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Handy online resources for parents: free stories, craft ideas, school stuff & more

Those of us who aren’t blessed with a teaching qualification – and even those who are – are probably not relishing the prospect of months inside the house with one or more children to entertain/educate/keep an eye on while we try to get some work done.

While we’re saying a massive thank you to the incredible NHS workers, let’s take a second to also thank our lucky stars for the existence of the internet and the many brilliant online resources for children. There are so many that it can be hard to know where to start, so we’ve selected some great ones to get you started, all from trusted providers. As well as ones that will teach them something, we’ve included sporty ones, entertaining ones (The Kids Should See This is great for slightly older ones) and ones that will give them a bit of a challenge like earning a Blue Peter badge.

To survive the homeschooling experience, we’d suggest putting in place a regular routine and making a rough timetable with plenty of breaks (for you and them). Be prepared to change it or indeed tear it up completely if it doesn’t work. We’re all just muddling through so don’t be hard on yourself.

And if you’d like to delegate some of the classes to some great York businesses, take a look at the dance, language and other online classes on offer.

School stuff: Online lessons and resources

Here are some great educational resources for children. BBC Bitesize has content for each of the key stages; children can learn a language for free with duolingo or they can have a go at coding with Scratch. Find out what else we’d recommend.

BBC Bitesize

Learn & revise with BBC Bitesize

BBC Bitesize is a fun learning resources from the BBC, from age 3 upwards. The Live Lessons are particularly good. Free.


Oodles of resources from Twinkl

The Twinkl website is packed with resources for kids of all ages. They’ve created home learning packs and have free accounts available.

DK Findout!

Discover the world with DK findout!

Find out more about the planet, history, the body, music and more through excellent video content and more with DKfindout!

The Kids Should See This

The Kids Should See This

The Kids Should See This is a brilliant website with inspiring, fun and creative video content for kids.


Learn a language with duolingo

From French to Spanish and even Russian and Mandarin, learn a language for when we can all travel again with duolingo.


Coding with Scratch

Create stories, games and more with Scratch.

Khan Academy

Free online courses from Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a brilliant resource, with daily schedules and online learning across all subjects.

Mr T's Phonics

Mr T’s Phonics

Prepare to meet Geraldine Giraffe. A brilliant resource for younger ones, these short phonics videos are fab.

Blockly Games

Computer programming with Blockly

Have a go at computer programming by creating your own game with Blockly.

Sport & exercise

Everyone knows what kids are like if they don’t burn off some energy, so even if we’re housebound we’re all going to have to fit in some daily activity. The Body Coach’s daily PE sessions are very popular, and York-based Total Sports has a daily offering too! Our own kids are big fans of Cosmic Kids.

Body Coach

Daily PE sessions with The Body Coach

Join Joe Wicks every weekday at 9 am over at The Body Coach TV for a workout that’s suitable for the whole family.

Total Sports York

Daily active sessions from Total Sports

Follow Total Sports on Facebook to see their live sessions, from wake up, shake up to skipping challenges and even a bedtime story.

Cosmic Kids Yoga

Cosmic Kids Yoga

We love Cosmic Kidsfree children’s yoga and mindfulness. Lots of fun workouts to choose from, from Frozen to Pokemon and more.

Entertainment, fun & creativity

It can’t all be work, work, work. Let them unwind with a free audio book or play some of the games from the BBC websites. It’s a good time to start working towards some Blue Peter badges too.

Audible Stories Free

Free kids’ audiobooks with Audible

Audible Stories is making books available for free on a laptop, desktop, smartphone or tablet – no account needed.


CBeebies/CBBC games, shows and puzzles

There are games and puzzles for kids of all ages on the CBeebies and CBBC websites

Red Ted Art

Red Ted Art

This website is packed with craft ideas galore for kids of all ages, especially little ones.

Blue Peter Badge

Earn a Blue Peter badge (or two!)

Now’s the time to earn a Blue Peter Badge or two! Take a look at the different choices.

Art For Kids Hub

Art for Kids Hub

Art for Kids Hub has oodles of fun art lessons every week.

Disney Plus

Seven-day free trial of Disney Plus

Disney Plus is packed with great content, and you can get a seven-day free trial.

Broadway HD

Seven-day free trial from Broadway HD

Enjoy a week of Broadway shows for free with Broadway HD (just remember to cancel your subscription!)

Take a look at the great dance, language and other online classes on offer from York businesses here.

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