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The best free stuff online for kids

Author: The Simple Bit

Category: Short Cuts

Lockdown restrictions are starting to ease and kids are returning to school, but we’re not out of the woods yet. Here’s a list of free online ways to keep your kids entertained, busy (and quiet!)

The simple bits:

  • Kids are heading back to school, but are still at home more than usual
  • Keeping them entertained and stimulated will be a challenge this winter
  • A lot of kid’s resources, content and classes have been made free
  • Here are some ideas to fill their days and brains

You can almost hear the sigh of relief from families all across the country, as their kids start to return to school. That’s the good news. The so-so news is that we’re also heading towards winter, and school holidays, with a lot of our old stand-by’s like movies, galleries and museums yet to return to full capacity. So we can’t quite put the iPad in mothballs just yet. Here are a bunch of free things online to help keep your kids busy, stimulated…and hopefully quiet.


Get spacey with NASA

Feeling a little cooped up? Well, there’s plenty of space in space. And NASA have released dozens of free games, apps, courses, activities and videos to give your kids the wonder of space. From learning to draw the Artemis telescope to creating their own paper Mars helicopter, there’s a heap to do here.

Click here for takeoff


Have James and The Giant Peach read by Taika Waititi

NZ film director and charming guy Taika Waititi is in the middle of tackling the Roald Dahl classic with help from some friends (ok, celebrities) like the Hemsworths, Cate Blanchett, Ryan Reynolds and Meryl Streep. It’s hilarious and loose. Oh, and it’s for charity.

Click here to get charmed


Be inspired by Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers is a renowned and award-winning kids book author and illustrator from Northern Ireland, known for books like Stuck and Lost and Found. He’s gone into overdrive during the lockdown, reading stories daily on his Instagram account and releasing a film based on his latest book Here We Are. But for 10 minutes of pure inspiration, sit down with the kids and watch his TED Talk about what it means to be a human living in the 21st century. It’s beautiful and funny and full of interesting facts.

Click here to be inspired

Warning: The animals may watch you back. Pic by Tarryn Myburgh

Chill with some tigers or whatnot

Although Taronga Zoo’s gates are closed, their livestreams are on. So you can check in on how the tigers, elephants, meerkats or seals are handling iso. Pro tip: Leave the seal stream open in the corner of your browser to keep you calm.

Click here to get exotic


Write a screenplay

Young Screenwriters are offering a beginner’s course in writing a screenplay for kids 12 and up. The course goes for five weeks and covers things like story, structure, character development and how to wrap it up! So if you’ve got an aspiring Spielberg, this will help get their first blockbuster underway.

Click here to start typing


Learn a language

Rosetta Stone is offering free three-month subscriptions to students to learn a language. So you can get your kids telling you they’re bored in Arabic, Dutch or Tagalog!

Click here to spreek Nederlands


Take PE Classes with Joe

Joe Wicks was about to go out on a tour of UK schools to teach PE before COVID-19 shut everything down. So instead of hanging up his sweatbands, he’s taken to his lounge room, where he leads PE classes for kids (but they strain glutes of all ages!). And his classes have gone OFF. He’s kind of become the world’s unofficial PE teacher.

Click here to get sweaty


Routine maintenance. Pic by Michele Bergami

Go to Disneyland

Well, not quite. But Disney has mapped a heap of their parks in 3D, so you can take the kids on a virtual adventure if the walls feel like they’re closing in on you.

Click here to start exploring


A bit of simple can go a long way right now. Click here for details about how ahm can help you. Let’s try make these difficult times a little simpler together.