiction content that encourages passion and wonder. (Grades K – 6)
- FunBrain features learning games and videos along with a selection of free books to read online. (Grades Pre-K– 8)
- Harry Potter Reading Club has activities, videos, discussion guides, and more for all the Hogwarts fans. (Grades 2–8)
- International Children’s Digital Library is from the University of Maryland. It’s not glitzy or filled with animated characters, but the site has more than 4,000 free eBooks kids can read online. (Grades K–8)
- Khan Academy is another no-frills free learning site with top-quality reading and language arts courses. (Grades 2–9)
- Khan Academy Kids is for children learning to read. (Grades Pre-K–2)
- Roy: Tale of a Singing Zebra has punctuation, reading, and spelling games, along with guided reading for early readers. (Grades Pre-K–2)
- Scholastic Kids Press has current events articles from around the world written by kid reporters. (Grades 4–8)
- Storyline Online is a very popular, award-winning website featuring videos of popular illustrated books being read aloud. (Grades Pre-K–4)
- StoryPlace brings story time at the library to your home. It is produced by the Charlotte – Mecklenburg Library and has stories, activities, videos, and reading lists. (Grades Pre-K–1)
Below we have provided a PDF you can download below and print out so your child can keep a list of their reading.