Sometimes life's challenges, errands, and snow get in the way of the extras or enriching activities. Luckily, technology has enabled us to bypass some of these restraints. However, the internet is sooo huge it is sometimes difficult to find or even know of the resources available.
Did you know you could access many popular children's books on-line for FREE? On-line books differ from e-books in that they do not need to downloaded (saving you valuable hard drive space). The downside is you need an internet connection to view them. Our very own library, Howard County Public Library has a webpage full of links to on-line book resources. Did you know it was awarded the 2013 Best Library of the Year award???? When you go to this link for the on-line children's books it is easy to see why. If you are a library member (its free to join), you can access some subscription based on-line stories for FREE, since the library has a site license. Bonus!!!! You do NOT need to be physically at the library to access these subscription sites! Use your library bar code to access the resources.
If those weren't enough or you've already explored them and want more, here are some great links to FREE on-line children's literature. Some are even animated: (** added after initial post)
http://curry.virginia.edu/go/wil/rimes_and_rhymes.htm#This_Week Classic nursery rhymes
http://pbskids.org/lions/stories/ Be sure to scroll on the left side bar for additional stories. I liked "Pigs Are Hiding" under the "Animals" heading. These stories are animated!
http://www.youtube.com/user/StorylineOnline Popular stories read by Screen Actors Guild members
Free but also an option to subscribe for additional titles:
http://www.mightybook.com/story_books.html (has animated stories)
http://www.astorybeforebed.com/books/free This site allows you to use your webcam to record yourself reading various books to your kids. Also great for family members who live far away or have schedules that do not allow them to be a part of your child's bedtime routine. It has the book (many currently in the bookstore) in an online format. The video of you reading the story plays simultaneously in the top right-hand corner. Once you make your book you can save it and view it whenever (even using your iPhone or iPad with an app created by the company).
http://www.speakaboos.com/stories Stories read by actors, singers, etc. Wide range of Arthur books and books of various topics
**http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/home/reading-owl/find-a-book/library-page Some e-books are free and are grouped by reading level (1-17). All book cover images with a yellow "e" are free, but you do need to create a free account. Be sure to continue to scroll down because there are free titles on all reading levels, Additional titles are available for purchase.
If you haven't already, check out my Early Reading section and Resources section for more information.