Leading publisher Stuff is all about making New Zealand a better place.
Usually, we do this by giving our readers vital news and information. But during the current COVID-19 lockdown, we’ve also started offering stressed-out parents daily inspiration to keep the whānau (family) entertained at home.
Our team is also currently balancing the art of working from home while looking after kids; we know the struggle is real. And so the Lockdown Challenge was born.
This is all part of our efforts to keep Kiwis connected while we’re all so isolated. A level 4 lockdown means you stay at home, in your bubble, and you can only leave for essential shopping or exercise. For many parents, that can mean a desperate daily search for things to keep their kids occupied.
Each day, a daily challenge is set via Stuff Nation, which is Stuff’s unique user-generated content platform that allows the public to submit content straight to the Web site for review. A selection of reader challenges is shared on Stuff each day.
Challenging readers’ creativity
The first challenge was indoor-fort building and saw dozens of incredible creations, including everything from lighting design to recycled materials to stuffed-animal security guards.
Next up was letterbox decorating.
Lego-building and driveway chalk designs were also in the cards for the lockdown, with a focus on easy, creative things that can be done at home using whatever materials are lying around.
We’ve so enjoyed seeing the results of the challenges inside the homes of New Zealand whānau (family). 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.
The interaction provided by the Lockdown Challenge complements the work of Stuff’s Neighbourly team to keep communities around the country connected.
“Neighbourly is a community network that helps neighbours connect online. So when we heard New Zealand was going into alert level 4 lockdown, we brought back our Reach Out page,” said Neighbourly community director Sarah Moore.
“Reach Out is a safe place for people to ask for or offer help or support — whether that’s a chat on the phone, helping an elderly neighbour out by doing their shopping, or simply brightening up people’s day with a great picture of something fun or inspiring going on in your community,” Moore said.
“It’s also a useful source of information on practical information like supermarket queues and where the nearest vaccination centre is.”