An abstract patterned banner with the word 'Activities' in the centre

Watching the video introduces you to our collection of indoor activities for dipping into whenever you'd like some inspiration

You won’t need to buy things for the majority of these activities and where you do, the materials are not expensive and we do not gain financially from your clicking on any of these indoor activities links. Here are a few helpful tips for using YouTube. From time to time we add new activities to this collection of ideas, details of which are posted on our Facebook page


Even when you can’t go out, there’s a wealth of places to explore through virtual visits all around the world. We hope you'll enjoy dipping into in the mixture of short videos we've chosen at

Listening to an audiobook can be a great choice when you’re wanting to rest your eyes – or your voice (if you’re the one who’s normally reading aloud to someone). Alternatively, you might enjoy using audiobooks when you're doing a repetitive chore that benefits from being livened up with something interesting to listen to. There are many places you can get audiobooks from. The ones we’re suggesting here (from BBC Sounds) are free:

Shorter listening options (with drama and stories) are also available in BBC Sounds and

Lego man holding two balloon dogs surrounded by a frame of balloon flowers

Balloon Modelling

Do you enjoy watching entertainers make balloon dogs, flowers and all sorts of other balloon creations to give to people? And if you’ve been lucky enough to have received one, you’ll know that they can last for a surprisingly long time. We’ve found a great video that teaches you from scratch How to Make your First Balloon Dog (5min 50sec) with a follow-on video showing you How to Make Four Balloon Flowers (12min 46sec)

Just remember – practice makes perfect!

Robin sitting on a branch

Birds in the garden

Watching and listening to birds in the garden (or park) brings great pleasure to many, and even on days you can’t go out, there are ways you can still enjoy them as shown here. The first of the two videos we've chosen is about How to Attract Birds to Your Garden (9min 58sec) and the second one shares How to identify common garden birds - including their songs (6min 15sec)

Another easy way to learn more about birds is through the radio programme Tweet of the Day's website which has lots of short video clips, photos and (in their podcasts section) all their previously broadcast Tweet of the Day episodes. Each of their programmes are less than 2 minutes long and start with the chosen bird’s call, followed by some interesting snippets of information about that bird. Here’s an example with Joe Acheson on the Wren (1min 35sec)

A piece of card with 'Something better is coming' written on it

Calligraphy and Drawing

Calligraphy and drawing provide an easy way to quickly relax – whether it’s expressing yourself through sketching or creating beautiful pieces of writing. There are many short videos available to help you learn these new skills step-by-step and we’ve brought together our top choices for considering a range of these:

Basic Calligraphy Strokes (7min 39sec)

How to Draw with Pen and Ink (7min)

How to Draw an Anemone Flower (14min 29sec)

How to Draw a Floral Wreath (9min 23sec) 

How to Draw the Figure in Perspective – Foreshortening (7min)

Playing cards arranged to make houses

Card Games

Card games tend to be quite compact (so don’t take up much space in a bag) and bring hours of fun with people of all ages playing. We’ve found a really helpful Card Games list It has more than 60 short videos, with each one providing a quick easy-to-understand overview of how to play a different card game. Here’s an example: How to Play Speed (2min 15sec) If you’re using a standard pack of 52 playing cards, the list offers a wide choice of games such as: Rummy, Blackjack, Spades, Old Maid, Solitaire, Hearts, Speed, Gin Rummy, Go Fish, President etc.

The videos also cover many commercially available games that use their own specifically designed cards. As well as helping you recall all the rules of these types of games that you may have played long ago, these videos help you quickly get up to speed with new ones.

Yellow and pink crocheted octopus for a premature baby

Crochet an Octopus for a Preemie

It’s easy to learn how to crochet – however, right at the start it’s important to know that, whilst the stitches are the same in the US and UK / Australia, the names used to describe them are different. For this reason we’ve two videos for beginners learning to Crochet: How to Crochet for ABSOLUTE beginners – using US terminology (19min 36sec) and this series Crochet Basics – Lesson 1 using AUS / UK Terminology (2min 25sec)

There’s a great crochet project (which anyone can join) that involves making small octopus toys for 'preemies'. As premature babies are used to playing with their umbilical cord in the womb, they can set back their progress by playing with and pulling out their incubator’s medical tubes. Placing the stretchy tentacles in the babies’ hands provides comfort and helps them flourish. You can obtain the right pattern and find out more at your country’s Octopus for a Preemie Facebook Group.

In our Dancing in the kitchen blog (link below) we cover how to create a safe place for dancing at home and what types of dance are on offer. We’ve also included some useful video links to help you get started.

If you’re able to add dancing to the activities you can do at home it has so many benefits. Being great exercise, you’re likely to see improvements in your weight management, flexibility and strength. Also, finding types of dancing you enjoy is a wonderful way of lifting your mood and easing anxieties. Dressing up (including fancy dress) from time to time can all add to the fun – the picture here comes from a time we varied lockdown dancing in the kitchen by wearing clothes we’d previously bought for going to a 1950’s party!

We greatly enjoy following Creative Carer and love her novel approach to puzzles and the inspiring art projects she carefully adapts so that her mother (who was diagnosed with mixed dementia in 2012) is fully involved in producing their beautiful creations. The range of hand-made cards they’ve made over the years (whether ‘remakes’ from previously received cards or template-cut from their own designs) have a lovely charm. Also, as well as turning painted seashells into eye-catching wind-chimes, each season is celebrated by making crêpe paper daffodils and brightly coloured paper summer flowers, pressing vibrant autumn leaves for turning into attractive seasonal cards, and making sparkly tree decorations in the lead up to Christmas. Along with all the traditional arts and crafts, Creative Carer shows how she uses her touch screen laptop for some online fun so that her Mum can also enjoy internet jigsaw puzzles, colouring and card games! Here is the link to Creative Carer’s inspirational article with pictures, videos and details about all these:

On our Exercise Page, we've chosen a fun mixture of exercises to encourage people who are not in the habit of working out. By shortening the length of each session, combining it with music, and providing the option of sitting instead of standing, these exercises are more appealing to many.

We’ve some great videos with attractive project ideas for these traditional crafts on our Felt Crafts webpage Starting with how to equip yourself with basic skills and materials, they then show step-by-step felt projects for decorating your home or making gifts. Whether you go on to make any, or just watch the easy-to-follow videos, we hope you’ll enjoy.

Red First Aid symbol on a white panel

First Aid

The St John Ambulance YouTube Channel provides easy access to many free online First Aid videos . Watching the short video What to do when someone is choking shows how quickly you can gain skills that could make the difference in an emergency.

People are becoming more aware of the importance of being able to respond with Mental First Aid. The Suicide Awareness Training courses are a good place to start when considering this.

Jumping onto the internet to search for advice is the first response of many people when faced with an injury or worrying symptoms. Knowing ahead how to best gain from doing so can make a big difference. This 7 minute BBC Sounds podcast episode How to get a better diagnosis from a search engine can help here.

Close up picture of a wildflower meadow with poppies in amongst it


For the past 90 years the National Garden Scheme has put together a calendar of days where owners have opened their private gardens for members of the public to look around, in the process raising money for nursing and health charities. This year, in response to lockdown they have imaginatively created a wealth of virtual garden tours instead. This short video of the garden at Mathlin Cottage is an example of how in just a few minutes you can feel the magic of these tours. Whilst watching these videos is free, if you'd like to donate to the NGS's nursing charities, more details can be found here.

Alternatively, if you like the idea of giving over a patch of your garden to nature, this four minute Gardeners World video with Monty Don sowing a wildflower meadow is well worth watching for all it's useful tips.

In our blog What to do when you can't get to the hairdresser? we provide help for how to approach your first time of picking up the scissors, razor or curlers to do someone's hair. We've had great feedback that the carefully chosen video links to useful tips shared by professionals have helped many people confidently approach what can otherwise be a daunting task.

Teddy bear next to some miniature skittles and marbles

Indoor Games

‘Laughter is the best medicine’ and even if there’s only two of you playing some of these games, they can be light-hearted fun for all ages. Taking a few minutes to think creatively can help you modify them (where necessary) to suit the needs of those playing and the materials you have. You don’t need to wait for a party to play these – introducing a game into an ordinary afternoon can often lighten the mood of a day. Here are some ideas:

10 Indoor Games (6min 45sec)

7 Fun and easy games for kids and adults (8min)

16 Matchstick Puzzles (8min 43sec) 

Yank Me (30sec)

What a Racquet (30sec)


Whether you’d like to learn to knit from scratch, want to revive what you previously learnt, or wish to help someone grow or maintain their love of knitting, we’ve chosen some great videos to guide you. 

Starting with step-by-step How to knit for absolute beginners (28min 29sec), you can move on to learn How to Purl Stitch (2min 23sec) Also watching How to Fix a Dropped Stitch (4min 20sec) lessens the fear of making mistakes.

If you’re wanting to make a pretty and practical present, consider How to Knit a Twiddlemuff (3min 2sec) Also, watching How to make a Pompom (1min 53sec) enables you to produce the pompoms without the need to buy a special set.

Lastly, we’ve included some hand exercises which ease joint stiffness, release muscular tension and improve hand mobility to help everyone enjoy knitting for as long as they can: Hand exercises for knitting and crochet (3min 16sec)

Macrame wall hanging with many vibrant strands


Having learnt the basic knots involved, so many craft possibilities open up with macramé. Whether you stick with the neutral shades of natural fibres or choose eye-catching vibrant additions, we’ve found some beautiful macramé designs that go far beyond the traditional wall hangings, plant pot holders and table mats.

21 Easy Macramé Crafts, Knots, Patterns, Braids For Beginners & Beyond (17min 37sec) provides a great overview to for getting started and the Macramé Knots Playlist provides many more short videos to help you learn any other knots you’d like to include in your creations. Also worth visiting are the hundreds of designs (with step-by-step videos) for making your own earrings, bracelets and festive decorations


No matter what calls you have on your time, we all benefit from self-care. Often though, if you only have short amounts of ‘you time’, looking after yourself too quickly becomes an area of life that is neglected. With this in mind, we’ve chosen some short massages for making a soothing difference in a surprisingly short length of time. Having watched your chosen video sufficiently, you can easily join in alongside. Remember to start gently and, whilst your confidence is growing, pause the video whenever you like. Building your choice of self-care into your daily routine greatly improves your wellbeing.

Soothing scalp self-massage for pain and stress reduction (6min)

Stress Relief with Simple Foot Massage (3min 29sec)

Hand and arm massage (10min)

Tastes in music vary greatly, so the links on our Musical Choices Page are intended only to outline the wealth of choice available on the internet, and to help set you on your way to finding what musical choices inspire you. Whether you like the thought of dropping in to online recorded-live music performances, reliving festival memories, creating a playlist of the music you most enjoy, trialling a free online music lesson or making homemade instruments, we hope you’ll enjoy exploring the possibilities.

Bright orange and cream paper flowers

Paper flower making

Making flowers to decorate your home or give to someone can be a lovely thing to do. With so many styles and paper materials to choose from, there’s lots of possibilities to suit different ages and abilities. Perhaps one of the easiest showy flowers to make are Paper Pom Pom Flowers (3min 11sec) Also the video 23 easy ideas for small paper flowers (20min 19sec) provides a great overview of the many different types of flowers you can quickly get started making. 

Some people progress to stunning creations as shown in Making A Gorgeous Peony Flower with Crepe Paper (19min 35sec)

If this appeals to you, it’s really worth taking your time over buying your materials as different crepe papers suit different projects as described in 10 Amazing Facts You'll Want to Know About Crepe Paper (24min 38sec)

Person holding a smartphone whilst taking a photo of a hillside town by the sea


It might come as a surprise to hear that smartphone cameras can shoot photos good enough to be on a billboard or magazine cover … though this will only happen if you’ve the skills to go with the tech. Here are some tips to get great quality photos: How to Take the Best Photos with Your Smartphone (3min 48sec) and How to take better phone portraits (5min 50sec) Also, if you’re wanting to add interesting effects to your photos, here are 7 smartphone photography tips & tricks 2018 (5min 41sec)

To take things to the next level with your smartphone, there are options to upload apps, buy filters and lens attachments (to give greater control over shutter speed, RAW, white balance and ISO etc), and in this video Natalie Shows You How to Control Your Phone's Camera Like A DSLR (6min 53sec)

Thumbnail images with the word 'Podcasts' in the centre


Podcasts provide a popular way of listening to recordings covering a wide range of interests. We’ve put together our easy-to-dip-into ‘Listening Gold’ Podcast Library which is full of our top choices of BBC Sounds podcasts (all of which are free), and with all the categories we’ve chosen, we’re sure there’ll be something of interest for everyone:

Personal Development || Leisure Time || Famous People || Sport || Money || Technology || Our Environment || Nature || History || Music || Comedy || Places & Travel || Health Related (21 categories) || Relationships & Family (6 categories)

We think BBC Sounds is a fantastic resource and to help people find how to get the most out of using it, we’ve made a YouTube video Listening to Podcasts – with BBC Sounds examples

Like music, everyone’s taste in poetry will be different. Or maybe, unlike music, you might not have heard much poetry recently – or perhaps not knowingly heard it, as contemporary poetry can sound quite different to the traditional poems we might have learnt at school. We hope what’s listed on our Poetry Choices Page might jog some memories tucked away from years gone by, or encourage you to find new poetry treasures that interest you now. We’ve listed some possibilities you might enjoy listening to , and if you like the idea of turning you hand to writing a funny limerick, we’ve links to some that might inspire you.


These new trivia quizzes are each about 5 minutes long - ideal for for giving your brain a quick challenge or for doing as something social with someone else. As their presenter Mister Quizster says, ‘If you have fun and get a smile from this and perhaps learn something new, then that’s the whole idea.’ Here’s a taster of what’s on offer:

General Knowledge Trivia (5min 19sec)

Pub Quiz General Knowledge Trivia #6 (4min 45sec)

Wise old sayings (5min 18sec)

Pub Quiz Movies of the 80’s (4min 55sec)

Trivia Quiz - James Bond 007 (7min)

Two red and gold painted hearts made from salt dough

Salt dough decorations

Here’s a great activity for everyone! Salt dough is quick and easy to make and you can use cookie cutters or your own moulded shapes to make all sorts of creations.

Making Salt Dough Decorations/ Ornaments (7min 16sec) walks you step-by-step through creating a flower decorated garland. Then considering Christmas decorations,

Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments (12min 37sec) and Easy NO Cook Salt Dough Christmas Decorations (16min 20sec) provides lots of ideas to inspire additions to your Christmas tree, presents and festive table!

Being comfortable with how to sew opens up a whole range of possibilities! Whether it’s hand-stitching to keep up with the mending, using a sewing machine for bigger projects, embroidering or cross-stitching – we’ve some great links in our blog post to provide inspiration … and, what’s more, sewing can be good for your wellbeing. 

A prairie dog with a blue hat singing at a microphone


Although groups of people haven’t been able to physically meet together to sing since the start of Covid, in other ways singing has become more widely accessible. In ‘normal times’ it’s uncertain that Camden Voices would have beamed their way into so many homes as a virtual choir with ‘Here comes the Sun’ (2min 15sec), or that the Boogaloo Babes’ would have made available their recording of War Time Hits (made when they virtually celebrated VE day this year) (26min)

As Clare from Sing from the Heart – Harpenden says, ‘songs work as a tool to calm, soothe, entertain and spark communication & memories’ and to help with this, over lockdown she's built a large collection of easy-to-sing-along popular songs. Ever appropriate for these times, we’ve chosen ‘With a Little Help from my Friends’ (2min 24sec)

If, in the quiet of our own homes, we’ve become conscious that our singing could be more enjoyable with a little help from professionals, this too has become more accessible over the internet through free tutorials such as How to Sing for Beginners (9min 30sec) and How to Stop Singing Flat (9min 24sec)

Sports watching

There are many sports available on TV but how often do you reach for the remote to switch channels because you don’t understand enough of what’s going on in the game? We’ve chosen some short videos* to help anyone who wants to quickly go from novice to ‘armchair expert’.

The Rules of Cricket Explained (4min 9sec)

Guide to the Rules of Golf (11min 19sec)

A Guide to the Rules of Rugby Union (11min)

The Rules of Snooker Explained (4min 56sec)

Football: Offside Rule for Beginners (6min 5sec)

* Bear in mind you can slow down or speed up YouTube videos using the ‘Playback speed’ in ‘Settings’ (cog-wheel symbol) at the bottom of the video. Choose from pre-set speeds listed, or click on ‘Custom’ in the top right-hand-corner and use the slider to pick your own playback speed.

A toilet roll with Sudoku puzzles printed on each sheet


If, like us, you’ve previously passed over Sudoku puzzles, we’re pleased to share with you two videos that introduce you to techniques that enable you to solve and enjoy these brain challenges.

How to Play Sudoku (8min) explains the basics and we also recommend watching How to Solve Sudoku Easy Puzzle Follow Along Episode 1 (27min 4sec) Though it’s longer than the short videos we normally suggest in our Indoor Activities collection, it’s full of strategies that will help you quickly gain greater enjoyment playing at the level that best challenges you.  

There are many sources of free daily sudoku challenges where you can set your level of difficulty and play online or print-off your chosen puzzle. Here’s an example:

Little dog wearing red jumper and glasses playing at a screen

Video call games

During lockdown, people have developed imaginative ways of having fun on video calls with games suitable for all ages. As with each day's idea, we’ve searched widely to gather a great range to share with you.

Starting at the beginning, the first video How to Send a Zoom Invite Early and Important Tips (10min 22 sec) helps you consider preparation and planning for hosting a video call get-together. The following three videos have a wide variety of ideas that can be modified to suit the needs of those playing or to develop your party theme:

FUN Zoom Game Ideas for All Ages (10min 42sec) 

10 Zoom Games to play with friends (5min 3 sec) 

20 Easy Virtual Zoom Games for Families (8min 6sec)  

Four pictures of a fox, kingfisher, otter and butterfly

Wildlife world wide web wanders

The compact nature of state-of-the-art cameras has increasingly enabled seldom-before-seen recordings of extraordinary wildlife moments to be captured on high quality video. Many of these fascinating short videos (with good commentaries and careful editing) have been uploaded to the internet. So, sitting in the comfort of our homes, we can share the wonder experienced by those who were there in the moment, no matter where they were in the wildlife world. Here are some we’ve chosen:

The Red Fox (2min 39sec)

A peek into the amazing secret life of badgers (4min 10sec)

Otter in the Wild (2min 52sec)

Also suited for short breaks, David Attenborough’s radio series is available on BBC Sounds [eg Butterflies (9min 30sec)], along with Patrick Aryee’s website full of video clips and ‘find out more’ articles for his series 30 Animals that made us smarter

Smiling woman looking up at camera with a game of Scrabble next to her

Word games

Like many people, our mum loved playing word games and plenty of happy afternoons were enjoyed this way. The board game Scrabble has long been popular, and if you have a not-much-used set, watching How to play Scrabble (2min 34sec) might be just the thing to inspire you to bring it out of the cupboard. There’s a similar online game Words with Friends and at their website it’s easy to quickly get started playing online with a friend you already know, someone they match you with, or in solo mode. To help you get started we’ve chosen this 9-minute video full of tips from an enthusiast.

In addition, there are literally hundreds of themed online Word Searches available at (with printable examples all downloadable for free at And as if that wasn’t already enough to impress us, we found that their website also has Hangman We love how easily all these can be accessed - so you have the option to dip in for a quick visit during a short break, or relax by spending longer browsing through their different themes.