I am a BIG advocate of reading with children and I really do believe the biggest way you can make an impact to a child’s lifelong learning journey is by reading together. I am a bit of a traditionalist and prefer good, old fashioned paper and ink type books for reading with my girls but with a recent study reporting that 91.4% of children of families surveyed have access to touch screen technology and that over a quarter of them are reading or looking at books on their device at least once in a typical week, I realise that accessing good quality kids books via this technology is also important. The aforementioned study also found that young children are more likely to have above average vocabulary attainment if they look at or read both printed stories and stories on a touch screen compared with those who read printed stories alone, regardless of socioeconomic status. Now that is interesting!
Whether you are reading print books or online books and ebooks, I believe that choosing good quality titles is so important and so I set off on an online treasure hunt to find sites that provide free, good quality, online books for kids (most of these can be read on a computer, tablet or phone). Here are the five that I believe are most worth a look.
1. Oxford Owl
You will need to register (at no charge) for Oxford University Press’ Oxford Owl collection. Not all of the books on the site are free (it is also a bookshop) but there over 250 free ebooks.
2. Storyline Online
A little different to the other sites on this list, at the Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s Storyline Online famous actors read fabulous children’s books in a somewhat virtual storytime. There are some minor animation elements of the original book illustrations and the readings are awesome. Who could go past Betty White reading Harry the Dirty Dog!
4. Amazon’s Free Children’s ebook Collection
Amazon’s Free eBooks List for kids includes over 3000 ebooks for children of all ages. You are sure to find something you’ll like.
5. Barnes & Noble’s Free Nook Book Collection
Similarly, the Barnes & Nobles Free Nook Book collection offers a huge number of quality titles to read that are super easy to sort by age category or genre.
Do you have a favourite source of free eBooks for kids?