Free Isolation Activities and Resources

We’re aware that, right now, things are a little tough around the world. The current pandemic has meant that a lot of us are having to self-isolate or quarantine, and this can be tough! Thankfully a number of authors, illustrators, publishers and more have come together to offer free activities and resources for those in isolation, or those who are just practising distancing.

We’ve done our best to collate the ones we’ve found so far. If we’re missing any, then drop us a line and let us know!

To start with, check out the hashtags #FreeBookResources and #StoryStarters on Twitter, as well as the accounts of your favourite authors and illustrators!


Authors/ Illustrators

Sav Akyuz – ‘I Am Bear’ activities

Jez Alborough – colouring, drawing games, quizzes & poems

Steve Antony – videos (drawing, storytime and more) 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 TV

Guy Bass – activities and videos

The Beano – free digital editions to download

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

Rob Biddulph – Draw with Rob videos, new videos Saturdays 10am

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 – free downloadable picture book ‘Everyone Worries’ about Covid-19

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

Matt Carr – draw-alongs

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

Rebecca Cobb – reading and draw-alongs

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

Frank Cottrell-Boyce – writing workshops, Q&As, chapter readings, book reviews and more

Cressida Cowell – reading her books and sharing magical ideas (YouTube)

Roald Dahl – Things To Do Indoors (lesson plans, crafts, games and more)

Steve Anthony Daily – lesson ideas and other activities

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

Elys Dolan – How to Make a Picture Book

Julia Donaldson & Alex Scheffler
Reading stories, songs and poems, and learning to draw with other authors and illustrators:
Activity sheets for the ‘Gruffalo’ and more:

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

Jonny Duddle – drawing, colouring and spot-the-difference

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

Jonathan Emmett
‘Scribble Street’ games and puzzles:
Read-alongs (YouTube):

Jim Field – learn to draw videos

Tom Fletcher – ‘Puffin Storytime’ 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

Debi Gliori – book readings, videos and activities

Pippa Goodhart – activities and worksheets

Elise Gravel – downloadable comic explaining Covid-19 for kids

Emily Gravett – activities

Sophie Green – ‘Potkin and Stubbs’ activities

Adam and Charlotte Guillain – activities and drawing (design a pizza, make a gremlin and more)

Dan Gutman – “Weird Read-A-Loud” videos (from 2020)

Swapna Haddow – ‘Dave Pigeon’ activity sheets

Vanessa Harbour – teaching resources, readings, writing tips and more

Vashti Hardy – maps, posters and activities

Paula Harrison – masks and quizzes

Carly Hart
Author events online:
Virtual school visits:

Chris Haughton – book readings and art activities (see “Stay at Home” entries at bottom of menu)

Horrible Histories – online games and videos

Morag Hood – activity sheets

Anthony Horowitz
‘Where Seagulls Dare (A Diamond Brothers Case)’ free to read chapters online:

Laura Hughes – activities and videos (for younger readers)

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:
Guess-along detective stories and more:

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

Tom Knight – story and craft time videos and sheets

Kieran Larwood – ‘Podkin One Ear’ activities 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 (chapters uploaded regularly):

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

Susannah Lloyd – drawing activity sheets

Abie Longstaff – activity packs

James Mayhew – Story Time 4 Home Time (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 – videos and activities

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 – ‘Tom Gates’ activities

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)

Marcus Sedgwick – ‘Floodland’ video readings

Nick Sharratt – drawing tips

Hannah Shaw – drawing, colouring and making fun

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

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

Jim Smith – ‘Barry Loser’ downloads, videos and activities

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 things to make & do

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 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
Free audio stories:
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 (Children’s Laureate Wales) – creative writing activities

Marcia Williams – Shakespeare masks, and Greek Myths and more colouring activities

Inky Willis – art lessons, activity sheets, and draw-alongs

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 – poetry ideas and advice

Joseph Coelho
Videos, poems, activities and more:
‘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)

Joyce Sidman – teaching guides, videos and poetry ideas

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:

‘Harry Potter’ games, videos, downloads and more:
Young Readers activity sheet:

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

Book Island – picture book resources

Booklife Publishing – free activities and ‘Why Do I Wash My Hands?’ book download

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:
Learn at Home resources (activity packs, games, worksheets and more):

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

Doodles & Scribbles – free downloadable activity sheets (bottom of page)

Dref Wen – free picture book audio books in Welsh

Egmont Books
14 Stories in 14 Days (videos and activities):
Activity sheets and packs, lesson plans and more:

Faber & Faber
Activity packs, teaching resources and more (divided by title):
Faber Booktime with authors and illustrators:

Firefly Press – book readings, games, activities and more

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

Hachette Children’s Group & Reading Rocks – online resource packs and activities (videos unavailable)

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

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

Lantana Publishing – activities and teaching resources

Little Island Books – free book guides (via email)

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 ‘The Isadora Moon Guide to Writing Stories’:
Oxford Owl ‘Winnie and Wilbur Stay at Home’ free e-book download and other resources:

Pavilion Books – resource packs, activities and read-alongs

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 learning at home books and activities

Salariya Books – ‘You Wouldn’t Want To Be’ activities

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):
‘Rain Before Rainbows’ by Smriti Halls and David Litchfield reading and activities:

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

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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

Chicken and Frog Bookshop – storytime videos from 2020

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 videos (YouTube)

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

Seven Stories & Andersen Press – picture book storytime videos, and reading and creative writing events

Sevenoaks Bookshop – Bookmark Magazine, by children for children

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Book Clubs

Book Clubs in Schools – weekly online book club (Wednesdays) with live chat, comments and Q&As

The Bookwanderers Club – new episodes every other Friday, hosted by author Anna James with guest authors, featuring interviews, bookshop recommendations, Q&As and recent book round-ups (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:
#FridayBookclub 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

Alexandra Palace – Biblio-buzz Children’s Book Awards, and video readings and challenges from authors

Audible – free children’s audio books

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 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:
‘Pyjamarama’ online 2020 festival catch-up:

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)

British Library
‘Discovering Children’s Books’ (videos, activities, discussions, interviews, make a mini book and more):
‘All our stories!’ teachers’ guide (for help using the Discovering Children’s Books website to celebrate ethnic diversity and develop a rich primary reading curriculum):

CBeebies Bedtime Stories – celebrities reading stories

Children’s Books Ireland and An Post – #ImagineNation playbook featuring lots of activities from different authors and illustrators

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 – ‘Goodnight with Dolly’ reading bedtime stories with 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 – National Share a Story Month from 2020; ‘The Planet We Share’ activities and book lists

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 the past 4 years

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

Inspire Education Library Service
‘InspiREAD2020’ online primary book award:
#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 – crafting activities

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’ free online collection of poems, short stories and more from over 100 children’s authors and illustrators, dedicated to those working in hospitals:
Virtual School Library with author book readings:

National Writing Day 2020 – information and resources

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

‘Our Corona Diary’ – diary and creative exercise ideas for children from authors and illustrators

Picture Book Author Events Online – book broadcasts from authors and illustrators during 2020

Picture Book Den – activities by various picture book authors

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

RadioBlogging – radio show episodes from 2020 with poetry readings, games, educational activities and more

RAF Museum – short story chapters and activities from Children’s Author-in-Residence Tom Palmer

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, etc for children:
Book extracts, author interviews, etc for teens/YA:
Author interviews and Q&As:

ROOTS (freelance illustrator) – colouring sheets

School Library Journal – temporary access to all premium content (reviews, magazines, etc.)

Scottish Book Trust – virtual watch-alongs and activities for all ages

Sefton Libraries – storytime and more

Shakespeare Week – Shakespeare-themed storytime videos, crafts, activities and more

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

SLA – reading recommendations form and downloadable reading bingo card

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 – online story time and craft events

Surrey Libraries – storytime and activity videos

Toppsta – Write reviews, win books

UFDC Baldwin Library – archive of historical children’s books

Windsor and Maidenhead Libraries – storytime and rhymetime

Wizarding World – Harry Potter cast from screen and stage reading chapters of the first book

World Book Day
Lots of resources and activities:
Audiobooks, creative activities, videos and more:
Author and illustrator masterclasses for all ages:

Wrd Magazine – activity pack (under “downloads”)

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Compiled by Lynda Britnell / Libraries4Schools

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