Free and Fun Elementary Reading Websites for Kids

Updated on September 10, 2019
EdTecher profile image

Heidi Reina, M.S., Ed, is an educational technology integrator and former teacher, reviewing free educational websites and apps.

10 Outstanding Reading Websites for Elementary Readers

Children become fluent in reading with practice, practice, practice. I've used these free, engaging reading games to hold their attention and keep them motivated. They are among the best methods for turning the hard work of learning to read into play.

These 10 excellent sites for preK and elementary children are backed by a tremendous amount of research into how kids learn to read and how they become fluent readers.

Between the Lions
Between the Lions

Between the Lions

for K-3rd grade

PBS Kids hosts some terrific educational material for children and their Between the Lions reading games and interactives are among the best. There are read-along folktales and fables with a twist, clever song videos of letter sounds, and amusing games. The games incorporate the basic building blocks of reading skills using phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension.

(My teenage daughter has fond memories of Between the Lions and I had to tear her away from this website so I could finish this review!)

Starfall Learn to Read with phonics
Starfall Learn to Read with phonics

Starfall Learn to Read with Phonics

reading games for preK to 2nd grade children

Starfall Education has created an engaging group of games and activities that range from the ABCs to fables. The stories and poems can be read by the narrator, the child, or by your child with assistance. Your child can read it and click on a word they need help with.

Reading material includes simple sentences, short stories, poems, plays, fiction, nonfiction, comics, folk tales, Greek myths, Chinese fables. The phonics section includes videos to illustrate letter sounds and patterns

StoryPlace
StoryPlace

StoryPlace

for preK-K children

StoryPlace is an award-winning digital learning library hosted by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system in North Carolina. Beginning readers choose from eight story themes.

These animated read-along stories engage children with songs and rhymes. Each story is accompanied by several other online and off-line activities for kids on the same theme. You'll also get suggestions for related library books to read with your child.



Storyline Online
Storyline Online

Storyline Online

for K-3rd grade students

The Screen Actors Guild Foundation has a wonderful story read along website, Storyline Online. Well-known SAG actors of all ages read 24 popular children's picture books. The narration is accompanied by illustrations from the book. Some of the stories use storybook cutout animation.

Each book has accompanying lesson plan ideas and activities. My kids love to hear the actors read the stories, as they're very expressive. I've heard many of them copy the tone and pitch of the readers when the children read the books aloud themselves.

ReadWriteThink Construct-a-Word
ReadWriteThink Construct-a-Word

ReadWriteThink Student Interactives

for K-2nd grade kids

ReadWriteThink Student Interactives, from the International Reading Association and National Council of Teachers of English, are jam-packed with lessons and interactive games for students of all ages learning reading and writing skills. For children learning to read English, they have six interactive games listed below. Each student interactive is accompanied by lesson plans for use in the classroom or by homeschoolers.

ABC Match - Match initial letters and letter sounds with pictures.

Construct-a-Word - Kids choose a word ending, then add beginning letters and letter blends to create a word bank.

Picture Match - Match a picture to a beginning-letter or short- or long-vowel sounds.

What's in the Bag? - Develop vocabulary skills by listening to descriptive words to identify objects.

Word Family Sort - Helps beginning and struggling readers recognize word patterns using onset and rime.

Word Wizards - Helps kids develop reading comprehension and spelling skills, using clues and scrambled letters from popular children's books.

PBS Reading Games
PBS Reading Games

PBS Reading Games

for kids in preK-3rd grade

PBS Kids has more than 60 Reading Games, connected to characters from their television series such as Sesame Street, Clifford, Martha Speaks, and Cailou. When your child successfully completes them, many of the games provide instant rewards, such as video clips or more fun games.

Make a book with Elmo by choosing characters and decorating the pages. Then Elmo reads a story designed by your child to your child. The completed story in printable. Play Rhyme Time Bingo with Wonder Red. Print the completed picture or choose from other instant prizes. Learn vocabulary by helping Martha add captions to her scrapbook pictures. When you correctly caption all the pictures, you get to watch a brief video clip from Martha Speaks.

The PBS characters are captivating and much loved by generations of kids, so their games easily hold the interest of young children as they learn basic reading and math skills.

WordWorld Reading Games and Adventures
WordWorld Reading Games and Adventures

WordWorld

for preK-1st grade children

In WordWorld, words morph into the objects they name. That creates a powerful connection between the letters and the words they represent. Children are captivated by the vibrant colors and graphics, and it's an excellent vocabulary building site for beginning readers.

All of the words your child acquires in a game are added to their Word Space. Kids can use their collection of words to create pictures to print or send to friends and family.

Khan Academy Kids
Khan Academy Kids

Khan Academy Kids app

for PreK - K children

This engaging app combines math, reading, drawing and storytelling in thousands of activities. Original stories, games galore, and beautifully illustrated characters hold the interest of young children.

Khan Academy grounds these activities in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework and Common Core standards. As with KhanAcademy.org, children follow a learning path tailored to their learning abilities and performance.

As of this writing the iOS version is fully functional. The Android and Kindle versions are available but still in beta testing.

Storynory

for K - 5 children

With more than 600 audio stories, Storynory is a longtime favorite in the UK. It provides a broad range of original titles, fairytales, myths, world stories, and classic authors. Children listen as they read along with the expressive storytellers. The stories also available via podcast.


OxfordOWL
OxfordOWL

Oxford Owl

for PreK - 5 kids

OxfordOWL is another site from the UK. It offers 100 free ebooks that range from simple level-reader stories to more complex titles and layouts, such as "How to Build a Castle". Each book is prefaced with guidance for teachers and parents, explaining the reading skills emphasized in the story. The book ends with more guidance for discussion and reading comprehension questions. Free registration is required to access the ebooks.

Reading Help for Parents from Reading Rockets

The Cat in the Hat - Dr. Seuss
The Cat in the Hat - Dr. Seuss

I love this interactive Kindle version of one of my students' all-time favorite stories.

All the Dr. Seuss stories are excellent because of their rhyming and sound repetition. Kids that master these kinds of sounds are well on their way to becoming excellent readers.

Using this interactive version, kids can read alone, read along, and touch words to learn new vocabulary.

Although it's not free, for just a few bucks, this version of The Cat in the Hat adds a whole new dimension for beginning readers.

 

More Reading Resources from Parents

Literacy Resources For Parents | Reading Rockets

Offers effective teaching strategies, activities, lessons, lesson plans, worksheets, exercises, skills, tests, assessments for reading comprehension, language arts, literacy, fluency, phonics and phonemic awareness for children, especially those with dyslexia and other reading difficulties.

Project Gutenberg - free ebooks

Project Gutenberg has 36,000 free ebooks for Kindle, Android, iPad, iPhone.

Reading Games To Motivate Your Child

Motivate your child through play. Find some great ideas for Reading Games which both you and your child will enjoy.

Professor Garfield Toon Book Reader

More than 10 free online ebooks for beginning readers, with read-along audio option in English, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.

KidsRead2Kids

A Parents' Choice approved website founded by dyslexic and ADHD siblings to bring the joy and confidence back to the struggling reader. The site and YouTube channel provide free audiobooks of abridged classic novels read by high school students and filmed chapter by chapter for easy listening. The website also has a blog filled with information for kids and parents and a list of other free resources.

Questions & Answers

    What elementary reading activities do your kids play?

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      • EdTecher profile imageAUTHOR

        Heidi Reina 

        5 weeks ago from USA

        Hi Loyda. You can help your little brother learn to read. Read books with him, especially those with lots of rhymes. Storynory is a good website with the kinds of books that will help him to become a reader.

      • profile image

        Loyda Meija 

        6 weeks ago

        How could you help my little brother to learn how to read

      • EdTecher profile imageAUTHOR

        Heidi Reina 

        2 months ago from USA

        So glad you find them helpful Hoop!

      • profile image

        Hoop 

        2 months ago

        As a third grade teacher, these are great resources! Sharing with our parents!

      • EdTecher profile imageAUTHOR

        Heidi Reina 

        3 months ago from USA

        Thank you for alerting me to the broken links. I've updated the link for Between the Lions. BBC has restricted access. So I've recommended another site, StoryPlace. Hope you find them helpful.

      • profile image

        FredRogersDaughter 

        3 months ago

        You appear to have at least 2 dead links: Between the Lions and the BBC one.

      • EdTecher profile imageAUTHOR

        Heidi Reina 

        10 months ago from USA

        I'm happy you liked it. Was there a site that your kids particularly enjoyed?

      • profile image

        Harman 

        10 months ago

        I like this website

      • EdTecher profile imageAUTHOR

        Heidi Reina 

        12 months ago from USA

        Sorry you did not find something helpful. Epic, though, is not a free site.

      • EdTecher profile imageAUTHOR

        Heidi Reina 

        16 months ago from USA

        Glad you found to helpful, Analyn!

      • profile image

        analyn 

        16 months ago

        im from philippines ..needed this for my kid..eureka!

      • EdTecher profile imageAUTHOR

        Heidi Reina 

        16 months ago from USA

        For older elementary students who have advanced beyond the beginning reader stage, check out the section "More Reading Resources from Parents" above. Project Gutenberg, Oxford Owl, and Reading Games are all useful for grades 3-5.

      • profile image

        Sara 

        16 months ago

        I love this website

      • profile image

        blah blah 

        17 months ago

        ok so where are 5th grade reading websites

      • EdTecher profile imageAUTHOR

        Heidi Reina 

        20 months ago from USA

        Try Reading Records from SAS Curriculum Pathways. It's free and it's designed for K-5 readers. You can use online or as an iOS or Windows app. Link to all versions: https://www.curriculumpathways.com/portal/#info/1698.

      • profile image

        Izabella 

        20 months ago

        What are good reading map growth test warm up websites

      • EdTecher profile imageAUTHOR

        Heidi Reina 

        22 months ago from USA

        So glad you found it helpful. Wish you much success with your school year.

      • profile image

        Taniah 

        22 months ago

        Lots of help for my classes

      • profile image

        Alyiah 

        2 years ago

        I love this website it helps kids learn

      • profile image

        DaniRren 

        5 years ago

        Such interesting stuff here on your pages! I simply love between the lions, sure makes great fun reading for a child. A kid usually gets to learn more when there is fun involved in the lessons. Thanks for the lovely ideas. educationalplay.info

        Regards

        Dani Rren

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        5 years ago

        I love this website. I look forward to putting you suggestions to good use!

      • profile image

        LearnKidstoRead 

        5 years ago

        Thanks for the very enjoyable and helpful lens. Anything we can do to get our kids to learn and have fun doing it has got to be good. Sue

      • profile image

        TeachKidsReading 

        5 years ago

        That is a great list of websites, and definitely a good resource for parents wanting to teach their children to read or give their kids the resources to learn to read better. Thanks

      • profile image

        NancyKraz 

        5 years ago

        Our kids love ReadingEggs. we were originially turned on to it by our daycare, but it has done wonders for their reading comprehension. It's definitely worth checking out if you haven't done so yet. You can get a free trial at kidslearntoread.net

      • profile image

        Early2ReadMom 

        5 years ago

        I got my kids started early to readâ¦before they ever entered kindergarten. I canât overstate how much it helped their overall confidence level in all subjects. My boy started reading at age 3. As he entered first grade and they told me he was reading on the 5th grade level. Kids love reading when they can learn with no pressure.

      • favored profile image

        Fay Favored 

        6 years ago from USA

        Don't have any, but saw this for a friend. Sending her this link. Good collection of sites.

      • LouisaDembul profile image

        LouisaDembul 

        6 years ago

        Very nice selection of reading sites for kids. I came here looking for help to teach my little on to read, and found it!

      • suepogson profile image

        suepogson 

        6 years ago

        These sites are terrific, and will encourage participation from young 2nd language speakers. Thank you so much - I have sent this lens to Primary (elementary) teachers and heads of my acquaintance.

      • neotony profile image

        neotony 

        6 years ago

        nice resource but i had to comment on the cute bookworm that called me over to this lens!

      • dsypert profile image

        dsypert 

        6 years ago

        Like your "book worm" image.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        6 years ago

        I have introduced my children to Starfall. I am trying to get my older daughter to read more to improve her development. This lens is an excellent resource for parents like me.

      • Scarlettohairy profile image

        Peggy Hazelwood 

        7 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

        My grandkids love Starfall. Great bunch of resources!

      • CruiseReady profile image

        CruiseReady 

        7 years ago from East Central Florida

        GameGoo looks like a fun site!

      • denetraharris profile image

        denetraharris 

        8 years ago

        Love your lens, good and useful info. on the websites. check out my lens on how important it is to learn to read & enjoy reading in the early years of life. If not, you will have low performing schools in your school district.

        squidoo.com/mercybookmobile

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        8 years ago

        Practice, practice, practice....and have fun, what a great approach for developing reading skills.

      • KarenTBTEN profile image

        KarenTBTEN 

        8 years ago

        Looks like a good set of resources, and well annotated. SquidAngel blessings from the preschool and elementary neighborhood SquidAngel.

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