How are you coping with being confined to your house?
Here in Spain we’re just about to enter our 3rd week of lockdown and I have to admit we’re all pretty bored! Typically, the weather went from the usual sunny blue skies to grey skies and rain pretty much as soon as the lockdown was announced, so we’ve mainly been stuck inside.
It can be hard to find things to do on a rainy weekend, let alone for months at a time. Luckily, there are lots of amazing businesses and people out there who are providing some fantastic free resources to keep us all occupied.
To save you a job of trawling the internet here are some free things to keep you (and the kids) busy if you have to stay at home…
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission at no cost to you should you make a purchase via one of the links.
We’ll start with some educational activities first as I’m sure we’re all a bit stressed about being thrown into homeschooling at the deep end.
I’ve posted about Twinkl lots of times before, and they are currently offering free membership to all resources. A popular resource for teachers, this website contains worksheets on all subjects, listed by school year. Simply choose your topic and print off. You can get free membership at http://twinkl.co.uk/offer by using one of the codes below for your location.
Carol Voderman’s The Maths Factor – Did you even know Carol Vorderman had a website dedicated to kids’ maths? I didn’t! Carol is currently offering a free subscription to the website while the schools are closed. The website is full of fun interactive activities and games aimed at children aged 4-12 years old and follows the UK maths curriculum.
Smartick are also offering a 15 day free membership to their online maths platform which is aimed at 4-14 year olds. The app provides games to teach maths in fun daily 15 minute sessions.
Cognitive Toy Box is a handy resource if you have younger kids at home. They are posting daily family activities for children aged 8 years and younger.
If your kids love drawing, Steve Harpster is giving live drawing lessons on the Harptoons Facebook page every day at 6pm in the UK or 7pm Spanish time.
Wild, Free & Crafty are offering some great free kids art lessons on their YouTube channel. Just subscribe to be notified when a new video is posted.
We were sent some origami videos by school and whilst we weren’t very good at it, it definitely kept us occupied for a while!
Learn a language
We’re taking this extra time at home to brush up on our Spanish and there are lots of great free resources online to help you learn a language.
The Fable Cottage have free fairy tales in various languages. These are designed especially for kids (and adults!) learning a new language and feature slow audio from a native speaker.
Duo Lingo is a free app featuring over 30 different languages. It’s all done through interactive learning, quizzes and games. You can even add your friends and see how you are all doing.
The BBC Languages site is also a great free resource with tutorials, interactive videos, kids shows, and more.
Learn a new skill
Have you been wanting to learn something new but haven’t managed to find the time? Now is the perfect opportunity!
CreativeLive have lots of great courses, both paid and free, including photography, design, music, jewelry making, and more. You can find all of their free courses here.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn to teach English as a foreign language you can try a TEFL course for free from TEFLPros.
A Beautiful Mess offer some fantastic free courses to those wanting to start a blog, improve their blog, or learn more about Instagram.
Every day at 11am David Walliams is releasing an audio book of one of his World’s Worst Children stories at The World of David Walliams. There are also 30 free audio books on the site, ideal if you want the kids to sit quietly for a bit.
Amazon’s Audible allows you to download and listen to hundreds of audio books in all sorts of genres, both children’s books and adults books. You can download the books to your tablet or phone and can get a free 30 day trial here.
If you prefer to read your books yourself, you can also get a free 3 month trial of Kindle Unlimited which lets you download lots of great books and magazines from Amazon for free. You can download 10 at a time and simply press ‘return’ once you have finished reading.
Jamie Oliver has listed loads of great recipes on his website for things you can make with the kids. One of the good things about not rushing around to work and school is that we have more time to spend cooking dinner as a family and letting the kids get involved.
Are you a fan of Queer Eye? The lovely Antoni has been posting videos on Instagram for his new Quar Eye: Cooking Lessons in Quarantine. Good for new recipes and entertainment.
Instructables has 6 free online cooking classes from knife skills to baking. There are also videos on lots of other topics if you want to explore other areas.
Everyone has been talking about Joe Wicks The Body Coach and his daily online PE lessons. We haven’t tried it yet but from what I’ve heard the mums are finding it harder to do than the kids!
Strictly’s Dianne Buswell is adding videos to her Instagram Channel to teach us all some new dance routines. Perfect if you want to get active but aren’t really into exercise videos.
Chris Hemsworth and his mates have opened up the Centr app for a free 6 week trial so you can get fit in the comfort of your own home. Watching videos of Thor and getting fit at the same time doesn’t sound too bad!
Yoga with Adriene on YouTube has lots of yoga an meditation videos for beginners. If you’re feeling stressed an anxious at the moment this might be just what you need.
If the kids want to get involved in your Yoga sessions, you might want to show them Cosmic Kids Yoga where there are themed videos such as Harry Potter, Frozen, and Moana yoga.
Myleene Klass has started a YouTube channel Myleene’s Music Klass where she’s uploading videos to teach music to kids. They are really easy to follow and feature her own children as well.
You can also get 3 months of free guitar, bass and ukelele lessons at Fender Play with bitesize lessons you can stream on any device.
We can’t go to the pub but we can pour ourselves a drink and log on to the virtual pub quiz. Every Tuesday evening at 7:30pm (GMT) Big Drop Brew will be hosting a pub quiz on YouTube. They will ask the questions live and give the answers at the end of each round.
If you’re a fan of the theater and musicals, BroadwayHD is offering a free 7 day trial where you can watch various Broadway shows from the comfort of your sofa.
Also from Amazon, you can get a 1 month free trial of Fire for Kids Unlimited which gives you access to thousands of kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games. We have used this for years as after the trial it’s still only £1.99 per month.
Rakuten TV also has lots of free movies you can watch. There’s aren’t many big names on there but there’s quite a few decent older films and kids films worth watching.
Fancy a trip to one of the Disney Parks? You can wander around the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney Springs and more on Google Street View. Just go to Google Maps, type in the park you want to explore, and drop the little orange man onto the map. Here’s Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.
Earth Cams includes web camera footage from across the world. So if you’re bored of looking at the same view out of your window every day, why not have a look at The Maldives Cam, The Shark Cam, or The Penguin Cam.
Monteray Bay Aquarium has also got live footage of its exhibits including jelly fish, coral reef, and sea otters.
If you fancy a bit of sightseeing you can check out the view from the Eiffel Tower, have a wander around the British Museum, or if you’re an art lover you can also go on a virtual tour of the Picasso museum in Barcelona.
By downloading the Space Center Houston app you can walk through the Space Center, take a selfie as an astronaut, explore the Moon, watch the Saturn V launch, and more.
You can explore random places around the world by using the Random Street View generator. It will put plonk you down somewhere in the world and you can go for a virtual walk.
Stay in touch with friends and family
One of the hardest parts of social distancing is not being able to see your loved ones. Luckily there are so many apps that make it easy to see your friends and family virtually if not in real life…
I’ve used Zoom for work for a long time, but it’s also great for video calls with groups of friends or family. On the free plan you can have group calls for up to 40 mins at a time – once the time is up you can simply end the call and start it again if you need more time.
Houseparty lets you connect face to face with friends and family so you can all hang out together from your own homes.
I hope these will keep you entertained for a bit while we are all self-isolating, social distancing, and on lockdown. Feel free to let everyone know about other resources in the comments!