Long time readers of Childhood 101 will know that I am a big advocate of reading with children and that I really do believe there is little more valuable to children’s learning than the bonding that takes place between an adult and child as they sit and read a book together. I will admit that 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 touch screen technology may be providing an important route to literacy for those living in lower socioeconomic households and 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. Interesting!
So I set off on an online treasure hunt in an effort to find sites that provide good quality online books for kids (most of these can be read on a computer, tablet or phone) for free and here are five that I think a worth a look.
1. We Give Books
Since 2010 We Give Books have been sharing free digital books with children. The website includes a huge range of fabulous books (classics and new titles) that can be sorted by age, author or genre and the site also includes a teacher resource section.
2. 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.
3. 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!
5. Amazon’s Free Children’s ebook Collection
The final collection on our list is Amazon’s Free eBooks List for kids. With over 3000 ebooks for children of all ages, you are sure to find something you’ll like.
Do you have a favourite source of free eBooks for kids?