‘Juggling’ appeared to the word most used by the media to describe the seemingly endless battle of lockdown parenting, home-schooling and working – all at the same time. For many it is probably the understatement of the century, as nappies need changing in the middle of important video calls, fights break out as deadlines loom and you find yourself entirely relearning maths, grammar and the founding principles of physics. However, you may have also discovered some brilliant activities online that are hands on, educational and fun – perhaps one of these was ‘Endless toys for endless adventures’, a creative challenge set by Canon Central & Eastern Europe.
If you haven’t already explored Canon’s ‘Creative Park’, it’s never too late to head there. A completely free treasure trove of paper-based joy, it’s filled with downloadable activities that can be printed off – puzzles, crafts and toys – for all ages. With plenty of fashion and interiors projects available to enjoy, adults can also find a healthy bit of creative respite, but for parents of bored children it’s pure gold.
To add another dimension to the fun, during May, Canon CEE set a crafty task for children and parents across nine countries: choose and make one of a selection of cute friendly characters from Creative Park, then upload a photo of their new toy to social media. The most popular character choice from each country would then become part of a new children’s book by children’s author, Denitza Mineva-Deslandes.
Rabbits from Romania, cockatiels from Croatia, Serbian Owls and Bosnian elephants are among the winning animals to be joining Denita’s adventure, which is also available to download and print. The story tells the tale of an intrepid menagerie who find themselves on a rescue mission to rescue Prairie Dog, their friend who has been kidnapped by the evil Sorcerer of Colours. They set off on a journey that takes them through the air, across the sea and over mountains – dangerous terrains where they have to pull together and help each other. And our heroes encounter plenty of obstacles and meet interesting characters and along the way!
You’ll find no spoilers here, so you’ll have to download the book to find out why Prairie Dog was kidnapped and what happens to him and his friends. But if you’d like to really bring the story to life, you can download and make the characters at home – and have your children perform the story as you read!