Useful Information



Below is a range of online resources which you can use to entertain yourself and your family.


You will be able to find resources to help with homework, eBooks, newspapers and magazines, family activities and keeping yourself well.




Adult reading


Harrow Libraries provide free access to thousands of eBooks, eAudiobooks, digital magazines and newspapers from a range of suppliers.




o help keep children safe online have a look at Jeanne Willis's cautionary tale, Chicken Clicking.


We have online resources that provide access to children’s eBooks and eAudio books as well as a range of digital comics:



Young adults


Books and audio books to download – we have a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, young people’s issues and self-help.


Try them out:



Resources for family and children


Storybooks and games online


The BookTrust – family fun activities, quizzes, competitions with daily updates.

Interactive books huge range of titles to read online or watch while singing, storytime videos and a range of fun kid’s games.


National Shelf Service – discover your next great read. The National Shelf Service is a new daily YouTube broadcast featuring book recommendations from professional librarians. Launched by CILIP and the Youth Libraries Group and supported by Nielsen Book, OverDrive, RB Digital, Bolinda and Libraries Connected, the daily videos will focus on helping children and families discover new, diverse reading experiences. The broadcast will run Monday to Friday at 11.00am each day.


Staring Into Space – creative activities for children. Staring into Space is a brilliant collection of six resources by Lauren Child and Josey Scullard, inspired by some of their favourite children's books.


World Book Day – storycraft videos. Authors give writing advice, plus quizzes and other resources.


Storyline Online – US based site with a large selection of storytime videos.


Elevenses with David Walliams – check out the archive where you can listen to some of David Walliams’ Worlds Worst Children stories.


The British Library Discovering Children’s Books – a new online resource, creative activities, interviews, history of classic children's literature.


The Poetry Archive – Michael Rosen has an amazing website where he reads and performs his poems, plus more resources.


Roald Dahl – official Roald Dahl website. Stories, quizzes, help with homework.


Shakespeare Week – The Shakespeare Week website has lots of themed activities in their Kidszone and a printable booklet to track what children have been doing. 

BBC 500 Words story competition. Write your own with tips, but also read the past winners' stories.


Authors and Illustrators Online – there are numerous authors and illustrators sharing their work online.


Words For Life offer a  wide range of activities, things to do together, books and recommended reads:




Below are a selection of publishers who provide access to books online as well as web pages and resources for children:


Nosy Crow
Puffin Schools
Scottish Book Trust – has an extensive archive of author events as well as learning resources


Things to do


Virtual London Zoo – London Zoo are bringing the zoo to your home. Updated regularly - and of course it's a great place to visit.


The British Museum – has a range of galleries online, a virtual tour of Prints and Drawings, and Oceana and school resources for ages 3 – 18 and great for all ages to visit.


The Science Museum – has games and apps, activities to do from home, or visit in person to access the interactive exhibits.


Natural History Museum – find answers to your big nature questions.


Virtual Kew – Kew Gardens are blooming. Roam the gardens from the comfort of your own home.


Origami – from walruses to foxes, butterflies to rabbits, tulips to sunflowers, there is something for everyone at different levels.



Culture and activities


The Stage – now theatres are re-opening check out what's on in London's theatres.


National Theatre At Home – world-class theatre online while the National Theatre is closed. Starting 2nd April 2020 The National Theatre will stream a production every Thursday free of charge.


Royal Opera House – London's world renowed opera house


English National Ballet - check out the range of videos available on their YouTube channel to tempt you to visit.


Culture Whisper – have provided a list of online streaming theatre initiatives which will be regularly updated.


The Show Must Go Online – live streamed performed readings of The Complete Works Of Shakespeare


Wind In The Willows – Julian Fellowes 2017 production of The Wind In The Willows is available to stream free.


National Gallery London – take the virtual tours and explore some of the key works in the collection


The Science Museum – has games and apps, activities to do from home, or just explore the collection


Natural History Museum – find answers to your big nature questions.


National Galleries Scotland – explore the collection online


Virtual Museum Tours – a list of 12 museums around the world that offer virtual tours


NASA – virtual tours


David Hockney – has shared a collection of new works from his garden in Normandy.


National Garden Scheme – if you are in need of escape and longing for some open spaces spend some time on some virtual garden visits courtesy of the NGS. Join Alan Titchmarsh in his Hampshire garden, visit Hever Castle, or perhaps the spectacular tulip displays in Dunsborough Park. Also garden tips and tutorials. 



Keeping healthy


Live Well – advice, tips and tools from the NHS to help you make the best choices about your health and wellbeing


Sport England – ‘Stay in, Work out’ campaign gives tips and advice how to stay active in and around your home.


Home workout videos from the NHS


Disney dance-alongs – from This Girl Can watch videos of mums and kids getting moving to the songs they love.



Yoga and Pilates


Many companies are now offering streamed online yoga or pilates sessions.


CorePower Yoga – US based yoga chain broadcasting on YouTube at 2pm and 7pm GMT


Vinyasa flow yoga – suitable for all fitness levels


Yoga With Adriene – 30 day program


10 minute morning yoga with Sara Beth Yoga – other sessions include:


Stretches for neck and shoulder tension


20 minute full body stretch


Online pilates – free sessions


Pilates for beginners – fitness studio exercise videos


Chair-based pilates


Back pain pilates


Arthritis pilates



Healthy eating


Eat Well – advice on eating a healthy balanced diet from the NHS


Healthy Weight – start the NHS weight loss plan


BBC Food – offer a wealth of advice on maintaining a healthy diet


Staying healthy – advice from Childline





During difficult periods we all need a little help to cope with stress and mental wellbeing.


Mental wellbeing audio guides – helpful resources provided by the NHS covering low mood, sadness and depression; anxiety control training; overcoming sleep problems; low confidence and assertiveness; unhelpful thinking


Breathing exercises for stress


Reading Well For Mental Health – wide range of resources for all ages


Moodzone – audio podcasts


Mindfulness exercises - exercises from Every Mind Matters


Mindfulness (NHS) - what is it? Advice from the NHS


Mindful breathing


Beditation – 30 minute bedtime meditation video to help with getting a better night’s sleep


Headspace – the meditation app have made some of their resources free for the time being


Headspace videos – lots of great videos from Headspace on mindfulness, meditation and at-home exercises


Adult colouring – colour your own ‘thank you’ to NHS staff with a poster provided by leading artist Sir Michael Craig-Martin.


Cosmic kids – a a range of activities to develop motor skills in under 5s



Keeping your mind occupied


Puzzles – from The Evening Standard


Daily Crossword – from The Mail Online


Simply Daily Puzzles – updated daily (US site)


Crosswords, sudoku and more from The Guardian


Mind games – huge range of games, be aware the site does use advertising


Jigidi – online jigsaw puzzles


Games and puzzles – from Saga


Origami – from walruses to foxes, butterflies to rabbits, tulips to sunflowers, there is something for everyone at different levels.



Helplines and websites


NHS guide to helplines – huge list of helplines and advice websites


Alzheimer's Society - Provides information on dementia, including factsheets and helplines.
Phone: 0300 222 1122 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and 10am to 4pm on weekends)


Anxiety UK – Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.
Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm)


Age UK – the country’s leading charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life.
Age UK Advice Line
0800 055 6112     Free to call 8am – 7pm 365 days a year


Age UK telephone befriending services


CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.
Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)


Childline – help for anyone under the age of 19 in the UK with any issue you are going through
Call 0800 1111


Young Minds – UKs leading charity for children and young people’s mental health issues
Parents' helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)

Citizens Advice - We can all face problems that seem complicated or intimidating. At Citizens Advice we believe no one should have to face these problems without good quality, independent advice.


Family Lives - Advice on all aspects of parenting, including dealing with bullying.
Phone: 0808 800 2222 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm and Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 3pm)


Mind - Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.
Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)


Relate - The UK's largest provider of relationship support.


Samaritans -  Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)