Keeping little minds entertained can be tricky at the best of times – but with stories we can travel to far off places and try new adventures without even leaving the room. Here are some of our favourite interactive books and audio stories.
We will continue to add to our list of resources, so if there’s something you’d like to share with other families, let us know here.
Supporting Family Activity Providers
At Hoop, we work with 15,000+ family activity providers. Most of these are small businesses, often run by parents, who will face a lot of uncertainty over the coming weeks as we practise social distancing.
To help families over this time, lots activity providers have temporarily taken their activities online – we encourage you to show your support by taking part in live streams, watching pre-recorded sessions and sending messages of support to your local favourites.
Below are some of the resources produced by the providers who list on Hoop to help keep your family entertained. You can find info about live streams of family activities in the Hoop app.
Little Angel Theatre At Home
FOR AGES: 3-11YRS | WEBSITE | FREE
The artists that work with Little Angel Theatre will be producing daily video stories told to camera – including classics like Puss in Boots, Goldilocks and The Three Bears and more. There’s also a range of at-home crafts for KS1-2 children to go alongside the stories. View Little Angel Theatre at Home.
More Great Stories to Keep Kids Entertained
We’ve put together even more resources for helping you and your kids keep fit at home. Missing your faves? Let us know here.
Audible Children’s Audiobooks
FOR AGES: ALL AGES | AUDIO | SELECTED STORIES CURRENTLY FREE
For as long as schools are closed, Audible are streaming a selection of kids stories for free. Split out into six categories (“Littlest Listeners,” “Elementary,” “Tween,” “Teen,” “Literary Classics” and “Folk & Fairy Tales for All”) and six languages, there’s stacks to choose from. Visit Audible.
BookTrust Home Time
FOR AGES: 4YRS+ | WEBSITE | FREE
BookTrust Home Time is all about sharing lots of fun stuff from authors and illustrators to keep you and your family entertained. Enjoy storytime with free online books and videos, play games, take quizzes and learn how to draw favourite characters. View BookTrust Home Time
CBeebies Story Time
FOR AGES: UP TO 6YRS | APP | FREE
Download the free CBeebies Storytime app (available on iOS, Android or Kindle Fire devices) for 60+ fun, interactive stories and shows. Join Mr Tumble in the snow, go on a magical family journey with CBeebies The Nutcracker story or read along with your child’s favourite nursery rhyme. Get the CBeebies Storytime app
Elevenses with The World of David Walliams
FOR AGES: 7YRS+ | AUDIO | FREE
David Walliams is releasing a free kids’ audio book every day for 30 days (starting 26th March). Stories come from Walliams’ The World’s Worst Children collections, so expect beastly boys and gruesome girls that will make your kids snort with laughter. Visit the World of David Walliams.
Headspace for Kids
FOR AGES: UP TO 12YRS | APP | FREE
Kids can enjoy fun and engaging activities that teach them the basics of mindfulness with Headspace. Split out into three age groups – under 5, 6–8 and 9–12 – kids will practice breathing exercises, visualisations, and try focus-based meditation. Get the Headspace app.
Julia Donaldson and Friends
FOR AGES: 3 – 8YRS | VIDEO | FREE
Julia Donaldson, writer of The Gruffalo series, Stick Man and Zog, will be doing a live broadcast at 4pm each Thursday. Expect stories, songs and poems from Donaldson and guests including illustrators Axel Scheffler, Rebecca Cobb, Lydia Monks, David Roberts and Nick Sharratt.
OxfordOwl Free eBook Library
FOR AGES: 3-11YRS | EBOOK | FREE
Missing Biff, Chip and Kipper? Publisher OxfordOwl is sharing stacks of tablet-friendly eBooks for kids for FREE. Find learn-to-read books that fit your child’s level perfectly with a simple test then filter by age, level or book type to find what’s right for you. Browse OxfordOwl.
FOR AGES: 3-7YRS | APP | FREE FOR 24HRS THEN SUBSCRIPTION FEE
Stories and games perfectly designed for little fingers. Kids guide Pango and friends through each tale by interacting with the picture and moving the story along. Get the Pango Storytime app.
FOR AGES: 4YRS+ | VIDEO | FREE
Tune in for Puffin Storytime! It’s twenty minutes of magic with picturebook stories and draw-alongs and serialised novels with Puffin authors. Tales include Sam Copeland’s Charlie Change into a Chicken, Robin Stevens’s Murder Most Unladylike and Ed Vere’s How to Tame A Lion. Watch Puffin Storytime.
FOR AGES: 2YRS+ | VIDEO | FREE
Celebrities reading their fave kids’ stories for a cause. Part of a US charitable initiative to help the millions of kids in the USA who depend on school for their meals (donations here), you can find stacks of great stories. From Gabrielle Union reading ‘Hair Love’ and The Backstreet Boys reading ‘Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type’ to Jennifer Garner reading ‘The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark’. Browse #SAVEWITHSTORIES.
FOR AGES: 3YRS+ | VIDEO | FREE
The Screen Actors Guild Foundation created website Storyline Online streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more. Visit Storyline Online.
FOR AGES: UP TO 14YRS | AUDIO | FREE
Storyskimo is on a mission to offer amazing audio experiences specifically for kids. Find highly curated fiction and non-fiction podcasts, audiobooks and music, from humour to science, history, geography, justice, equality, sustainability and more. Visit Storyskimo.
Find more great ways to keep the kids entertained at home here.