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Creative activities to keep the kids busy

Three must-do lockdown creative activities for the kids!

Whether it’s Alert Level 4, 3, or 53, there’s no denying that lockdown with kids of any age is a tough slog. You’re working from home, they’re [supposed to be] learning from home, and everyone’s just a tad - or a lot - sick of one another.

We’re big fans of planning for the future, like a trip to Wētā Workshop Unleashed when restrictions ease and you’re free to roam. But rather than wishing away every moment in lockdown before that, our list below of creative ways to embrace the time together might help the time pass a little smoother. And who knows, maybe it’ll spark a burning production-set-designing fire in your pre-teen!

Kids being creative over the school holidays

Take some mind-blowing online art lessons!

While you’re pitching to a potential new client on Zoom in shirt, tie, blazer and pyjama pants, get your kids learning how to draw characters from their favourite films, or sketch delicious treats. Art for Kids Hub on YouTube has been propelled into fame thanks to COVID-19; it takes the teaching element out of parents’ hands and the screen time isn’t quite as mind-numbing as passively watching Kids on Netflix. The clean and simple lines make it easy for your kiddos to colour in after they’ve got the sketch on paper. And then lo and behold – a new piece of art for their bedroom wall!

Speaking of wall art, Heart for Art is a Wellington-based art studio that offers lessons and hosts awesome paint party events. But they also have on-demand online tutorials. First pick which painting you’d like to replicate from their Kiwiana-inspired lineup, then watch the video to be transformed into your very own resident artist. The prices are low and your tween or teen will feel well-accomplished by the end of your Zoom call.

Kids being creative over the school holidays

Travel to far off places (virtually)

The idea of popping onto live feeds of events and attractions around the world isn’t new. It was one of the biggest online activities during the start of the pandemic for pulling people together or to feel like you were somewhere else. But really sinking into virtual travel with some physical props is a creative twist to keep the kids occupied during the lockdown.

Air BnB’s Online Experiences offer your child the world. Are they interested in authentic Indian food? Fantastic – get them watching a cooking experience and have them armed and ready with all the right ingredients to follow along. Are they into something a bit quirkier like travelling back in time to the medieval Black Death and roaming the city of Prague as a Plague Doctor (interesting choice considering current affairs, but we’ll just chalk that up to creativity!)? Great! Order a costume online to get deep into the spirit of it and away they go! There’s a place and an activity for all ages and interests waiting for your kids.


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Get inspired by Wētā Workshop (of course!)

If you’ve been to our workshop or to the Unleashed event, you’ll be familiar with some of our creative development processes. This is fancy terminology for making cool shapes with plasticine or even margarine.

We strongly encourage all kids and adults of all ages to break into whatever supplies you have in the pantry or the art cupboard and bring some imagination into 3D-being. It’s an offline, hands-on activity, it’s free and it’s safe and sound indoors – super duper COVID-19 friendly!

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Here’s an easy way to start:

  • Think of your most beloved character from our collectibles range. Or start thinking up your own!
    Roughly sketch it out on paper.
  • Next, find your molding materials. Clay is ideal, butter or margarine are doable, tinfoil in a pinch.
  • Lastly, have fun trying to create a physical version of your character. Take pictures and post them online, tagging us in @wetaworkshopunleashed ! Or stay completely unplugged and do a show-and-tell with your bubble.

We’ve got some other ideas for keeping sane in lockdown in our other blog about keeping creative during the school holidays blog. And really, whatever your kids choose to do to keep their brain's batteries buzzing and their think tanks flowing, we hope that you’re staying safe and well, and look forward to seeing you in person soon enough!