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Children's Activities

Stories, books, rhymes and more! Stories, books, rhymes and more!



Have a look at these helpful websites for stories, booklists, nursery rhymes and so much more!  See our Rhyme Time and Storytime page too for more singing and stories!



Bag Books -multi-sensory stories for people with learning disabilities.


BBC - a huge range of activites for all ages, including Jackanory Junior (storytelling for younger children),  Tiny Happy People  (activities and play ideas to help you develop your child's communication skills), CBBC Puzzles (mind-boggling puzzles to try), and  CBeebies Nursery Rhymes, Bedtime Stories and Radio (for rhymes, stories, shows and more!). Read or listen to all the shortlisted stories and the winners in the BBC's 500 words short-story competition for children.


BookTrust - fun at home with authors and illustrators - loads of activities for you to try with your children while they are at home.


Scottish BookTrust - authors on demand - watch authors read from and discuss their books.


British Library - discovering children's books - explore centuries of stories, poems and illustrations.


Hay Festival Digital - this included a five-day programme for primary and secondary school children from 18-22 May with free films aimed at inspiring creative reading which is now available on Hay Player.


Hungry Little Minds - simple fun activities for newborns to five year olds


LoveReading4Kids - great recommendations for children's books.


National Literacy Trust Family Zone- ideas and guidance for simple activities to do with your children at home. Includes Zone In with some great stuff for 13+ year olds!


Poetryline - find out more about poems and poetry and listen to them being read aloud.


Scottish BookTrust - books, songs, rhymes and activities.


Short Breaks  - a wiki with helpful activities, learning and information for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)


Small talk - great ideas for chatting, playing and reading with your 0-5 year old.


Stay at Home with Wally - Wally and his friends are back! Discover Where’s Wally? at home – with links and downloadables for you to watch and use. 


The Reading Agency - Chatterbooks  Download free packs full of reading related activities for children aged 4-12, including colouring sheets, puzzles, games, author videos and plenty of reading recommendations!


World Book Day - World Book Day may have been and gone but there are still masses of activities on this fun website!



Let's get physical! Let's get physical!

Have a look at these helpful websites for ideas of how to keep fit and stay on the move!


Albion in the Community - Football crazy? Get active, stay well and keep learning. Football-themed learning, skills and challenges, workouts and healthy recipes.


Active Sussex has teamed up with REBOOT to provide young people and their families with access to local sports and activities to try at home during the lockdown. Free videos.

Change4Life - Disney inspired indoor games and 10 Minute Shake Up activities to help you keep active at home.


Early Movers - practical ideas for activities to help babies and young children's physical development


P.E. with Joe - P.E. sessions and other workout activities with Joe Wicks.


Arts and Culture Arts and Culture

Have a look at these great websites for ideas of things to do and make!


Chichester Festival Theatre - family friendly things to do at home. Includes singing, stories, art, dance and more!


Horsham District Council - colour in Horsham. We may not be able to visit some of our favourite Horsham District places at the moment, but we can still colour them in!

Little Angel Theatre - online shows and activities for all ages


Novium Museum - crafts and activities to do at home.

Quentin Blake free eCards - many of us are still not able to meet up face to face - how about sending a wonderful Quentin Blake rainbow eCard for free! Cheer someone up today!

Tate Kids - ideas for activities to keep everyone busy while staying at home.

Publishers Publishers

Lots of publishers are creating amazing activities too!


Andersen Press logo Andersen Press - colouring sheets and more for many popular titles, including a new Summer Staycation Activity Pack with a competition to win children's books!


Bloomsbury logo

Bloomsbury  - lots of free extras for many books, including colouring sheets and activity packs.



DKFindout logoDKfindout! - what would you like to find out? There is every subject under the sun here!



Nosy Crow logoNosy Crow - download fun, free activity sheets for some of their best-loved titles.




Puffin logo

Puffin - recommended reads and lots of creative activities to do at home





Usborne Books logo

Usborne - lots of ideas for activities to do at home





Walker books logo


Walker - stay at home with the Walker Bear!





UK Children's Books logoTo find a complete list of children's book publishers see UK Children's Books

Staying Safe Online Staying Safe Online

Don't forget to stay safe online. For the latest advice, guidance and information:

Current Offer › Children's Activities

Children's activities Children's activities

We are gradually reintroducing activities in libraries. Contact your local library to find out what's available and to book a place.


We will be adding more resources so please keep checking!

Children's authors Children's authors

There is so much online from all your favourite children's authors. Have a look at these just for starters!



Malorie Blackman - the former children’s laureate is an award winning writer of over 60 books for children and young adults. Fans of recent TV series Noughts & Crosses will delight in discovering more stories from this bestselling author.





Eoin Colfer - author of the hugely successful Artemis Fowl series, soon to be released as a film. His other books include The Legend of the Worst Boy in the World and The Reluctant Assassin, the first of the W.A.R.P series.






Roald Dahl - the ultimate squibbler! Why not dip into the wonderful world of Roald Dahl. It’s truly whoopsy whiffling!







Julia Donaldson - find out more about the books, discover games and activities and join Julia's weekly singalongs or storytimes on Thursdays at 4pm on the Official Gruffalo Facebook page





Neil Gaiman - Comics, novels, non-fiction, films, find them all here, including  ‘Read Alouds’ of some of his books  Did you know he writes the first draft of each book using a fountain pen?





Emily Gravett - if you’re looking for stories that touch the heart and tickle the funny bone, why not explore the delightfully interactive world of Emily Gravett.




Caryl Hart - author of "Whiffy Wilson", "Girls can do anything" and many more. Lots of information, activities and links to amazing projects.





Chris Haughton - discover the enchanting world of books by Chris Haughton, with unique illustrations and captivating stories. Includes downloads, activities and links to ‘stay at home’ with readings of favourites such as Shh! and Oh no, George!





Oliver Jeffers - delve into the wonderful imagination of Oliver Jeffers and meet his loveable characters as they get up to all sorts of mischief and adventures.






Hilary McKay - dive into a modern classic, enjoy stories of adventure, friendship, family, laughter and derring do!  We all need some Time of Green Magic in our lives.






Karl Newson - find out more about Karl, including the Mudwaffler Club, a place to nestle down and make things up!







Guy Parker-Rees - discover the amazing images created by the illustrator of books such as Giraffes Can’t Dance, Dinosaurumpus and many more. Includes free downloads.




Liz Pichon - a brilliantly interactive website with lots of boredom-busting Tom Gates activities!







Rick Riordan - discover more about the author of the Percy Jackson series of books. Includes guides and discussion notes for some books for teachers and parents.






Michael Rosen a much loved author of many talents, Rosen takes you on a journey through the emotions with tales of friendship, humour, adventure and empathy.






J.K. Rowling - I solemnly declare, I am up to no good! Discover more of J. K. Rowling’s spellbinding magical world of witchcraft and wizardry.







Nick Sharratt - from Shark in the Park to Ketchup on your Cornflakes, Nick Sharratt has more than 100 books to his name. What will you choose first to explore!







David Walliams - fans of mischief and mayhem will love the hilarious and often revolting writings of this fantastic author!

Read the book and watch the film! Read the book and watch the film!

Read the book and watch the film or TV series. Which do you think is best? If the film or TV series is not available to borrow from us it may be available on a charged-for streaming service.


Michael Bond, Paddington – various stories in the series are available to borrow as a book, audiobook or DVD. The Browns first met Paddington on Paddington Station. He had travelled all the way from Darkest Peru with only a jar of marmalade, a suitcase and his hat. The Browns soon discover that ordinary things like having a bath, travelling on the underground or going to the seaside become extraordinary events with Paddington.




Julia Donaldson, Room on the Broom – available to borrow as a book or DVD. A witch loses her hat, bow and wand but when she finds them she acquires some new friends.




Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden – available to borrow as a book, audiobook or DVD. When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody says she is the most disagreeable looking child ever seen. It is true, too. Mary is pale, spoilt and quite contrary. But she is also horribly lonely.





Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl – available to borrow as a book or audiobook. At twelve years old, Artemis Fowl is a criminal genius. No scheme is too dastardly, no plot too devious…and he’s just discovered that fairies are real!






Roald Dahl, The BFG – available to borrow as a book, audiobook or DVD
Giants are known for eating children. So when Sophie is snatched from her bed by the BFG, she fears for her life. But luckily he is far more jumbly than his disgusting neighbours. They become good friends and cook up a plan to rid the world of bad giants.





C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe available to borrow as a book, audiobook or DVD (Chronicles of Narnia). Lucy finds that an old wardrobe in a country house is a gateway to a magical land of fauns, centaurs, nymphs & talking animals - but also of the evil White Witch who has held the land of Narnia in eternal winter for a hundred years.





Michael Morpurgo, War Horse –available as a book, audiobook, eBook or DVD. 'War Horse' is the story of Joey, a thoroughbred horse, and how he is forced into the thick of the harrowing, poorly-led battles of the First World War.






Jill Murphy, The Worst Witch – various titles available as a book, audiobook or DVD. Mildred Hubble is a trainee at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches, but she's making an awful mess of it.






R. J. Palacio, Wonder – available as a book, audiobook or DVD. Auggie wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things - eating ice cream, playing on his Xbox. He feels ordinary inside. But ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids aren't stared at wherever they go.






P. L. Travers, Mary Poppins – available as a book, audiobook or DVD. When Mary Poppins arrives at their house on a gust of the East Wind and slides up the bannister, Jane and Michael Banks's lives are turned magically upside down.






David Walliams, Gangsta Granny – available as a book, audiobook or DVD. Our hero Ben is bored beyond belief after he is made to stay at his grandma's house. She's the boringest grandma ever: all she wants to do is to play Scrabble, and eat cabbage soup. But there are two things Ben doesn't know about his grandma. 1) She was once an international jewel thief. 2) All her life, she has been plotting to steal the Crown Jewels, and now she needs Ben's help.


Family Corner Group Family Corner Group


Join our West Sussex Libraries - Family Corner Facebook group - a place where the whole family can come together to share stories, sing songs and enjoy all that libraries have to offer.


It includes weekly online Rhyme Time and Storytime sessions, latest book and library news, special events and brilliant ways to keep children and young people enjoying books and reading.

Library booklists to support children Library booklists to support children
We have put together some booklists recommending books for specific interests or to support children with difficult decisions or new experiences. Topics include starting school, fears and anxieties, celebrating diversity and many more.
CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal Winners 2021 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal Winners 2021

Book jacket of Look Both Ways


Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds (Knights Of) has won the Carnegie Medal for writing this year, whilst Small in the City, written and illustrated by Sydney Smith (Walker Books) takes the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration. The winning books were chosen by 15 Librarians, from a total of 152 nominations this year, as the very best in children’s writing and illustration published in the UK. Find out more on the CILIP website.


Book jacket of Small in the city

More books to help children More books to help children

Books to help children stay safe, calm, connected and hopeful. See also the free books to dowload below!


Paul Christelis - Questions and Feelings About: Worries





Dawn Huebner - Something Bad Happened: a Kid's Guide to Coping With Events in the News





Eoin McLaughlin - While We Can't Hug



Books about Lockdown - free to download! Books about Lockdown - free to download!


The Book of Hopes: words and pictures to comfort, inspire and entertain children in lockdown - contributions from more than 100 children's writers and illustrators and dedicated to the doctors, nurses, carers, porters, cleaners and everyone currently working in hospitals.



Coronavirus: a book for children - aiming to both inform and reassure, this is for primary school age children to explain the Coronavirus and the measures taken to control it.



Everybody worries by Jon Burgerman - a bright and friendly ePicturebook showing that it is OK to worry as even the bravest of the brave and the coolest of the cool worry. Worrying is normal when so much has changed.


IASC logo


My hero is you  – how children can fight COVID-19”,  focusing on supporting children’s mental health during the current global crisis, by the Inter-Agency standing Committee (IASC)



Staying home by Sally Nicholls - a family of racoons are going through a day in lockdown and explaining to the youngest members of the family how they are saving lives just by staying at home!



Winnie and Wilbur stay at home by Laura Owen - join Winnie and Wilbur in a brand new adventure, showing that staying at home can be a lot of fun!

Draw along with.... Draw along with....


Here are some amazing videos of book illustrators showing how they draw their characters!


BookTrust Home Time - several how-to-draw videos with fun for the whole family!





British Library Discovering Children's Books - follow Axel Scheffler as he draws the Gruffalo. Start with the horns!




Puffin books logo

Puffin Books how to draw - several YouTube videos of illustrators drawing book covers. Draw a robo dog with Danny Noble or a dinosaur with Nick Sharratt.



....and here are a few illustrators to look at:


Rob Biddulph - draw with Rob draw-along videos of some of Rob's favourite characters.





Petr Horacek - take a look at Petr’s blog to discover how to draw an elephant and a penguin and then sit back and enjoy a reading of his book. You can also discover a little about some of his other books including The Best Place in the World.



Oliver Jeffers - learn how to draw a Moose.






Jeff Kinney - draw a Wimpy Kid  Jeff Kinney shares his top cartooning tips and shows you how to draw Greg Heffley.





Jon Klassen - draws a turtle Jon Klassen draws a turtle from We found a hat.






Chris Naylor-Ballesteros - the suitcase  Watch Chris drawing the characters from The Suitcase.



Guy Parker-Rees - draw with Guy. Get some colouring pencils and join in with the award-winning illustrator of "Giraffes can't dance" and the Dylan adventures.



Draw Daisy with Nick Sharratt  Watch how to draw Kes Gray's character Daisy.




Draw with Ed Vere - pencils ready everyone! Ed is posting easy "how to draw videos" every Wednesday and Friday.





Mo Willems - how to draw Piggie Learn how to draw Piggie from Mo's Elephant and Piggie books.





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