Picture books can often be used to discuss issues with kids but they’re also important for strengthening connection and playing. We’ve collected together some of our favourite fun resources to help parents and kids extend their enjoyment of reading. We’ll keep adding to this page as we find more!
Adam Wallace has generously provided two free e-books with instructions for drawing loads of cartoons and laugh-out-loud rhymes to help you work through them. Adam’s picture books include the How to Catch series and invisible Jerry which we’ve reviewed here.
Alison Lester has provided black and white stencils of some of her famous artworks for kids to colour in. There is also some added adventure for avid readers of Sophie Scott Goes South—the artist’s own Antarctic diary and a kid’s gallery of artworks that are wonderful to browse.
The 2020-21 Children’s Laureate is Ursula Dubosarsky. On the Children’s Laureate website you can find some wonderful resources to help older kids develop their own writing skills.
If you’re looking for beautiful songs for little people from a source you can trust, then the Barefoot Books channel is for you. A range of their picture books have been animated and the text made into songs, providing great entertainment and a chance to dance.
Brooktrust is a British charitable organisation that aims to help children develop a love of reading. Their website has some excellent online resources including digital copies of picture books, printable games, quizzes and even some book-themed recipes.
Booklinks: the centre for children’s literature is based in Australia. Its resources page is devoted to book-related resources, useful for parents and kids at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Booklinks is especially interested in encouraging young writers, so their pages on opportunities and competitions may also be of interest to older children.
The online resources for this Massachusetts based museum are fascinating. We particularly like the Making Art Together blog with lots of practical ideas for parents and kids to explore art making at home.
Cicely Mary Barker’s flower fairies have been enjoyed by generations of children and the website provides both a fantastic introduction to the series and a way to extend enjoyment through activities and printables. On the ‘meet the fairies’ page you can click on each fairy to read the relevant poem. The activities page provides colouring in pages as well as nature spotter’s guide (most appropriate for the U.K) and craft projects.
Inkless Tales is a fun reading/writing/information site for ages two to middle primary school. It has stories, poems, music, games, printables, writing prompts and more. Children can submit their own stories and questions to the creator, Elisabeth Williams Bushey. The site pages contain a lot of information and children may need assistance to navigate each one depending upon their own literacy and computer literacy levels. This youtube video gives a brief introduction. While the stories seemed to be pitched to younger readers, the science, craft and writing activities may be enjoyed by older primary aged children as well.
Author Karen Tyrell provides author tips, book trailers, reviews and giveaways on her youtube channel. Her quick and quirky trailers and reviews are a great way for parents to keep up to date with new releases, especially from Australian authors.
For fun dinosaur craft and other free printables Marjorie Crosby-Fairall’s activities page is a must! These activities are all connected with picture books Marjorie has co-created. Don’t forget to check out the resources page as well for teacher notes and additional activities.
Distinguished British children’s author and poet Michael Rosen has generously provided pages and pages of videos of himself performing his poetry, reading stories, making jokes …. Hours of fun!
The peter rabbit website is full of activities for kids. There’s the ‘Fun Outside’ page with great printables for art, craft and even cooking. The TV page contains online games for the TV series and also activity sheets.
Richard Scary’s first books were published in the 1950s and are still being printed today. You can find great free craft and drawing print-outs to extend your reading of the Busy World on the games page.
Project Gutenberg has digitised thousands of older out of print books and these include fables, fairy tales and classic children’s titles from famous authors like Beatrix Potter. Try typing ‘fable’ or ‘fairy tale’ into the search facility and browsing.
The Spaghetti book Club is a site where children can read book reviews written by other children. Children can search for reviews based on their interests. Schools and teachers can subscribe to allow their students the opportunity to submit reviews. The administration provides scaffolding which assists all children to cover the necessary elements they require for publication. Children are also encouraged to submit a drawing with their review so the site itself is peppered with children’s colourful artwork.
The renowned Australian author and illustrator Stephen Michael King provides a range of entertaining activities for children on his website
Storynory provides free audiobooks for kids. They have a great collection of fairy tales as well as original series featuring memorable characters as Bertie the Frog and Lapis the Ancient Egyptian cat.
Storytime magazine is a fantastic print subscription magazine for kids aged 3-6; each month kids receive a full colour magazine packed with short stories with some games too. Their website also offers free printables and includes craft ideas, colouring in, cues for creative play and more. These are designed to extend the fun for kids reading their magazine stories but can often be used as stand alone activities as well.
Usborne Books publish fabulous titles that inspire and interest young minds. Their website provides lots of ways to increase the fun with activity sheets, fun facts and useful themed links to external websites.