Free Stuff To Do During Quarantine (Productivity Edition)

COVID-19 coronavirus in France, text Quarantine in photo of Eiffel Tower in Paris. French tourist attractions closed due to novel corona virus outbreak. Concept of COVID pandemic and travel in Europe.

We’re all stuck at home right now, there’s no way around that. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still be productive. A lot of companies have released free stuff to keep us busy during the COVID-19 quarantine period that has now been extended until the end of April, and we’re going to aggregate them here.

It’s okay if you don’t feel like being productive though and just want to take some time off to relax. We’ve got you covered too.

Free Internet

First thing’s first. Spectrum/Charter will provide free broadband and WiFi to households with K-12 and college students for 60 days. Installation fees will also be waved.

Comcast/Xfinity has made the same commitment, and is also increasing their speeds for free. They have also made their WiFi hotspots free for everyone nationwide.

AT&T has made all the same commitments mentioned above, and additionally made their video conferencing app Caribu available for free for 60 days.

All three providers have also waived data caps (Spectrum never had them), waived late payment fees and promised to not cut off anyone’s data due to not paying their bill.

K12 Education

Parent showing their daughter something on the computer. Image courtesy: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1057541
Photo: Pixabay

For all the parents of kids who can’t go to school anymore, here are some free resources to keep your children’s minds sharp during the quarantine:

  • Khan Academy has created a neat little schedule for children of all ages full of resources that help them feel like they’re still at school with structured classes and time slots.
  • Scholastic has released some resources based on their popular children’s books, also divided by age group.
  • Age of Learning, known for their ReadingIQ advanced literacy program, have also made resources available to families that have been affected by school shutdowns. You can request access here.
  • Prodigy is a fun little game that makes math less intimidating and more fun. It’s used by teachers across the world who claim their students absolutely love it and can’t stop playing it.
  • Mystery Science is another teachers’ resource that has made their content free for everyone without needing an account. They provide mini-lessons on cool and interesting topics as well as full fleshed out lessons for parents to teach their kids something fun and exciting.
  • PBS Kids has a number of resources available to families including 24/7 live TV, their Video app with educational clips, as well as a Games app with educational games.
  • Fluency and Fitness focuses on both the mind and the body. Currently free for three weeks and regularly $19 for every three months.
  • ThisIsBrainy (shameless plug) is a fantastic source of cool and interesting posts about science, engineering, new innovations and clever life hacks!

What about field trips, we hear you asking? Well, that brings us on to the next section, which isn’t just for kids!

Staycations

Eiffel Tower. Image courtesy: Pedro Szekely. https://www.flickr.com/photos/pedrosz/41118477475
Eiffel Tower. Photo: Pedro Szekely.

Ever wanted to travel without spending a bunch of money, having to get time off work and dealing with crying kids on a plane? Well Google Earth, Street View and Art & Culture are here to let you do just that from the comfort of your couch surrounded by your loved ones. If that’s not enough, grab a VR headset and immerse yourself in virtual tours or regular old YouTube videos.

Truly amazing to see all the resources we’ve always had at our fingertips but never really took advantage of because we simply don’t have time.

Higher Education

Online instructor on a laptop. Image courtesy: https://www.pxfuel.com/en/free-photo-xsxhp
Online instructor. Photo: Pixabay.

So what about the rest of us adults? Is there anything out there for us to learn for free while we’re stuck at home during quarantine?

  • Freecodecamp has put together a fantastic list of 450 free online courses from Ivy League universities.
  • Coursera is a fantastic online learning platform with dozens of free courses currently available. They charge a fee ($29-99) to provide an optional certificate upon completion.
  • EdX is very similar to Coursera, but it’s more reputable, more varied and more expensive. Certificates cost anywhere from $50 all the way up to a few hundred dollars.
  • Udemy provides courses from regular people, not universities like the previous two. Udemy’s free courses also don’t provide the opportunity to get a certificate. That said, their paid courses can be much cheaper and all come with certificates.
  • FutureLearn is similar to Coursera and EdX in that it offers free courses with the option to pay for certification. The difference is that it also offers a subscription option for $270 a year that gives you full access, with certification, to all its courses.

Learn a new skill!

Never stop learning, even during quarantine. Image courtesy: https://www.wcifly.com/en/blog-international-top-6-reasons-to-learn-foreign-language-online
Never stop learning. Photo: Pixabay
  • Skillshare is similar to Udemy, although on a subscription model like Netflix. At only $99 a year, it’s a good deal even without the two free months you can get right now. As the name implies, Skillshare focuses on teaching skills like graphic design, web development and even marketing and leadership.
  • Rosetta Stone is a world-renowned language learning platform. They’re currently offering three months of free service to students as well as parents affected by school closures or are home schooled.
  • The one and only Fender is offering three months of free guitar, base and ukulele lessons to the first 100,000 new subscribers through their Fender Play service.
  • Milk Street Cooking School have made all of their cooking classes available for free for everyone throughout the month of April.

Health and Fitness

Yoga. Image courtesy: Li Sun from Pexels
Photo by Li Sun from Pexels
  • Gold’s Gym has made its app available for free until the end of May, featuring hundreds of audio and video workout guides.
  • Poleton, maker of exercise bikes, has also made their app available for free until the end of June. You don’t have to own one of their bikes to make use of it, as it also offers yoga, meditation and other classes.
  • Chris Hemsworth, the actor behind the Avenger Thor, has started his own all-round wellness service called Centr. Available for free for six weeks, it includes physical training, cooking and meditation guides.

There you have it. A detailed and varied list of all the free ways you can better yourself during quarantine. Thank us later.

If you’d rather have some fun, check out our other post where we aggregate all the free stuff that helps you do just that.