School closure crafting

All at once, lots of people of have had their worlds collide; work, parenting and home schooling suddenly all has to be done at the same time. Collective ‘EEEEEKK’!

It’s the same for many Lakeland colleagues. Where possible, our team are working from home to keep things going, and for those with children to entertain, we appreciate it can be a juggling act.

One of our Words & Pictures colleagues, Claire, tells us that so far she’s working when she can, pausing for quality time and activities with her son, and then letting him entertain himself for a while so she can focus on her job again. They love crafting together, and have been keeping busy, using up old toilet roll tubes…

“I didn’t appreciate how tricky working from home would be. I definitely feel like there’s a lot to juggle. Think 10 balls in the air at once. While someone asks you 100 questions. And also if they can have a snack. And your phone’s ringing at the same time.

We always have paints, crayons and stickers at home, but we didn’t see this situation coming, so we haven’t got any decent card that doesn’t turn to mush when it’s painted. We do, however, have toilet roll tubes. If I don’t recycle them quickly enough, my little boy (aged 5) hoards them. He’s got big plans for our stash, and I’m really glad I’ve got something to keep him busy so I can work while I watch him.

I never thought I’d think about loo rolls so much, or be writing about them for work. However, they’re something that most people have at home anyway, so they’re a convenient craft resource. I feel like ours is a topical craft at the moment… and we’ve got a good supply, for now. I hope some of our ideas will help other parents and carers keep kids occupied while we’re all at home.

Our previous toilet roll tube creations include, what we called, bog roll binoculars. Tommy spotted a monkey with them, apparently… And we’ve also made a dragon whose tissue paper flames wiggled when you breathed through the tube. Toilet roll tubes also made excellent arms for our cereal box robot!

And while I have, of course, been proud of all of his cardboard tube creations, I haven’t taken photos of everything he’s made, but they’ve included things like an octopus – we cut some slits about a third of the way down the tube, curled the pieces out and up slightly to make tentacles, then painted it and stuck some googly eyes on. A pig was easy, too – we just painted a tube pink and drew some eyes and a snout.

Tommy’s love of toilet paper roll crafts doesn’t stop at home. He recently brought a penguin back from school, and a superhero wrist cuff, which is cut down the back so he can wear it. They are by his next project – an empty roll that will keep him busy for at least five minutes, even if all he does it jazz it up with a bit of glue and glitter, or goes wild with some crayons and googly eyes.”