Two friends crafting

Things to do online for free: fun online activities you can take part in from home

Here are 8 things you can do for free online today

At The Brain Charity, we support many people who for one reason or another, may find it difficult to leave their home.

In this guest blog, our Social Connection Officer Suzanne pulls together 8 things you can do for free online today – all you need is a smartphone or computer and a data or wifi connection.

These free online activities are suitable for all ages – from children and students right up to the elderly.

Don’t forget, there are also plenty of online activities available through The Brain Charity too!

1. Listen to the latest news with Talking Newspapers

The Talking News Federation is a free nationwide service, set up for people with visual impairments.

You can listen not just to your local news, but other areas too! Some talking newspapers will send you a CD or USB pen drive, but most are accessible online and even using a home device such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

Here are some for you to try: Liverpool, Shrewsbury, Edinburgh and Brighton, or find a talking newspaper near you here.

If you need help finding your local talking newspapers and accessibility, please get in touch with The Brain Charity’s activities team on

2. Create soul-soothing colouring images with Zentangle

If you’ve ever coloured in a mindful picture and wondered how they get made, Zentangle shows you how to create your very own.

Personalised mindful moments ahoy! There are also many video tutorials available to help you research these concept artforms online.

Young person using a computer at home

3. Head to your Virtual Village Hall

The Virtual Village Hall website is run by the Royal Voluntary Service and allows you to access live online activities. You will need to use Facebook to take part.

There is a lot on offer here, from cooking to crochet to Zumba!

There is an ‘important information’ page which you are advised to read and of course, check with your GP before engaging in any new physical activity.

4. Browse incredible pictures of the day

For those with an active imagination, ‘Picture of the day’ websites are very visually appealing.

At NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day, there is a new image of an aspect of our universe daily, with a detailed description from an astronomer so you understand what you are observing.

You can also explore daily natural images at National Geographic‘s photo of the day page, and for more (often entertaining) pictures on current topics, try the Evening Standard.

5. Reap the benefits of a month of mindfulness

Regularly practising mindfulness can be a hugely powerful tool for managing mental health and chronic pain.

Bupa has provided a monthly mindful calendar that you can print off or use on your device. They also provide useful health-based podcasts.

Manchester Mind has produced a more in-depth guide to mindfulness as a 31 day challenge.

A delicious cake made in one of The Brain Charity's cookery classes
A delicious cake made in one of The Brain Charity’s free online cookery classes

6. Use online time to learn something new

Why not do take part in a free online activity with someone else? FutureLearn has hundreds of short online courses available, any marked ‘unlimited’ are free.

This includes an interesting photography course where you can learn the basics of camera settings and composition

Duolingo also allows you to learn a new language with a friend and to compete!

7. Join an online chess club

It may be hard for some to imagine how online chess could be played, but if you know your check from your checkmate, the English Chess Online website will become your new go-to.

Make sure you are sensible when sharing any information about yourself: don’t reveal any personal details or give access to your emails.

If you need advice about being safe online, please get in touch with us:

8. Sit back and watch a documentary

Documentary addict? At Documentary Heaven (whose tagline is Food For Your Brain), you can enjoy hundreds of free documentaries on such topics as true crime, philosophy, celebrities, and archaeology. Just ignore the ads.

At The Brain Charity, you can browse our current calendar of activities here, or sign up to our mailing list to be the first to find out more.

You can also contact for more information.

Categories: Advice, Guest blogs

Published: 1 September 2022