Reading, Learning and Fun for Children and Families. Keep visiting this page, as we will be updating it regularly.

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

For the Summer Reading Challenge head over to our special page for details of how to sign up, our activities and how to complete your Arts Award this year.

York and North Yorkshire
  • York Mumbler online parenting community with suggestions for events and activities.
  • Hoglets are running mini versions of their classes online for free.
  • Mud Pie Arts are posting oral recordings of new Cloud Tales every Monday and Thursday on their website. Each story will be inspired by a cloud spotted that morning over York. As clouds have a habit of ‘drifting off,’ each story will be incomplete. After listening to the story children will be encouraged to decide the ending of the story at home.
  • Technology in Play are running a daily Afterschool Club at 3.15pm Monday to Friday. There is a charge of £10 pm. All live lessons will be streamed and made available on Google Classroom. TIP will also be uploading some Storytime STEM for a younger audience.
  • Yorkshire Museum of Farming have videos of the museum and its Viking activities.
  • You can do Arts Award at home with York Theatre Royal.
  • York Museums Trust are offering Museums at Home
  • Families North Yorkshire magazine has gone online with activities and support.
Authors, books and stories
  • From 6 – 10 July, Cressida Cowell, the children’s Laureate and author of the How to train your Dragon series is holding a week of Summer Camp activity celebrating children’s innate creativity and showcasing the enormous wealth of talent across the UK. She will be joined by an all-star line-up of leading authors and illustrators – including Eoin Colfer, Theresa Lola and Rob Biddulph – to encourage young creatives with writing workshops, drawing masterclasses and much more.
  • 500 Words: Black Lives Matter is a new competition for children, aged between 5 and 13, to respond in whatever way they wish to the Black Lives Matter movement in the form of a story in no more than 500 words. Entries can be submitted between 29 June and 3 July.
  • 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.
  • Egmont author, book and magazine websites
  • 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.
  • National Literacy Trust have launched The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown, compiled by Katherine Rundell, a free downloadable eBook containing contributions from over 100 children’s authors and illustrators.
  • The National Literacy Trust have also made their online reading challenge available to families. Aimed at 9 – 12 year olds it has video rewards.
  • Jackanory Storytelling for younger viewers, using videos and read louds.
  • Free children’s audio books to listen to from Amazon, copy and paste, or type stories.audible.com/start-listen into your browser.
  • 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
  • Join author Paul Morton at www.bugbelly.com for downloadable resources, extracts and fun author videos.
  • Walker Books are hosting Picture Book Party with information about picture books, activity sheets and competitions.
  • Anthony Horowitz is sharing chapters of a new novel in his Diamond Brothers series, Where Seagulls Dare and inviting readers to give feedback on the story. He will continue to share chapters as the lockdown continues. The full finished book will be published by Walker in 2021. Anthony will be donating his royalties to the NHS charities together.
Fun and activities
Learning at Home
  • 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.
  • The government has issued guidelines to help keep children safe online
  • The Department for Education has launched Oak National Academy, an online classroom and resource hub created by teachers, for teachers, a bank of high-quality, sequenced video lessons including a range of subjects including maths, English, art and languages.
  • Free resources to help support your children’s learning at home from Collins
  • Ideas to spark imaginations at home with Puffin Schools
  • BBC Bitesize Daily online lessons starting on 20 April for 3 to 16+, including weekly reading lessons for Years 1 to 6.
  • Ask any question and a school librarian from around the country will help find the answer Great School Libraries
  • 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.
  • National Literacy Trust are offering free online literacy resources to NHS staff families.
  • The Starline Service is a new helpline for parents offering confidential advice to families from qualified teachers and parenting experts They offer advice on behaviour and timetabling as well as help for those looking after children with special educational needs or disabilities. Calls to the helpline use a local rate number, 0330 3139162, from anywhere in the UK.
  • The University of York have a weekly newsletter of resources suitable to use at home from a variety of organisations. They are suitable for 5 – 18 years. sign up at Science at Home
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.
  • Andersen Press are offering a free downloadable copy of picture book Staying Home by Sally Nicholls.