With schools closed and families currently confined to the house, parents are facing the daily question of how to keep their young ones occupied.

When the novelty of not having to attend class wears off and the children start missing their school pals, they could soon tire of doing the same things and playing with the same toys day in day out.

And even those lucky enough to have a garden will be scuppered on a rainy day.

Families will be able to watch the likes of penguins in action during virtual tour
Families will be able to watch the likes of penguins in action during virtual tours

But, to help families out during the coronavirus lockdown and to keep themselves busy too during their closure, many visitor attractions are coming up with virtual ways to engage childen in various indoor actitivies - and the latest is set to be a roaring success.

Zoos around the country are live streaming their animals so that families can watch them on a virtual tour.

And, with distance no barrier, zoos previously beyond the reach of many families in and around Newcastle are now 'open' to visits.

Among them are zoos around the world so families are in for fascinating insights into the lives of animals such as tigers, pandas, giraffes and elephants.

Some have already offered the service but now other zoos are joining in to show pictures as well as live video on their websites, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Edinburgh Zoo has webcams set up so that viewers can see the likes of its famous panda Yang Guang - although a slight technical glitch, due to extra visitor interest, means she was not on screen early this Saturday morning. There's also a tiger cam, Rockhopper penguin cam and a tiger cam. See here.

Marwell Zoo in Hampshire has a video webcam of flamingos as well as photo webcams of lemurs, giraffes and penguins and its images update around every 30. See here.

Meanwhile at Dublin Zoo there are camers trained on elephants, giraffes and penguins as well as zebras and rhinos. See here.

And the well-known Chester Zoo - where twin baby lemurs have been born and which has just run a virtual zoo day on its Facebook page - offers lots of online activities including mask-making, quizzes and conservation topics . See here.

Be warned, however, that the zoos are already seeing an increase in online interest so are currently busy trying to increase capacity on their sites.