Have you ever heard the expression “million-word gap”? A study published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics shows that parents who read at least one storybook per day to their children expose them to roughly 78,000 words each year. Which means that by the time the child turns five years old they will have been exposed to more or less 1.4 million words.
We all know the importance of reading. It increases creativity and imagination, it improves memory and concentration, reading broadens the child’s horizon, it even develops abilities like empathy. Need I say more?
Nowadays the internet is full of good reading websites aimed at kids. Although we believe that nothing can replace the feel and smell of a book, the all-knowing internet is a good resource with a wealth of information. To this end, we have compiled a list of fantastic reading websites for kids. Here we go:
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This is a site aimed primarily at teenagers and young adults. Howstuffworks has an impressive collection of articles ranging from the weird like “What is earwax made of” to the more serious and thought-provoking ones. The articles are divided into eight categories: health, wellness, skincare, diseases & conditions, human body, sexual health, Parenting and mental health. They are extremely interesting and I must confess to losing track of time on this site. Your curious teen will love it for sure.
Is your little one a bit of a history buff? If so, BBCHistoryKids is the perfect place for them. They will learn about ancient civilizations, British history, the world wars and much more. The articles are short, using simple vocabulary and appealing pictures, perfect for children aged eight and above.
There are also videos and fun games related to history. One of the things that we loved is that they have a “hands-on” section where the little explorers can make a Viking’s helmet or step back into the Stone Age and make their own cave paintings. It’s fantastic as the kids get to not only read about history but also have lots of fun with specific arts and crafts. What a wonderful way of learning!
Good reading websites are in no short supply and Storynory is certainly one of them.
Storynory is a fantastic site for children who have just started reading. There are classical stories and fairy tales, modern, original stories as well as poems and songs that have been specially written and performed for Storynory. But what makes this site special is that each story is in an audio format as well. So children who can’t read yet can enjoy the marvellous stories as well, while older children can practice their reading and listening skills at the same time. Storynory is a free site and there is no registration needed.
4. Dogo News
Dogo News is one of the best reading websites for kids who love being up to date with everything around the world. They can read the latest news in the field of science, social studies, the environment, sports and major events. The articles are fun, engaging and informative, ideal for young, inquisitive minds.
You don’t necessarily have to sign up, but if you do there are some perks like creating your custom avatar, earning points and badges, following other Dogo users and commenting on news, books or movies.
Another one for history lovers. The site is easy to navigate and attractive to children. They will be able to learn about Egypt, The Middle Ages, Greece, Rome, Asia, China and America. The articles are charmingly written, perfect for little readers. They will learn about different aspects of the above-mentioned cultures like religion, literature, art, daily life, architecture and a lot more.
There are also fun quizzes, worksheets and even some lesson plans. The best part is that it is completely free. As far as good reading websites go, especially for history lovers, History for Kids is definitely the site to explore. So be sure to take full advantage of this cool site.
6. NatGeo Kids
This list wouldn’t be complete without National Geographic Kids. There are so many topics to explore: space, science, the environment, animals and different cultures. Since we are talking about Nat Geo you can expect some pretty spectacular photos that will blow your little one away.
There are also loads of videos and games that will keep your child entertained for hours. All these resources are free but if you want to receive the magazine you can subscribe and get 10 issues for $15.
Kids have naturally curious minds, so sciencenewsforstudents is an excellent site to feed their appetite for knowledge. With topics ranging from planet Earth, Health & Medicine, Archeology, Animals and Plants, Ecosystems, Space or Genetics, to name just a few, there is something for everyone. The articles are extremely engaging and I must confess that I found myself reading article after article.
The site targets kids aged 9-10 upwards, and one of the things that make this site stand out is that at the end of each article there is a list of words along with their definition. It’s a fantastic way for kids to enrich their vocabulary making Science News for Kids one of the best reading websites for kids.
Childrenslibrary.org has a very noble mission that should be applauded and supported. Their mission “is to support the world’s children in becoming effective members of the global community- who exhibit tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas- by making the best in children’s literature available online free of charge”.
They have an impressive collection that contains traditional books from all the continents. All the books are scanned from the originals so it’s like seeing and reading a bit of history. You can filter your search by age, length of books, fairy tales, picture books, real or imaginary characters and more. Which means that it is a very well-organized online library.
All the books are free to read, you don’t even need to register. But if you do, there are a few benefits like saving your favourite books on your personal shelf, returning to the last page you were reading or selecting your preferred language. I am in love with this site and its mission and I confess that it is one of the good reading websites that I keep going back to.
Is your child a Harry Potter fan? Silly question really. Who isn’t a Harry Potter fan?! J.K Rowling’s books have fascinated and enchanted children ( and adults, I confess I am a fan) around the world. So what could be more suitable for your little reader than a reading club dedicated to one of the most famous wizards in the world?
As you can expect, the site is visually appealing and relatively user-friendly. There are lots of things to do here, from getting to share your passion for reading with other Potterheads to fun, creative activities that are free to download.
Oh, and since we are on this topic, from one Potterhead to another, be sure to check out wizardingworld.com, the official home of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts.
There are so many cool things about Inklesstales that I’m not sure where to begin. It is an amazing site for kids who love reading and are just starting their fantastic journey into the world of books. Kids can choose to read or watch the video of the story. But one of the best things about Inklesstales is that it has 11 Dolch stories that will really help the little ones with their reading.
You will also find poems, games, colouring pages, tongue twisters, a section where children can submit their own stories and poems (that’s so cool, isn’t it?) and even templates to make your own paper finger puppets for a puppet show. And more. Much more. So, if you are browsing the internet for good reading websites for your child Inklesstales is 100% worth visiting and exploring as a young reader, parent or teacher.
ThoughtCo will answer many questions that your child might have. Why do people sneeze? How many animal species are there? What are the 6 creepiest fairy tales? The website is full of captivating articles, divided into five big categories: Literature; Science, Tech and Math; Humanities; Languages; Resources.
ThoughtCo is best suited for children ages 10+. Students will greatly benefit from the articles regarding study habits, test-taking, insight into admissions processes or distance learning, to name just a few. Even adults will find articles of interest on ThoughtCo so it is truly a website for the entire family.
Bonus: Story Online
Even though this site shouldn’t have been on a list of reading websites for kids, as all the stories are in a video format I couldn’t help myself and add this charming site to the list. I and my little boy are absolutely and irredeemable in love with Storyline Online.
It is a phenomenal award-winning children’s literacy website where celebrated actors read the books alongside beautifully made illustrations. You will get to see Kevin Costner, Betty White, Chris Pine, Kristen Bell, Oprah Winfrey, Viola Davis and many many more charmingly bringing the characters alive through masterful storytelling.
All the stories are delightful, fun and most importantly, they also carry an important message. After each book, parents, teachers and educators will find a supplemental curriculum to help the children strengthen their comprehension of the story and also practice their speaking and writing skills.
Storyline Online is a little gem and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Creating a healthy relationship between books and children starts early and when done well, it has a lifelong effect. It is not always easy to get your child to love reading but the effort is 100% worth it.
If you love the way books feel and smell take a look at these fantastic books that any child should read:
Have you enjoyed reading this list of fantastic free reading websites for kids? Be sure to spread the word so that others can benefit as well.