Photo: milkos via 123RF

Are you looking for ways to keep your kids entertained and engaged this summer? Check out these great apps for reading short stories! With a wide variety of options, you’re sure to find something your kids will love. They can read on their own, or many include a feature that will read to them. And, of course, reading or listening together as a family is an excellent bonding activity. 

Short stories are, well, short. That means they are less intimidating to reluctant readers or kids who are feeling burned out at the end of the school year. They often include morals or valuable lessons that make for good discussions. And, short stories are perfect for listening to on long car rides over a longer book you may not finish. Plus, you can feel good about supporting their reading development while they are out of school. 

Below are some of the best short story apps for kids.

Sparkle Stories

Sparkle Stories has more than 1,400 original audio stories with the goal of reducing screen time. Each is developmentally appropriate and “model parenting with heart.” Start with their 10-day free trial, or purchase individual stories from $5-$30. Short story collections include FIFTY: The Stars, the States, and the StoriesLibby & Dish about a girl and her cat exploring their city, and How to be Super, about a secret band of kid superheroes and their stories of friendship and discovery. You can also find specific topical stories such as gratitude, overwhelm, resilience, or loss and grief. 

Kindle

Kindle is a popular app for a large variety of books. Their offerings of Short Stories for Kids include mysteries, true tales of famous people, bedtime stories, and stories in different languages, including Spanish and Chinese. You can also find classic stories, including Winnie the PoohPeter Rabbit,  Aesop’s Fables, and Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tales.  Many titles are free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. 

Nook

Nook also has a collection of short story ebooks. Their selection includes classics such as Swan Lake, Aesop’s Fables, and Nutcracker stories. Authors and publishers have also put together collections such as Selected Short Stories for Kids with Moral and anthologies like these 11 Short Stories for Kids and Adults that pass on the East African storytelling culture with the author’s personal experiences growing up there. 

Google Play

Google Play has several apps for short stories. Find Moral Stories or Bedtime and Fairy Tales. The English Stories app offers an extensive library of stories that are read offline. Their categories include ancient, folktales, moral stories, bedtime, motivational, educational, and classic stories. You can also find stories in other languages, such as Spanish and French. For extra fun, check out Komando, an app that uses Google Assistant to add music and sound effects to your read-aloud experience!

Photo: langstrup via 123RF

Podcasts

Podcasts are also an excellent source for fictional stories like Short Stories for Kids and real-life short stories such as Wow in the World or Fierce Girls.  

YouTube

Find short stories on YouTube! 19 Best English Short Stories is a playlist with links to collections including Berenstein Bears and classics like the Gingerbread Man. Story Online offers a collection of books read by actors and actresses, including Peter Rabbit

Reedsy Prompts

Reedsy Prompts allows inspiring authors to submit stores to weekly contests. Discover a new budding author from their collection of  690+ Best Bedtime Short Stories and 1940+ Best Short Stories for Kids.

Don’t forget to check your school or local library’s website for their free online book collection offerings! Then, get excited about reading together this summer under a tree, on the road, or before bedtime.

Your kids are never too old to enjoy reading as a family, but older kids can also find stories they’ll enjoy on their own with these apps! And, if all this short story reading inspires them to write their own, these 10 Best Storytelling Apps will turn their ideas into stories to share!