Whether your kids are beginning to learn Spanish this summer or keeping up on their skills during a break from Spanish class, these interactive websites are a great way to keep them engaged with Spanish text.
These are sites that provide kids with lots of opportunity to read. Several of the sites have a variety of activities. I have tried to list the websites roughly in order of increasing difficulty. The first sites have material that is appropriate for beginners and the last sites I mention are appropriate for native Spanish speakers, but have enough support for Spanish language learners too. Each site has a large amount of material at different levels, so be sure to look around and see what might work for your child.
1. Aprendizaje en la lectoescritura
This site is excellent for beginning readers because it combines text with excellent audio. There are four levels with a variety of activities at each level. Click comenzar and then choose the nivel (level). Choose a letter and you will get screenshots for a variety of activities. Mouse over the screenshots to enlarge and hear what the activity is. Even though choose a letter, the activities in levels 2, 3 and 4 involve combining syllables to make words, matching words to images, and ordering words in phrases.
2. Unfortunately, Fondo Lector has been taken offline.
3. Cuentos y leyendas ilustrados por niños
This site has several stories at three levels and it is a wonderful resource because it includes a variety of activities for each story to help children engage with the text and the language. The texts are stories illustrated by children and for each one there are printable materials for parents and teachers, a variety of online activities and art activities. The illustrated stories can be read online or printed as PDFs. The games can also be downloaded to be played offline.
Cuentos y leyendas ilustrados por niños I – At this level there is an audio version of the story in addition to the illustrated version that you can read online or download and print. The Actividades interactivas are online games that are appropriate for young children and the Fichas are a collection of printable materials that go with each story. Many of the printable materials at this level are for children who are learning to learning to read and write, but the stories and online activities are appropriate for older Spanish language learners too.
Cuentos y leyendas ilustrados por niños II and Cuentos y leyendas ilustrados por niños III – There are several stories at each of these levels. When you click on the story, one of the options is to read the illustrated story online. At the bottom of that page there is an option to download the PDF of the story to print. There are also Fichas which are comprehension questions to do with kids and an printable activity. For example, the activity might be images to make puppets or a game. Actividades interactivas are six online games related to the story. The Actividades de plástica are art activities that move the story beyond the text.
4. Cuentos para dormir: Cuentos cortos con valores
This site has lots of information about literacy and the power of stories. There are also many, many stories. For Spanish language learners, I recommend the stories with illustrations because the pictures will help children understand and learn the language. Many of the stories also have excellent audio.
Some of the stories may be long for children learning Spanish, but you can choose Cuentos cortos. Within that selection you can choose stories con dibujos (illustrated) that also have Spanish audio.
This site also offers a Cuaderno de valores to download and print. It has lots of short stories, pages to color, and a glossary of values.
5. Cuentos from Educapeques
I originally wrote about seven animated stories in which children chose what was going to happen as they read. Those stories are no longer available, but there are many other stories available on Educapeques. Try the categories Cuentos infantiles cortos and Lecturas para niños to see the selection.
6. Cuento a la vista – Un blog de cuentos infantiles.
This site features the work of illustrator Raquel Blázquez Fernández and author María Bautista. There is lots to read and do. Some of the stories are simple and others are more difficult, but I find them enchanting. The link above will take you to the stories. Be sure to check out Dibujos para colorear too. These are illustrations from the stories that can be printed and colored. Children also enjoy adivinanzas y trabalenguas (riddles and tongue twisters).
7. Biografías y Vidas
This site has thousands of concise biographies of historical figures and well-known contemporary people. I suggest encouraging children who are learning Spanish to read about people they are already familiar with and that are of interest to them. They will draw on the information they have to understand the language. These biographies are well written and often supported by photos.
You may also be interested in this post: Online Spanish Audio – 8 Free Websites to Keep Kids Listening to Spanish This Summer