KiwiCo Tinker Crate

Continuing in my series of activity boxes for older children, this weeks review is a KiwiCo Tinker Crate aimed at 9-16 years plus.

It was Boo, aged 11, that helped me with this review.

KiwiCo is a monthly subscription crate that comes filled with age appropriate STEM projects for kids, from toddlers to teenagers. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Every crate explores a different theme designed to spark creativity, thinking, and learning.

What’s in the Box

You get all the pieces you need to create a fabulous project. In our box we had everything to make an Arcade Catapult.

Also included is a blueprint with detailed instructions for completing your project.

You also get a TinkerZine which is a comprehensive little magazine full of facts and additional scientific experiments you can complete with your kit.

contents of kiwiCo Tinker Crate

Arcade Catapult

Following the step-by-step instructions Boo was able to put the catapult together. She needed a little help with the main part of the building, but only because it was fiddly for her, the instructions were really clear.

When completed we had a little wooden catapult and a game board. Also included was a wipe board scoring pad and pen.

part of the blueprint

The finished project was a great little game where you catapult the ball with your newly constructed catapult into your handmade game board. You can choose how you score the holes and take it in turns to see who can get the highest score. It really is a fun game and we have all played it many times.

arcade catapult
Arcade Catapult

Tinker Zine

The Tinker Zine is a fun magazine which adds extra content to the box.

It tells you how to play your catapult game giving different rules to try out to make it more fun.

The magazine also tells you how to make a basketball game and a rubber band bowling game with your kit.

Then you can learn how to make paper footballs and your own craft stick catapult.

The Tinkerzine also describes old fashioned arcade machines from a museum.

And, of course, there is a detailed page about the science behind the catapult and the difference between kinetic and potential energy.

Finally, you are provided with a page of resources where you can find out more.

Our Verdict.

Perfect for older children this box provided a fun activity that was slightly more challenging to assemble. The end result was a fun and sturdy game that has been played over and over.

The extra activities in the Tinker zine gave us more to do and added value to the box.

Boo really enjoyed making the game and did almost all of it by herself. We have all had fun playing with the finished game. We would definitely consider subscribing to further crates.

If you would like to try a Tinker Crate or any other crate from KiwiCo then you can use my special link to give you your for crate for FREE, you just have to pay shipping/P&P

You can check out my KiwiCrate Atlas crate review here.


The Weekend Box club Winter Special – review

We’ve been fans of the Weekend Box Club for a very long time. There is nothing more exciting that a box of activities popping through your letterbox just in time for the weekend.

The Little Man was thrilled to try out the Winter Weekend Box.

Inside The Wonderful Winter Time Weekend Box

As usual the letterbox sized parcel contains the familiar little packages in their themed colours. It also contained a booklet, a sticker height chart, some stickers and the extra bits and pieces needed for the activities.

The colourful booklet contained some fun facts, jokes, a word search, instructions for all the activities, an animal quiz, two colouring pages and a little comic.

The Activities

The Blue bag from Sammy the Squirrel contained a Salted Snowflake Activity.

The Little Man enjoyed this activity of making 3D snowflakes using glitter glue, salt and paint. If I’m honest, I liked the white salty snowflakes best before we put on the paint. But the Little Man enjoyed watching the paint run along the salt lines.

Salted Snowflakes

In the Red bag we had a recipe for Rocky Road Snow-bites.

These were really fun and simple to make and the Little Man did it all by himself. The end result was four extremely tiny chocolates with biscuits and marshmallows. It would have been nice to have them a little bigger. I wanted to make two bigger ones, but the Little Man was adamant that we stuck to making four.

In the green bag was an activity to make an Icy Tealight Holder.

We messed this up because we forgot to go back for the balloon in the freezer. By the time we did it was way too frozen. I have seen some lovely photographs from successes with this activity though, we will definitely get another balloon and try again.

The activity required filling a balloon with water and popping it in the freezer for 4 hours. It needs to be frozen on the outside but still wet on the inside. At a week point you make a hole big enough for a tealight candle. Then watch it burn and melt outside in the garden.

The Yellow Bag contained Pop Up Penguins

We had lots of fun making these pop up penguins. Everything was supplied apart from the scissors. We had to cut out penguin shapes and wings from black card. Then flippers and beaks from the orange card. We stuck these together and then made the paper spring by folding strips of paper.

The penguins where decorated the penguins with the beaks and beady eyes and the end result was really cute. We were even provided with a shiny pebble because male penguins put a pebble in a female’s nest as a proposal.

Our Verdict

The Winter Time Weekend Box was very entertaining and contained plenty to keep the Little Man entertained for quite a while.

The boxes come on subscription and you can get four activities for £8.95 for 3-8 year olds (first box is half price) or you can get 3 STEM activities in a box for £8.95 for 7-12 year olds (also half price for first box.)

If you would like to spend more time doing activities with your kids, and less time resourcing the activities and getting the supplies, then The Weekend Box is ideal. Kid’s love the excitement of receiving a parcel too.

The Little Man hard at work

Let me finish with a winter time joke…

What often falls in winter but never gets hurt?


Disclosure: The Weekend Winter Box was sent to us for free so we could review it. All words, pictures, thoughts and opinions are my own.

Win a One Year Membership with Kids Pass

a family at Sea Life Centre pointing at fish and the text February competition, win a one year membership. Kids Pass

It’s almost half term and to celebrate we’ve teamed up with Kids Pass, the UK’s No.1 Family Discounts App for your chance to win a FREE Kids Pass annual membership.

The Kids Pass App gives you instant access to 1,000’s of offers, including up to 40% off cinemas nationwide (7 days a week, adult and child), kids eat free at 1000’s of restaurants, up to 65% off family days out, up to 10% off UK family breaks and up to 50% off Eurocamp holidays.

Want to try Kids Pass for yourself? Start a £1 trial for 30 days

What is Kids Pass?

  • Over a million Kids Pass members are saving thousands of pounds on thousands of family offers
  • Save up to 40% off at cinemas nationwide, including adult and child tickets seven days a week
  • Access to thousands of exclusive family friendly offers
  • Enjoy thousands of “Kids Eat Free” offers
  • Free App for Android and iOS to make saving even easier

Basically, you can get discounts on loads of fun stuff you can do with your kids. The cinema savings are amazing at up to 40% off, as are the ‘Kids Eat Free’ offers. It depends on which area you are in but some of the restaurants include Papa John’s Pizza, Giraffe, Bella Italia and Handmade Burger Co.

There are thousands of attractions where you can save money such as Go Ape, Diggerland, Drayton Manor and Planet Ice to name but a few.

How does it work?

Once you sign up you can see all the offers in your surrounding area. You can find one you like an print of a voucher, or even easier, just show them the app. on your phone.

You are not restricted to your local area though, it works anywhere. You can use while on holiday in the UK, or for days out further afield. Some of the restaurant offers are particularly useful when on holiday.

We used our pass to save £22 on admission to World of Country Life when we were on holiday in Devon.Kids Pass costs £39 for an annual subscription, or you can have a rolling monthly subscription of £3.99 which can be cancelled anytime. (These prices are correct at the time of this post, but are currently on special offer.Don’t forget you can sign up for a 30 day trial for just £1. Why not give it whirl


Here is your chance to win a one year membership for Kids Pass to see just how much you can save. Fill in the widget below and good luck


1. UK only (sorry)
2. Giveaway closes 25th February 2019
3. Entries will be validated according to the rules of entry
4. There is 1 prize of Kids Pass Annual membership
5. The data of anyone that enters won’t be passed on to any third parties or used for any unsolicited marketing communications.
6. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook or any other social media.
7. The winner will be randomly chosen, and will be shown on this post, with further notifications may be shared on social media.
8. The winner will be notified via email, and will need to respond within 4 weeks otherwise a further winner will be drawn

9. There are no other alternatives to the prize offered and the prize is not transferable (no cash alternative).

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Five Reasons why you Should Listen to Audible

I started listening to Audible a few years ago. I’d been doing a self-awareness course which involved listening to mediations.  I enjoyed the meditations so much I decided to look for more, and that’s how I came across Audible.

Audible is a fabulous seller and producer of audio entertainment. It’s free for the first month and then £7.99 per month afterwards. Each month you get a free download credit which you can use on any book or book collection. I’ve used mine on books worth £15 to £60. You can also get audible versions of your current Kindle downloads for £2.99.

I joined up for my free trial and straight away downloaded a book on meditations. After that I became hooked as I realised all the things I could with Audible. Here are my top five reasons why I love Audible.

1. Meditations

This is how I came to Audible, so it’s mentioned first. When you find a good mediation audio book you can just plug in and relax. It’s an amazing experience and so simply. I’d recommend anyone wanting to try any type of meditation or relaxation to give Audible a try.

Why would you want to meditate? Well, as well as relaxation, meditation has so many other benefits for your body and your mind.

You can find meditations for health, anxiety, sleep problems, mindfulness, self-healing, hypnosis, success, language learning. Practically anything you need.

Personally, I like mindfulness mediations like this one from Vidyamala Birch

2. Get Fit and Healthy

Whether you want to shed some pounds, try a new diet or learn a new exercise regime, Audible has an answer. It’s like listening to your own personal trainer or dietitian.

The cookbooks are great, much better than having a book propped up in your kitchen. No more losing pages and having to search with sticky fingers, or losing space on your worktop. Now you can have the recipes and instructions sent straight to your earbuds. Easy to follow, less mess, more space and no more running back and forth to read the next step.

Or if you are looking for a new way of exercise, why not listen to some motivational books to get you moving? Sometimes just hearing about how someone else has achieved their health goals can be incredibly inspiring.

Or maybe you’d like to improve your sleep patterns, or just learn the best ways to look after your body?

There is so much to find on Audible Like Tip The Scale; Introduction to Body Weight

3. Fiction

When I worked in the public library, we would load boxes of cassettes for people to listen to fiction on. They were mostly borrowed by old people or those with visual impairments. I never really imagined myself enjoying listening to fiction but Audible has given me a new love of books.

I can listen while I’m relaxing, crocheting, cleaning, I never have to worry about carrying a book around. I especially love to listen when I’m in hospital, I can sit back in my chair and block out the noise while becoming engrossed in another world. I don’t have to worry about holding a book up if I’m reading in bed, or even having the light on!

I love listening to a good story and with Audible you can listen to an excerpt to make sure you are happy with the narrator. You also get a taste of the story, just like reading the blurb on the back.

One of my favourite listens last year was Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

4. Plays/Performance

Want something a little more than storytelling? Audible offers, often exclusive, dramatisations. I loved listening to Terry Pratchett’s Unseen Academicals. Narrated by David Jason, John Culshaw, Matthew Horne, Josie Lawrence and Jaime Winston. It was a real fun listen and I’m now looking forward to listening to Good Omens.

There are plenty of other dramatisations to choose from, like Ruth Rendell, John Le Carre, P.D. James, Jane Austen to name but a few.

Or for no extra cost you can even tune into podcasts, there are so many to choose from and many of them are Audible originals. Maybe you’d like to listen to some comedy from the likes of Ricky Gervais or The Lost Voice Guy. Or you could tune into some Investigative Journalism or Health and Personal Development.

5. Educational

Have you ever fancied learning a new language, then Audible has the resources for learning most languages from French to Japanese. You can find something to listen to on most subjects from geography to science. And don’t forget the podcasts to back up the information.

Audible is also helpful for learning new skills like parenting, finances, self-improvement and many more.

Reading books can seem like a chore sometimes so why not top up the learning process with some listening.

And There is More!

  • Whispersinc for voice lets you switch between Audible and Kindle, so you can listen or read at any time without losing your place.
  • Adjustable listening speed lets you choose a pace that is comfortable for you, from 0.5x to 3.0x
  • The Sleep Timer lets you choose a time for the narration to end so you don’t lose your place, or fall asleep while listening.
  • Bookmark, keeps your place or saves places you may wish to return to later.

I love Audible, whatever I’m listening to I can have it on my phone, tablet, kindle, laptop, it doesn’t matter. I just pop in my earphones and I’m off on some adventure. I get excited when my credit pops up each month, but I also take advantage of other offers that are for members only that appear regularly.

Why not give audible a try, it’s free for your first month

KiwiCo, Atlas Crate – review

You may remember my post recently where I was looking for a subscription box suitable for older Children. I have received a few boxes to review but we were excited to start with one of the Kiwico Crates.

KiwiCo is a monthly subscription crate that comes filled with age appropriate STEM projects for kids, from toddlers to teenagers. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Every crate explores a different theme designed to spark creativity, thinking, and learning.

We had two boxes to try the Atlas Crate, which is Geography and Culture and aimed at ages 6-11. And the Tinker Crate, which is Science and Technology and aimed at 9-16 + years.

Everything needed to complete the projects is provided in the crates.

Atlas Crate

The Little Man, aged 8 years, was thrilled with the Atlas Crate. The box contained three activities; Great Big World Map Challenge, Adventure Book and make your own Spinning Globe.

The Little Man was keen to get started on the Spinning Globe as soon as he opened a box. We made a little video of the box opening and him making the globe. Overall it took about half hour, but I sped the video up a little.

What was in the Box?

contents of box laid out on the table, list of items in text.
  • A folder with an introduction and instructions
  • two halves of a plastic ball
  • some wooden pieces to make a stand for the globe
  • an instruction book for making the globe
  • a pack of felt sticky back pieces to stick on the globe
  • a kit for making a booklet
  • a large world map
  • a sheet which tells you how maps work and a challenge to find things
a sheet from the box that tells all the things you can do

The Spinning Globe

The Little Man was keen to start the globe straight away. He pushed the two halves of the ball together and followed the instructions to stick on the continents. Then he had to build the stand for the globe.

The trickiest part was putting the dowling stick through the middle of the globe so it would fit on the stand. Otherwise the Little Man did it all by himself. (with me recording him!) He had lots of fun.

the spinning globe when finished
The Spinning Globe

While having fun making this globe, the Little Man also learned about the continents and where they are in the world.

The Atlas Adventure Book

The Atlas Adventure Book is a little book that can be put together and then taken apart again to add further pages from future crates.

The pack included a fact page on each of the seven continents, a page with a short story featuring Anya the cricket and Milo the Sandpiper and their travels, a front and back cover, string and bead book binders and a pack of stickers.

The Little Man set to decorating the covers with the stickers which he enjoyed. Then he placed the pages inside the covers and we fastened them together with the binders. The pages are card so the book will survive being taken apart and new pages added.

cover of the Adventure book, showing a blue page with a map of the world decorated with stickers
Pages from the book showing facts about Asia and the Antartica

The Great Big World Map Challenge

When the Little Man first opened the box he was very excited about the world map and I think we will put it on his bedroom wall.

a folded world map and a booklet explaining the challenge

The accompanying leaflet has lots of useful information about maps. It explains latitude and longitude and how a compass works. Then there is a challenge to find things on the map using the given map key and compass rose. The Global Scavenger Hunt sends you on an adventure around the world to find things like The Seven Wonders and the Seven Summits. You can also search for the homes of amazing animals and even famous shipwrecks. It’s a great, educational and fun activity.

Our Verdict

Overall, this crate has given the Little Man at least an hour and half of activities. He can return to them again and again, finding places on his globe and map and reading his book which he can add pages to.

The Little Man gives this crate a big thumbs up for age related activities that were both fun, interesting and educational.

If you would like to try a Kiwi Crate you can use my special landing page to get one for free, you just have to pay shipping ($4.95 in US $9.95 Internationally.)

Mix It Up Linky

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.