Tag Archives: kids

Snappertime

We were invited to take a look at the Snappertime website for fun screen-free activities for the boys to try during the school holiday. And we also received a free welcome pack when we registered on the site.

I registered one joint account for the boys but with hindsight, it would be better to register each child individually. The boys and I had a quick browse around some of the challenges which are spread across five categories, namely Super Science, Great Outdoors, Tasty Tasks, Arty Farty and Super Hero. And they had fun designing their Doodlebot. We then waited for the welcome pack to arrive so that we could get started on challenges, but disappointingly it took ages, over 5 weeks. By this time, the boys had cooled off somewhat.

Snappertime

The welcome pack comprised the following goodies:-
A selection of Snappertime Challenge cards
Stickers
Certificate
Pencil
Fridge Magnet
Snacks

Son1 opted to try the Soap Ships Challenge detailed on one of the cards in the welcome pack. This was very simple. He cut out a small house shape from card, added a cocktail stick mast and a small black sail, since son1 said it was a pirate ship for their pirate Doodlebot. The challenge didn’t say how to fix the mast to the boat, so we used blu-tack. Then he launched his boat in the water tray and was amazed how quickly it sailed with the addition of a drop of washing-up liquid. He did discover that it easily sank when pushed under the water, but if he waited for it to dry, he could then sail it again.

Snappertime Soap Ships Challenge

Meanwhile son2 being a huge Doctor Who fan, chose the Time Lord Challenge. This was to design his very own papier mâché planet. The first step of printing the template sounded simple, but it was not sized to fit a page, so I had to mess around with my print settings to get a copy that son2 was happy with. He then sketched out his design, telling me that pink was sand etc. The challenge suggested using PVA glue when making the papier mâché, but I knew we didn’t have enough, so I showed son2 how to make his own paste from flour and water instead. He loved the messiness of this phase which took several days as we let it dry overnight between layers. And finally he painted it to match his design. He didn’t bother with the suggestion of adding a planetary ring.

Snappertime Doctor Who planet

Both of these are from the Super Science category. Afterwards we uploaded photos of their projects for them to earn a DoodleCoin each. And once you have 8 coins, you can claim a free reward. There is a great selection of rewards to choose from, some of which are worth upto £25, most are for free, although a few request £5 postage.

Snappertime

I would definitely recommend you sign your children up for this fab website with its great freebies. So much fun.

I’d love to hear what screen-free activities your children enjoy.

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Disclosure.  This post mentions some goodies I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Trick or Treat

Not long until Halloween and now that son1 has finished chemotherapy, the boys are looking forward to be able to go out doing Trick or Treat for the first time. So we were very pleased to receive a bundle of free Halloween goodies from Wilko to review.

Halloween - Trick or Treat

This is what we received.
2 Treat Buckets at 50p each
2 Pumpkin Sippy Cups at £1 each
Green Web with Spiders £1
Candyking Sharing Tub £4
Loot Scoop £3
Cauldron £6

Halloween - Trick or Treat

Now of course, you always need plenty of treats, since you don’t know how many children may come knocking at your door, so an 840g tub of sweets will definitely come in handy. At £4, it is very good value, at a lower price and bigger weight than similar size tubs of Quality Street, Celebrations or Cadbury Heroes. But one word of warning, once you have emptied the packets back into the tub, it does look half empty.

Halloween - Trick or Treat

And the boys naturally gave the sweets the thumbs-up.

Halloween - Trick or Treat

They then gave the loot scoop a try. But they both found it difficult to actually scoop up any of the sweets, although it worked fine to scoop up larger items out of a toy box. I would suggest just ignore the scoop functionality, as it doubles as a fantastic costume accessory and you can still use it to store your treats in the bag. It also comes in an orange pumpkin design.

However the boys plan to use the buckets for their treats rather than the loot scoop. Much easier to use and amazing value at 50p each which is a lot cheaper than when we buy similar size buckets at the beach. The buckets come in 3 colours / designs.

The boys loved the cauldron which is huge. They kept pretending to make and stir potions in it. I decorated it with the green spiders web, although this could be stretched much further across a big area like the front door. And we plan to put the cauldron on the doorstep next to the pumpkin at Halloween. You could even use it to offer your treats out in, if you’re planning to be generous on the treat front. Anything less would look lost in such a big cauldron.

Halloween - Trick or Treat

Now sweets can be thirsty work, so a welcome drink from the pumpkin sippy cups. I would say these are more aimed at younger children than my boys, but they are certainly cute. However a little awkward to fill and they don’t dry easily after washing. Also it advises that they are not suitable for hot drinks or microwave or dishwasher.

Halloween pumpkin sippy cup

Note if ordering online, you can’t choose your preferred colour / design for the treat buckets and loot scoop. So get down to your local branch if you want a particular colour or design. Also products are not suitable for children under 36 months. This includes the sippy cups.

In summary, I certainly recommend the Wilko Halloween range if you’re after a good deal.

I’d love to hear your favourite Halloween tales or traditions.

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Disclosure. This post includes a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Dressing up fun plus giveaway

Some of my regular followers will be aware that I enjoy comping as well as blogging. I recently won a £30 voucher on Melanie’s Fab Finds blog to spend at Tickled Pink Fancy Dress.

Great timing as both the boys need a costume after half-term. Son1 has an Egyptian day and son2 has an Invaders day. So I took a look at the Tickled Pink website to see what I could find for these themes. I quickly found a Viking Helmet for son2 but sadly there were no Egyptian costumes at all. Perhaps they will consider adding a Pharoah to their range, once they read this, as it comes up on the school curriculum every year. I’m sure the head-dress is probably beyond my crafting skills, although I did enjoy making a laurel wreath for son1 a year ago. You can see that here and I’ll probably re-use the rest of that outfit to complete son2’s viking look.

Tickled Pink Viking Helmet

The Viking Helmet is a very reasonable £2.99, which left most of my prize still to spend. So I had a browse round the costumes. There is plenty to choose from – onesies, Star Wars, Superheroes, Disney to name but a few. And not just kids costumes. There are a wide range of adult costumes too.

However in the end I decided that I would get the boys a couple of new Halloween outfits, as our existing ones are either really too small or secondhand. Particularly as son1’s chemo is due to finish in the summer, so this will be the first year that they get to go out Trick and Treating. I let the boys pick what they preferred, although we did experience some frustration over the inconsistent sizing guides. For some outfits, a kids medium is age 7-9 and a large is age 10-12 whilst for others, a medium is age 5-6 and a large 7-8. Therefore it was pointless trying to filter by size.

Tickled Pink Sinister Clown

In the end son1 chose the Sinister Clown at £9.99 whilst son2 chose the Skull and Bones Morphsuit at £21.99. Checkout process was very easy.

Tickled Pink Skull and Bones Morphsuit

And then a surprise happened. Alex from Tickled Pink, had spotted I was a blogger and liked my blogging style. I was sent a surprise extra free costume to review, a kids black Morphsuit for son1. This item currently retails at £11.99 compared to an RRP of £16.99 and is available in both kids and adult sizes plus a range of colours.

Tickled Pink Black Morphsuit

Wow, looks really effective and is well-made too. Although I wasn’t too sure about the prominent “Morphsuits” branding across the bottom. You can see through the material although your vision is impaired. And apparently you can drink through the material, but we didn’t test this out.

Tickled Pink morphsuit

Tickled Pink Black Morphsuit

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a £15 voucher for one lucky winner to spend at Tickled Pink. A great prize. What would you choose to spend it on?

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your favourite fancy dress costumes.

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Disclosure. This post includes a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Having fun playing Randomise game plus giveaway

Now as I’m sure you can imagine, in a household with two young children, we enjoy playing games a great deal. So I was very pleased to be offered the chance to review newly launched game Randomise for free.

Randomise game

I was delighted to see when it arrived that it was a nice compact size. We are running out of shelf space for the boys, as some games come in huge boxes which are half empty, mainly due to board size. But Randomise is just cards, no board.

I had a quick read of the rules and found it nice and straight-forward. Basically before you get your cards, you declare whether you want an easy or a hard challenge and whether you will describe, act or draw it. You are permitted 30 seconds for describing, 60 for acting or 90 for drawing. The opposing players select three random numbers for you from 1 to 3. You then take a card from each pile – A (the descriptive cards e.g. Happy, Hairy, Vain), B (who you are e.g. Octopus, Astronaut, Lion) and C (what you are doing e.g. Eating spaghetti, Playing football, Baking a cake). So if the opposing players had selected 1,1,2 you would be a Happy octopus playing football in this example.

Playing Randomise

We then had great fun playing it with lots of laughs. We managed to get some right, but the title of the game Randomise is spot on. The very random nature of the game made it difficult to guess the correct answer, but some of our wild guesses just added to the hilarity.

greedy jellyfish chopping onions

This is my favourite drawing although I didn’t manage to guess it. Son2 had drawn a greedy jellyfish chopping onions. I especially love how he has conveyed greedy with the cup cake and doughnut.

We also adapted the game to make it easier for son2 to join in, as it is really targeted at those age 8+ but by letting him choose the options from his cards and how he wanted to present it, permitting props too, made it fun for him.

You can watch him having fun acting one out here.

The Randomise game currently retails at £9.99 on Amazon. Great value in my opinion for all the fun it gives. I highly recommend this game. It would also work well for playing as large teams.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a Randomise game to one lucky winner. A fabulously fun prize.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your idea of a Randomise suggestion e.g. “fragile flea shelling peas”.

You can find Randomise on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Disclosure. This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Mini Weekend Box review and free offer

Whilst it has been windy and cold outside, the boys have had some indoor activity fun today, courtesy of a free mini Weekend Box. This contained two activities, so son1 chose to make the parrot mask whilst son2 planted a rainforest.

Mini Weekend Box

Parrot Mask

Son1 did almost all of his activity alone, just asking for some help at the end to make holes in the mask for the elastic.

making a parrot mask

I wasn’t quite prepared for son2’s activity as it also required an empty plastic bottle with lid, but luckily we had some small bottles of lemonade in the cupboard, so he drank one first which I then quickly washed. I had to help out more with this activity, both for cutting the bottle in half and making a hole in the lid. But son2 did the important parts of activating the soil, threading the string and planting the seeds. And now he is waiting for his rainforest to grow.

planting a rainforest

The mini Weekend Box is a new addition to the Weekend Box range, aimed at those who don’t have time to carry out the full four activities. It retails at £4.95 compared to £7.50 for the Bumper Weekend Box, but still good value in my opinion.

Part of the magic is opening the box to find out what goodies hide within.

Opening the Mini Weekend Box

Opening the Mini Weekend Box

We have reviewed the Kids Weekend Activity Box a couple of times previously. You can see the fun we had before, on the following 3 posts.
Chinese New Year activities
Cooking Potato Boats and making 3D glasses.
Sand Art and making a bird feeder.

For those of you who haven’t come across it before, I’ll introduce you to Weekend Box which is a box containing Healthy, Green and Creative themed activities for your children delivered through your letterbox every fortnight.

Each bumper box contains 4 colour-coded activities, whilst the mini box has just 2 of these activities:
Something to COOK (a healthy recipe with accompanying secret ingredient)
Something to MAKE (a craft kit with all the materials required)
Something GREEN (some seasonal seeds to plant or something to make with recycling/rubbish material)
Something to EXPLORE (sensory exploration games, for example)

Each activity is designed to build sensory exploration skills with little ones aged 3-6 as well as help teach them about different life skills in a fun and engaging way. And the colour coding makes it easy for the children to match the packets to the instruction sheets. You also get stickers for completing the activities. And the inside of the box turns into a certificate which can be coloured in.

The boxes are sent out (with free delivery) in time for the weekend every fortnight and since everything’s included in the box, you can focus on spending time having fun with your little ones.

If readers of my blog would like to try out the Weekend Box, I have been given a unique promo code for you to get your first box for free (including free delivery).

The unique promo code is CLAIRE43 and can be redeemed at www.weekendboxclub.com. If you have any difficulties with the code, try signing up with this direct link www.weekendboxclub.com/main/signup?promocode=CLAIRE43

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Guest Post: Designing a Kids’ Room that Grown Ups Love Too

by Kaitlin Krull

Whether or not you consider yourself to be a style guru, design and decor are important parts of home life. It can take months of planning, deciding, and DIYing to make your house feel like home. At Modernize, we know that styling is just as important in kids’ rooms as it is in the rest of the house. Taking the time to design your kids’ bedrooms can feel like more work than fun when your design wants and needs are often outweighed by Disney characters and princess castles. Here are some fantastic kid bedroom design ideas that you will love, too.

Cabin/loft beds

When done tastefully, loft beds can be a fantastic option for your kid’s bedroom. In addition to being cooler than the average bed to your little ones, you have the extra benefit of storage within the bed frame. Choose from bespoke options with storage drawers and desks underneath, or get extra creative with a reading nook or deep, dark cave for added imaginative play.

kids bedroom ideas

via Modernize

Monochrome

Black and white bedrooms are all the rage in modern, hipster design collaborations. For the ultimate monochromatic room, choose high contrast black furniture with white walls and bedding. The best part about this kind of kid’s room design is it’s almost impossible to get wrong.

kids bedroom ideas

via Modernize

Bohemian

A bohemian bedroom design is perfect for both kids and adults because it looks just like the bedroom you wish you had as a pre-teen without seeming too grown up. Embrace your love for flowy, gauzy fabrics and eclectic accessories to create a kid’s room that doesn’t scrimp on individuality.

kids bedroom ideas

via Modernize

Shabby chic

Channel Kirstie Allsopp and her flair for traditional, handmade designs with floral curtains, pastel fabrics, and embroidered cushions in your kid’s room. Add an upcycled dresser and vintage bed and you will be well on your way to becoming the next handmade queen.

kids bedroom ideas

via Modernize

Grown-up kid rooms

The best part about designing your home is that you can do pretty much whatever you like. If you want continuity with your personal design style, style your kid’s room in exactly the same way as the rest of your house. Just a word of warning: this option usually only works for a few years. Once your kids become aware of the world around them, it will be hard to stay away from CBeebies characters and the wonderful world of Disney, so style away while you still can!

kids bedroom ideas

via Modernize

Bold accents

Kids bedroom decor is especially exciting because you can generally get away with bolder design choices than in the rest of the house. Choose one or two items in your little ones’ room to use as focal points. A brightly painted wall or a few large modern art prints will do the job nicely and give your room a pop of color and more than a little bit of individuality.

kids bedroom ideas

via Modernize

Guest post: Awesome things you can do when you have kids

One would say that parenting is extremely frustrating. However, I would never say so. For me, being a fully established mother also means having fun with my girls all the time. Every day with them is a new and priceless memory that I will remember forever. From my extensive experience, I can safely claim that there is a multitude of activities you can enjoy just because you have children. Here is the list of awesome things you can do, without being laughed at!

Buying toys you didn’t have in your own childhood

As a child, I had numerous amazing toys. However, no matter how much my parents tried to buy me everything I wanted, the sole range of toys one could buy back then was significantly smaller. That’s exactly why I have always dreamt of playing with Lego bricks, Barbie dolls or ridiculously cool toy vacuum cleaners. Of course, it would be impossible for me to play with such stuff in my 30s and still prove that I’m mentally healthy!

Finally, I came up with a great idea- to provide my girls with all the toys I love! Now, I’m playing with them all the time, with the excuse that they are too young to know how to play properly.

I can still sing silly songs in the car!

As a teenager, I was a huge fan of NKOTB. My largest dream was to attend all their concerts and to buy all their promotional items. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford them. As the time went by, some other boy bands reached the peak of popularity.

Today, as they get in the car, my girls want me to play One Direction. I’m pretty sure that I’ve managed to memorize all their songs by now. Now, both my husband and I really enjoy singing them at the top of our lungs! What’s even funnier is that no one bothers this just because of our kids sitting in the backseat! As One Direction’s (probably oldest) fan, I’ve decided to provide my little angels with the accessories I come across. They have already collected a bunch of posters, tees, mugs, watches, CDs and DVDs.

Awesome things you can do when you have kids

I can finally watch cartoons all the time

I will never understand why all grownups stop watching cartoons. For me, they are the most innocent way of having fun. Unfortunately, neither my husband nor my friends wanted to watch them with me. Now, that I have kids, I can watch animated movies all day long. Until now, we have seen best Disney movies, from classics like Cinderella, Bambi and Sleeping Beauty to the latest ones such as Frozen and Cars. Even more, we bought annual passes to Disneyland in order to meet all the characters whenever “my daughters” want to. With kids, it is never awkward to stand in line enthusiastically!

Decorating your kids’ room just as you’ve always wanted

When it comes to home renovation, I set my girls’ bedroom as a paramount. As a kid, I never had a room on my own. For years, I was picturing every detail in my perfect, imaginary nook, from walls, curtains and furniture, to even the tiniest accessories like scented candles. Luckily to me, I have two little princesses who still let me redecorate their room every once in a while. Although my husband thinks that I’ve gone nuts, I’m enjoying it as long as I can. I know that, once they grow up, my daughters will want to do all this by themselves.

Dance parties after dinner!

No matter how foolish it might sound, my family throws dance parties all the time. Usually, such moments happen spontaneously, after dinner. We listen to music and, as soon as the meal is over, we jump and start dancing like crazy. Even daddy enjoys it, which always makes me laugh. I cannot imagine him doing any of these things before the kids.

Jumping on a trampoline

Jumping on a trampoline is one of those activities I have always wanted to try. However, when I was a kid, it practically impossible. Luckily for me, today there are numerous amazing trampoline fitness centers, which can also serve as great kids’ birthday party venues. When I heard of such centers, I came up with a silly idea to organize a surprise party for my husband. At first, he didn’t even want to come, but later on, he was speechless. I planned everything in advance and invited a lot of our friends with their kids! We all jumped on trampolines, danced and listened to music. In a nutshell, we had the time of our lives!

Baking cookies all the time!

My girls simply enjoy my culinary skills! That’s why I bake various cookies all the time, even when I have no good reasons. Most important of all, I really enjoy it. I always look for reasonable excuses, telling that the kids are the ones who enjoy making and decorating their own sugary treats. I don’t even mind that the kitchen is in such a mess once we’re done!

Awesome things you can do when you have kids

Building sand castles

I’ve always loved spending time at the beach. Now, my girls keep reminding me of how amazing building sand castles is. Since they have no idea how to make a firm sand castle, mommy is always there to help! Even worse, I’m always so focused on my new “construction project” that I completely forget about all other kinds of activities! Finally, I can completely relax, without being laughed at!

Awesome things you can do when you have kids

Organizing an epic water gun fight!

Is there anything more fulfilling than organizing an epic water gun fight? In our family, it has become tradition. Every summer, we use it as one of most amazing methods to cool off and have a lot of fun. Once, I even grabbed a hose in order to defend myself against my raging children! We laughed a lot!

All in all, my point is that, when you have kids, you can always act silly. It is an amazing way for you to make your parenting much simpler and joyous. Try any of these tips and you will realize what I am talking about. Have fun!

About author:

Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate in writing. She is contributor on High Style Life and her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” Find her on: Facebook.

Balance Bike Championship Series plus giveaway

My boys still haven’t mastered the skill of riding a bike yet, mainly due to the lack of opportunity. When we get free time, they prefer to go swimming. Son1 had a port implanted under his ribs when he was diagnosed with leukaemia and he is worried about bumping it if he was to fall off a bike. Meanwhile son2 hasn’t even attempted riding without stabilisers. So I wish that I had bought them balance bikes rather than trikes when they were toddlers.

son2 on his bike

son2 on his bike

Although I’m not one to talk as I’ve never learnt to ride properly. My mum didn’t want me to have a bike as a child, as she had bad memories from her own childhood of her friend being killed by being knocked off her bike. But silly me, thought it would be easy to learn. So in my teens, when my friends suggested bike hire one day on holiday in the Lake District, I said yes. I soon realised it wasn’t as simple as I thought, so soon let everyone else go off for a ride whilst I either wobbled along on the flat or got off for the hills.

Roll forward 15 years and we decided to hire a tandem for the day. But I didn’t enjoy it much as I didn’t feel in control. I kept saying slow down and my other half said we were going so slow that we were more likely to fall off.

One brand of balance bike is Strider and when I looked at their website, I was surprised to see they also sell balance bikes for older kids and adults. I thought balance bikes were only for toddlers. So there’s a thought. Maybe I should get a balance bike. Hmmm.

Strider have organised a Championship Series this year. The first event took place in Birmingham last month.  You can see the photos here.

Strider Championship Race

The second race in this year’s Strider balance bike Championship Series takes place at Kent’s fantastic Cyclopark on 6 September. The race is open to all Strider Riders ages 2-5 years old and it’s a fantastic and fun family day out. All riders will receive a medal and race plate to remind them of their day and the overall winner takes home a trophy! Under 2’s are welcome but race alongside those aged 2.

Strider Championship Race

Entry is just £10 per child to the next race day, and tickets can be bought here: http://www.striderbike.co.uk/strider-championship-race.html

Strider balance bikes teach kids to ride safely, simply and securely and over one million have been sold all over the world, meaning Strider has taught more toddlers to ride than any other brand.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition courtesy of Strider to giveaway an entry to the race plus bike hire which is worth £20.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your cycling stories.

Disclosure.  Although I am hosting this giveaway, I have not received any product.  All opinions are my own.

Listening to Fun Kids Radio

My boys are really enjoying the latest website we have discovered – Fun Kids Radio. They hadn’t previously got into radio at all, as we tend to only have it on in the car, plus a few minutes at home when my clock alarm goes off. And since my choice of station is BBC local radio, they are not that interested. In fact I’ve taken to muting it when they are in the car with me, just to avoid the complaints.

Fun Kids radio

But when I showed them the website and they saw that there was a BeanoTown programme, wow you should have seen their reaction. They started listening to Beano podcast after podcast after podcast. They loved them. We haven’t managed to catch the live show yet, as that is at 8am on weekends.

They have always been keen on The Beano. You can see their video review of one of The Beano books here and a lovely drawing of Beano characters by son2 here.

The website details all the ways you can listen to Fun Kids Radio, so I chose to download RadioPlayer onto my phone. The boys now use my phone to listen to Fun Kids Radio in the car. And I have to admit, that I’m enjoying it too. And an even bigger bonus is that there is less bickering between them, as they are focussed on listening instead.

Plus the boys found some great competitions on the Fun Kids Radio. So keep your fingers crossed. They are hoping for a prize.

You can find FunKids on social media as follows:-

So have a listen to Fun Kids Radio with your children. I’d love to hear what they like best?

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Disclosure.  I will receive some free Fun Kids merchandise after this review is published. All opinions are my own. 

Kids Weekend Box review and free offer

A year ago, we reviewed our first Kids Weekend Activity Box, fairly soon after their product launch. You can see the fun we had last time, on the following 2 posts.
Cooking Potato Boats and making 3D glasses.
Sand Art and making a bird feeder.
The boys had a great time doing these activities, so they were delighted to hear that we had been invited to review another box.

weekend box

I captured son2 opening the box on video.

weekend box

For those of you who haven’t come across it before, I’ll introduce you to Weekend Box which is a box containing Healthy, Green and Creative themed activities for your children delivered through your letterbox every fortnight. It is similar to a Graze healthy snacks box but with children’s activities in.

Each box contains 4 colour-coded activities:
Something to COOK (a healthy recipe with accompanying secret ingredient)
Something to MAKE (a craft kit with all the materials required)
Something GREEN (some seasonal seeds to plant or something to make with recycling/rubbish material)
Something to EXPLORE (sensory exploration games, for example)

Each activity is designed to build sensory exploration skills with little ones aged 3-6 as well as help teach them about different life skills in a fun and engaging way. And the colour coding makes it easy for the children to match the packets to the instruction sheets. You also get stickers for completing the activities. And the inside of the box turns into a certificate which can be coloured in.

The boxes are sent out (with free delivery) in time for the weekend every fortnight and since everything’s included in the box, you can focus on spending time having fun with your little ones.

Our box theme was Chinese New Year and a new feature included in the box is a card of Talking Points. The boys were really interested in all the information. They are already very knowledgable on the Chinese years and quickly told me that this year will be the year of the sheep and which years they are born in. All this has been learnt from a calendar that we were given at a Chinese restaurant which is on son2’s bedroom wall.

The four activities in our box were as follows:-
Red Activity with Wooster the Rabbit – Fortune Cookies.
Blue Activity with Sammy the Squirrel – Paper Plate Drum.
Green Activity with Hattie the Hedgehog – Chinese Lanterns.
Yellow Activity with Oswald the Owl – Chinese Dragon.

The boys were keen to start with the cooking. They wrote their fortunes and here I would suggest that I should have pre-cut the paper into strips for them in advance, as they boys wrote them very large when left to do this part by themselves. So we had to a lot of folding to get them small enough to fit inside.  And we had to do a bit more improvisation as I don’t possess a large enough cookie cutter. I do  want some larger ones. In fact, I’ve had 11cm and 13cm ones on my wishlist for several years but can’t find them anywhere. So if anyone knows where I can get some, please let me know. Instead we used a knife to cut round a tupperware lid as our template. Son1 was fine with that but son2 needed a bit of help. They both progressed well after that, with just a little bit of help on sealing the cookies shut, as they seemed determined to pop open.

I had already spotted that there was an error in the recipe versus the ingredients list. No mention of what to do with the 2 spoons of honey or syrup. I decided that we would use honey instead of oil to brush half the cookies. And feedback from the boys. The toppers didn’t live up to their expectation from the photo which looks like lots of small pieces of raspberry. Instead we had just 9 larger pieces of strawberry. Little and lots would have been more fun for sprinkling. However one thing there were no issues with was how yummy they tasted. We will certainly make these again.

fortune cookies

Secondly the boys made the paper plate drums. I provided additional plates etc, so that they could make one each. They were fine with this activity, but we didn’t find blu tack was that great at sticking the lolly sticks together. Very wobbly drum handles, so son1 requested sellotape instead.

chinese drums

Then we saved the other two activities for the following weekend. This time we started by making Chinese Dragons. I didn’t have a similar piece of yellow card for them both to participate, so I improvised by folding an A4 sheet of yellow paper in half and glueing an old Xmas card inside to stiffen it. I was very impressed with the glue dots that were included in this activity, worked better than the blu tack last weekend. The boys decided they wanted to draw the scales onto their dragons with felt-tip pens rather than using the paint. And then they had great fun pretending to be dragons, the exploratory part of the activity. I didn’t even need to prompt, they just started instinctively whilst posing for photos with their completed dragons.

Chinese dragons

And finally I had been saving the tubes from the loo rolls this week, ready for their Chinese Lanterns. This time we did use the paint, but I may have mixed it too stiff, as it wasn’t quite enough for 2 tubes. And we did have one objection from the boys. They didn’t like the colour pink for the handles, they said they should be red too, so you’ll see they are actually holding the lanterns by the base rather than the handle. I’m not sure how we could have incorporated putting LED tealights inside, as per an additional suggestion on the sheet, since they had no bases.

Chinese lanterns

The boxes retail at £7.50 including delivery which is great value for money in my opinion, less than £2 per activity. Last year I discussed what families of more than one child should do, and I’m pleased to see that you can now include siblings at £4 each. And you may choose to have your boxes fortnightly or monthly.

I think it is so exciting for a child to get their own box through the post. And son1 is several years above the target age of 3-6, but still really enjoyed it.

If readers of my blog would like to try out the Weekend Box, I have been given a unique promo code for you to get your first box for free (including free delivery).

The unique promo code is CLAIRE43 and can be redeemed at www.weekendboxclub.com. If you have any difficulties with the code, try signing up with this direct link www.weekendboxclub.com/main/signup?promocode=CLAIRE43

Family Fever

Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.