Free things to do for kids to learn and play this summer

Need some FREE things to do for kids to learn and play this summer? Your local Sunshine Coast library is where the cool kids will be!


As we wrap up another year, the cost-of-living crisis continues to loom over every household, with families on an ever-constant search for ways to cut down expenses.

But one free resource that can often be overlooked in the chaos of day-to-day parenting is the humble yet very awesome library.

A world away from the rows of books and shushy librarians we grew up with, the 21st-century library offers an extensive array of free and budget-friendly materials for your kids to play, learn, grow and create… and the welcoming, air-conditioned space to enjoy them! Here are just some of the free things to do at your local Sunshine Coast library!


Free toys at the toy library

The toy library is an invaluable resource for families, boasting a diverse range of toys designed for children aged 2 to 12, all carefully curated to enhance cognitive, motor, emotional, and linguistic development. From open-ended building blocks to family board games and enriching STEM toys, there is a wealth of toys to suit all age groups. The toy library is available at all Sunshine Coast Libraries during library hours, except for mobile libraries.


Toy Library at Sunshine Coast Libraries

Space to play, explore and read


eAudiobooks for the whole family

eAudiobooks provide a relaxing yet engaging listening adventure, making them an ideal choice for kids during bedtime routines, long road trips, or for families constantly on the go. Beyond their entertainment value, eAudiobooks are powerful tools for children’s development. They not only introduce kids to new words and concepts but also foster the growth of their literacy skills. Moreover, these captivating stories can significantly enhance language retention rates. Best of all, you can access a treasure trove of eAudiobooks for kids at your local library, where they are free!


eBooks and comics

Did you know that Sunshine Coast Libraries have a huge range of eBooks and comics for all ages? eBooks are a fantastic choice for kids and families, especially when you’re gearing up for a long trip, and space is at a premium. As well as the convenience of being compact, these digital treasures are a lifesaver for busy families when visiting the library might not be feasible. Plus, the best part is that you can enjoy this vast collection 24/7 from your device.

Child Peeking over Book at Sunshine Coast Libraries

There’s more than books at your local library!



Love magazines? You can access over 3000 titles from around the world on your device. There are kids’ titles such as Total Girl, K-Zone and Bluey. Oh, and did we mention they are all free?


Free movies for kids

An often-overlooked gem of Sunshine Coast Libraries is the fact that your library card unlocks free access to streaming platforms such as Beamafilm and Hoopla, both of which offer a rich selection of documentaries, Australian television shows, global cinema, and captivating children’s programs.


Learn a language for free

Why not inspire your children to embark on a language-learning adventure this summer using Transparent Language online? Free with your library membership, this personalised language-learning system tracks your learning and practice progress in over 150 languages. Transparent Language Online also has a program for children ages six and up called KidSpeak™. Available in English, Spanish, French, Italian and Mandarin Chinese, this age-appropriate program makes learning a language enjoyable and effective for little ones through cute cartoon characters.


Child Reading Book Under a Tree at Maroochydore Library Sunshine Coast

Budget-friendly literacy adventures at Sunshine Coast Libraries. Credit: Giselle Peters /


Summer Reading Club

To help children maintain their literacy skills throughout the extended summer break, the annual Summer Reading Club sneakily encourages reading and literacy, all while engaging kids in fun challenges and offering the chance to win cool prizes. It’s completely free to participate; simply register online and start reading!


Cool coding kits

Your local library can also help with preparing kids for the future, thanks to its range of coding kits available to borrow. Designed for ages 18 months to six years, these kits contain fun Play and Learn devices to introduce coding concepts to little ones.


Holiday programs

Sunshine Coast Libraries have a wide range of arts-based and STEM programming throughout each school holiday to engage and entertain kids of all ages. Each branch has its own schedule, and you can book online. In case you were wondering, this is free, too!


“All resources are free with a library membership card—which is also free!”


Games collection

The library isn’t just for little ones, either. There is a huge range of board games and jigsaw puzzles available at each library to borrow – perfect for teens, adults and family time over the summer.


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Online programs

As the world rapidly pivoted to living online, so did Sunshine Coast Libraries, making its popular and free in-person activities of Storytime and Rhymetime into fab online versions for those who cannot make it into the library. There are ten episodes of the insanely good ‘Rhymes with Ryan’ available whenever you need an instant rhyming adventure for your preschooler, and Sofa Storytime is a storytime program updated every month. Both are available on the Sunshine Coast Libraries’ website.


Explore the region

Did you know that your free library card grants you access to all eight Sunshine Coast Libraries? Why not consider spending a day exploring another library and its surrounding town for a fun ‘day trip’? Savour cheese and doughnuts in Kenilworth and a fun storytime at Kenilworth Library, or enjoy a rainforest adventure with breathtaking views of the Glasshouse Mountains, followed by a visit to Maleny Library? For those seeking a beachy day, Caloundra, Coolum and Maroochydore Libraries are just a short stroll from the sand and surf of the Sunshine Coast, offering the perfect spot to cool down – and one of our favourite free things to do on the Sunshine Coast!

Keep Reading…

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How creative play can improve your child’s early literacy
Early literacy games you can play anytime and anywhere


Servicing BrisbaneGold CoastSunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids eventsattractions & things to do with kidsschools and educationschool holiday guideshealth & wellbeing for families, parenting and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.


By Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music. Angela is the editor of Kids on the Coast - a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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