And more bookish ideas to try at home
We have over 1,000 books with videos, lesson plans and activity sheets! - check out our favourites here or search for your favourite book and see what's available on the book page.
Involve the grandparents - call/skype grandparents and ask them to provide the first line of a story. The kids then sit down and write for 30 minutes then phone them back to read out their story.
Get the kids to write a diary - these are extraordinary times and this will help not only to record these crazy days but writing things down can also help with anxiety.
Maps & Atlases - I printed off a world map and asked the kids to think of/research 10 books set in different countries and add them to the map. If you have an atlas at home you can also set them challenges to find where places are e.g. "Find the Galapagos Islands"..."in which country is St Petersburg in"..."write down 10 facts about Turkey" etc etc
Write a book review - I'd be remiss if I didn't encourage my kids to write a book review! They downloaded our '10 tips on how to write a book review' (there's also a quick book review template) and then, just because I like to keep them on their toes (!) I didn't want them to write a review of a book they already knew, so I asked them both to chose a short story to read and review.
Audiobooks - we have a list here of some of our favourite audiobooks but Borrowbox, which are ebooks and audiobooks loaned out by your local library should be your new best friend. Audible have also put a small selection for free and there are apps like Cloudaloud which have some free titles too.
Podcasts - Soundcloud (where you can listen to extracts, author readings, kids interviewing authors and more)
Videos - We're adding videos to our book pages (see this author video for The Train to Impossible Places and a gorgeous video review of Captain Whiskers from one of our Video Panel Reviewers)
Publisher Youtube Channels: See Walker Books, Usborne, Dorling Kindersley, Nosy Crow, HarperCollins Children's, Puffin Books, Egmont Publishing, Macmillan Children's Books, Hachette Children's Books, Ladybird Books (including Peppa Pig), Little Tiger Press, Lit Film Fest are releasing a daily video or writing tips.
Author Youtube Videos: Michael Rosen, Andy Stanton reads Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire, Abi Elphinstone, Jeff Norton, Philip Ardagh,
Illustrator Youtube Videos: Steven Lenton, Nick Sharratt, Tom McLaughlin
Toppsta Youtube channel: We've recently launched our Toppsta Youtube channel and we'll be sharing video reviews from children and 'Look Inside' videos too.
Organisations with free resources to use at home:
But also check out BBC Teach, Authorfy (login required), World Book Day, CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education), British Library, Scholastic Resource Bank, The School Run, Booktrust, Literacy Shed, KeyStage2Literacy, Literacy Trust, Lovemybooks and Caryl Hart is doing an amazing job collecting together all the picture book resources over on her website.
Creative Writing/Drawing: Pobble (a picture a day to inspire drawing and writing. Ask your kids to find their favourite book and ask them to either draw the existing cover or a new version. Author Sinead O'Hart is running creative challenges on her website for kids to enter and win books.
Apps: Reading Realm
Twitter: if you're on Twitter we are running a live Twitter chat every weekday at 10am where you can find out more about new books, authors and illustrators. You can also follow the hashtags #FreeBookResources #UnitedByBooks #lockdownkidlit
Facebook: Author Events Online
Instagram: Lydia Monks, Sandra Dieckmann,
Run a sponsored read - and get books into the hands of children who need them most. Take a look at Readathon and the brilliant work they do
Check if your favourite author has their own website - so many have brilliant resources you can download for free from their website: see Joshua Siegal, Joseph Coelho, Tom Palmer, Peter Bunzl, Robin Stevens, Andy Shepherd, Will Mabbitt, Kieran Larwood & more
Great illustrator websites with free resources: Nick Sharratt, Sarah McIntyre
Ditto for great publishers who have tons of resources over on their websites. Check out the advice and free resources for dyslexic readers on the Barrington Stoke website, Walker Picture Book Party, Nosy Crow Activities, Usborne Play & Learn (coming soon), Chicken House, Piccadilly Press, Lonely Planet Kids, Child's Play, Lion Hudson and more
ebooks - Register for Borrowbox so you can borrow ebooks from your local library and Project Gutenberg has has more than 60,000 ebooks available for free
Bedtime Stories - Check out Cbeebies Bedtime Stories