Book ideas hub – brilliant stay-at-home ideas & free resources

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Welcome to our book ideas hub! While you are at home, we’re here to help with fun ideas, crafty activities, and free booky resources you can all enjoy together. It’s a great opportunity to share stories and enjoy the magic of books and we hope you’ll find something to inspire all ages from mini bookworms to older readers. We’ll be updating this page over the coming weeks with new ideas to keep everyone engaged and busy.

There’s nothing better than snuggling up to listen to an audiobook together and we have a smorgasbord of awesome audiobooks to get your teeth into courtesy of the wonderful publishers we work with. From Elmer for little ones, to The Bolds by Julian Clary and Rumble Star by Abi Elphinstone, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So, why not create an audiobook equivalent of film night, complete with popcorn, PJs and pillows?

Tales from Acorn Wood (0-5)

Little readers will love our fantastic new story-sharing resources based on Tales from Acorn Wood by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo. Discover gorgeous new storybook videos and activities – a fantastic new way to learn and share stories.

For a fun, creative and cheap activity, why not transform a potato or wooden spoon into your favourite book character? Looking for a magical way to reuse a shoebox or jam jar? Try making a Harry Potter scene in a box or A Very Hungry Caterpillar in a jar. From Zog to Paddington, classic fairytales to more recent releases, we’ve put together a gallery of some of our favourites to give you inspiration. We’d love to see what you create – tweet us your pictures @worldbookdayuk

Quiz o’clock!
Everybody loves a quiz so why not set up a mini quiz competition with our quizzes for older and younger bookworms? Or for another booky challenge, play our online quiz and see who can score the most!
Author & Illustrator Video Masterclasses with free creative challenges (All ages)
Whether your children are reluctant readers or aspiring authors and illustrators, they will love our video masterclasses. Shortlisted for The Education Resources Awards 2020, they feature a sensational line-up of authors and illustrators, including Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida CowellEoin Colfer, Matt Haig, Jeff Kinney and Malorie Blackman. Every film comes with FREE creative challenges to download after watching and with 24 to enjoy, why not watch one a day for something to look forward to?

Share A Story Reading Stars game (Versions for different ages)
Our popular Share A Story Reading Stars game can be played all around the house and will keep children busy for ages as they share stories everywhere from the garden to the bathtub and collect all their stars. Print out the game for younger children, for older children or play online.

#DrawwithRob (All ages)
Don’t put your pens away just yet, as our wonderful World Book Day illustrator, Rob Biddulph, is running brilliant #DrawwithRob sessions for something fun to do together. Rob will be running #DrawwithRob on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am so keep an eye on his Twitter feed @RobBiddulph or catch the latest videos here. You can even learn how to draw your very own World Book Day bookmark!

Bedtime stories to enjoy together (All ages)

Mix up your bedtime story repertoire with CBeebies Bedtime Stories for younger bookworms, while older bookworms can relish Stanley Tucci reading The Official World Book Day Bedtime Story, Roald Dahl’s The Witches.

Set up your own virtual book club (Teen)

For older book fans, why not set up an online book club on Instagram tagging your friends? It’s a great way to read and be social at the same time. For brilliant book recommendations to get you started, check out our Power List of empowering books for your TBR pile. 

Storycraft (All ages)

Ever wanted to become a writer, but don’t know where to start? Watch our Storycraft videos, where you’ll find advice from top authors and illustrators on everything from bringing characters to life to writing and planning a ‘comic-style’ story, then start planning and writing your own adventure with top tips as you go, including advice from Julia Donaldson, Charlie Higson, Liz Pichon, Cressida Cowell, Andy Stanton, Malorie Blackman and more.

Activity of the week

Here at World Book Day, we have a ginormous bank of free resources available so please check them out, if you haven’t already. All related to your favourite books, we have craft activities, games, discussion guides and more for every age.

Our activity of the week is The Pirates Next Door activity guide. With ideas for making telescopes, burying treasure and writing messages in bottles to keep you busy all day, you can download it here.

We also have a whole section of our website dedicated to all the amazing ideas for celebrating reading for pleasure that have been shared with us over the years.

PLUS here are our top picks of some more fabulous reading, writing and drawing activities to keep you busy or you can search Twitter using #FreeBookResources. Enjoy!


  • Join Laura Dockrill’s Writer’s Club on Instagram 
  • Try these story starters from Alex T. Smith and more, posted every school day on Instagram @MrAlexTSmith and Twitter 
  • Will Mabbit invites YOU to help him edit chapters of an unpublished book every day – feel free to suggest plot changes, spot mistakes and generally have some fun!
  • Learn new writing skills and complete fun writing challenges and more with top authors and illustrators for FREE with the Authorfy Masterclasses
  • Justin Somper has launched a series of  Vampirates creative challenges from naming your ship to the character of the captain, creating a shanty and deciding what happens when a stowaway comes aboard your ship. Get the latest challenges every Monday, Wednesday & Friday
  • Steve Antony will be running creative writing and drawing classes for 6+ Mon-Wed at 6pm 
  • Enter the Wimbledon BookFest Young Writers’ Competition


  • Puffin Books will be airing 20 minute story time sessions every weekday at 3.30pm on their YouTube, Instagram and Facebook channels, with separate sessions for ages 0-5, 6-11 and 7+, including readings and draw-alongs from brilliant authors and illustrators to help children connect with the stories. 
  • Julia Donaldson will be performing stories, songs and poems every Thursday at 4pm on The Gruffalo Official Facebook page, joined by her husband and a host of illustrators she works with, including Axel Scheffler, Rebecca Cobb, Lydia Monks, David Roberts and Nick Sharratt
  • Stay At Home Storytime with Oliver Jeffers on Instagram @oliverjeffers – Oliver will be reading one of his stories every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7pm
  • Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell is reading How to Train Your Dragon in daily chapters on her YouTube channel along with writing tips and drawing
  • Frank Cottrell Boyce will be reading The Astounding Broccoli Boy on Instagram @frank_cottrell_boyce
  • Joanna Nadin’s Story Shenanigans – Joanna Nadin will be reading from Penny Dreadfuls and more every day on Instagram Live @jonadin and on YouTube
  • Watch The Biggest Book Show on Earth – Author and Illustrator Extravaganzas for younger and older readers
  • A.F. Harrold Limited Edition Kids Poetry Podcast (AFHLEKPoPod) – released every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next seven weeks 
  • Piers Torday will be reading from The Last Wild and offering creative workshops for children every day from 2.30pm on Instagram
  • Tune in to Philip Ardagh’s Books and Things, where he will be reading from his books as well as showing some of the odder items from around his home, on YouTube
  • Author/illustrator, James Mayhew will be doing a Storytime at 3pm to round off the school day on YouTube
  • Join Sarah Crossan‘s poetry workshops for older readers (11+) and adults, Monday to Friday at noon on Instagram 
  • Publishers, authors and illustrators are happy for you to create and share your own readings of books online for children to access – please follow their guidelines
  • Check out the Facebook Page @AuthorEventsOnline organised by Caryl Hart with videos and livestreams created by picture book authors and illustrators for kids, teachers, parents and carers
  • Watch illustrator Richard Jones doing a special reading of his new picture book Perdu on YouTube
  • Enjoy the wonderful Sue Hendra doing a special reading of Barry the Fish with Fingers (featuring Betty the dog) on YouTube
  • Have a look at BBC Bitesize with three new lessons every weekday including videos, activities and more


  • Draw-Along-A-Lenton – Illustrator Steven Lenton shows you how to draw some of his popular characters including Shifty McGifty, Cruella de Vil and Slippery Sam 
  • David’s Draw Together – join David Roberts and find out how to draw Ada Twist, Scientist, and more on Instagram
  • Draw with Jim Field – draw along with Jim Field, starting with Frog from Oi Frog!
  • #Drawing withSarah – learn to draw favourite characters with illustrator Sarah McIntyre, including Grumpycorn
  • Draw a ladybird and more with Lydia Monks, illustrator of What the Ladybird Heard on Instagram
  • Watch Jon Burgerman‘s goofy art show It’s Great to Create on YouTube
  • Look out for Noel Fielding‘s #artclub on Instagram 
  • Draw with Ed Vere every Wednesday and Friday morning on Instagram
  • Do Some Drawing with JBGuardian cartoonist and illustrator, Joe Berger shares his drawing tips and tricks on Instagram
  • Let’s Draw… learn to draw animals from the World Book Day book, Where Are You, Puffling? with Gerry Daly on YouTube


  • In the National Literacy Trust’s Family Zone, you can access free reading and writing resources, audiobooks, videos, competitions and reading challenges that will engage your children at home, while also benefiting their reading, writing and language development
  • BookTrust’s Home Time, launched with Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, is full of free online books, videos, competitions and quizzes
  • Cast a Banishing Charm on boredom with Harry Potter At Home packed full of magical treats to keep you occupied including activities, quizzes, reading ideas, puzzles and craft videos
  • CLPE (The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) are offering free access to their very successful Power of Pictures resources to give children the opportunity to explore their creativity through drawing and supporting them to learn through picture books, which has a direct and positive impact on children’s literacy – includes readings, draw-a-longs and teaching notes.
  • Inject some poetry into your home-schooling with CLPE’s PoetryLine website, full of resources, films and hundreds of poems to discover together
  • Creative activities for children of all ages, including inventing your own superhero, making a pop-up book and much more from the British Library. The British Library has recently published How To Give Your Child A Lifelong Love of Reading to do just what is says in the title. It is a manual for parents, teachers and carers alike who can explore the world of books with their children and open their minds up to both fact and fiction. Discover 5 easy ways to encourage children to read with top tips from the book.
  • Have a go at the Pawprint Badges Challenge pack full of story sharing ideas and challenges
  • Author & illustrator resources at
  • Paul Jenkins will be doing a daily poetry show at 4pm on Facebook Live
  • Creative Bursts from MoLi – Museum of Literature Ireland


It’s not book-related but it’s just as important to keep active! The Body Coach, Joe Wicks will be running daily P.E. classes for children at 9am every weekday (also available to watch when you can).

As always, we’d love to hear what you’re all up to and how you’re sharing stories and enjoying books so please do get in touch on:

Twitter @worldbookdayuk
Facebook worldbookdayuk
Instagram @worldbookdaysocial