27th April 2020
With several weeks of lockdown under our belts and no end currently in sight, we wanted to collate the best free activities from around the web and put them on one handy page, for all of our Engage partners and colleagues to enjoy. The lockdown is a completely unexpected opportunity to focus on activities or pursuits that you might not otherwise have time for and there are a number of online learning platforms, apps and websites working towards helping you make the most of this extraordinary situation. We’d love to hear about anything you’ve found to entertain yourself and your family and add it to the list, tweet us at @engageeducation.
Lots of streaming services are offering additional packages, longer trial periods or free content to support their users through the lockdown – it’s a great opportunity to catch up on shows you’ve not had the time to enjoy. Here’s our top selection:
Did you know that Youtube have a huge range of movies, both free and to rent? You can see the full selection here
Disney+ launched just in time for the lockdown and you can get a 7 day free trial here – as well as pretty much all of the Disney movies there are shows from Marvel, Pixar and National Geographic
NowTV are offering 7 days worth of Entertainment passes (Don’t forget to cancel!) and have a huge selection of family favourites
There’s also Amazon’s usual 30 day free trial which includes films and box sets that you can’t get anywhere else including The American Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Six Feet Under, The Wire and lots more – set a reminder so you don’t forget when the free trail ends with this one!
Britbox is a digital streaming service created by BBC and ITV featuring hundreds of British TV titles and offers a 30 day free trial
SyFy Channel is streaming various shows for free (including the entirety of Battlestar Galactica!)
There are lots of free movies available on Rakuten for families and adults that don’t require a download or sign-up
The BBC has added lots of new shows to stream on iPlayer, aimed at helping those stuck indoors – don’t forget that although the content is free you still require a TV license to watch in the UK
The lockdown is a great opportunity to spend more time enjoying life, either with your household or through one of the new video-based communication apps designed for multiple people to log in on their own device. Try Zoom or Houseparty and get your family and friends to do the same. Here are some ideas:
Listen to Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone through Alexa for free on Audible. Just ask Alexa to read it – you can also ask Alexa to play various quizzes and games – open the Games skill in the Alexa app for details.
More free online games are also available on GOG, both from their archive and newly released indie offerings
Epic Games , who run Fortnite, have a host of free games available on their portal
Drawful is a Pictionary-like game with a newly released version which can be played remotely – available on Jackbox Games here
Steam have a selection of free-to-download games available from their store
Big Potato Games have released a free downloadable version of their fun quiz-based card game – download it here
Cards Against Humanity have made a full, free, downloadable version of their Family edition – you’ll need a printer!
There are a bunch of great free printable games at Asmodee too – have a look at their great selection here
If you haven’t had enough of live quizzess, comedien Mo Gilligan is running a quiz night every Friday at 9pm on his Instagram channel @mothecomedian called The Quarentine Games which is really fun!
All of the time spent at home during the lockdown is a the perfect opportunity to add to your knowledge in subjects that interestyou. From taking an online coding course to learning about climate change with a leading UK university, the pandemic has encouraged plenty of online learning platforms to increase their free offerings. Here are a selection of trusted sites to explore remote learning opportunities with:
The Open University’s OpenLearn courses are free and based entirely online, many of them are accredited and come with a printable certificate on completion. Check out their course selection here
There are some great free courses available on FutureLearn which partners with UK universities to offer free short accredited courses in a massive range of subjects across law, science, language and media.
Oxford Home Study is offering some courses for free – check out the selection from this reputable online learning platform
BitDegree has a bunch of online courses free to help people learn new skills during the pandemic, many with a tech slant including coding and game design.
Masterclass is a paid-for service that is offering a free class each week with a leader in their field. Previous guests include Gordan Ramsey and Anna WIntour. Check the times as they are in Eastern Standard Time!
KelbyOne has made some of their online photography courses free- check out the selection here
There are now hundreds of books available for free on AUdible, you can listen through your phone, tablet, laptop or Alexa device. Visit their site here to get started
The Show Must Go On is streaming a different Andrew Lloyd Webber musical every week on Youtube Last week was Phantom Of The Opera which is available to view on their channel now.
The National Theatre is streaming full length plays every Thursday on Youtube
If you want to use the lockdown to hone your open mic skills, Fender are offering the first 100,000 applicants three months worth of guitar lessons for free!
Headspace has several free meditations on their Covid-19 hub and lots of meditations are free on their app too
Amazon Music are currently offering a 3 month free trial (don’t forget to set a reminder to cancel!)
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