Homestyle

The Challenge:

Recognizing that family fitness was a growing concern for young parents, we wanted to introduce home furnishings and fitness equipment into Nick Jr. Family Magazine as a way to service readers and attract new advertisers.

The Solution:

Using a real family with three young children (typical of our readers), we were able to help create an affordable, versatile fitness room in a basement. Fitness experts, pediatricians, the parents, and kids all weighed in on their preferences for products and colors. When cold weather and snow arrived (and stayed) in upstate New York that year, the mother said it was the first time she didn’t feel cooped in.

Halloween

The Challenge:

To create original costumes (for Parents and Nick Jr. Family Magazine) that kids would want to wear, but parents could make in a few hours (or less). The costumes had to be comfortable and safe, which meant no masks or floppy feet.

The Solution:

The trick (and treat) was to use readily available materials such as trash bags, old towels, sweat pants, or stockings with runs. Velcro and fabric glue were definitely preferred over sewing machines. Hats and face paint eliminated the need for masks. Kids own shoes were incorporated into the finished costumes. Most years the fun and funky results were featured on TV.

Parties

The Challenge:

Create from one to three monthly birthday parties (at Parents Magazine and Nick Jr. Family Magazine) that were seasonal, original, age appropriate, and most of all, realistic for parents to replicate.

The Solution:

Make it simple and make it fun by streamlining the party system. The important elements are invitations (often created on the computer), a knock-your-socks-off cake (made from a mix), a great goody bag, and themed games and crafts based on skills kids already know. Activities were pre-timed to last for about 1 ½ hours of play (adjusted for the age of the guests), and for added value, we’d sometimes offer cut-out thank-you notes. The cooking party (pictured) was part of Nick Jr.’s Food, Fun, and Fitness issue. Because a kid’s birthday is a major milestone in every child and parent’s life, the features were always highly rated and saved from year to year. In May ‘O5 the entire issue of Nick Jr. was themed to birthdays, giving readers over 100 ideas for throwing the “perfect” party.