New Online Kids Hub Launched With Free Books, Games & More

New Online Kids Hub Launched With Free Books, Games & More

BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, have launched a new digital hub to entertain children and families at home, packed with free books, videos, games, recipes, competitions, quizzes and much more.  

From activity sheets to live drawalongs, BookTrust Home Time hosts an extraordinary menu of ideas created by leading children’s authors and illustrators, in response to the closure of schools in the UK, all designed to keep children entertained and get them reading through this time of change.   

Launched by Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, the hub currently includes content from BookTrust Illustrator in Residence Ed Vere and Irish Children’s Laureate Sarah Crossan and will also include new fun content and ideas from more authors every day week. Families will also be able to follow the content on social media by using #BookTrustHomeTime as well as content from leading children’s reading organisations by following #Unitedbybooks

Diana Gerald, BookTrust CEO said: 

“Families across the country are adjusting to a temporary new way of living and BookTrust are here to support and build morale in the best way we know how – reading for fun! We are proud to be able to host a free content hub to share resources, ideas and interactive activities from our own experts, along with some of the UK’s most loved authors and illustrators, with families across the country. 

At BookTrust we want to get more children reading and despite these challenging times, time at home with family is a great opportunity to find inspiration in books, create fantastic new habits and perhaps uncover a new passion! ” 

Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell said: 

“As of today, millions of children and their parents will be unexpectedly at home following the closure of schools across the country. I’m a parent myself and I really empathise with families and schools facing this unsettling time in the education of so many young people, as well as the challenges of trying to juggle work and home-schooling.”

“I began writing about Vikings and dragons when I was nine-years old, feeling bored on my summer holiday with seemingly nothing to do. Every child out there will have fantastic ideas which could one day be the next How to Train Your Dragon. There is a world of creativity and imagination to discover from home that will bring inspiration over the coming weeks.”

woman desk illustrations online kids hub
Home Time was launched by Waterstones Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell

“The wonderful community of children’s authors and illustrators has responded to the closure of schools by creating a huge selection of ideas and activities for children, parents and carers to share together – hosted on BookTrust Home Time.”

“Starting on Monday, from my shed, I will be sharing a series of videos including readings – from my own books, and from others – as well as drawing advice, giving some tips on creativity as well as setting a few challenges along the way. I will also be live streaming to answer questions, run drawalongs and read, beginning with a daily reading of the very first How to Train Your Dragon, as I have always found adventure, hope and kindness in Hiccup’s world. You can follow the story using #MagicIdeas.”

“Books, reading and creativity are magic, and we need magic more than ever during this unsettling time.” 

Families can find BookTrust Home Time at booktrust.org.uk/hometime, as well as following along on social media at #BookTrustHomeTime.

The hub comes as part of #UnitedByBooks, a joint initiative with Scottish BookTrust, Coram Beanstalk and Authorfy to encourage children to keep reading at home.

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