Edventures with Kids

Kids Activities, Family Travel & Fun Ways to Learn

Kids love to hear stories - ask any child and I'll bet they tell you that one of their favorite parts of their day is read-aloud and storytime! 

Listening to a book helps kids to develop better concentration and listening skills, engages their imagination, increases their vocabulary and enhances their desire to be a reader as they grow.


Free Read Aloud Books for Kids


I love to encourage parents to read to their child each day.  That 15 minutes of storytime has so many wonderful benefits!

In addition to parent/child read-aloud time, families can also include online read alouds and audio books as part of their child's literacy activities.  These online books can really help to increase the time your kids spend reading and being read to -- use them in the car when your running errands or in the evening while while you're preparing dinner.

We've found some wonderful websites that offer stellar books which are read aloud to your child. 


And a BIG bonus is that they are all FREE! 

Yep, free stories online for the kiddos (pretty great huh!)


Online Storytime by Barnes & Noble

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links for your convenience.

Barnes & Noble's Online Storytime hosts 16 very popular books that are read to kids.  The titles include:


The Details:  Barnes and Noble has a really nice selection of very well known (and many award winning) children's books.  The voices of the readers are nice to listen to and kids will recognize many of their favorites.

I am disappointed with how the site chooses to show the book as it's read.  You are only shown some of the illustrations and the pictures move as the story is read aloud.  I find this very distracting.  There is also no text shown as the book is read (I always think it's better to have the text shown in order to offer kids the opportunity for word recognition).

Other great titles include Green Eggs and Ham & The Hungry Caterpillar!


Storyline Online

Storyline Online is brought to us from the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, these 20+ books are read aloud by some very famous actors and actressses. 


The Details:  I love the classic voices of many of the readers (seriously! James Earl Jones reads To Be a Drum & Betty White reads Harry the Dirty Dog).  The books are read via video so the kids get to see the actor before the book begins.  The illustrations are slightly animated.  There is no text shown during the reading of the book (as I said before, I really wish they would put the text up on the screen for the kids).  

One of the BIG BONUSES on this site -- each book has Related Activities that are offered and an Activity Guide that you can download too!  I love both of these extras as they offer some great questions that you can discuss with your child to reinforce listening and comprehension skills.  - also Rainbow Fish, bad case of stripes

In addition to the two pictured above, some of my other favorites on this site include Harry the Dirty Dog, A Bad Case of Stripes, and The Polar Express.




Storynory offers a great selection of classic storys, fairy tales, original stories and educational  tales such as greek myths.

The Details:  A well-known and well-established site, Storynory has been offering a new story each week since 2005 so they have quite a collection!  The readers have wonderful voices and you can find many great fables and fairy tales on this site. 

Each selection only includes one illustration but the entire texted can be viewed during the read aloud.  This site is more of an audio book, but I really like that older kids can follow along with the text to increase word regonition and pronunciation skills.

Other great offerings include Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, Aesop's Fables and a HUGE selection of fairy tales from around the world.


KOL Jr. Stories

Unfortunately, KOL Jr. is no longer available.  No one is sure what happened to the site, it just disappeared.  So I'm searching for other options to add to this great list.

If your kids like Arthur, they can find more than 15 Arthur stories at KOL Jr. 


The Details:  The books read on this website show all the book pages with text and the words are highlighted as the book is read to you. I really like the highlighted text as kids are able to follow along with the story and practice word recognition and pronunciation skills.

Some of my favorite Arthur books that are read on the site include Arthur's Pet Business (An Arthur Adventure), and Arthur Meets the President: An Arthur Adventure (Arthur Adventure Series).

Another of my favorite book series, Toot & Puddle, also has one book that can be found here too - Toot & Puddle: You Are My Sunshine.


And be sure to visit our original post -- Finding Free Kids Books Online -- where we share a number of great website that offer free reading materials including popular picture books, classic chapter books and some of your childhood favorites too!


Enjoy listening!  ~ Jacquie


 You might also like:

Finding Free Kids Books Online



Free Printables & Online Games for Kids




This post may contain affiliate links as a courtesy to my readers.  If you do order a product through one of these links, we'd like to thank you for your patronage!


Carolyn Wednesday, 27 February 2013 · Edit Reply

Thanks for putting together this list!

igamemom Thursday, 28 February 2013 · Edit Reply

Thanks for sharing. This is great. Did you try wegivebooks.com? It is free too.


This is one thing I don't know much about. What a great resource collection you've put together. Thanks for sharing at The Children's Bookshelf.


A great selection - we love the rainbow fish so definitely checking that out.

Thanks for sharing on The Sunday Showcase.

Valarie Budayr Monday, 08 April 2013 · Edit Reply

Jacquie this is a great list and resource for both parents and kids. Thanks so much for sharing it. There are some wonderful and popular titles on this list.

PragmaticMom Monday, 08 April 2013 · Edit Reply

Great post!! Love that you have given free resources to help share the bedtime read aloud time. Will share via Sulia, Twitter and Facebook!

Crystal Monday, 08 April 2013 · Edit Reply

Super excited about these, but all seem to require flash, which means you can't use the iPhone or iPad :( B&N site works for the first four books, but can't get to the others in the list. Dang. Will keep looking, as maybe they'll update the site or there's something I missed?? Fingers crossed, as these would be great in the car or at a hotel or even upstairs in bed.

Mary Catherine Saturday, 13 April 2013 · Edit Reply

This is a wonderful resource! I'm going to pin it for future reference (both for my son and my students). Thanks so much for sharing at Stress-Free Sunday. :)

Wendy Howard Tuesday, 16 April 2013 · Edit Reply

Thanks for the list of stories online. I teach 2nd grade and at the end of
the day the kids love to listen to stories on the Smart Board.

Amanda Thursday, 25 April 2013 · Edit Reply


Dee Thursday, 30 May 2013 · Edit Reply

Look for closed caption options for text appearing.

DeeDee Saturday, 06 July 2013 · Edit Reply

Thank you for putting the list of stories online. This is great to have students listen to at home or in school.

YvonneJ Monday, 15 July 2013 · Edit Reply

Don't forget to check with your library to see if they offer digital ebooks and audiobooks...Ours offers ebooks through Overdrive and Freading and audiobooks though Overdrive. Another audiobook source is One Click Digital. Your library may also offer picture books through Tumblebooks.

Cheryl Saturday, 20 July 2013 · Edit Reply

Thanks for the resources. Very cool.

Laura Tuesday, 23 July 2013 · Edit Reply

Thanks for the list. I was unaware of some of them. Storynory is a favorite of ours. We love the Katie and Bertie stories, as well as Tick Tock Turkey.

Joyce Tuesday, 17 September 2013 · Edit Reply

What happened to the KOL jr site? We used this in our classroom last year for listen to reading for Daily 5. Now we are scrambling to find something else to fill this activity.

Kat Saturday, 05 October 2013 · Edit Reply

I use storylineonline in my classroom, and if you put on the subtitles (cc) for the video they are very accurate. That solves the problem of no text.

Beverley Monday, 10 March 2014 · Edit Reply

Wonderful website, thanks so much

Cara @ Raising Kinley Thursday, 10 April 2014 · Edit Reply

What a great list! We love to read and I am excited to try these with my girl...thank you!

Leave your comment

Guest Tuesday, 02 September 2014

About the author

Jacquie Fisher

Jacquie is the founder & owner of Edventures with Kids, a site that shares unique kid’s activities, fun ways to learn and inspriation for family travel.  She is an educator, nature lover and mom to 2 great kids.  Jacquie enjoys exploring new places with her family and loves encouraging kids to be creative & curious!  Visit our About Us section for more information about Jacquie & Edventures with Kids!






fb    twitter2    rss2

 pinterest    googleplus2    email2









Creativity kits for kids!


BabbaBox - Activity Box for Kids


June Monthly Coupon Code Banner 160x600