There’s never been a better time to be on the internet so instead of scrolling through TikTok with no end, check out our boredom buster online activities. Whether you’d like to get ahead with your studies, connect with whānau or watch a live stream of a baby panda, we’ve got you covered.


There’s dozens of video calling services that are free, easy to use and lets you talk to your family and friends right from your phone or computer. We’ve explained what they are, explained the risks and provided our best tips to help you stay safe while doing it. Here’s a quick summary:

  • Facebook messenger allows you to message and video people in your contacts
  • Google Hangouts allows you to message, voice and video calls
  • Zoom includes audio, video and text chat, group and 1:1 options, screen sharing capabilities, call recording and end-to-end encryption. It’s popular with educators, organisations and people trying to stay connected. Read Netsafe’s insights now.



There are so many websites dedicated to helping people learn a new skill. Some of these include:

  • Duolingo and Memrise are sites dedicated to helping you learn a language
  • Code Academy lets you learn to code for free and Tynker teaches young kids about computer programming in a fun way
  • The Open University  is giving people the opportunity to join a free Start Writing Fiction course


  • You can download the Heads Up app and play charades with friends
  • Trivia Crack is a multiplayer trivia game that allows users to compete against friends and people around the world
  • Words with Friends is similar to Scrabble and lets players take turns building words crossword style
  • Check out Twitch. It’s one of the world’s leading live streaming platform for gamers and we’ve got an overview here


  • Garageband lets macOS and iOS devices to create music, video or podcasts
  • Procreate allows you to create digital illustrations
  • Sketch Pad lets you draw, edit or design – and it’s available in a lot of different languages
  • Color Mandala is a digital colouring book
  • PicsArt is a photo editing tool



  • By paying a Netflix subscription you steam movies and TV shows from across the world. You can also have a Netflix Party by watching video playback and participating in group chat with your friends
  • YouTube is the home to millions of videos that you can mostly watch for free. You can also use YouTube Kids for the younger members of your family as it offers family friendly content
  • You can stream free New Zealand television using TVNZ on Demand and Three Now


  • Wheelers is NZ’s largest online supplier of books and ebooks to schools and libraries
  • Over Drive lets your read ebooks and audiobooks for free through your local public library or school
  • Borrow Box is an app that lets you download books from your local library and especially useful if you’re wanting a NZ author
  • Wattpad  is one of the world’s most-loved social storytelling platform


  • LEARNZ is powered by CORE Education and provides virtual field trips for students
  • SciPAD has been developed to work alongside the printed sciPADs
  • Schoology  provides students and teachers with distance learning tools
  • Education Perfect is an online learning platform
  • Kognity  is a publisher that combines the power of technology and textbooks to create a different learning experience
  • Learn Coach lets you teach your NCEA class online
  • Legends of Learning  allows teachers to assign maths and science games to their students
  • Quizlet for teachers  lets you assign interactive study material, learning activities and games
  • Kahoot is a game-based learning platform


Netsafe has created this list to help people explore the different things the internet has to offer, but it isn’t our endorsement as we can’t do that as an independent non-profit organisation. We do highly recommend you read our tips so you can explore safely.

  1. Do a stocktake: Assess how many devices in your house connect to the internet to understand where the risks are and start to mitigate them.
  2. Assess new technology: Investigate new apps or platforms by checking out T&Cs, reviews and minimum age requirements before using them.
  3. Secure your virtual house. Use strong passwordsupdate your software and use two- factor authentication where possible.
  4. Share your experience: Talk to your friends and family about the technologies you use and let them know the tips and tricks you use to eliminate risk.
  5. Combat misinformation: Guide people to official information sources like to stop the spread of fake news.
  6. See something, say something: If you see suspicious or criminal activity online, report it. If you don’t know where to report, Netsafe can help.
  7. Practice safe clicking: COVID-19 is being used as a lure so be careful clicking on links, attachments or ads from unknown sources as they might be hiding malware.
  8. Protect your info: Criminals are harvesting personal information. Stop and think carefully about the details you’re disclosing or whether they need to entered online.
  9. Have fun: Explore the different technologies available to help you connect, learn, stay informed and participate in Aotearoa’s new virtual society.
  10. Help others: Share your online safety tips and experiences using #stayconnectedstaysafe to help others.

If you have any other activities to share, let us know using the #stayconnectedstaysafe on social media or email us.


If you or someone you know needs help or advice about something that’s happened online, you can contact us seven days a week for free and confidential advice.

Our helpline is open seven day a week. If you’re concerned about the immediate safety of you or someone else, call 111.


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