Free Activities and Resources

We started this list of free activities and resources for children’s books back in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic led to lockdowns and many of us had to self-isolate or quarantine. Things were tough!

Thankfully, a number of authors, illustrators, publishers and more came together to offer free activities and resources for those in need. Although the lockdowns are over, we felt that it’s such a big list, it would be a shame to take it down – especially when there’s still so many fun things to find and do out there!

We’ll try to keep it updated, but do let us know if there’s something missing, or if a link no longer works. A number of these pages no longer get updated, but the content is still worth a look!


Authors/ Illustrators

Sav Akyuz – ‘I Am Bear’ activities

Jez Alborough – colouring, drawing games, quizzes & poems

Steve Antony – Rainbowsaurus trail and activities for 6+

Philip Ardagh – book readings, storytelling games and more (YouTube)

Authors Live (including Alex T Smith, Andy Stanton and many more)

Claire Barker
Reading book chapters videos (YouTube):
‘Picklewitch and Jack’ activity sheets:
‘Knitbone Pepper’ activities:

Mac Barnett – reading picture books and chapters on Instagram (under ‘Reels’)

Guy Bass – teaching guides, activity sheets, and video reads

The Beano – free digital editions to download

P. G. Bell – writing tips, activity sheets, teaching notes, and videos

Rob Biddulph – Draw with Rob videos

Quentin Blake – e-cards and colouring

Chris Bradford – ‘Young Samurai: The Way of Fire’ chapter readings (YouTube)

Matt Brown – book chapter readings and talking about writing

Peter Bunzl – crafts, writing and design activities, resource packs, guided reading sheets, and more

Jon Burgerman – ‘Everybody Worries’ activity sheets
PDF available here

Neill Cameron – ‘How to Make Awesome Comics’ activity sheets and challenges

Matt Carr – draw-alongs

Sophie Cleverly – ‘Scarlet and Ivy’ learning resources, activities and more

Rebecca Cobb – reading and draw-alongs

Jo Cotterill – ‘Jelly’ chapter resources, worksheets and games

Cressida Cowell – draw-alongs, book readings, and sharing magical ideas (YouTube)

Roald Dahl
Teaching resources:
‘The Magic Finger’ online theatrical reading:

Helen Docherty
Book readings with activities (YouTube):
Audio readings, activity sheets, crafts, educator guides and more:

Elys Dolan
Activity sheets:
Draw-along videos:

Julia Donaldson & Alex Scheffler
Reading stories, songs and poems, and learning to draw with other authors and illustrators:
Activity sheets, games, and more:

John Dougherty – ‘The Health and Safety Pirates’ chapter readings (Youtube)

Jonny Duddle – draw-along videos:

Abi Elphinstone – talking about the ideas and process behind writing ‘Jungledrop’ (YouTube)

Jonathan Emmett
Activity sheets, games, and teaching notes:
Read-alongs (YouTube):

Jim Field – learn to draw videos

Tom Fletcher – ‘Bedtime Story’ videos (YouTube)

Emily Fox – activity sheets

Claire Freedman – games and activity sheets

Josh Funk – storytime and Q&As with other authors and illustrators

Neil Gaiman – activities (under “extras”) and videos reading books

Pippa Goodhart – activities and worksheets

Elise Gravel – downloadable comic explaining Covid-19 for kids

Sophie Green – ‘Potkin and Stubbs’ activities and videos

Adam and Charlotte Guillain
Book reads, songs, and storytime (YouTube):

Dan Gutman – “Weird Read-A-Loud” videos

Swapna Haddow – activity sheets and puzzles

Vashti Hardy – maps, posters and activity sheets

Paula Harrison – masks and quizzes

Caryl Hart – activity packs (some free, some at low prices)

Chris Haughton
#stayathome book readings and art activities:
Activity sheets and downloads:

Horrible Histories – online quizzes and videos

Morag Hood – activity sheets

Konnie Huq – book readings, activities and draw-alongs (YouTube)

Rachel Ignotofsky (author of Women in Science/Art etc.) – colouring pages, posters and wallpapers

Sean C Jackson – printable mazes

Oliver Jeffers – stay at home story time videos

Gareth P Jones
How To Write videos:
Videos and songs:

Rob Keeley
Daily writing prompts:
Quizzes, activities and more:

Kieran Larwood – games, podcasts, and videos

Tony Lee – reading his graphic novels

Steven Lenton – Draw-Along-A-Lenton (YouTube)

M. G. Leonard
Video book readings, writing tips and interviews:
‘Adventures On Trains’ activity sheets:

Jarrett Lerner
‘Finish This Comic!’ and downloadable drawing/writing activity prompts:
‘Knights of the Kids’ Table’ unreleased novel:

David Litchfield – storytime read-alongs (YouTube)–SXdyikiMenIWlQ

Abie Longstaff – activity packs, sheets, and puzzles

James Mayhew – Story and song videos (Youtube)

Sarah McIntyre
Draw your own comics:
Drawing and storytelling videos (YouTube):

Dave McKean – ‘Postcard from Prague’ full book (must be logged in to view)

Jenny McLachlan – make maps, magical creatures, and more

Meg McLaren – drawing and activities

Tom McLaughlin – Doodle Do–It! learn to draw and behind the scene secrets (Youtube)

Wendy Meddour – picture book storytime videos

Kate Messner – reading stories aloud (YouTube)

Alex Milway – ‘Hotel Flamingo: Life in Lockdown’ free downloadable book

Lydia Monks – how to draw videos (YouTube)

Ross Montgomery – book reading (Youtube)

Paul Morton – crafts, activities and more

Harriet Muncaster – ‘Isadora Moon’ activities

Karl Newson – The Mudwaffler Club videos, with activities and more

Garth Nix – reading extracts and other videos

Jeff Norton – ‘Alienated’ video readings

H. S. Norup – activity sheets

David O’Connell – comics, drawing and activities

Debbie Ridpath Ohi – activity sheets, advice and templates, teaching guides, and more

Tom Palmer
Videos, literacy resources and more:
First chapters and short stories:

Guy Parker-Rees – colouring and drawing (‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’, ‘Dylan’ and many more)

Tom Percival – ‘Attack of the Heebie Jeebies’ video readings (YouTube)

Liz Pichon – activity sheets

Julie Pike – resources and activities for teaching

Dav Pilkey – ‘Captain Underpants’ activities

Catherine Rayner – drawing guides and activity sheets

Shoo Rayner – story time and drawing videos with guest authors/illustrators (YouTube)

Chris Riddell – reading audiobooks and drawing videos

Michelle Robinson – teaching ideas, activity sheets, videos and audio games

Vanessa Rogers – free downloadable workbook ‘Staying Well at Home in Self-Isolation: Coping with feelings of frustration and anger’ (11-19 yrs)

Michael Rosen – Kids’ Poems and Stories (Youtube)

Ben Rothery – wildlife facts, questions, puzzles and colouring sheets

Viviane Schwarz – activities, games and videos (under separate menu entries)

Nick Sharratt – drawing tips

Hannah Shaw – drawing, colouring and making fun

Andy Shepherd
‘The Boy Who Grew Dragons’ recipes and activities:
Teaching resources and free downloadable short story:

Neil Slorance and Colin Bell – ‘Dungeon Fun’ and ‘Pirate Fun’ free comics downloads

Lemony Snicket – ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ games, trivia and other activities

Laurel Snyder – reading stories and activities (YouTube)

Zeb Soanes – ‘Gaspard’ videos (YouTube)

Chitra Soundar – writing exercises, activities, resources and more (divided by book)

Emer Stamp – ‘Diary of Pig’ activities and worksheets (under different menu items)

Robin Stevens – detective activities

Sarah Todd Taylor – Building a Mystery online workshop course with videos and worksheets

Piers Torday
Story starters:
Reading chapters, writing tips and more (YouTube):

Laura Trinder – activities, posters, and teaching resources

Ed Vere – How To Draw videos

Clara Vulliamy
Art and drawing activity videos (YouTube):
Easter activities, crafting, cooking and more:

David Walliams
Activity sheets and resources:
Marvellous Musical Podcast:

Steve and Sue Weatherill – activities and puzzles

Elaine Wickson – activity sheets, creative writing exercises and more

Mo Willems – lunch doodles

Eloise Williams – creative writing activities

Marcia Williams – Shakespeare masks and colouring activities

Jools Wilson – ‘Painting Poems’ activity sheets

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Poets and Poetry

Liz Brownlee – Poetry Roundabout  – blog with interviews, videos, resources and more

Kate Clanchy – sharing poetry from young people

Joseph Coelho
Poetry prompts and readings (YouTube):
Resources, ideas, and videos (under ‘poetry classroom’ and ‘watch & listen’) :
‘Understanding Poetry’ videos:

Paul Cookson – activities

Matt Goodfellow – poetry workshops from 2020 (YouTube)

Nikki Grimes – poetry readings and writing prompts from 2020 (YouTube)

A. F. Harrold – poetry videos

Joshua Seigal – poems and videos

Prartho Sereno – ‘Poetic Journeys for Kids’ activities and poem writing (YouTube)

Chris White – poetry readings with creative activities and drawing (YouTube)

Children’s Poetry Archive – poetry read out loud online

CLPE Poetryline – poet interviews and writing tips

The Poetry Society – Learning from Home hub (activities, workshops, prompts and more)

Poetry Zone – poetry reading videos

Young Poets Network – writing challenges and more for 11+

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Publishing Houses

Andersen Press
Activities for all ages, from picture books to teen fiction:
‘Staying Home’ free book download:

b small publishing – activities, posters, teacher notes and more

Barefoot Books
Activity creation advice:
Global Summer Adventure Club:

Barrington Stoke
Build your own Globe Theatre:
Homeschooling help pack:

Activity packs, posters, and teaching notes:
Young Readers activity sheet:

Bonnier Books – resources and activities for 3+, 6+ and 8+

Book Island – picture book resources

Booklife Publishing – posters, activities, and worksheets

Buster Books – colouring, drawing, puzzles, activities, and apps

Candlewick Press – learn to draw, writing tips, poetry and more, with various authors and illustrators (YouTube)

Chicken House Books – ‘Cooped Up Kids’ Hub with author readings, Q&As, special events, downloads and competitions

Child’s Play Publishing – activities organised by book

Free ‘Big Cat’ and more e-books and downloadable worksheets:

DK Publishing – home learning, activity sheets and teaching guides (preschool – 12yrs)

Dref Wen – free picture book audio books in Welsh

Egmont Books – activity sheets and packs, lesson plans and more

Faber & Faber – Faber Booktime with authors and illustrators (YouTube)

Firefly Press – resource packs organised by book

Guppy Books – interviews, tips, draw-alongs and more, featuring authors and illustrators (YouTube)

Hachette Children’s Group – activity sheets, worksheets, and teaching guides, organised by book

HarperCollins Children’s Books
Free audio books:
Resources and activities:

Ladybird Books – 10 Minutes to Bed, and ‘Starting School’ videos (Youtube)

Little Island Books – teaching guides

Little Tiger Press – activities and resources

New Frontier Publishing – teaching notes and activities

Nosy Crow
Activity sheets, quizzes, teachers’ resources:
Discover non-fiction (from 2020):
Coronavirus – A Book for Children (illustrated by Alex Scheffler):

Otter-Barry Books
Storytime and poetry (YouTube):
Teacher’s notes and videos:

Oxford University Press
‘The Legend of Kevin’ draw your own comic:
Oxford Owl activity sheets and ideas, videos, creative writing, and more:
Oxford Owl ‘Isadora Moon’ activity sheets and videos:
Oxford Owl ‘Kitty’ activity sheets and draw-a-long:
Oxford Owl ‘Winnie and Wilbur’ free e-book download and other resources:
Oxford Owl free e-book library (registration required):

Puffin Books
Games and activities, videos, audiobooks and more:
‘Puffin Storytime’ and more, with authors and illustrators (YouTube):
Downloadable activity pack:
Craft ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’:
Puffin Podcast for kids:

Puffin Schools – draw-along, how to and storytime videos, and teaching resources (divided by key stage)

Ruby Tuesday Books – non-fiction quizzes and resources

Scallywag Press – free activities and resources (divided by title)

Author readings and home learning resources:
Kids Club (games, puzzles, activities and more):

Sweet Cherry Publishing – teaching packs, activities and more

Thames and Hudson – ‘How To Draw All Kinds of Bugs’ PDF by Yuval Zommer

Tiny Owl Publishing – ‘Fly with Tiny Owl’ read-along and how-to videos (YouTube)

Usbourne Books – activities, fun facts, story readings and more

Walker Books
‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ activities and videos:
Author readings and book trailer videos (YouTube):
Stay Home Hub (activity sheets, videos and resources for a range of titles):

What On Earth Books – activity sheets, colouring, teacher’s guides, and more

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Independent Bookshops

The Alligator’s Mouth – colouring, activities, Comics Club worksheets and videos

‘At Home With’ – group of four independent bookshops working with authors, illustrators, publishers and other indies to provide live author events

The Book Nook – live online events with readings, drawings and Q&As, featuring guest authors and illustrators

Moon Lane – author readings, illustrator draw-alongs, Q&As, and ‘HipHop Love Books’ story time sessions with hip-hop stars (in association with Nicci Cheeks)

Mr B’s Emporium – Kid’s Story Time and more videos (YouTube)

‘The Story Of’ series teaching notes and colouring sheets:
Large range of activities and teaching resources divided by year group:

Sevenoaks Bookshop – review scheme

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Book Clubs

The Bookwanderers Club – hosted by author Anna James with guest authors, featuring interviews, bookshop recommendations, Q&As and recent book round-ups from 2021 and earlier (YouTube)

Josh Gad Book Club – videos from 2020 of live weekly book readings

Reading Zone
Book Club – reviews, readings, writing tips and more to come:
Bookclub with guest authors, readings and creative writing topics:

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#SaveWithStories – celebrities reading children’s books on Instagram

Activity Village – activity packs and more in a range of languages

Authorfy – author videos, activities, writing resources, and more

Ava’s Box – 5-year-old Ava and her mother reading Ava’s favourite stories

Beanstalk Charity – reading rainbow downloadable sheet

The Big Book Festival – virtual book festival from 2020 and 2021, bringing together content from cancelled British literary festivals, including interviews, panel discussions, interactive sessions and more

Blackpool Libraries – original stories, story and rhyme time, and more

Book Trust
Home Time:
Home Time digital hub (YouTube):
Cymru HomeTime:

Booklings Chat – audio author interviews (including current Carnegie nominees)

Books for Topics – ‘Branching Out’ book recommendation posters

BookTastic BookFest – 2020 virtual book festival catch-up

BorrowBox – local library e-book and audiobook lending app (available on Android and Apple devices, and Kindle Fire; requires library card and local library to be signed up. See also: Libby)

CBeebies Bedtime Stories – celebrities reading stories

Children’s Books Ireland – ideas and activity packs, guidance for parents and teachers

The Children’s Bookshow – ‘Bookshow at Home’, featuring author and poet readings, and activities

CILIP – ‘National Shelf Service’ e-book recommendations (YouTube)

CLPE – huge range of free resources for teaching, including book guides, teaching sequences, reading/writing scales and more

Dolly Parton – reading videos, activity sheets, and reading tips

Down The Rabbit Hole – children’s books radio and podcast with author/illustrator guests

Everywhere Book Fest – 2020 virtual book festival catch-up

Federation of Children’s Book Groups – resource hub and booklists (under the resource menu)

Fun Time French – ‘Story Time’ reading stories in English and French, with extra activities for young children

Great School Libraries – ‘Ask A Librarian’ advice forum

Halloween Costumes – fairy tales and bedtime stories

Hay Festival – online videos of author/illustrator talks from past years

Hexham Book Festival – Story Space, authors and others reading online stories (YouTube)

Inspire Education Library Service – #InspireOnline arts, activities, challenges and more

Julie’s Library – podcast hosted by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton reading and discussing children’s books (with special guests)

Libby – local library e-book and audiobook lending app (available on Google Play, Apple App Store and Microsoft Store; requires library card and local library to be signed up. See also: BorrowBox)

Library Girl and Book Boy – #FunnyBookChat with authors

Little Angel Theatre – education and home learning packs

LoveReading4Kids – Kids Zone (videos, activities, competitions and more)

Love My Books – activities, reviews, recommendations, crafting and more

Mike Forde – free downloadable ‘Parsley Mimblewood’ books

National Book Tokens Caboodle
Caboodler’s Corner (interviews, games, competitions and more):
Book Island Challenge game:

National Geographic For Kids – resources organised by topic

The National Literacy Trust
‘Words for Life’ activities and more (divided by age):
‘The Book of Hopes’ activities and resources:
Virtual School Library with author book readings:

National Writing Day – information and resources

The Nincompoops (featuring Andy Stanton and Carrie Quinlan)
‘Home Skoolin’ with the Nincompoops’ videos (YouTube):
‘Ask the Nincompoops’ podcast:

Picture Book Den – activities by various picture book authors

Plazoom – ‘Author in Your Classroom’ podcast and accompanying resources

RAF Museum – short story chapters and activities from Children’s Author-in-Residence Tom Palmer (under ‘stories’)

The Reader Teacher – #BookMatch for finding similar reads, plus reading lists divided by class/key stage, book recommendations and more

Reading Realm – Learning at Home episodes from 2020, poetry, and other resources

Reading Zone – book extracts, author interviews, activities, videos, and more

ROOTS (freelance illustrator) – colouring sheets

Scottish Book Trust – activities, videos, and more

Sefton Libraries – storytime and more

Shakespeare Week – Shakespeare-themed videos, activities and more

Shakespeare’s Globe
Artists performing excerpts from Shakespeare’s works:
‘Playing Shakespeare’ (videos production of Macbeth and learning resources):

The Story Lady (Audra Mitcheson) – reading books and creating adventures (YouTube)

The Story Museum – ‘Stories from the Woodshed’ online storytelling videos, creative challenges, riddles and author/illustrator interviews (YouTube)

Story Seeds Podcast – podcast pairing children with authors to create short stories

Storyline Online – celebrities reading stories (YouTube)

Storytime from Space – astronauts reading children’s books (YouTube)

Suffolk Libraries – songs, storytime and craft videos

Surrey Libraries – storytime, crafting and activity videos

Toppsta – Write reviews, win books

World Book Day
Lots of resources and activities:
Audiobooks, creative activities, videos and more:

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Compiled by Libraries4Schools

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