Free activities for everyone

Are you looking for something fun to do? Have a look at some of these sites for some awesome activities at no cost. See the extensive list below.

Of course, don’t forget to look through all the different options on our Timaru District Libraries website – and for the main services on offer, visit our list of services library members can access from home.

But even without a library card you can still check out all the cool sites below:


From around New Zealand and locally:

RNZ Storytime - free stories for Children and Young Adults written by NZ Authors

Goodnight Kiwi and Cat are joined by celebrity storytellers to bring the magic of New Zealand bedtime stories to life

Te Reo Singalong At Home author, Sharon Holt, is adding a video each weekday during lockdown of her performing one of her books with the song, along with an intro and an activity – previous recordings are still accessible

WuHoo at Home is a join initiative by WuHoo Timaru and Aoraki Tourism to give you the chance to win prizes while looking for a WuHoo at home during lockdown

Activities by Penguin Books is a must visit! Download activity packs on Hairy Maclary, Granny McFlitter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and much more

Fun art activities from our friends at the Aigantighe Art Gallery

Suzy & Friends suggest you check out their YouTube channel TreehutTV

Wild Eye Missions – get busy exploring your backyard wilderness

Otago Museum @Home – try these museum-inspired crafts

National Geographic Kids offers games, competitions, a Kids Club and resources to keep kids entertained

Studyladder - Mathematics, English, Science and more; online educational activities for students aged 4 to 12, mapped to the curriculum.

Kiwi Co are offering an At-Home Resources section for a limited time during lockdown. Scroll down to the At-home Activities by age group and the Printable STEAM Activities from Crates to have some fun

Stephen McCarthy's My Lockdown Diary – use the activities in this diary to create and keep a positive record of your experiences during the lockdown

Jump Jam – Quarantine Jamming – join Brett for these fun workouts

Global offerings:

Audible Stories – huge range of free eAudiobooks for kids of all ages, this is an incredible collection of stories (in six different languages) for instant streaming

Elevenses with David Walliams – David Walliams is releasing a FREE audio story every day for 30 days, but be in quick as they are only up until Sunday, or try David’s activities

Storyline Online sees celebrities read some awesome, illustrated storybooks intended for children aged 4 - 8

Story Time From Space – listen to awesome astronauts on the International Space Station read stories with a ‘space’ theme – find the full list under ‘Story Time Videos’ (and checkout ‘Science Time Videos’ for astronaut demonstrations)

Harry Potter at Home is courtesy of J. K. Rowling and her publishers and is a free, magical resource to keep readers of all ages entertained while staying at home. If you’re wanting more Harry Potter magic, be sure to check out J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World full site or for craft activities, go to Wizarding World’s YouTube Channel

The Gruffalo has fun games, activity sheets, singalongs and much more from Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – as read by author, Eric Carle

San Diego Zoo – watch the animals live in their enclosures, or try the games, activities or animal stories on offer

Edinburgh Zoo cams – watch the animals in a different time zone

Prodigy makes math fun, the games are so good, the kids hardly realise they are learning, the lessons suit children aged 6 – 14

K-Zone free Mega Indoor Activity Book – over 50 activities, puzzles and recipes to keep you busy

NASA Kids’ Club offers games and activities kids can independently participate in

BrainPOP is offering free access during school closures – take advantage of this digital learning resource, with games, tips and ideas to keep the kids entertained

PBS Kids has cool games and activities for kids, while PBS Parents offers daily activities and ideas for kids ages 2 – 8, as well as tips on managing learning at home.

Lunch Doodles is author and illustrator, Mo Willems, inspiring kids to draw along with him while he gets creative in his studio

Time For Kids is offering Time for Kids Digital Library free until the end of May/early June

Children’s Museum Houston has innovative activities and videos for child-centred learning has free computer science classes from kindergarten to high school levels

Tips and Crafts provide creative activities to help caregivers entertain the kids

Overcoming Obstacles offer free life skills tools for parents and teachers to use with children from kindergarten to high school age. There are hundreds of activity-based lessons covering more than 30 critical social and emotional skills, helping children learn to make informed decisions, resolve conflicts, solve problems, respect each other and much more.

Beachbody Kids Workouts – only free for a limited time, have a look at these workouts during lockdown

GoNoodle gets kids up and moving to fun dance parties, yoga sessions, mindfulness activities and game sessions

CosmicKids Yoga is yoga and mindfulness for ages 3+


From around New Zealand and locally:

South Canterbury Museum – explore the SC Museum’s collection online

Aigantighe Art Gallery – check out their online collection or kids can head to the ‘Learn’ section for some fun activities

Royal NZ Ballet - live in your living room – while live performances are out, view some of RNZB’s back catalogue online – which one will be next?

Toro Mai is brought to you by Massey University – where you can deepen your understanding and awareness of Māori knowledge. Toro Mai offers two introductory online courses in Te Reo Māori and Tikanga Māori.

Te Papa Online Jigsaws – select online jigsaws using taonga from the museum’s collections, where you decide the level of difficulty

RNZ Young Adult Books and Stories – not for children (parental guidance advised)

PB Tech Lockdown Video Challenge – during lockdown, each day complete a new challenge to go in the draw for the weekly grand prize

Sunday Cantina Chef releasing her secret recipes on Facebook

Global offerings:

Free musicals and plays – Filmed on Stage offer a list of musicals, plays and operas now streaming worldwide during the coronavirus pandemic, including a different Andrew Lloyd Webber musical each week

The Globe Theatre – Watch some of Shakespeare’s plays recorded at The Globe Theatre (free for a limited time) or take a virtual tour of the impressive theatre

Monterey Bay Aquarium – experience the wonder of the ocean with these 10 live cams, from sea otters to African penguins and more

MYVLF (My Virtual Literary Festival) – create a free account to join this free global virtual literary festival, connecting readers with authors without the need to spend a fortune to travel to the literary event. You can see/hear your favourite authors and ask them questions – (or watch recordings after the events).

Brian May Isolated; Bohemian Rhapsody Tutorial in his living room is exactly what you would think – Brian May teaching you how to play the Bohemian Rhapsody mid-section solo on guitar

Scratch is a programming language and online community where you can code your own interactive stories, animations and games, primarily designed for ages 8 to 16 (or kids of all ages can head to as well).

Google Arts & Culture – discover artworks, collections and stories from all around the world, and make sure you check out the large array of virtual tours on offer

National Museum of Natural History in New York is pretty cool (this is where the Night at the Museum movies were filmed), so check out their virtual tours online – by the time you’ve finished you’ll feel like you’ve been to New York, well to the museum anyway!

The Museum of the World – a collaboration between the British Museum and the Google Arts & Culture Lab, this is an interactive experience through time, continents and cultures

Staying in Shape:

Yoga with Tansy

Gym Workouts in lockdown

Uplifting Mindfulness:

Discover your happy

Head Space


Thank you to the SC Chamber of Commerce and for helping us locate a few of these wonderful sites. If you want to receive their weekly e-newsletter you can subscribe here