This is where you will find Reading, Learning and Fun for Children and Families. Keep visiting this page, as we update it regularly.

Exclusive Explore events on YouTube

Storyteller John Kirk will be live streaming some brilliant stories over the next few weeks.
Register in advance to receive your free event link
Saturday 24 October 2pm, The Twits
Saturday 31 October 2pm, Spooky Stories for Halloweenies


Hoglets World of Tales for under 5s
Mama Hoglet is going on a tale-spinning journey around the world. Every week we’ll be bringing a different folktale from across the globe into your living room and through storytelling, songs and games we’ll bring these lovely classic tales to life. Watch the premiere and then watch again as many times as you like.
Tuesday 27 October 10.30am. Tidalik The Frog
What happens when one greedy frog drinks all the water in the Australian outback?This week we’ll be hearing Tidalik The Frog, An Australian folk tale and singing froggy songs, playing froggy games and having some hopping good fun!

We have moved some of our links to stories to our YouTube Channel so that you can see all of them together. We have a playlist and some favourite channels

Missed the Summer Reading Challenge? You can take part in The Bloodaxe Reading Challenge from Saturday 24 October 2020 until Saturday 9 January 2021. You can sign up during that time in any Explore York Library. Collect stickers as you read 4 books and get a certificate and the opportunity to see author Paul Tillery talk about his Thundercluck books. You could also help win books for your school.

You can book our Autumn programme of online events for adults and children here

Class visits

We at Explore York Libraries and Archives are really sad that classes can’t visit us for the moment so we have recorded a video to show about the library. It includes a story, a song and some information on what you will find in the library. If you do any work on libraries and books, please share it with us either on Twitter, Facebook or via contact@exploreyork.org.uk

Look, Say, Sing, Play

City of York Council has teamed up with the NSPCC, and partners across the city, to help parents and carers make great interactions with their babies and toddlers, supporting their brain development.

New parents and families with children under two are being given information about the city’s Look Say Sing Play campaign, which gives positive examples of how parents can help their young children develop through looking, saying, singing and playing.

More information about the campaign, and how you can get involved in York – including free training opportunities and resources – is available here

There is a webpage for parents to access support and resources at www.york.gov.uk/LSSP  . If you missed the launch of Look, Say, Sing, Play you can see a video of it via the Council’s Facebook Live page. The video can be accessed at www.facebook.com/cityofyork

Authors, books and stories
  • Book Chat : Reading with your child by The Open University and Macmillan books give some great tips on sharing books with your children, while sharing three great stories. One Fox, The House that Once Was,  The Same Inside
  • Mud Pie Arts have cloud inspired stories Cloud Tales on their website. Each story is inspired by a cloud spotted over York.
  • If you are missing story times at your local library there are lots of great stories to watch created by World Book Day.
  • Follow #UnitedByBooks on social media for activities and special content from leading children’s reading organisations across the UK, children’s authors and illustrators.
  • BookTrust Bookfinder find books, author interviews, online stories and reading tips.
  • Barrington Stoke publish super-readable, accessible books for children who are reluctant or struggle to read due to dyslexia or visual stress.
  • 100 books recommended by Peters, our children’s book suppliers, plus activity sheets.
  • Books for Keeps, the leading, independent children’s book magazine, can be viewed online or downloaded and printed.
  • Who Next…? An online tool to guide children who have already enjoyed stories by one writer to find others who write in a similar way. It also includes suitable titles for dyslexic and reluctant readers.
  • The UK’s biggest recommendation site for children’s books, LoveReading4Kids has free Opening Extracts of thousands of children’s books, videos, activities, books, plus tips for home schooling.
  • Jackanory Storytelling for younger viewers, using videos and read louds.
  • Children’s authors Live on Demand Scottish Book Trust
  • Are you needing your Harry Potter fix? You can download reading guides from the Harry Potter Books website. and find a host of games and creative ideas at www.wizardingworld.com
  • Walker Books are hosting Picture Book Party with information about picture books, activity sheets and competitions.
Fun and activities

Where’s Wally? Spooky Museum Search – Join our friends at York Army Museum from 10 October to 28 November for a Where’s Wally? Spooky Museum Search.

Learning at Home
  • Technology in Play are running a daily After school Club at 3.15pm Monday to Thursday. Visit their website to find out all the details.
  • The Children’s Commissioner has issued a Digital safety and wellbeing kit for children and parents.
  • The NSPCC Net Aware website gives parents and carers safety advice and information to keep up to date with the latest news about social networks, apps and games their children are using.
  • Free resources to help support your children’s learning at home from Collins
  • BBC Bitesize Daily online lessons starting on 20 April for 3 to 16+, including weekly reading lessons for Years 1 to 6.
  • Learning resources from The Poetry Society
  • Resources for students from The Historical Association
  • Activities for home schooling at Twinkl
  • STEM Learning have launched a new page on their website with free content and resources for home learning. The content will be updated weekly and covers primary and secondary and across maths, science, computing and D&T.
  • The University of York have a list of resources suitable for 5 – 18 year olds to use at home from a variety of organisations. Sign up at Science at Home
  • Rhyming Multisensory Stories has resources for individuals age 3-19 with special educational needs. It includes sensory ideas, inspiration and strategies and there is a story library of fully resourced, step-by-step multisensory stories helping to build communication skills and connect individuals to literacy and culture in a way that is meaningful to their lives.
Coronavirus and children
  • Advice from the NSPCC on helping a child worried about Coronavirus.
  • Advice for children from Childline.
  • Coronavirus: a book for children, illustrated by Axel Scheffler is available free for anyone to read on screen or print out. This is a digital book for primary school age children, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it.
  • Mental health resources and information for parents from Action for Children
  • Government advice for parents and carers during the Covid-19 outbreak.
  • Advice from Unicef on how teenagers can protect their mental health during the Covid-19 outbreak.
  • Relate advice for supporting children and young people.
  • Young Mind tips for talking to children about Coronavirus.
  • Tips from the National Autistic Society about for managing uncertainty for families including those with a child with autism.