Keeping children of all ages busy is one of the challenges facing families during the COVID-19 pandemic, so the team at In Derby are looking closer to home during the restrictions brought in to keep everyone safe.

Usually the In Derby website provides information on what’s happening in the city’s leisure centres, parks and libraries and at Derby Arena, as well as Derby LIVE events. While all venues remain closed, the website is focusing on things to keep families entertained at home.

Families with younger children can find information here.

While older children and teenagers can find some ideas here.

Ideas include the top ten books for children, available to borrow for free as ebooks or audiobooks using the Borrowbox app, which is available to members of Derby Libraries. If you’re not a member, you can still sign up online here.

Family days out in the city centre are possible without leaving the house thanks to our colleagues at Visit Derby. Their website includes virtual tours of Derby Museum and Art Gallery, tours of exhibitions at QUAD and Déda, and you can even climb up Derby Cathedral Tower and enjoy the views across the city from the top.

There are links to activities from The Woodland Trust to help children get the most from the plants and bug life to be found in their back garden. Keep them fit and active with links to online workouts.

Fans of Harry Potter can find lots of official, online wizarding activities at Harry Potter At Home – but don’t forget to find out which Hogwarts house you belong in! There is also a link to Let’s Create, a Facebook page set up by Babbling Vagabonds Storytelling Theatre, for fun and creative things to do. A favourite with Derby audiences, Babbling Vagabonds have staged popular children’s Christmas shows at the Guildhall Theatre over many years, as well as fun workshops at Markeaton Park.

While children are unable to have swimming lessons at the moment, we have some great activities to download from Swim England which will teach them all about water safety while they’re having fun. It means they’ll be ready to make a splash when our swimming pools can reopen. Find out more on our Learn to Swim page.

There are some crafty ideas for older children, such as customising an old T shirt, and links to the Tate Kids website for all things arty. There is also a link to Derby Active at Home, packed with online workout classes to try at home, including a basic gymnastics routine that is suitable for children (they will need enough space to do a backwards roll). Derby Active at Home is led by our fitness instructors from home while our leisure centres remain closed, and new activities are being added all the time.