Creativity is not cancelled

Schools are closed, businesses are closed, school holidays are starting early and tamariki are home for at least the next 4 weeks. What are we going to do?

Educators across Aotearoa have worked rapidly to transfer their planning to support their students remotely and it’s exciting to consider how this accelerated adoption of remote learning might impact our education system in the long term. The school holidays have been brought forward two weeks to give whanau a chance to settle into new routines and educators a chance to adjust.


The Tōnui Collab team have some recommendations on how you and your tamariki can get creative while in isolation. Each of us took on the challenge of identifying some digital tools and some unplugged activities we think you should try.


Here are Shanon’s recommendations…. I’ve chosen to stay in the creative lane, my children are using this period of isolation to work on their art - whether it’s music, photography, or drawing so I have picked digital tools that celebrate these interests (mixed with a little bit of humour)….

Chrome Music Lab - a website that will have everyone in the house thinking they are modern day composers, Chrome Music Lab is a Google Lab experiment that aims to make learning music accessible and fun. Access on any devices – phone, tablet, laptop – by opening the site on a web browser.

Quickdraw - another Google experiment, this ‘game’ introduces users to the power of Artificial Intelligence. Google asks you to draw something and as you draw, a neural network tries to guess what you’re drawing. Of course, it doesn’t always work. But the more you play with it, the more it will learn. Check out my attempts…


Adobe Draw - this is a free app from the company known for it’s professional multimedia and creativity software products. There are so many things that can be done with this app however this week, my children are enjoying customising sneakers and sketching their portraits; with both these projects they trace over photos and then remove the photo layer.


We don't all have devices at home and even if we do, sometimes we want to 'unplug' so here are my top 3 suggestions for unplugged creative and collaborative activities...

Consequences Drawing game - also known as the Combination Man or the Exquisite Corpse Drawing Game, this collaborative drawing exercise always makes me laugh! Each person folds their paper into 3 parts and then starts by drawing a head and neck. This can be human, animal, alien, robot, whatever. Fold the third of the paper down to hide your drawing, letting only the bottom of the neck show. Exchange drawings. Everyone draws neck to waist, using the neck lines as the beginning point. Again, fold the paper down to hide your drawing, letting just the bottom of the waist line show. Exchange the drawing again. Finish up with the waist to feet. Finally, reveal the funny creation. Artful Parent explains...

Squiggle Birds - a creative drawing exercise that gets your frontal cortex working, start by doing some random squiggle on a piece of paper. Now challenge yourself or whoever you’re getting creative with, to turn these squiggles into birds - try adding beaks or feet to each squiggle and see what you come up with. Read more... Magic Drawing - Putting the A in STEAM, this creative experiment introduces the science of refraction. Draw something on a piece of paper, stand your drawing up and look at your drawing through a glass of water. How does your picture change? What bits stay the same? What you’re seeing here is a physics concept called refraction, or the bending of light. Read more about the science behind this experiment...


Feel like giving these activites a try? We would love if you captured the creativity in action, post it on instagram and tag us - @tonuicollab

Stay tuned for the rest of the team’s recommendations.

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