Lockdown ideas to entertain you

Hopefully there will be something of interest for everyone, even if it's just the glimmer of an idea or a starting point for your own search. Parents should always check the content before giving children access. Everything is claimed to be free or has a free version. There are no separate age categories. You can just scroll through the page or use the links below to jump to a part you fancy.

Categories include Limited Time Availability, Making Video Calls, Music, Exercise, Learn a New Skill, Just Escape, Reading, Writing, Art, Photography, Craft, Education, Science, History, Games & Riddles, Computer Simulations, Magic, Family History, Theatre, Video Tours, Relaxation & Sleep

This list is now complete

It will be available until the end of June.

Limited Time Availability

Royal Opera House Online

La traviata 8 May – 8 June 2020
and via YouTube #OurHouseToYourHouse For the full program see

Keen on Fashion? How about Vogue magazine?

You can download the June 2020 Issue Of British Vogue For Free

Making Video Calls

Using Skype

Skype allows users to communicate over the Internet by voice, using a microphone, by video using a webcam, and by instant messaging. Laptops, tablets and phones have cameras and microphones, some desktop computers need a separate camera/microphone plugged in. Skype-to-Skype calls are free of charge if you use it via your internet connection (connected via cable or Wi-Fi). If skype is not already on your device - how do you get it?

What to do is detailed at the Microsoft website https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA11098/how-do-i-get-started-with-skype
"How do I make a call in Skype?" is described at https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA10613/how-do-i-make-a-call-in-skype
There are also lots of tutorials available out there on Youtube to help you .
For example https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+use+skype&rlz=1C1CHFX_enGB506GB50...
But it is essentially so simple, as described in this blog https://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/september-2016/a-stepbystep-gui...

Free video Conferencing from Google

Google Meet premium video meetings—free for everyone
"We’re making Google Meet... free for everyone, with availability rolling out over the coming weeks. We’ve invested years in making Meet a secure and reliable video conferencing solution that’s trusted by schools, governments and enterprises around the world. Starting in early May, anyone with an email address can sign up for Meet and enjoy many of the same features available to our business and education users, such as simple scheduling and screen sharing, real-time captions, and layouts that adapt to your preference, including an expanded tiled view.


Musical Chords for any Song

"Are you a novice player? Pick one of these easy-to-play songs and start jamming! These songs are hand picked to start your journey as a guitar, ukulele or piano player. Get used to new chords and riffs to advance your skills. Need help with learning chords? Our blog has tips & tricks on how to play chords and tune your instrument! Our selection of easy to learn songs:"

Find and print free sheet Music

8notes - music by Instruments, Styles, and Artists - https://www.8notes.com/
IMSLP (International Music Score Library Project) https://imslp.org/wiki/Main_Page
Pianotte - Piano music but with lots of modern music http://pianotte.szm.com/
Mutopia Project - classical music http://www.mutopiaproject.org/
ChoralWiki - Choral and vocal http://www.cpdl.org/
Making Music Fun - designed with total beginners in mind http://makingmusicfun.net/

Making music with browser-based virtual instruments

These are essentially synthesisers. There are 10 listed in this article and many of them are rich in features.
Here are two I have had some fun with already
WebSID - a digital recreation of the iconic SID sound chip, as used in the Commodore 64 back in the 80's
Inudge - an easy-to-use tone matrix. Think of it as a way to create looping musical patterns by simply clicking on a 16×16 grid and "drawing" the patterns you want. You don’t even need to know any musical theory; all the pitches are within the pentatonic scale so almost anything you come up with will still be in tune.

Ravel's "Bolero"

The Orchestre National de France has posted a video on YouTube where the musicians, confined since Covid-19 lockdown, play Ravel's "Boléro". The video has already been viewed more than 670,000 times.


The Body Coach TV - Joe Wicks

The lessons called "PE with Joe" are streamed live on Wicks' YouTube channel at 9 am, Monday to Friday. The Body Coach TV channel has 2.17 million subscribers and his first episode had over a million views. There's no need for any equipment with Wicks' lessons designed to be done in living rooms using only bodyweight.

Royal Academy of Dance

Silver Swans - Beginners Ballet for Adults

Fitness Studio exercise videos

A range of material including La Bomba dance exercise video from the NHS

& more

Joanna Soh - http://www.joannasoh.com/
Mike Donavanik - https://www.mikedfitness.com/
Madfit on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpQ34afVgk8cRQBjSJ1xuJQ
Blogilates - Cassie Ho on Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIJwWYOfsCfz6PjxbONYXSg
Jessica Smith on Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB7wvgp4HUBe5TD10jIgxDg
Fightmaster Yoga on Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcox27Gc-NGbb2-X9hdLaMw
Xhitdaily on Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tip7UeFePkw

Learn a New Skill

Sign Language is in the news right now

A teenager and her brother are leading a campaign to make sign language part of the school curriculum.
BBC Bitesize the education resource for children includes sign language. But how about this for you if you are interested?
An informal and friendly introduction to British Sign Language from The Open University

and, if you need a course and qualification this commercial company is offering dramatically reduced prices

Learn a Foreign Language

Duolingo is the world's most popular way to learn a language. It's 100% free, fun and science-based. Practice online on duolingo.com or on the apps! www.duolingo.com
and here is an independent video about how Duolingo works https://youtu.be/SBjeXF_Osm4 (It is a very thorough account but be ready to skip the ads)

Learn to tie Knots

Here is a well crafted website with just about every knot you'll ever need. Animated demonstration of how to tie each one, and filters so you can search for fishing, horse & farm, boating, quick release, etc, etc, etc.

Learn to write computer code

This comprehensive article will lead you to many free sources of learning, although you usually have to pay if you want a certificate or qualification. A good place to start if you want to know whether coding is for you.

Learn to read a map or brush up on your navigation skills

A whole range of valuable training material from Ordnance Survey. This is quality stuff as you would expect from the world leaders.

Begin Programming: Build Your First Mobile Game

Learn basic Java programming by developing a mobile game that you can run on your computer, Android phone or tablet.
The first 7 weeks of this course by the University of Reading are Free. Plenty of time to discover whether this is for you

Learn how to Juggle

Learn from instructions
Learn by watching
and then for some real inspiration of what you can achieve ( and arguably better music ) the Top Five

Just Escape

AP PHOTOS: Bustling London life stilled by COVID-19 lockdown

When Associated Press photographer Frank Augstein moved to London in 2015, what struck him most was the crowds.

London 360 - a virtual tour of the sights of London

See the view inside The Gherkin, the Albert Hall & more

Virtual Theme Park Rides

The Official Disney Big Thunder Mountain Ride - https://youtu.be/b2V7CAo6004 (followed by adverts) Great music.
For a whole series of 360 video tours of Disney attractions see https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYyJUEtYv-ZW7BgjhP3UbTg/videos
Front row Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMtR5_TinqE Lots of screaming.
Superman - Ride Of Steel front seat on-ride HD POV Six Flags America - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_diTCrdGWMY
Seaworld Orlando MAKO front seat ride https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekEkDyp3lYs Massive drop

Zoe Ball in Tandem Skydive Video

This is a quality video worth watching if the subject interests you.

Balloon Ride over YANGSHUO, CHINA

Stunning gallery of photos from 'The Mutton Club'

360 degree Virtual Dives with Catlin Seaviews Survey


Aardboiled - comedy animations

AardBoiled is a brand new YouTube channel for short, original, offbeat, animated comedy.
From Aardman of 'Shaun the Sheep' fame.

Winning entries in the RHS Photographic Competition 2020

Some stunning images - but you have to wait for the 'sign up' popup to disappear.
You can also view the galleries for the preceding 3 years

NASA Tournament Earth

"Since 1999, Earth Observatory has published 16,000+ images." To celebrate our 20th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, NASA wanted you to pick our all-time best image. Voting closed on the 28th April but you can view the results here

Live Marine Aquarium Webcam

From the National Marine Aquarium Baltimore USA (please be patient it takes a moment or two to load)
Can you spot the Blacktip Reef Shark?


Free E-books from NASA

Available in various formats including good old pdf you can use on even the oldest computer.

Project Gutenberg

60,000 free ebooks. For an index go to 'bookshelves'

Especially for kids - OxfordOWL

"Welcome to our free eBooks collection, developed for children aged 3–11 years old. We are making even more eBooks available here, for the duration of UK school closures, so that your child has more to read. If you'd like to learn more about how to support your child's reading, visit our Reading pages."

Internet Archive

More than 15,000,000 freely downloadable books and texts.

Google eBookstore

has an option to access free books from the huge collection that features hundreds of classics and contemporary bestsellers.


Writing Competitions

The Big List of UK competitions from Neon Books

Write a Play - The Bruntwood Prize

"The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is the UK’s biggest national competition for playwriting. It is the search for great new plays and great writers. We look for scripts that are original and unperformed, by writers of any experience" The prize takes place every other year and the 2019 prize is currently under way with 2,561 entries. So now may be the time to start thinking about the 2021 entry?

Write a Letter

To someone you know or perhaps someone you don't know but would like to thank or express your appreciation for what they have done.

Start a Diary

What a momentous time in the history of the world for you to start writing about you, your life, your feelings, hopes and plans.


Beautiful handwriting has to start somewhere. Here are some tips:


Draw along videos for kids on Twitter

With children now stuck at home across the world, parents will be wondering how to keep them busy over the coming weeks. That's why illustrator Rob Biddulph has taken to Twitter to offer a series of draw-along videos for kids. Using the hashtag #DrawWithRob, budding young artists can share their responses to Biddulph's tutorials, which he plans to share every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am GMT on Twitter. https://twitter.com/RobBiddulph

Do you still have that sketchpad?

Fancy getting back into drawing or trying it for the first time. Have a look at these wonderful tutorials that may wet your appetite.
How to draw:
Animals - https://www.creativebloq.com/features/how-to-draw-animals-people-landsca...
People - https://www.creativebloq.com/features/how-to-draw-animals-people-landsca...
Nature - https://www.creativebloq.com/features/how-to-draw-animals-people-landsca...

Tate Paint

A great creative game for kids from the Tate Gallery, and while you are there check out the games and quizzes on offer.

A Novel Sketchpad by Galactic Ink

Very intuitive and just fun and colourful.

Hornby Kids Zone

Colouring, Games, quizzes and competitions for kids, and Trains!

How to Draw Cartoons

Learn to Draw Cartoons is a series of articles based on the Famous Artist Cartoon Course book, now in public domain.


Photography - 11 fantastic photo projects to try indoors during the Covid-19 crisis

"We've put together 11 different home projects that you can shoot indoors, in your own home, without worrying about getting outdoors – and many of them can be done on your kitchen table using things (and people!) that you have available already" Digital Camera World

Photography - Nikon School Online

Originally free during April Nikon online photography classes are still available free at the moment. Stream them now.


Make a marble run from recycled cardboard - How you are going to wish you had kept that loo roll tube!

A fun activity from the Eden Project to do at home and if you haven't got a marble, how about a Maltezer (other chocolates are available) or find that plasticene or clay and roll up a ball or two.

Make a marble maze - smaller and less materials

Here's a great little video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMSI1XQiDXY (needs a sharp knife)
or with just a cardboard box lid, some straws and glue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR7o5g369FU
or how about these instructions https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Marble-Maze-Game

How to make a cardboard castle

Learn how to make your very own cardboard castle from scratch. See how easy it is to make your own authentic castle, what equipment you will require to design your cardboard castle and the steps involved in making it.
Short video by English Heritage

Is there a birthday or celebration coming up? Make a greetings card that MOVES

Here's a video full of ideas https://youtu.be/yB88QY9CEas
and a whole lot of different 'pop-up' card ideas to keep you busy. https://feltmagnet.com/crafts/How-to-Make-Pop-Up-Cards
Here's another video, this time just about 'pull-tab' cards https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NiU6l1u8dc

Make your own paper theatre and perform a play

"Toy theatres were hugely popular in the 19th Century, and were collected by adults and children. Every successful production staged in London’s West End theatres would be reproduced in miniature".
From the Victoria & Albert Museum London a paper theatre for you to print and construct and a script for Cindrella.

Build a Paper Aquarium & lots more

Free paper craft materials for your Canon printer. Making paper craft fun for everyone - Creative Park


Occasionally the terms "whittling" and "carving" are used interchangeably, but they are different arts. Carving employs the use of chisels, gouges, with or without a mallet, while whittling involves only the use of a knife. (Wikipedia)
For beginners
How to whittle
Whittling a viking chess piece
Woodcarving Magazine Archive Edition - Whittling

The art of lettering

This site is about taking courses but has some inspiring photos. There are some "how to" resources below
Letter carving basics - a video
If you can lay your hands on one V shaped chisel/gouge then here is a article to explain how you can carve the entire alphabet
With access to a few more tools there is plenty of advice out there


Sheet of paper or card - print out the building - or copy the design from your screen - you colour it - fold or glue it together - and maybe make more than one?
send a photo of yours and we will feature it here.

Ship in a bottle

A favourite among sailors who had little space in which to work, the ship in a bottle is both a challenge and requires minimal materials

Hobbies and Crafts from SAGA

Everything from how to knit to making a bird box and making a 'foraged fairy'. Loads of ideas that just keep loading up and I never got to the bottom of the list.

Build a Super Simple Bug Hotel

There are lots of plans out there that almost amount to serious DIY projects but here is a nice down to earth approach.

Making stuff out of rubbish

21 Recycled DIY Toys - https://www.rubbishplease.co.uk/blog/21-recycled-diy-toys-part-1/
Awesome ideas for stuff to make with rubbish. BBC Newsround. - https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/22951388
Making paper at home
Advanced - https://www.paperslurry.com/2014/05/19/how-to-make-handmade-paper-from-r...
Simple - https://www.kenburn.co.uk/recycling-for-kids/

Paper Planes

Do you know more than a couple of designs? How about more than 40

Seven Free on-line Floral Crown Workshops from the British Academy of Floral Art

The tutors of the Academy have created floral crowns using 7 different techniques. You can find the films at


Online educational resources to help children to learn at home.

This is a list provided by the Dept of Education

Discover your hidden talent for cyber security.

Cyber Discovery is HM Government’s free, online, extracurricular programme turning teenagers across the country into cyber security experts.
"For students aged 13-18, we’re seeking problem solvers, code crackers and, most importantly, those who never give up."
Registration WAS open 3rd September – 25th October 2019 BUT you can Register your interest for next year at https://joincyberdiscovery.com/interest
In the meantime you can apply now for the Virtual Cyber School
Gain access to over 200 free cyber security challenges and learn from industry experts at the Virtual Cyber School
Apply today, limited places available https://cyber-school-application.joincyberdiscovery.com/

Football and Mathematics?

Let Rachel Riley the mathematician and TV presenter explain how to understand and make your own bar charts in our latest activity pack for kids.

BBC Bitesize

Daily lessons start Monday
"No school? With a new TV channel, podcasts, videos, and lessons each day online, we’ve got you covered. Beginning Monday at 9:00."
Learn & Revise with programmes for Primary, Secondary and Post-16

Hungry Little Minds - a Campaign by HM Govt

Simple, fun activities for kids, from newborn to five
Packed full of ideas

Learning to tell the time

Hints and tips for telling the time from OxfordOwl with a free printout to make a paper clock

What is the House of Commons? - a short animated video from the UK Parliament

Age 11 to 14, Age 14 to 16, Home educators, Post 16, Schools and colleges

MP for a Week - The online game from the UK Parliament

Suitable for age 11 to 14, age 14 to 16, home educators, Schools and colleges.
Do you want a career in politics? Is politics or Parliament on your curriculum? Are you just interested in the work of an MP?
A short video introduction and then it gets to the game play and it really will make you think

3D Interactive Online World Globes by eChalk

15 different earth globes, by day, by night, tectonic plates, population, land temperature, etc. Spin the globe, zoom in

Learn about Climate Change, space weather, past weather events, and how forecasts are made

The Met Office has a range of free learning materials including resources for schools

"econoME" by the Bank of England.

A video presentation aimed at ages 11 to 16 years
"It’s designed to help young people understand the economy better and provide them with the analytical skills to make informed decisions."

The Bank of England online presentation "The future of work"

The slide "some jobs are more likely to be automated than others" allows you to type in your chosen career and see what is in store.

NASA Earth Observatory

Whatever you are studying there is a wealth of material here. Locusts, fires, pollution, sea temperatures, drought, flood, city development, etc

Underwater Exploration - 360 degree Virtual Dive

The Virtual Dive Gallery of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Learn how to make and use a Caesar Wheel to encrypt messages for fun

Courtesy of Bletchley Park, the home of the wartime codebreakers who broke the Enigma Code.
The Caesar Cipher is one of the earliest known Ciphers.
and the printable template is at https://bletchleypark.org.uk/cms/2020/04/caesar-wheel-2.pdf

Online Planetarium

Interactive star map of the sky visible from: Greenwich, United Kingdom
Guide to the solar system and the night sky

Free Online Course Material from MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a free and open publication of material from thousands of MIT courses, covering the entire MIT curriculum. That's every MIT department and degree program, and ranging from the introductory to the most advanced graduate level. Each OCW course includes a syllabus, some instructional material (such as lecture notes or a reading list), and some learning activities (such as assignments or exams). Many courses also have complete video lectures, free online textbooks, and faculty teaching insights. While some OCW content is custom-created for online use, most of it comes straight from the MIT classroom. There's no signup, no enrollment, and no start or end dates. The entire OCW collection is always here for you. Freely browse and use it at your own pace.

Where have all the planes gone?

Do you remember all the vapour trails in the sky? For a real time view of all the planes in the sky right now try
You can zoom in to the South West of England and zoom out to see Europe
This view used to be crowded, with planes queuing to get in and out of Heathrow

Help RHS Research into invasive species and disease carrying pests

Record your sightings and submit them online. What are they looking for? Find out here:

The free Seek App - a naturalist in your pocket

From the WWF
You’ll be able to identify any living thing around you - plants, flowers, insects, fungi, birds and animals. When you ID a species you’ll be able to find out all about it, and see how common or rare it is for your area and the time of year.
By creating an iNaturalist account in the app you’ll also be able to upload your observation to a growing global database of wildlife sightings, helping scientists track global biodiversity, and sharing your discoveries with other nature lovers in your area and worldwide.
Perhaps you’ve discovered something rare or unusual!


A Science Experiment - Virtual Ballooning to Explore the Atmosphere

Control the graph - measure the temperature

Science Experiments at Home

10 easy & cool science experiments for kids to do at home from Day Out With The Kids

Make a Solar System in a Box or learn about Dark Energy and Dark Matter

Learning at home with the Royal Museums Greenwich for all key stages, plus family activities.
Go in at the website 'front door'
OR go straight to the teaching material at https://www.rmg.co.uk/schools-communities/learning-resources/learning-fr... (which is harder to find)

Fun Science Experiment - Make a diver in a bottle

Learn about water pressure and density at the same time!


A timeline map of the 200,000 year history of human civilization

You may have heard of many civilisations from the distant past but this animation runs from 197000 BCE until 2016 and you can jump in and out anywhere along that timeline'

Games & Riddles

Online Games from Airconsole

Valhalla, Brick Wars, Karaoke App, YouTube Jukebox and more

Forza Street the racing game from Microsoft is now available on Andrioid devices - free to play

" Forza Street is now available globally to download on your iOS and Android devices! This all-new Forza experience lets you jump into the game for quick, under-a-minute races where you compete to unlock new cars and upgrade parts to grow your car collection. We are excited for iOS and Android players to jump into this free to play mobile experience designed to be played anytime, anywhere, and excite anyone who loves cars." Microsoft

Escape Room Games

"Escape the Room games (ETR games) are among the most elaborate and challenging games you can find online. They combine puzzles and riddles with looking for hidden objects and clues." Makeuseof.com (MakeUseOf is an online publication that issues tips and guides on how to make the most of the internet, computer software, and mobile apps.)
Here is one you can try - https://www.albinoblacksheep.com/games/motas
and an an article listing a number of other free games.
Warning - Assume the games are for adults until you have tried them.


A strategy type guessing game for two players. It is played on ruled grids (paper or board) on which each player's fleet of ships (including battleships) are marked. The locations of the fleets are concealed from the other player. Players alternate turns calling "shots" at the other player's ships, and the objective of the game is to destroy the opposing player's fleet. Battleship is known worldwide as a pencil and paper game which dates from World War I.
Here is a link to a printable 'Battleship' grid https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e4/Battleships_Paper_Ga...

Brain Teasers

Visual brain teasers and puzzles online for kids

Learn a new card game.

Here are the rules of a whole range of card games, most of which just need an ordinary pack of playing cards, courtesy of Bicycle ( probably the most famous manufacturer of playing cards )

NASA Kids Club - Rocket Builder

Online game for little rocketeers
and there's more at https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/index.html

Learn to Play Chess

"Everything You Need To Know About Chess" a series of YouTube classes from Chess.com starting with 'the opening'

Play Chess online against a computer

So you can get really good before challenging someone to a game?

A visual quiz from the World Wildlife Fund

"Test your nature knowledge and find out how much you know about these animals.
Let us know your final score in the comments below!"

Computer Simulations

Build a Train Set - without a Train Set!

Plan, build and simulate your model railway with this computer software from 3D-TrainStudio.
and yes there is a FREE version.

Free Flight Simulator - GeoFS (Web browser).

If your internet service has a strict data cap or your PC simply doesn’t have enough space, GeoFS runs entirely in your browser. In this sim, you can take off and fly across the world in one of 20 aircraft using a joystick, mouse, or keyboard. You’ll likely never run out of places to see either, as the sim includes more than 30,000 different runways. Like to game on the go? You can fly using your mobile device too.

Free Flight Simulator -Google Earth Flight Simulator (Windows, MacOS, Linux).

Did you know the Google Earth desktop client offers a built-in flight simulator? It’s not a heavy-hitter by any means like other options on this list, but it’s a neat way to fly across the rust-covered fields of Mars or over the moon’s barren landscape. To grab Google’s desktop client, simply navigate to the Google Earth website, select “Earth Version” on the menu, and download Google Earth Pro for Windows, Mac, or Linux.
To access the flight simulator, click “Tools” followed by the “Enter Flight Simulator” option in a drop-down menu. Alternately, you can type CTRL + ALT + A on Windows, or press Command + Option + A on MacOS.


Card Tricks

Learn a card trick and amaze your family now, or perhaps spend some time time learning a number of tricks and amaze everyone when this is all over. Handling playing cards is also great to keep your hands supple and learning tricks is a wonderful stimulus for the memory.

Try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWI829Z8hkI to get started

Read part of Karl Fulves famous book "Self-Working Card Tricks" for free and try a couple of his tricks

Courtesy of Bicycle the playing card maker, some shuffling techniques that are just different enough to be impressive, while still simple to learn. Check out the videos for a more fluid demonstration. If you’re a beginner shuffler, it may help to start with a deck that’s already been worn in.

Card Magic - Free Tricks for Beginners

Learning to perform a couple of tricks can be a great confidence booster.
"Imagine the ability to enter a room, and with just a deck of cards in your pocket, instantly become the life of the party, or the talk of your school." Theory11.com
This is a very commercial website but offers some free tricks for beginners to try

Just Tricks

For more than card tricks try https://www.goodtricks.net/


Cardistry has a growing following and can be described as "the performance art of card flourishing". So much so that there is now a conference - even though this year is cancelled check out the video at https://www.cardistry-con.org/
For an introduction to Cardistry try https://bicyclecards.com/article/an-introduction-to-cardistry/

Family History

You can pay to join many online companies providing a wealth of material but there are still some free resources out there.

Family History Research - FreeBMD

FreeBMD is an ongoing project, the aim of which is to transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales, and to provide free Internet access to the transcribed records.

Tips to get started

The FindmyPast researchers have compiled their top 10 tips to getting started https://www.findmypast.com/content/10-tips-to-start-your-family-history-...

Military History

For military history try Military History Encyclopedia on the Web. Amongst their free collection are some fascinating group photos http://www.historyofwar.org/pictures.html
For a guide to sources of military records try https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-gui...


Free National Theatre Plays

National Theatre at Home launched on YouTube on April 2, and now, every Thursday ( 7 pm BST ) sees a new National Theatre play released – free to watch for one week – along with bonus content including cast and creative Q&As and post-stream talks.
Learn more about what is available and coming soon at https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home

Pentabus Theatre Company

"Past productions are being made available for audiences to stream from our website. These include; Here I Belong by Matt Hartley, Crossings by Deirdre Kinahan, As the Crow Flies by Hattie Naylor and Each Slow Dusk by Rory Mullarkey. The recordings will be accompanied by social media Q & As with cast and creative teams from the productions, details of which will be announced via social media. "
"Further productions will be released on a Friday at 2 pm and they remain live for the next three months for anyone to access for FREE."

More free Theatre/Shows

Sadler's Wells - Dance performances - https://www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2020/digital-stage/
Andrew Lloyd Webber has launched a YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/theshowsmustgoon

Video Tours

The Glories of Egypt - free virtual tourism during the lockdown

"This week the Egyptian Tourist Board invited the world into the 5,000-year-old tomb of Queen Meresankh III: free entry instead of the usual charge of 50 Egyptian pounds (around £2.50) and not a single tour group jostling for space. The tour is one of four virtual trips of historic Egyptian sites being promoted during lockdown. Beefed up with 3D modelling by Harvard University, this is true vicarious travel, offering a tangible sense of one of the finest tombs in antiquity plus information and computer reconstructions at a click. Just crank the central heating up to max for desert realism." The Guardian
Tomb of Queen Meresankh III - https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=d42fuVA21To
Coptic Red Monastery - https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=Yyw1F5eGxxZ&mls=1
Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Barquq - https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=bN9MbB6cdzi&mls=1
Ben Ezra Synagogue - https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=9sXzU9yY1gw&mls=1

Go back in time with Google Street View

Google’s camera-mounted Street View cars have become regular fixtures in our towns and cities. The company is continually updating its imagery to ensure you get the most recent view of the area you’re exploring at the click of a mouse button.
To make the most of this archived imagery, in 2014 Google launched a new feature allowing users to turn the clock back on Street View imagery to see how their town or city looked whenever the 360-degree cameras rolled down the street. While it’s not available in all areas, here’s how you can step back in time without the aid of a time machine. (instructions courtesy of BT)

International Space Station Tours

Courtesy of NASA, take a look inside

Google Arts & Culture Collection - access online to museums around the world

Video tours you can explore from the comfort of your home
British Museum, London
Guggenheim Museum, New York https://artsandculture.google.com/streetview/solomon-r-guggenheim-museum...
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
Pergamon Museum, Berlin
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Uffizi Gallery, Florence
MASP, São Paulo
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City

Many other organisations have created their own video tours ( with varying degrees of success )
The National Museum of Computing 3D Virtual Tour

Relaxation & Sleep

Relaxing video of Flowers

Enjoy 3 hours of beautiful flowers. This video features relaxing music and amazing nature scenery

Relax just watching tropical fish

"Immerse yourself into the peaceful and quiet world of tropical coral reefs full of incredible diversity of fish in different shapes and colors, swimming in the crystal clear waters of the ocean. This Ultra High Definition (UHD) video and underwater soundscape can be used to create a peaceful and refreshing background atmosphere in your home or place of work and to help with relaxation, meditation, yoga, study, sleep, stress"
This one is free, has no advert breaks and no-one whispering 'relax' in your ear every couple of minutes

or if you prefer an ever changing view of a tropical reef try this one from BBC Earth

Relaxation techniques from the NHS


Tips and exercises to help you relax from the charity MIND


How to get to sleep by the NHS


Five tips to sleep like an Olympic athlete during coronavirus crisis