Deep and meaningful pursuits, such as establishing a home workout routine or learning a new skill, are great components of a healthy lifestyle. But, there’s nothing wrong with having some lighthearted fun online. You can track sharks, explore the stars, or do something quick and creative! There’s practically no limit to what you can do on the internet.

With this in mind, we’ve come up with 21 online activities that you can turn to when you need a break, a distraction or just something to make you smile. We’d love to hear which ones you enjoyed.

1. Track sharks, dolphins, and turtles with OCEARCH Tracker

Track turtles, sharks, and dolphins

This tracker can be downloaded as an app or accessed online. It lets you keep track of tagged ocean animals around the world by showing you where they currently are and where they’ve recently been. You can find out each animal’s name, as well as their weight and length!

If you log in regularly, you can search for your favourite animal by name and see where he or she is currently swimming. My favourite is a White Shark named Helena. She’s 12ft 5ins, weighs 1,928lbs, and I last spotted her along the Atlantic Coast of South Carolina! Who will your favourite animal be?

2. Meet Jan in the woods

Why not check out Jan’s YouTube page which is dedicated to appreciating the natural world?

With videos focused on topics like forest bathing, gardening, and wildlife, Jan aims to bring people a calming and mindful experience by helping them to connect with nature.

3. Print off some free drawings to colour-in


Colouring is a relaxing activity that’ll keep you busy and allow you to get creative.

Just Colour has a range of different drawings that you can print out and colour in.

4. Explore live cams around the world

Sometimes it can be nice to have a change of scenery to break up our day-to-day routines. YouTube and Explore have plenty of live webcams from around the world that you can have a nosy at when you’ve got some spare time.

Our favourite ones are…

5. Paint with flames

Paint with flames

Are your creative skills on fire? With this tool, they will be!

Flame Painter is an experimental tool that’ll allows you to create some cool graphic designs. It can be as precise or as random as you like, and it’s a great opportunity to express yourself.

6. Watch a TED talk

watch a ted talk

TED talks cover all sorts of topics from personal growth and business, to the possibility of alien life. They can be incredibly motivational and are always given by people who have a genuine passion for their topic.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, or just fancy learning something new, it’s worth having a look at which TED talks are relevant to you.

7. Let go of worrying thoughts with Pixel Thoughts

Pixel Thoughts is a basic tool which allows you to write down a worry and watch it get smaller and smaller. At the same time, positive messages will flash up on the screen.

It won’t completely fix all your problems, but it might help you forget them for a few moments. Just the sentiment behind the tool was enough to make me smile!

You may also find some useful tips on how to manage any worries in our articles; 7 tips for coping with stress and anxiety and 3 breathing exercises for anxiety and stress relief.

8. Use up what you have in your kitchen with a SuperCook recipe

Use up what you have in your kitchen with a SuperCook recipe

Got a few random ingredients in your kitchen cupboards that you’re not sure what to do with?

SuperCook will ask you what these food items are before providing recipes which use these ingredients. Never has there been a better way to reduce your food waste!

9. Play: Quick Draw

This little game is highly addictive, so play at your own risk! Get ready to practise your doodling skills…

10. Go back in time with The Musical Time Machine

Travel the world with this musical time machine

With this musical time machine, you can listen to music from any decade and country of your choice.

Visit Brazil in the 1960s or China in the 1990s, or if you’re not sure what you’d like to listen to, simply choose the shuffle option, and listen to the curator’s choice.

You can also submit your own musical suggestions! The creators of Radiooooo built this tool with the goal of broadening people’s musical horizons.

11. Find the invisible cow

If you’ve got a spare couple of minutes, why not find the invisible cow?

The louder the voice shouts “COW!” the closer you are to finding him or her. Click when you think you’ve found their hiding place.

12. Create your own background noise

A Soft Murmur has a range of relaxing sounds that you can listen to when you’re trying to focus and block out distractions. These include rain, waves, and birds chirping.

You can blend sounds together until you find the perfect mix.

13. Send someone a bear hug

Send someone a hug in a box

Would you like to brighten someone’s day? You can use this tool to send someone something which will make them smile. BearHugs have a number of fun and thoughtful letterbox-friendly packages that you can send to loved ones.

Boxes come in a range of different sizes and prices, but each box is opened to reveal outstretched paws and a ‘Consider this a bear hug’ message.

Contents of the box can include a vegan chocolate teddy bear and a ‘hugs’ card, to a mini tea and biscuits kit (with a mug included!).

14. Explore the stars

100,000 Stars is one of the most beautiful sites I’ve found on the internet. You can explore the universe and learn about the stars. You get to navigate your way around the galaxy and zoom in on stars of interest (including the sun) when you want to find out more.

If you don’t know where to start, you can also choose to take an existing tour. You might also like to have a read of our article, An introduction to stargazing, to find out more. Or, perhaps, you may be interested in signing up for a stargazing course.

15. See how your favourite websites have evolved

See how your favourite websites have evolved

Sometimes we only remember how much things have changed when we take a look back at the past. Wayback Machine has more than 869 billion archived web pages that have been collected since 1996.

Have you ever wondered what your favourite website looked like 20 years ago? You probably will now! The picture above was Google in 1997!

16. Watch tornado chasers live

Watch tornado chasers live

Tornadoes are fascinating beasts that many of us will only ever see on TV and, for some, this makes them really intriguing!

Severe Studios give you the chance to experience live storm chasing with some top storm chasers.

Due to the weather’s unpredictability, you’ll have to go on every now and then to see if you can catch some live streaming. But, in the meantime, there’s also an archive of tornado videos that date back as far as July 2008 for you to watch.

17. Complete a Rubik's cube

complete a rubik's cube

If you like puzzles and want to have a go at a Rubik’s cube, now you can – online! You rotate, shuffle, and realign the 3D cube like you would with the real-life version.

If you complete it, why not try and beat your previous time?

18. Go on a random adventure with MapCrunch

When you arrive on MapCrunch’s website, all you have to do is hit ‘Go’ and you’ll be transported to a random Google street view of a location anywhere in the world.

On my first three goes, I went to Thailand, France, and Singapore!

If you enjoy MapCrunch and want to put your geography skills to the test, you could have a go at GeoGuessr. This game uses Google Street View imagery to place you anywhere in the world and you have to beat the clock to guess your location. It’s slightly addictive and lots of fun!

19. Get rewarded for filling out surveys

If you’ve got a few minutes spare, why not earn a reward or two? There are plenty of websites and apps that allow you to earn cash or vouchers by taking short surveys on various different topics.

The great thing about these apps and websites is that you can usually access them anytime and anywhere – on the bus, train, or during your lunch break at work.

20. Do nothing for two minutes

Do nothing for two minutes

This site encourages you to sit back, relax, and do nothing for two minutes while you listen to the sound of ocean waves. If you touch your mouse or keyboard, then the two minutes restart.

This handy tool gives you permission to switch off and do nothing – something that many of us struggle to do.

If you find that you enjoy taking a couple of minutes to do nothing, then remain in the present moment for as long as it brings you peace.

Why not read our article, 10 everyday activities that can help you stay in the present moment or our introductory guide to mindfulness for more ideas on how to take a quiet moment to yourself?

21. Listen to Boom Radio

Boom Radio is a free, national radio station aimed at baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964). It’s a mix of music, conversations, and presenter personality – and the overarching feedback from listeners is that the station “makes them feel young again”.

You might also be interested in reading our interview with Boom Radio founder Phil Riley, where he explains some of his reasons for setting up the station.

Final thoughts…

We hope the websites above have either made you smile, allowed you to take a break, or given you some inspiration.

For more ideas on how to spend your free time – either online or otherwise – why not head over to the hobbies and activities section of our website? Here, you’ll find articles like; 8 unusual hobbies you might not have tried and 20 fun and useful apps for Android and iOS.

You might also like to browse Rest Less Events where you’ll find over 100 live online events each month. From aerobic fitness and Pilates to book clubs and history talks, there’s something for everyone here.

Have you got any suggestions of other online activities that you’d like to share? Or, have you tried any of the sites above? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!