Activities for families in quarantine

Tech4families has compiled a list of sites that offer different activities to keep families occupied, especially if you're stuck in Covid-19 quarantine.

We’ve got some great sites that offer activities for families in quarantine. One of the key advantages of the online world is that it’s always there. It doesn’t matter about rain or wind or, as is the case now, a pandemic.

We’ve added a new section on virtual tours.

The easiest thing in the world is to give your kids free reign of a computer, console or mobile. But you know where that goes: YouTube or Fortnite for 5 hours straight.

South Park - Make Love, Not Warcraft - Season 10 episode 8
The dangers of free reign of a computer?
[South Park – Make Love, Not Warcraft – Season 10 episode 8]

Whilst this occupies time, there is no long term benefit to these activities. For the record, World Fortnite Champion is not a legitimate career choice for most people. Besides, putting that amount of time in to hone skills is not without consequence, ask any Olympic medal winner.

Alternative interactions

Don’t get me wrong, vegging out to YouTube or escaping into a game have their place in moderation, but not all day, every day. What we need are some alternative activities that offer some longer term benefit. Maybe something that gets your young person active or offers something educational in a fun setting. It could be something that’s just different enough to break up the monotony of another day in isolation. Remember: an activity may be suggested on a website, but the activity itself may not involve being online. It may even involve moving around.

We always had in mind to create a list of useful websites that parents can direct their kids to. The idea being that you don’t have to be quite as guilt-ridden if your kids spend longer online. But recent events have made this list more relevant than ever.

Keep checking back, though. We’ll add to this list as we find more useful stuff.

The Great Indoors

On 20th March, the UK Scouts Association published a webpage of 100 indoor activities from their massive programme of activities. The activities are categorised by age and also have an indication of how long they could last. But if you find a winning activity for your young people go with it, see what other doors are opened by your kids imagination.

You can access these activities at

Focus on Wildlife

Are you a family that likes to get out and about? Is your quarantine affecting your ability to mix with nature? Then the WWF have some activities that may be of interest. Whilst some have an outdoor focus, many are creative craft ideas for recycling household waste.

Reconnect with nature at

School Subjects

As a student, you may have had a bad experience at school. But the worst thing you can do is let that affect your kids’ learning. Maybe it’s time for you to try again. This time with the enthusiasm and open mindedness that young people have in abundance. (Remember we can learn from them too!)

Check out these subject-related activities for families in quarantine:


We’ve found a couple of Maths-related sites that can help the whole family.

The Maths Shed is has Guides for parents, videos, worksheets and activities for Maths. The content is separated into core topics, like addition and subtraction. There are pages for real life Maths, like money, shopping and cooking. For the hard to reach, there is content using brands like Lego and Star Wars. There are a huge number of infographics and downloadable content all aimed at making Maths fun and relevant.

The Math Shed can be accessed at

The UK charity National Numeracy has a page that’s aimed at parents, families and children under 13. Called the Family Maths Toolkit, it has ideas on how to make Maths fun for that audience. There is guidance for parents and families and a activities for children. Whilst they sell activity packs, there are also a host of activity ideas split into 3 age groups, covering the following topics:

  • Around the house
  • Maths and money
  • Games
  • Out and about
  • Songs and books

A lot of the activity ideas link out to age-appropriate websites, but some link to online retailers.

The Family Maths Toolkit can be accessed at


The Books Trust has a page with content for primary age children. There are books that can read online, as well as a link to their YouTube channel, where difference people read stories out, in a Jackanory-style, whilst the pictures are shown on screen. There are also some free online activities that will get your young people interacting with the content.

The Books Trust Storybooks and Games can be found at:


Wow Science offers activities and links to resources for primary school aged children, most of which are free. Topics range from programming to dinosaurs to star gazing. Many of the resources link out to further websites, or suggest phone apps to use to learn aspects of science. Many use traditional gaming concepts to teach the science, so it doesn’t really feel like learning at all. Our kids have used a few of the resources that are referenced on Wow Science and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Wow Science can be accessed at

Virtual Tours

So lock down continues, and the kids are getting restless. There’s only so much to do in the house, only so much Netflix to watch. We’ve gathered 8 virtual tours as extra activities for families in quarantine.

At the start of Lockdown, loads of these types of links went out, but not really thinking about families, especially with younger kids. Loads were for art museums and stately homes. Nice places and nothing wrong with the sites, just not what my kids go for.

It turns out that the term virtual tour can mean different things to different places. So some, it’s literally a video of a walk around the grounds or building, for others it’s more like a Street View tour. Other still have webcams showing what’s happening in specific locations, which could even be live.

So we’ve picked a few faves out to share with you.

We’re all going to the zoo (tomorrow?)

Chester Zoo Live Videos

Trips to the zoo or safari park are popular with families, but can be a bit pricey. Clearly in Lockdown, they’re a definite miss. But some zoos are offering experiences online. One of our favourites is Chester zoo, who use Facebook live and YouTube to share feeding times with the animals as well as video archives of their animals.

Exploring ancient artefacts

The British Museum Street View tour

I know I said that museums weren’t for my kids, but there are a couple that they enjoyed. The first museum is the British Museum holds an enormous amount of objects collected from all over the world. The museum is also the worlds largest indoor space that can be explored using Google Street View. You can take a look around, starting in Egyptian Sculpture Gallery. This is about as close to being there are we can be at the minute.

Expanding your mind

Science Museum, 360 tour

London’s Science Museum also offers a 360 tour that let’s you control what you see and which direction you should go next. If you have been in person, it’s a great way to rekindle some memories, if not, check it out. You go pretty much go straight into the room dedicated to space travel, where they have a moon lander and an actual rocket used to get stuff into space (hint: look up).

Yes, Ma’am (as in ‘jam’)

Buckingham Palace Virtual Tour

And I know I said about stately homes…but if you’re fancy looking around a big house from your lounge why not go to the top: the virtual tour of Buckingham Palace, which starts in the throne room. From there you can look at two other areas of the Palace: the Grand Staircase and the White Drawing Room. Each area has items that you can click on for more information.

We all going to the zoo…again

San Diego Zoo Kids area offers loads of activities for families in Lockdown.

The great thing about virtual tours, is you don’t have to physically go there. So why limit yourself to UK attractions? The San Diego Zoo in California has long been a fantastic place for conservation projects. Many of the animal live together in habitats that are very close to those of their native environments. So, if animals interest your small people, why not visit the kids area of the San Diego Zoo website. From there you can find activities, games and also videos, including live web cams for some of their residents. The penguins are our favourites. Just remember that the animals are wild so they aren’t always visible and they aren’t always showing off.

Fancy a dip?

Sydney Sea Life Aquarium

Is water wildlife is more your thing? Then you can visit the Sydney Sea Life Aquarium live web cam on YouTube. If you haven’t got a fish tank, this is very soothing; if you have got a fish tank, I’ll bet it doesn’t have sharks and turtles in it!

You’ll have to make this an morning activity, though, as our afternoon is night time in Australia, so most of the lights go out in the aquarium. It’s a bit creepy seeing something swimming around, but not being able to see what it is!

Time to chill

Sweden's Ice Hotel 360 videos

The Ice Hotel in Swedish Lapland has a YouTube channel that’s home to 360 videos. This means that when the video is playing you can use your mouse (or finger if you’re on a tablet or phone) to look all around whilst the video is playing. The Aurora video is amazing.

Out of this world

Out of this world activities for families in Lockdown: the International Space Station Live web cam

Finally, we thought, why keep it limited to the ground? The International Space Station (ISS) has a live stream on YouTube. There is a camera permanently pointed at the Earth as the ISS orbits once every 90 minutes. On the stream there also a little map so you can see which part of the Earth their flying over.

More resources

There are loads of sites online listing activities for families in quarantine, including different subjects in school. One that we’ve seen and think is a pretty comprehensive list is on the Tech Pixies site at As well as listing some our our in-house favs, they also indicate which have printable resources or require an app to be downloaded and whether a lot of adult input is needed.

Make the most of your time together

Remember, being isolated doesn’t have to mean being bored. And it doesn’t mean that life should be monotonous. But it’s really easy to slip into that trap. Look at the next few weeks as a opportunity to engage with your young people in a way that very few people get. Find enjoyable activities for your family and make the most of your time together. Be a part of each others learning journey. You might also get to know your wonderful young person a little bit better as well.

What’s been you favourite activity with your kids? Have you found a great online resource that you want to share?