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09th May 2020

#entertainingathome: Artists create interactive mini dolls house kits for children during lockdown

Trine Jensen-Burke

My Little Lockdown Life in a Box Project

A wonderful keepsake.

UK writer, Rebeca Atkinson alongside illustrator, Kate Read have come together to create the ‘My Little Lockdown Life in a Box Project’ – designed to keep children and families busy during lockdown.

With plenty of details to be fille din, kids and parents have to get stuck in colouring, cutting and snipping during lockdown to build a tiny version of their lockdown homes, complete with PE with Joe Wicks on the titchy telly, (huff, puff) tiny home-school work (yawn, yawn) and teeny weeny messages of thanks to NHS workers (our true heroes).

“Right now, we are living through history in the making!” says co-creator Rebecca Atkinson. “Children today will look back on this period and tell their grandchildren about the strange time when the schools shut and we all had to stay inside for weeks and weeks and not see our friends. This project will enable them to make a playful heirloom record of this time.” 

The ‘My Little Lockdown Life in a Box’ is a family project and Atkinson and Read hope families will get together around the table and use it to talk about what has happened and how it’s affected them, as they build a tiny lockdown world just like their own.

“Play is the way that children make sense of the world around them. It’s a natural way to explore a situation, feelings and relationships. But what do you do when there are no toys or play resources which represent our current situation?” says Atkinson.

“The project has been specially designed to enable families to play and create stories around life in lockdown to help children process and understand why life has gone a bit… topsy turvy!” adds Kate Read, author and illustrator of the award-winning picture book, One Fox, who brought the lockdown project to life through her playful illustrations.

The duo will be sending 100 shoebox kits to families affected by disability in their home town of Norwich, thanks to a donation of empty boxes from local children’s shoe brand Start-Rite and funding from The Fore.

“We are filling these boxes with felt tips, scissors, glue and a printed copy of the project so children can start building and playing right away with a kit that is relevant to their lives right now,” explains Atkinson. “When the crisis has come to pass we hope to bring these boxes together to build a tower block of shoebox homes for a public exhibition at The Forum in Norwich. For those who are not local to us, we have made the project available to download for a small fee to support our organisation. We hope the project will provide hours of fun for many families.”

The ‘My Little Lockdown Life in a Box’ printable download is available to buy here.