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Kiwis are known for a love for DIY. Supposedly, the ‘do it yourself’ attitude is in our DNA. Right along with our taste for pavlova and yearn to play rugby.

I’m sure all of you will have heard the phrase ‘Kiwi ingenuity’. It is the idea that New Zealanders are intrinsically good at coming up with a solution to any problem. Usually, the solutions are creative and unusual, using whatever is at hand.

If you ask me, Kiwi kids have more ingenuity than their parents despite that they both share this creative DNA. Often it’s kids who have both the ideas and the determination to make it a reality. There is a scientific reason for this loss of inventiveness. When we become an adult, our frontal cortex develops more ‘rational’ tendencies and we lose our ability for divergent thinking, stifling our creativity.

In the 2020 lockdown, kids all over New Zealand were stuck at home with nothing to do. Hopefully, many of you used that time to put your natural ingenuity to good use! Swapping out your gaming consoles for a hammer and Netflix binges for adventure.

Stanley Watson, 15 from the Bay of Plenty is a great example of a Kiwi kid who has created something awesome recently. When faced with the problem of not being able to leave his house to go to the mountain biking tracks in lockdown, Stanley came up with a genius solution- to bring the mountain biking tracks to him.

Stanley has designed and built a mountain bike course on the land outside his house. The course is fitted with all the bells and whistles such as both dirt and wooden ramps/ jumps. Check out the picture!

Stanley has done a very impressive job with such a small space and the limitations of a tree in the middle of his miny terrain park! A clever and creative solution to his problem.

I hope you all put your creative young minds to good use during this current lockdown too. Or if not, use Stanley’s story as inspiration going forward.

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. Why do you think people are more creative during lockdown?  
  2. Write a list about the positive things from being in lockdown?

Practical Thinking Questions:

Below are some ideas for creative activities to do while in lockdown.

  1. Using pen and paper, design the ultimate tree house?
  2. If you have the resources, and parent help, spend some time outside being creative. If you can’t think of something try to construct the biggest tower that will support a football or rugby ball.
  3. If baking is more your thing then spend some time inside making some magic in the kitchen.
  4. Have you thought of being creative on the computer? Use a website builder such as WordPress or WIx to make a small website about yourself.
  5. If music is your strength then write a song and create a video for it.

We would love to hear about what you have done. Comment below to let us know and to give other Kiwi kids some new ideas. If you have an image send it through to [email protected]