Kiwi publisher Stuff kept its pledge of making New Zealand a better place during the current COVID lockdown by offering stressed-out parents daily inspiration to keep the family (whānau) entertained at home.
In an INMA Ideas blog, acting editor-in-chief Janine Fenwick says team members who are also balancing the art of working from home while looking after kids, “know the struggle is real”.
The ‘Lockdown Challenge’ they created is part of efforts to keep Kiwis connected. Level 4 rules – which require that you stay at home “in your bubble” and can only leave for essential shopping or exercise – have resulted in a desperate daily search for things to keep their kids occupied for many parents.
A daily challenge has been set via Stuff Nation, Stuff’s user-generated content platform, with a selection of reader challenges shared each day.
“The first challenge – indoor-fort building – saw dozens of incredible creations, including everything from lighting design to recycled materials to stuffed-animal security guards,” she says.
Next up was letterbox decorating, with Lego-building and driveway chalk designs also on the cards, with a focus on easy, creative things that can be done at home using whatever materials are lying around.
Interactions complemented the efforts of Stuff’s Neighbourly team where community director Sarah Moore says an early move was to bring back the Reach Out page, a safe place where people can ask for or offer help or support. “It’s also a useful source of information on practical information like supermarket queues and where the nearest vaccination centre is.”
Fenwick says her team has also enjoyed seeing the results of the Lockdown Challenge inside family homes.
“Fresh ideas to keep the kids entertained are hard to come by in lockdown, so this is a small way we can lend a helping hand during what is a pretty intense time for many.”