We’ve been totally spoilt with the weather so far this year haven’t we, and my goodness doesn’t it make life as a parent a whole lot easier when the sun’s out? Being able to take the little darlings out for a walk or to the park without having to spend a fortune on soft play or cinema trips is quite frankly a god send. But let’s face it, those days aren’t exactly normal during the dark and dreary winter months and so I’ve been trying to come up with cheap, fun, family orientated activities that can be done in the comfort of our own home and that doesn’t involve sitting zombified in front of a screen all day!
As a bit of a craft lover myself – I love a little knit of an evening – I’ve always been keen to get my kids involved with little projects at home. From embroidering bookmarks, creating collages out of old Argos catalogues, making pompoms etc. there’s not much us Stafferton’s haven’t had a go at. But the thing is every time we try something new, it involves making countless trips to the craft shop to buy supplies, which if I’m honest get used once and then clog up my already crammed cupboards.
Which is one of the reasons I am absolutely loving the kids craft based subscriptions boxes from Weekend Box Club. Because rather than having to a) come up with a project idea and b) source all the materials, they’ve already gone and done it for me. And let’s face it – us mums LOVE it when a job’s done for us!
There are two different types of Weekend Box available: one aimed at kids aged 3-8 years and another centred around STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) based activities aimed at 7-12 year olds.
And so armed with the news that the average family spends just 34 minutes a day together along with one of the Weekend Box STEM boxes, we took it upon ourselves to create some fun family time…. and perhaps do a bit of learning at the same time (love it when kids learn stuff and they don’t even realise it!)
What was in our STEM Weekend Box?
The handy letter box sized box is covered in colourful cheery woodland animals, which makes it instantly appealing to kids and my 9 year old daughter jumped on it as soon as the postie popped it through the door. It’s amazing how much manages to fit into the box considering its size – you know Mary Poppins’ bottomless bag… well it’s a bit like that.
Just check out this lovely lot:
The STEM box contained – 3 coloured project pouches, 2 sheets of white card, 1 sheet of mirrored card, a paper straw, an instruction and activity booklet and the box itself has a door hanger printed on it that can be coloured in and then cut out.
And within each kit you get:
Let’s Fly a Kite
- A4 Red Cellophane Sheet
- Red Crepe Streamer
- Jumbo Lolly Stick
- 3 Drawing Pins
- 3 Corks
- 20 (ish) Sticky Foam Squares
Make a Rocket
- 2 A6 Sheets of Tin Foil
- 7 Star Stickers
- 2 Effervescent Tablets
- Sticky tape
There are a few things you will need in addition to the materials provided, however these are all things you are likely to have at home such as pens, pencils, ruler, scissors etc. From a parents point of view, I particularly liked the way everything had been packaged up. It made it easy having things divided up into pouches and I really appreciated the fact that the drawing pins had been inserted into the corks for safety – top mum points there Weekend Box peeps!
Each box has a theme and the theme of this one was flying – hence rockets, kites etc. As well as the activities themselves the information booklet also contains facts about flying, jokes, puzzles, a completion certificate and an evaluation chart so that your child can keep track of how well they think they’re doing – always good to get a bit of self evaluation going on especially as they are so hot on it in schools these days.
It’s been scientifically proven that doing craft activities from an early age helps children to develop their fine motor skills, which is something that has seen a bit of a decline since the increase in screen time. But not only is it good for their development it is also a chance for them to share their time with you, to ask questions, to laugh, to make mistakes, to correct them, to learn something, to have fun and to enjoy spending time with their parents. Because ultimately that’s what all children want to do – to spend as much time as possible with their parents. And us as parents should be embracing this with gusto. Yes it’s a cliché, but children really do grow up too quickly, so you need to grab hold of the time you have with them and create beautiful memories that will stick with you all forever. You may not have time in the week – heaven knows by the time you’ve got homework done, fed them, ferried them around to various clubs, washed them, read to them and got them into bed, there’s barely even enough time to breathe – but it’s therefore even more important to make time for each other at the weekends.
And that is what Weekend Box is ALL about!
The younger boxes are priced at £8.95 a month for monthly boxes or £17.90 a month for fortnightly boxes and there is a discount for siblings. The STEM boxes are monthly only and are also priced at £8.95 but your first STEM box will only cost you £1 – BARGAIN! Plus, postage is free so there are no hidden costs when you get to the checkout.
My 10, nearly 11, year old son was not interested in the slightest (but then he’s never been quite as into crafts as his sister), but my 9 year old daughter was in her element and loved opening up all of the pouches and planning when to do the projects. Admittedly, the projects were nothing new to her (she has already done similar things at school and Brownies) however that didn’t put her off and she loved spending time teaching us adults how to do them all. Plus come on…. an exploding rocket… well that NEVER gets boring does it!?!
*product gifted for review