Lockdown walkers in one Rotorua suburb will be surprised by some new and familiar faces.
A collection of scarecrows have begun to appear along Selwyn Rd, Warwick Drive, Browning Cres and Stanley Drive in Lynmore.
So far the scarecrows include straw and wood versions of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Health Minister Chris Hipkins, the Gruffalo, Elsa from Disney's Frozen and a few original characters.
Four of the friendly lawn ornaments are the creations of early childhood home educator Lorna McIlroy and her four children.
"Every time I look out the window there's someone just going past or just been past," McIlroy said.
"Even the adults enjoy them and have been saying it brightens up their walk."
McIlroy was also responsible for last year's lockdown teddy tea parties. She wanted to repeat the idea this lockdown but thought the weather might be too wet.
STORY CONTINUES AFTER LIVE BLOG
Instead, McIlroy was inspired by the creative efforts of families in Covid-19 lockdowns overseas.
The results have been a source of fun for her whole family.
"The kids have been a big help coming up with ideas and helping to put them together," McIlroy said.
"The baby loves to go outside and wave at the scarecrows too."
Even McIlroy's mother-in-law had a scarecrow idea, inspired by the daily news briefings.
"The Chris Hipkins scarecrow was her contribution."
What began as a hunt through the house for materials has now started a neighbourhood trend.
There's even a Facebook group called Rotorua Scarecrows.
"It's been lovely seeing the scarecrows pop up all over the neighbourhood," McIlroy said.
"We're one of the main walking routes. So I hope more people will put up a scarecrow."
McIlroy's neighbour and fellow Lynmore resident Kat Laugesen liked the idea of brightening up the experience of lockdown exercise.
"I've just got on and thought I'd help out by adding one myself."
Laugesen is also a home-based educator. But her choice of a scarecrow wasn't so exciting for her two teenage sons.
"My scarecrow is Elsa from Frozen. She's even got a little sign that says, 'Let it crow'.
"I've got fancy dress clothes so we pulled them out and now I've got Elsa out on the front lawn. She can stay out there in all sorts of weather too."
Laugesen said she had enjoyed watching the reactions the scarecrows got from passers-by.
"It's quite neat seeing the big smiles of the kids as they ride or walk along.
"That's what it's about really. It's about putting the smiles back on people's faces."
Laugesen's time and creativity are rewarded many times a day. While Laugesen spoke to the Rotorua Daily Post over the phone on Wednesday morning she saw a girl "snuggling up to Elsa for a photo" mid-interview.
"She looks so happy."