Favorite Book Characters Come Alive
They’ve read the books – now visit the websites! Our list includes sites with engaging interactive games, videos and activities that will inspire kids to read.
Kids who love searching for Waldo, the stripe-shirted traveler created by Martin Handford, will have fun looking for him online, too. The publisher’s website has printable coloring and activity pages, videos and social media challenges.
At-Home Activity: Hide your own “Waldo” – a small stuffed animal or toy – somewhere in the house and challenge kids to find it. If they need a hint, tell them when they’re getting “warmer” or “colder” as they search.
Pigeon, Elephant and Piggie, Knuffle Bunny, and many more of Mo Willems’ whimsical characters are featured in this interactive site. Kids can play games, watch videos, and download activity sheets and other printables. “Mo’s Lunch Doodles,” a series of videos featuring Willems drawing and talking about his books, is fun for kids of all ages.
At-Home Activity: After reading “The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog,” have a lunchtime
hot dog party! (Don’t forget the mustard!) Make pigeon hats for everyone to wear using craft foam and glue. Find the instructions by Angela at “Teaching Mama,” along with more fun craft ideas.
Matilda, Charlie, James and the Twits are just a few of the classic characters created
by Roald Dahl. This highly entertaining website has some extra-special offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Enjoy a celebrity video story reading, or learn how to draw Willy Wonka with illustrator Quentin Blake. Trivia quizzes, puzzles, word games, crafts and science experiments will keep kids entertained.
At-Home Activity: Willy Wonka’s Inventing Room was full of wild creations. After reading “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” print the “Invent Your Own Sweet” page from the website. Have your child invent a sweet treat, describe what
it tastes like, and explain why people will love it!
Dr. Seuss’s unforgettable characters have gone digital in Seussville! The site is loaded with fun video clips, craft ideas, recipes, printables and activities themed to kids’ favorite characters, from The Cat in the Hat to Horton. Many of the activity ideas are designed to get kids off the computer and outside playing. There’s a great resource section for parents, too.
At-Home Activity: Dr. Seuss drew so many fantastic creatures! Gather a notebook, pencils and markers so kids can start an art journal with their own unique animal creations. Use “If I Ran the Zoo,” “One Fish Two Fish” – or any Dr. Seuss book – for inspiration. Kids could even write a Seuss-style poem to go with their drawings.
J. K. Rowling’s best-selling series, set in the wizarding-world of Hogwarts, comes to life online! Harry and his friends are featured in dozens of activities, craft videos, articles, puzzles, quizzes and more. The site is fun for first-time readers of the books, as well as kids who’ve read them again and again.
At-Home Activity: Make a batch of broomstick cookies, basilisk dogs or half-blood oranges and have a Harry Potter-themed snack break. Jamie at “Totally the Bomb” has a collection of fun recipes.
Nothing gets Pete the Cat down! This groovy feline always keeps his cool. Preschool and early-elementary age kids will love the animated videos and sing-along songs created by James Dean and Eric Litwin. There are lots of printable activity pages: word searches, puzzles, games, crafts, spot-the-difference and more, all starring Pete and his friends.
At-Home Activity: Pete’s magic sunglasses help him see the world in a new way. Create a pair of wearable “magic” sunglasses with construction paper, pipe cleaners and markers. Adelien at “Sight and Sound Reading” has a template and instructions. Have fun wearing the blue sunglasses and talk with your kids about how a different outlook can transform a grumpy day into an awesome one!