Colourful paper, a splash of glue and a healthy dose of imagination have been key to ZZ Totz helping parents find a way through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Founded in 2011, ZZ Totz specialises in creative and interactive activity packs for children, encouraging them to make stuff with their hands and have fun doing so.
Owner Hollie Drake-Brockman is a mum on a mission to keep youngsters entertained “without a screen in sight”.
“Operating ZZ Totz through COVID-19 has been exciting,” Hollie says.
“My business was operating more on the wholesale side of things before the virus hit – working with group projects like classroom kits for schools, holiday program activities or running workshops within cafes.
“Being a parent myself, I knew that parents would be looking for activities to keep the kids busy during this time, and a bit of screen-free fun if possible. I was excited to be working back in this space as this is where I was focused when I started the business more than nine years ago.”
Hollie says, with a growing number of families homebound with young children, she saw an opportunity to help.
“I quickly flicked into gear getting my products up online and telling parents I’m here to help,” she says.
“I understand that kids love arts and craft but quickly found … that not all parents are as confident as I am to whip together a craft activity for them to do.
“I soon found out lots of parents found this experience quite stressful and daunting.
“So my Puppet Packs were born!
“I made characters as puppets as I wanted something the kids would build and then play with – not another craft piece that sat on the shelf gathering dust or destined for the recycling bin the next fortnight – I wanted them interacting with their creation, playing with it – treasuring it.”
ZZ Totz Puppet Packs offer a range of characters covering a myriad of themes.
“What makes ours different is that all our puppet characters’ faces are blank,” Hollie says.
“The kids get to make their characters just the way they want so each puppet is unique and super special to them.
Kids are not only engaging their imaginations and making things when building their puppets, they’re also working on their hand-eye coordination, sequencing, reading, role play and self-expression – learning without even knowing it and having fun doing it.