Nothing weird about the first sentence.
Ofcourse more chance of the second one to happen.
Same difference as Cats meow and The cats meow.
If you want to say not only adults read the newspaper kids read the newspaper too. You need the first one. If someone asks what are the kids doing (so your kids or the ones you are babysitting) you need the second sentence. But that would actually sound weird.... You would likely answer "ze zijn de krant aan het lezen"
So perhaps the first sentence is more normal than the 2nd.
Either way grammatically they are equally correct. Just used in different situations
Edit and I would translate the original comment with
Lezen kinderen de krant?
A child is a young human being (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/child), and in English one does not refer to a human being as an it, but as a he or a she.