Even the most patient parent can get tired of reading the same books over and over and over. “Good night clocks and good night socks,” anyone? To the rescue: websites with pre-reading activities for the two-and-up crowd. The best of these sites offer talking stories for very young children hear and follow along. They should also include some interactivity because it encourages little ones to process information and think for themselves. The following three sites let kids work on literacy skills and have fun. So say good night to that little bunny book for a while and click on one of these sites.
This site, from the creators of so many beloved TV shows, encourages toddlers to work on storytelling, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills by creating their own endings to fairy tales. For instance, did you know that the naughty wolf from "Little Red Riding Hood" was put into a month-long time out and had to eat spinach all day? The site also features video animations of stories, fables, poems and more. Many stories also include games and activities.
From nursery rhymes to lullabies, this site has something for everyone. It’s from Reading is Fundamental, the family-literacy nonprofit organization that fosters literacy. Children can listen to and follow along with age-appropriate stories and songs that teach about weather, animals, color and shapes. Then they can watch videos of "Pat-a-Cake," "I’m a Little Teapot" and other finger-play songs and follow along.
The Toddler Games section is loaded with quick games to play with your child. Little ones can become familiar with the alphabet, practice colors and shapes and perfect their animal sounds. At the ABC’s Zoo, they can listen to the alphabet song over and over, and then click on each letter to learn about the animal whose name starts with that letter.