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Norwich toymakers launch a lockdown dolls’ house

PUBLISHED: 07:45 05 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:02 05 May 2020

A paper dollhouse during lockdown has been created by a Norwich illustrator and founder of ToyLikeMe. Picture: ToyLikeMe

A paper dollhouse during lockdown has been created by a Norwich illustrator and founder of ToyLikeMe. Picture: ToyLikeMe

Beth Moseley Photography

Children will be able to make a lockdown-themed dolls’ house to record history in the making.

It is hoped My Little Lockdown Life will get families around the table to talk about the pandemic. Picture: ToyLikeMeIt is hoped My Little Lockdown Life will get families around the table to talk about the pandemic. Picture: ToyLikeMe

The miniature dolls’ house, which is made with paper and called My Little Lockdown Life in a Box, features a television showing PE with Joe Wicks, home-school work, messages of thanks to NHS workers and Zoom birthday parties.

It was created by Norwich-based illustrator Kate Read and the founder of ToyLikeMe Rebecca Atkinson in a bid to keep children and families entertained during the pandemic.

Ms Atkinson said: “Right now, we are living through history in the making. 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.”

My Little Lockdown Life in a Box is available to download with proceds going towards ToyLikeMe. Picture: ToyLikeMeMy Little Lockdown Life in a Box is available to download with proceds going towards ToyLikeMe. Picture: ToyLikeMe

The family project is also to encourage children to express their feelings during the pandemic through play and arts and craft.

Ms Read said: “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.”

Ms Atkinson said: “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?”

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One hundred kits will be sent to families affected by disability in Norwich, thanks to a donation of empty boxes from local children’s shoe brand Start-Rite and funding from The Fore.

Ms Atkinson said: “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.”

My Little Lockdown Life in a Box can be also be downloaded for a small fee, with all proceeds going towards ToyLikeMe, an arts and play non-for-profit for children with disabilities.

When the pandemic has passed, Ms Atkinson and Ms Read hope to build a tower block of shoe box homes for a public exhibition at the Forum.

■ For more information www.toylikeme.org/littlelockdownlife/


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