Safe as houses

Jun 22 | 2020

GAC in Dubai has come up with a fun idea to help keep children occupied during the recent enforced lockdowns: playhouses made of cartons. Shawn Wood, Regional Manager in Dubai, said it was the idea of Klaus Holmager from the company’s Bahrain office.

Kids having fun with the GAC playhouse “It started off with pretty humble intentions,” explained Shawn. “I thought we would have the guys make a few (five or so) playhouses during downtime between jobs and give them to paying customers to entertain the kids while our guys were packing. However, after some further thought I switched up the approach and decided to offer it to anyone as a way of giving back to the community.”

Shawn said that the lockdown environment in the UAE and other Gulf states has been very restrictive.  “It's particularly hard on kids who can't go outside and mess about on the playground.  Many parents, myself included, are running out of ideas for keeping the kids entertained during these difficult times.”

GAC offered the playhouses free to anyone with a request that they post pictures of the kids having fun on social media. “Once a few posts were on Instagram (IG) about them, it caught attention pretty fast and our inbox started blowing up!  We quickly realised we needed a better way to manage the requests than just e-mail so we made an online form for people to complete so we had the data we needed in one spot.  Our IG page followers have nearly tripled in the past two weeks since we started this initiative.”

The houses are simple to make.  “We just join a wardrobe box with a large box, add a roof on each and cut out a hole between the boxes then add some doors, windows and a chimney - voila!”

The campaign ran from May 18 to June 9 and delivered 280 playhouses within Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. 

Photo:  Kids having fun with the GAC playhouse