This is not a drill! Get all your entertainment fixes with this ultimate lockdown guide
A little something for everyone … but don’t take our word for it, start scrolling!
Hey, stranger! It’s a mad world out there, but we haven’t forgotten about you. We scoured the vastlands of the web to mine some not-so-secret lockdown treasures.
Sadly, this is not a 21-day soup cleanse… but we are excited to share our go-to guide for those who suddenly find themselves with some free time. Oh, and did we mention that almost everything on this list is mahala? Score!
What’s the deal? Free, mahala
Do you have big thinkers in the house? TED’s little brother, TED-Ed, is an educational channel dedicated to sharing content that will entertain, inspire and teach young minds. To support the millions of students, parents and teachers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, TED-Ed has launched TED-Ed@Home, working with expert educators and TED speakers throughout the world to create and share high-quality, interactive, video-based lessons on a daily basis, for free.
Cartooning 4 Kids
What’s the deal? Free, frei
During our formative years, drawing allows us to create, interpret and define the world around us. It is, for many children, an introduction to creating meaning and association, one which colours their mind and unleashes their creativity. Cartooning 4 Kids teaches young ones how to draw their favourite characters and cartoons. Even if you’re not artistically inclined, these art lessons open up a whole new world of creative fun!
What’s the deal? Free, gratuite
Need a wide variety of fun, educational activities? Look no further. Categorised according to age groups, whether it’s games, videos, books or a math zone, Funbrain proves that there is fun to be had while learning! Don’t take our word for it, try it.
What’s the deal? Free, verniet
HooplaKidz is a one stop preschool destination. It features educational videos and games that revolve around nursery rhymes, basic numbers and language learning, kids’ recipes, art and craft, and children’s entertainment. The HooplaKidz Plus App offers unlimited premium content, and is available on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
National Geographic Kids
What’s the deal? Free, nada
Just because your kids are stuck inside doesn’t mean they can’t still learn to love the planet and all of its wonders. Nat Geo Kids’ online YouTube channel makes it fun to explore your world with weird, wild, and wacky videos! Young ones can see awesome animals, do cool science experiments and much more. Want more? There’s a dedicated Nat Geo Kids website and magazine, too!
What’s the deal? Free, zero moola
In a nutshell? Real people making real videos. TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video with a mission to inspire creativity and bring joy. It is often referred to as a “lip-syncing” app, which makes it sound like it’s some online karaoke experience, but a closer comparison would be Vine, Twitter’s still sorely missed short-form video app whose content lives on as YouTube compilations.And no, you’re not too old. Everyone around the world is joining in on the fun. Want to spice things up in your home? Send your family members TikTok videos from the other room with food requests in musical form, or start a TikTok scoreboard for the house – video of the day doesn’t have to do the dishes!
What’s the deal? Free, no exchange of goods needed
Stories entertain. They teach. They keep young minds active, alert, and engaged. Audible realises that keeping young ones entertained during the COVID-19 global pandemic is no small task, which is why they have curated a collection of children’s stories that can be streamed for free on your desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet. The collection is divided into 6 categories: Littlest Listeners, Elementary, Tween, Teen, Literary Classics and Folk & Fairy Tales for All. Some free books include Winne the Pooh, The Wheels on the Bus, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Reluctant Dragon, Upon an Old Wall Dreaming, Jane Eyre, Moby Dick, and Grimm’s Fairy Tales.
What’s the deal? A free 7-day trial with a R117 monthly subscription that can be cancelled at any time.
Curious about the world, but not big on reading? Blinkist offers big ideas in small packages. Get key takeaways from the world’s best nonfiction books in text and audio. Explore a vast library and connect with an engaged community of over 13 million lifelong learners worldwide. Still not convinced? You can also save content for offline viewing. Download Blinkist on Google Play or the Apple App Store.
The Internet Archive
What’s the deal? Free, simahla
The Internet Archive is a non-profit library of websites and other digital cultural artifacts, such as free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. WIth a core objective to provide universal access to all knowledge, the platform includes 330 billion web pages, 20 million books and texts, 4.5 million audio recordings, 4 million videos, 3 million images, and 200,000 software programs. With something for everyone, now is a good time as any for a knowledge fix.
What’s the deal? Free, gratis
We mentioned TED earlier, but we can’t help it – we love TED Talks. Whatever you’re interested in, there’s probably a TED Talk about it. Want to ace your next interview? TED. Want to understand why bees fly the way they do? TED. Want to be a better person, learn how to spot a liar, or just have your mind blown by random, yet down-right cool information in 15 minutes or less? TED holds all of life’s weirdest, most beautiful questions. Immerse yourself.
Whet your Creative Appetite
What’s the deal? Free, de graça
Need a snazzy new CV? Or want to make flyers for your band’s next gig? Canva is a design tool for the average Joe. The platform boasts a user-friendly interface, as well as dozens of ready-to-use templates for just about anything. You might just become famous for your birthday cards among family and friends.
Virtual Art Tours
What’s the deal? Free, vrij
A handful of art museums across the globe have opened their doors, so to speak, to the public. Thanks to free virtual tours, you can lay eyes on some of the world’s most talked about art, learn more about time-period artefacts and relive history without leaving the house. Our favourites? We visited the Louvre in Paris for a medieval exhibition, saw artists like Vermeer and Rembrandt on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and saw the Guggenheim spiral staircase at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Other museums include The British Museum in London, Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
The Library of Babble
What’s the deal? Name your price
“Love is one of the most important things on the planet”, opens The Library of Babble. The user is left in silence, sound is at their own discretion – a virtual meeting place in a geological landscape, an abstract map of sorts. The world, the game is telling us, is built on language and communication. As we venture, we find as-yet-undiscovered parts of the game’s map where one can leave anonymous messages for someone else to find. But mostly we’ll just encounter words, thoughts and memories of others. The journey is yours.
Celebrate your Human-ness
Retrovision Classic Movies & TV
What’s the deal? Free, no quid pro quo
In for some classic nostalgia? We like Retrovision for its uncomplicated interface – you can even search by genre. You’ll find Charlie Chan, Dick Tracy, Sherlock Holmes, Vincent Price, He Man & She-Ra and everything in between. Is that popcorn we smell?
What’s the deal? Free, no funny business
There is nothing quite like the kindness of strangers. The global pandemic at large brings up many emotions for a lot of folks. In these unprecedented times we may find ourselves mentally strapped, and in need of some TLC. Kind Words is in no way a substitute for seeking help related to mental health, but it can be a comforting platform, a way to connect anonymously with a community largely intent on providing an ear to someone who needs it. Just boot up the game, available for home computers, write out a concern and wait for the responses. Or instead offer words of encouragement to others. Along the way you’ll collect virtual stickers to help you decorate your digital space.
What’s the deal? Put your wallet away
Listen to the world’s first true crime classical music podcast. Find out what really happened when Mozart wrote his requiem and died before finishing it, why Haydn’s skull was found to be missing, and what goes into investigating the disappearance of a valuable musical instrument. What some might describe as a niche, Case Notes manages to combine two universal themes – music and crime. Curious yet?
What’s the deal? Not a penny, not a pound
This famous platform hosts over 60 000 free ebooks. Yikes! Project Gutenberg digitises and archives cultural works in the public domain in order to encourage the creation and distribution of ebooks. FInd anything, from Dickens’ Great Expectations to Confucius’ Analects.
What’s the deal? Free, yes free
You’ve probably heard of Duolingo before, but we’re here to remind you. We all use the excuse that we “don’t have time” way too often. So? Make the most out of your time at home by learning another language. Enjoy bite-sized lessons, quirky learning techniques, access to countless resources, rewards for a job well done and much more. Who knows, you might go back to work speaking fluent Swahili.
Stay Home & Stay Active
Yoga with Adriene
What’s the deal? Inhale, free, exhale
We live in weird, anxious-stricken times. Your normal exercise routine has most likely also suffered. Yoga with Adriene is not only for yogis. Find a comfortable surface if you don’t have a yoga mat, and come as you are. Stretch, become aware and remember to breathe with this 30 day yoga journey.
Nike Training Club
What’s the deal? One two free
Nike has waived the $14.99 a month fee for its premium service indefinitely. Downloading the app grants people access to more than 185 free workouts (yoga, cardio and more), ranging from 15 to 45 minutes, as well as targeted running training programmes, nutrition and wellness guidance.
The world can be a little less lonely with uncapped, unshaped internet. Fibre can open up a whole new universe in a time when the physical world is beyond our reach. Share some of your internet treasures, we’re all ears.