My kids and I used to love trips to the library where they could browse the shelves and bring home our book bin brimming with new titles to enjoy. Despite our library network’s amazing response, COVID and the derecho damage have made getting new stories home to read a bit more challenging.
As a former reading teacher, I can’t stress just how important it is to continue enjoying reading books aloud with your children. When children learn to read, the biggest mistake parents make is thinking they no longer need to enjoy stories together. Please keep reading with your children! There is no reason to stop – even as teenagers! Sharing a book is an amazing way to bond. Not only is it a memory you will both treasure, but it can also be a fun way to relive your own childhood through the magic of storytelling.
But how do you get a hold of new stories when it’s harder than ever to use your local library? Easy!
Just check out this list of our top 5 YouTube channels for children’s read-aloud books! You and your kids can still choose new books to read for free without the hassle of holds, pickups, masks, or hand sanitizer. (You can also check out this guide to the Downtown library which highlights their online resources!)
This channel’s strengths are its well-organized playlists, so it’s easy to find stories you’ll love. From themes and holidays to favorite characters and classics, they have well over 100 books to choose from and still adding more! The reader is easy to listen to and there are so many great books to choose from, you won’t want to miss this channel!
The cool thing about this channel is that the books are read by the author or Illustrator of the book! It’s great for kids to see authors and illustrators as real people and to hear a bit of commentary on the book they helped create. The sound quality is not always amazing as the recording took place in their homes during COVID quarantines, but all are still enjoyable, especially when the authors read it with their silly voices!
This channel is one of my favorites! It’s not super well organized, but they have high-quality stories. The best part is that all the stories are read by a second grader who is seriously awesome at reading aloud! I could listen to her sweet voice all day. Listening to another child read with fluency and expression is very beneficial for your young readers, especially. It may even inspire them to make their own story video to share with grandparents or friends. What a fun and meaningful way to practice reading skills!
Storyline Online is another one you don’t want to miss. The videos are very well done and full of quality books read by celebrities. I especially love that each celebrity reader explains why they chose the book they read. Even though your child may not recognize all of the readers (like Oprah Winfrey, Betty White, or James Earl Jones) you will all enjoy the amazing talent these icons bring to reading aloud!
This is my top read-aloud channel for several reasons. The playlists are well-organized with quality books added weekly. They also have some unique categories including bilingual books as well as books read by the author or illustrator. With the exception of the videos labeled Flip Along Stories, this is the only channel that highlights the words as they are being read out loud. This is SO valuable for children with dyslexia or who are still learning to read. You are sure to find many stories to enjoy on this channel!
While these online books are great for kids to use independently, remember to take the time to experience stories together as well. There is no app for your lap, so snuggle up and enjoy books together as often as possible!
Do you have any favorite YouTube channels for children’s read-aloud books? Share in the comments or on our Facebook page!
Make sure you never miss out on a parenting or community-related blog post: sign up to receive Cedar Rapids Moms posts in your inbox. While you’re at it, join our VIP List to ensure you’re one of the first to know about upcoming Cedar Rapids Moms events and promotions!!