Lockdown Fun


Ancient Egypt Crafts

A collection of fun, original craft ideas for children to accompany your Ancient Egypt exploration at home. You should find something for all ages and interests!

Auckland Museum

Watch how volcanoes are made, make an exotic bird case come alive in a puzzle or see some never seen before photos of Sir Edmund Hillary and his expeditions. Spend some time with us online today, our collections are here for you to explore.


Authorfy brings readers and writers closer together through interactive video masterclasses and fun downloadable activities.

Bloomsbury Activity Packs

Tied to specific Bloomsbury books.

Bloomsbury Early Years

An online library of activity ideas to do with children aged between 0-5. Bloomsbury Early Years will be available for free for the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic. To sign up, visit the Early Years click the link, and add ‘coronavirus free access’ to the message box.

British Authors and Illustrators

Click the link to view an article in The Guardian listing British Authors and Illustrators who are going live in real time to engage children and create a safe place where imaginations are fired.

Book Trust (UK based)

Includes Cressida Cowell, Ed Vere, and David McKee reading some of their stories.
Links to many other authors reading live, some via Instagram Live, so bear in mind time zones.

Blue Manatee Press

US Publisher with Activity sheets for kids.
Activity sheets are also available from this US picture book publisher. http://www.bluemanateepress.com/rainy-day-activities

Charlesbridge Publishers

Cirque Du Soleil

For those stuck at home, you can temporarily join the circus, as Cirque Du Soleil is offering shows you can watch from home.

Clavis Publishing

Story Time Videos and Printable Activity Sheets

Coalition for Books Virtual Storytimes Aotearoa

Here you will find a list of publishers who have given their permission for librarians to create online story times. The web page will also share links to New Zealand children’s book authors’ own readings and content that can be linked to.


100s of free colouring pages, DIY crafts and more!

Dav Pilkey at Home

Get creative and have fun with some of your favourite characters from Dog Man and Captain Underpants! Check back every Friday to discover new activities, exciting videos, and so much more!

DK Books

Digital activity packs to help take children beyond the book, engaging with their imagination and creativity as they color, draw, play, and write.

Doodles with Mo Willems

Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together. If you post your art to social media, be sure to hashtag it with #MoLunchDoodles!

Egmont Publishing

Inspired by the recommended 14 days of self-isolation, Egmont Publishing provides 14 days of free content including stories to read aloud and activities.

Fabo Story

Write Stories, win prizes. NZ competition, judged by Melinda Szymanik.

Gecko Press

Kids’ activity sheets.

Glen Jones Art

Printable activities with a Kiwi theme.

Greystone Kids

Just like Greystone Kids books, these activities take inspiration from the natural world we all share. They are also complete (as in, you don’t have to own Greystone books to try them), free, and easy-to-follow.


We know that literature, art, music, and activities help create conversation, get our imaginations running wild, lift spirits, and bring people together from all over the world. During this unprecedented time, while children and parents are at home and we’re all practicing social distancing, HarperCollins have some great resources to come together in a safe way, every day.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic

Explore the wonders of the spellbinding exhibition held at the British Library.

Harry Potter at Home

Welcome to the Harry Potter At Home hub where you’ll find all the latest magical treats to keep you occupied - including special contributions from Bloomsbury and Scholastic, nifty magical craft videos (teach your friends how to draw a Niffler!), fun articles, quizzes, puzzles and plenty more for first-time readers, as well as those already familiar with the wizarding world.

Hay Levels

Free films for NCEA level students. David Crystal on Language Acquisition, Marcus du Sautoy on Algebra, Shahidha Bari on the Romantic Ballads and hundreds more 3-minute lessons on subjects from rocket science to Antarctic melt and Romeo & Juliet.

Hay Player

Hay Festival Programme for Schools – Free Events Online. Watch authors from Hay Festival Programme for Schools filmed over the last 3 years. There are 55 fun filled and inspiring events to choose from.

Hachette NZ

Activity sheets for kids.

Happy Hooligans

Making kids' aprons from old denim jeans.

Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson, writer of The Gruffalo series, Stick Man and Zog, has announced a new weekly online broadcast for families during the coronavirus lockdown. The author will perform stories, songs and poems, broadcast on Facebook from her home in Steyning. And she’ll be joined by guests including illustrators Axel Scheffler, Rebecca Cobb, Lydia Monks, David Roberts and Nick Sharratt.


Go on an adventure in a world of stories! KidLit TV is the place to discover great children’s books and connect with the people who create them.


Kidspot are all about simplifying the search for kid related fun, activities, sports and related trappings making it fast and easy for families to identify what they love and leave more time for making memories. Whether you’re looking for birthday party inspiration, lunchbox recipes, savings on family activities or you’re expecting your first baby, Kidspot has you covered!

Learning from Home

This website contains advice and resources for parents and whānau, teachers and leaders spanning early learning through to senior secondary to support learning at home. The resources include activities that parents can use with their children and young people alongside what teachers provide.

Love Reading 4 Kids

LoveReading4Kids is the biggest and best recommendation site for children’s books. Their passion for children’s books ranges from toddlers to teens and ensures that whatever the age, whatever the interest, that you have a stready stream of brilliant book recommendations for your child. They offer a variety of FREE services for parents and anyone who is interested in buying the best books for boys and girls of all ages.

My Lockdown Diary

Templates to help children write their own “Lockdown Diary”

NASA at Home

Let NASA bring the universe into your home.

New Zealand Geographic

Here we are—a nation of parents, grandparents and children all in the same boat, together at home. He waka eke noa. Every day of the lock-down New Zealand Geographic will post a story or video that can be shared among your family.  Mauri ora.

New Zealand International Science Festival

Due to the New Zealand International Science Festival cancelling their planned July festival in Dunedin, they are offering a 2020 Online Festival for children and teenagers instead.

Nosy Crow

While so many of us around the world are currently at home and staying inside with young children, Nosy Crow want to help – so they've put together lots of activities, resources, free Nosy Crow books and other content which they hope will help keep your families happy.

Online Storytimes

Here's the entire list of Authors and Illustrators that are doing online story time.

Otago Museum

Our local Museum has lots and lots of activities to keep you amused – lessons, games, jigsaws, stories = FUN

Paper Flower Garden

Make a paper flower garden.

Penguin Random House (see also Read Brightly)

Activity packs for kids.

Phaidon Children’s Publishing

Activity packs tied to Phaidon children’s books.

Poetry Box

A New Zealand poetry page for children, curated by poet Paula Green.

RNZ (Radio New Zealand)

NZ Children’s books on audio available at Storytime.
And other great resources:

Read Brightly (Penguin Random House)

Printable resources and activities.

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura Stay Home Book Club

The Stay Home Book Club is a new online reading challenge from Read NZ Te Pou Muramura. We want to help Kiwi kids explore new and familiar stories during this stay-home time. Children aged 5-14 are invited to register for free and choose their team to play for. Each team is named after a native bird. In recognition of the fact that it’s more difficult to buy or borrow new books during the Level 4 lockdown, there are various ways that children can log an entry.

Sign up here

The Reading Agency

UK based agency which coordinated book-based activities for young and old. Chatterbox is their children’s activity website.

Red Ted Art

Toilet paper roll crafts for lids.


Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.


This website includes some stories to read aloud as well short cartoon films of some of the books, and games and activities.

STEM in 30

STEM in 30 is an Emmy-nominated programme for middle school students produced by the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.  New episodes are released every month.

Storyline Online

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.

Time to Come In, Bear: A Children's Story About Social Distancing

A Children's Story About Social Distancing Written by Kim St. Lawrence Read by Ryan St. Lawrence.

Tumble – Science Podcast for Kids

Exploring stories of science discovery. Tumble is a science podcast created to be enjoyed by the entire family. Hosted & produced by Lindsay Patterson (science journalist) & Marshall Escamilla (teacher).


Under5s.co.nz is an online hub full of New Zealand owned or operated businesses with products and services for babies, toddlers and preschoolers - all in one place! Somewhere for parents to go to search for ideas, find places to shop, enter competitions and read up on our latest Hot Topics articles.

Usborne Publishing

Play and Learn at Home. Free resources divided into four age groups: Babies and Toddlers, Pre-School, 5-7 year olds, 7-11 year olds.

Walker Books

This is a great place to find activities that will enhance your child’s enjoyment of books. With characters such as MaisyWallyLittle Nutbrown HareWombatJudy Moody and Alex Rider, there are links and activities here to keep them entertained for hours! The USA Walker Books is called Candlewick Press and they too have some great resources.

We are YA - By Penguin Teen

You've heard from young adult authors on social, now hear what they really have to say! Writer and journalist Anna Borges talks with the diverse authors that make up the modern YA community on We Are YA, presented by Penguin Teen.

The World of David Walliams

Audiostories, activities and more from the world of David Walliams.

Young Ocean Explorers

Steve Hathaway and his daughter Riley entertain and educate kids about the ocean.


Collected resources

This Free Library list has links to most of the major graphics publishers as well as heaps of other interesting comic/graphic-related resources.

Dark Horse Comics

Dark Horse Comics publish titles like Stranger Things and Umbrella Academy. Some free content, including full issues and shorter previews.

DC Comics

A mixed bag of free issues to access, some of which seem to be pretty kid-friendly. Also some interesting looking samplers.

IDW Publishing

Locke & Key is one of their titles and is a fantastic series, plus has been adapted on Netflix. First issue available to read online for free.

Marvel Comics - official

Free issues. When you select an issue and click on it, you just select the first 'Read Now' option beside 'Marvel Unlimited'. It's a really cool interface to read on when you get through.

  • Some cool comics for younger readers based around the Marvel Unlimited project
  • All 20 Free 'Marvel's Hero Project' Comics on Marvel Unlimited