Nick Zeff Wonder Activity Cards

  • Tauira / Student
    Nick Zeff
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    George Hajian, Meighan Ellis

Childhood should feel like a time of infinite possibility and magic, filled with imagination and creativity easily achievable and accessible on a daily basis—where beds become boats that can sail the seven seas,
a towel is a cape for superpowers and invincibility and cushions ripped from the couch form the walls of an impenetrable castle.

Due to the recent ongoing and disruptive pandemic lockdowns worldwide, children and parents alike increasingly turned to and relied on digital devices for distraction, activity, escapism, and entertainment. It was not at all surprising to learn that parents from around the world were continuously hearing “I’m bored”, “there’s nothing to do” or “I don’t want to do that” at accelerated levels due to COVID-19.

This project allows parents and children uncover, nurture and promote valued relationships through the use of creative activities without the need or reliance on networked and digital devices. Taking on a playful and whimsical approach, the project's overarching aim was to assist and encourage children ‘staying at home’ and parents or caregivers ‘working from home’ to explore and develop their curious and creative attributes via a range of diverse, fun and potentially educational activities, providing an opportunity to learn something new by getting their hands dirty and to ultimately ‘unplug’ and turn off their screens.

From initial ideation, iteration and throughout the entire design process, geometric patterns became a dominant asset and a device for storytelling. Patterns quickly evolved into an illustrative approach that imbued a sense of playfulness along with the emergence of characters, while retaining a sense of educational dexterity that could also appeal to older siblings, parents and caregivers.
Wordplay that emulated different types of thoughts, meaning and interpretation played an integral role in the development and evolution of this project. Titles such as “Cracking Cupcakes”, allow young minds to ‘wonder’ on the meaning and activity.

These activity cards create an opportunity for logical thinking, haptic play and most importantly provide a valuable, creative, collaborative learning experience at home. ‘Wonder Activity Cards’ offers both children and family members a chance to re-establish and reconnect in new ways, due to the rise and dependence of digital technology. These cards present an opportunity for children and their families to explore and expand upon their creativity—together.