Sunday, 19 January 2014

A Weekend with a Weekend Box

This week I got the opportunity to try out a free "Weekend Box" to review.  I'm always looking for interesting things for the children to do on a winter weekend so I was very keen to see what they got out of it.

Before I get further into the review, if you fancy trying one for free with your family, you can go to www.weekendboxclub.com and use the code NICOLA35 for a free Weekend Box with free delivery.  It's worth giving it a try.


I was very excited when our Weekend Box arrived, and was keen to have a poke at it before I let the children loose on it.  It's very attractively packaged, as you can see from my pictures, with the supplies for each activity individually wrapped and labelled.


The Weekend Box is a simple idea in many ways, but very effective.  There are four creative activities with pretty much everything you need to complete them in the box - Cook, Make, Explore & Green are the categories.  I think the only things we needed this time were scissors and potatoes.  Aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 8, they are designed to be creative and educational.  There are cards with clear instructions and a set of stickers to put on each card when the activity is completed.  The box itself has a certificate printed on the inside to use as a record for your child.  You've got everything you need for a quiet afternoon indoors - perfect for when the weather is as unpleasant as it has been lately!

I'd decided to start with the "3D Glasses" activity on Wednesday as a special treat to keep Mr J and Miss A occupied while Miss I was at Cookery Club.  They were very excited - as was Miss C - when they saw all the pieces in the box and the usual squabbling occurred.  On reflection it would have been better to just have Mr J and Daddy involved, but there was a passable level of co-operation with Mr J cutting out the cardboard frame for the glasses and Miss A cutting the coloured lenses to size and creating a lot of mess with the glue.  The children were a bit too impatient to wait for the glue to dry, so we ended up using sellotape to fix everything in place and they all enjoyed having a go looking at the sheet of 3D images.
So far so good.

It was a lot less tranquil on Saturday when we sat all the children down to have a go at the next two activities.  I'd decided that Miss I and Mr J should work on the Sand Art together, while Miss A and Miss C were closely supervised making the Bird Feeder.  A great plan...  Especially since they were required to tidy up the dining tables first to make room for the activities.

The three girls, who all strangely enjoy a bit of housework, were all very happy to help clear the tables of all the stuff that builds up during the week (toys, books, random bits of paper, the occasional shoe - you get the picture?).  There was a brief bout of tears from Miss A because she "didn't know what to do to help", swiftly solved by giving her a cloth to wipe down the tables.  Unfortunately, Mr J, who despises tidying up, got into a strop that resulted in him being banned from taking part in the activities until he could show me he was in a calm mood that wouldn't result in sand all over the room.

However, finally all were seated at their appropriate table with instruction card and supplies ready for Daddy to help them.  I, fondly, thought I would be able to leave them all to it and get on with the washing up.  Of course, I was wrong.

Miss A and Daddy started building the Bird Feeder together, but as there was nothing for Miss C to do I had to step in to engage her in counting the lolly sticks ready for the next stage.  The lolly stick base was carefully constructed by Daddy and Miss A and then, while Miss C was helping to build the sides, Miss A got on with the little colouring book that came in the box.  Actually, this colouring book has probably been her favourite part and she has spent the rest of the weekend carefully colouring each of the pictures with a focus that has surprised me.  The Bird Feeder was completed and left to dry.  We were going to put it out today with the Bird Seed provided but forgot, and Miss C is now sleeping with it clutched in her hand.

Meanwhile, Miss I was putting glue on the picture ready to add the sand and Mr J had calmed down enough to be permitted to join in but was having to just watch his sister at work.  This is where it first occurred to me that perhaps I had not thought things through properly.  I ended up letting him put all the sand on a plate ready for use.  When Miss I had finished getting the glue in the right places, Mr J was given the task of using the green sand.  Of course, he casually moved on to use the orange and red sand as well, leaving Miss I complaining that she hadn't had a go.  There is a second picture on the other side of the card, but we had to wait for the glue (which Miss I had over used) to dry before doing any more.  We have yet to complete the Sand Art activity!

We've left the fourth activity - Cooking Potato Boats - for the moment, as potatoes are not something we routinely have in the house, nor something the children very often eat except when disguised in a variant form (chips, mainly).  Perhaps, if I remember to buy some potatoes this week, we'll give it a go next weekend.

I love the idea of the Weekend Box.  I love the design and I love the activities themselves.  Unfortunately, though, I can't say the Weekend Box has been an unparallelled success for our family.  But that is more a result of the dynamics of having four children aged 2 to 8 than any fault on the part of the activities.  I hadn't considered how to make the best use of the activities for our three eldest, and hadn't fully taken into account the desire of Miss C, precocious 2 year old that she is, to join in.  I can imagine that in a family of one or two children they would have a wonderful time exploring all of the activities with their parents.  Our children did enjoy themselves, but there just wasn't enough to keep them all occupied.  I definitely think next time we would need to get a couple of boxes or simply make use of the activities in a different way - if we'd still had the 3D glasses to make it probably would have made a difference.

Remember, if you'd like to try it for yourself you can use the code NICOLA35 on the website to claim your free Weekend Box.  If you do, leave a comment below to let me know what you think!

1 comment:

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