For all the parents out there who are wondering how to keep their children entertained during this 21-day countrywide lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, here’s some good news! A variety of online platforms — ranging from Amazon Prime Video to Crayola — are offering free services for at least the next one month.
Here are the details for some of the entertainment services currently available for free so to stay hassle-free and your kids enjoy their quarantine.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video, a subscription-based video streaming site, has offered a selection of children’s films, TV shows, and family-oriented movies free of cost. Some of these shows include animated series Chhotta Bheem, Baahubali, and Tenali Raman.
Tinkle, Amar Chitra Katha
Children’s magazines Tinkle and Amar Chitra Katha are currently giving free access to their comics and editions for one month. This includes more than 100 Tinkle magazines and 350+ Amar Chitra Katha books. Amar Chitra Katha conveys the stories of numerous Indian mythological events, lives of eminent leaders, snippets from history and many more in the form of a comic.
Audible, a subscription-based sub platform of Amazon which deals exclusively with podcasts and audio stories, has given a selection of children’s stories and other audio books for free. Some of these include stories of Winnie the Pooh, Anne of Green Gables and modern works like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Kids are going to be happy indeed!
Xbox has announced that its subscribers can pick four free games each month. Two of these can be chosen from ‘Xbox 360’ and the other two from ‘Xbox One’.
Here’s a few must plays:
For those who love the idea of investigation, Batman: The Enemy Within is said to satisfy the urge to do some detective work. The game is about Batman tracking down fictional villain Riddler in a five-episode game.
Shantae: Half Genie Hero is about the adventure undertaken by a fictional character named Shantae as she prevents a crime wave from happening in Sequin Land and saving the day.
For those who want a peak into the supernatural, Castlevania: Lord of Shadows 2 is the perfect opportunity. Two players must take the role of a Dracula and reclaim their throne from Satan.
Who does not love zombies? World War Z, which is a game based on the same film, is about players working together to wipe out zombies.
Grab your chance if you are willing to take up and learn a new art form, or teaching your children one, during this lockdown. Fender, a well-known guitar brand, is offering free online guitar classes for all age groups for three months on its website. Classes for ukulele, acoustic, and electric guitars are available on the website.
Crayola, an American-based art supply firm, has given the option of downloading hundreds of colouring designs for printing free of cost on its website. Happy colouring!
Google Arts and Culture
How about a virtual tour through some of the world’s most famous museums while staying in your cozy homes? Google Arts and Culture offers the option to explore places like the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam from thousands of miles away. Complete with a Street View option, this collection gives a chance to admire art work from hundreds of museums across the globe.
Who doesn’t love music, especially if it is free? Amazon Music is offering access to a massive collection of songs for free for 90 days.
Zee5, another online streaming platform, is offering a slew of films and TV shows free of cost to subscribers for at least a month. Other websites like ‘Hoopla’ and ‘Kanopy’ too are providing similar services online for free.
Worried about the strain on the internet this binge-watching would cause? Fear not. Zee5 and Amazon Prime Video have reduced the streaming bitrate (number of bits that are conveyed or processed in a given unit of time) for their videos temporarily. The higher the bitrate, the higher the quality of the image in a video. Reducing the streaming bitrate will result is lesser internet usage.
Eros Now, which streams a collection of Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati and Bengali films, is providing a free subscription for two months on its website.
Cheers to keeping kids entertained and educated while being locked up!