As much as we may love reading to our children, there may be times when we need a little help. Virtual storytime channels and websites are a fantastic way of exposing our kids to a wide variety of books and stories they may otherwise not have access to. Virtual storytime can be used in conjunction with the in-person reading of a parent or caregiver or as a standalone to provide access to books and stories to young pre-readers and early readers.
Online storytime is great if you need to keep your kids entertained for a few minutes while you complete a task. Still, you can also use it as a bonding time for you and your child to listen to the story together. You can pause the story to ask questions or talk about the story after the reading is complete.
When choosing storytime for toddlers online, remember that toddlers have short attention spans and do not like sitting still for too long. Short storytime videos with colorful and engaging illustrations are perfect for toddlers. Preschoolers are able to understand basic humor and will appreciate a more complex story with relatable characters.
What are the best virtual storytime channels for kids?
YouTube has numerous storytime channels. Your child is guaranteed to love these four:
This is one of the original kids’ storytime channels. The channel and website were created with kids, parents, and educators in mind. Stories are brought to life by the “StoryTeller,” a published children’s book author and Emmy award winner. Storytime is interactive and puppets and spontaneous songs add to the fun.
Stories are categorized into separate playlists, for instance, Modern Kid Stories and Bedtime Stories, which is great for when you’re on the lookout for just the right story.
2. Storytime for Kid –Wildbrain
WildBrain is one of the leading kids’ content creation companies is home to brands such as the Teletubbies, peanuts, and Strawberry Shortcake and their Story Time for Kids–Wildbrain YouTube channel is filled with easy-to-follow videos with beloved characters like Caillou, Julia Donaldson stories, and new original animations.
They also have a number of affiliated channels.
3. The StoryTime Family
The StoryTime Family is a popular storytime channel with lovely books for younger children. Stories are short and engaging and are perfect for virtual storytime with a toddler or preschooler. Various playlists include Great Stories for Bedtime, Stories with Animals, and Children’s Stories-Emotions and Social Skills.
4. Brightly Storytime
BrightlyStorytime with Ms. Linda is a wonderful channel if you are looking for diverse and inclusive stories. On Brightly Storytime, you’ll also find a playlist of authors reading their own books and separate playlists of Books for Children Ages 2-5 Years Old and Books for Children Ages 5-8 Years Old.
The channel was launched in partnership with the popular Penguin Random House and you can access their website here.
Other popular virtual storytime channels
You can find other online storytime favorites for toddlers and preschoolers on iPlayer, Audible, Instagram, etc. Here are some popular alternatives for virtual storytime:
- iPlayer: CBeebies Bedtime Stories
- Audible: Stories for kids of all ages
- Literacy website: Storyline Online
- Instagram: Save with Stories
- Literacy website: Read Together Be Together
How to choose the perfect storytime videos for your kids
Some tips when looking for the perfect virtual storytime for your toddler or preschooler include:
- Engaging pictures. Clear illustrations without any glare.
- Expression. Find a storyteller that speaks clearly and uses plenty of expressions.
- Developmentally appropriate. Simple stories for toddlers and slightly more complex stories for preschoolers.
- Diverse and Inclusive. Books of various genres that include characters from diverse backgrounds reflect the everyday world and give children a sense of inclusivity.
By including virtual storytime in your routine, you and your kids can benefit from the vast number of online literacy resources.