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?

snow!

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.)

https://www.kiwico.com/raisiebay

Mix It Up Linky

Activity Boxes for the Older Children

I’ve always been a fan of subscription boxes whether they be for the kids or for me. I’ve tried so many of them and most of the favourites were activity boxes.

I try to get the kids interested in doing other stuff at the weekend rather than just sitting on their laptops or other electronics. The girls still like to play with their Littlest Pet Shop figures or Pokemon, and the Little Man likes his lego. But getting them interested in anything creative is really difficult. Boo doesn’t even like to bake cakes anymore *sob.*

Then the Little Man asked me if he could have another Weekend Box. I thought that he was maybe too old now as they are aimed at younger children, usually up to six years and the Little Man is now eight.

So I did some research and found a few boxes aimed at older kids which I’d like to share with you. We’ll be reviewing some of them in the future, so do watch out for that if you want to find out more.

The Weekend Box – STEM activities

The Little Man asked for a Weekend Box and he will get one. By revisiting their site I was thrilled that they now do STEM activity boxes for 7-12 year olds.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, the things your child learns at school. So, not only are these boxes fun, they are educational.

Example boxes include catapult engineering, bug catching and natural disaster simulators. The weekend boxes are delivered once every 4 weeks.

You can get your first Weekend Box (either 3- 8 yrs or 7-12 yrs) for just £1 and then £8.95 per box afterwards with free P&P You can earn money for referring others and points for answering questions or doing quick reviews. The points can be used against paying for your boxes.

Our review of these boxes will be published soon and I’ll link it here.

KiwiCo

KiwiCo has subscription boxes from 0 to 14 years! The crates go up in levels of learning,

  • Tadpole – 0-36 months, explore and discover
  • Koala – 3-4 years, play and learn
  • Kiwi – 5-8 years, science, art and more
  • Atlas – 6-11 years, geography and culture
  • Tinker – 9-16+ years, science & engineering
  • Doodle – 14+ years, art and design
  • Eureka – 14-104 years, engineering and design

(nothing if you are over 105 though!)

There is plenty for all ages and especially my children, so we are really excited to be trying out these boxes very soon. You can read our review of the Atlas Crate here.

The prices vary on the boxes you choose, and whether you pay month by month, 6 or 12 monthly. The crates cost from £12.97 to £15.26 apart from the Eureka box which costs from £19.09 to £22.91 per month. Or why don’t you try a free box on me, you just have to pay shipping.

Mel Science

Mel Science is a fascinating chemistry subscription box aimed at ages 9-14 years.

When you subscribe you are sent a starter kit which will contain all the equipment you will need to for your monthly experiment kits. You are also sent either one or two experiment kits per month.

Just a few of the experiments include, Tin hedgehog, hot ice, martian rust, galaxy in a flask, starch penguin and many more.

The Starter kit is free when you subscribe and each kit is £29.90, you can cancel at any time.

We will be reviewing Mel Science soon, so please come back to read, I’ll post the link here when it’s ready.

Geo Journeys

These are fun subscription boxes aimed at children 4-10 years to explore Earth and beyond.

There are two types of subscriptions Geo journey to explore Earth and Space journey. When you sign up you get an explorer pack followed by monthly packages with further adventures and countries to explore. They are in line with Keys stages 1 & 2.

What’s in the explorer kit?
Suitcase – personalised letter – map – travel journal – passport – stickers – photos – activity booklet – travel ticket on a string.

What’s in the monthly packs?
Personalised fact filled letter – 2 photos – fact postcard – stickers – activity booklet – travel ticket on a string – a souvenir such as a boomerang from Australia.

You can pay for 6 months at £85, or 12 months from £155. Or you can pay monthly £25 for the first pack and then £12 per month.

Letterbox Lab

Letterbox Lab promise every you need to complete experiments all neatly fitted into a box that fits through your letterbox.

They come in two age groups, the Explore Box for children aged over six and the Investigate Box for children aged over eight.

As I am looking at boxes for older children then it’s the Investigate box that I’m most interested in. So what’s in the box?

  • 6 to 9 bigger and better experiments in every box
  • 24 page full colour, illustrated booklet
  • Series of 12 different science kits
  • “Level up” badge
  • Certificate and free gift in every thrid box

The Letterbox Investigate box costs £20.50 per box and £2 P&P

Mysteries in Time

Mysteries in time logo

Mysteries in Time is a history box aimed at kids aged 7-11 years. Aimed at teaching the kids history in a fun way, each box arrives in a cardboard time machine. There are two boxes to choose from a classic or bumper box. They both contain the same apart from the Bumper Box also including a craft and a history inspired gift.

The costs are £7.95 per month for the Classic Box and £12.95 for the Bumper Box. You can read a lovely review of this box over on The Reading Residence.

I hope you have found this list useful, please do come back to read my reviews.

Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger

The World Of Country Life

We were on holiday last week and stayed at Devon Cliffs holiday park in Sandy Bay, Exmouth. We have been there before and had fond memories of The World of Country Life which is in walking distance from the holiday park.

Sunny Days

We were so lucky with the weather while we were away, but the forecast had been not so good for Wednesday, so this was the day we decided to go. If memory served us right, there was just as much to do under cover as there was outside.

As usual, the forecast was wrong and we had another sunny day. This meant lots of fun in the outdoor adventure park. The kids were enthralled with the all wooden combine harvester, which was a newer addition as we did not remember it before.

The Little Man Driving H4rry the Harvester

There is so much to see and do at The World of Country Life, I wouldn’t be able to fit it all in one blog post, but I’ll try and include some of the best bits for now.

A Trip Down Memory Lane.

There could be no other way to describe this than a trip down memory lane.

Memory Lane

You get to walk down a replica of a Victorian street, minus the cobblestones (which is a huge plus for wheelchairs and buggies.) They are not just shop fronts either, you can go inside and examine the historical exhibits. There is even a pub with a piano and bar games you can play. 

There is so much more in the exhibition centre, from old farm machinery, to fantastic old cars and even a couple of mini trains.

The Little Man would be a perfect driver for this train

I think you could spend a whole day just walking around the museum. I must have over a hundred photos from in here and I didn’t spend much time looking at the old cars, I left that to Graham.

The Animals

Well, you can’t have Country life without animals and this place has plenty. You can feed the goats and sheep in the field, they are happy to come for a feed and a stroke. You can’t feed the Donkey but he’s happy to come for a stroke over the fence. There are also ostriches strutting their stuff out in the field. 

Over in the Old Farmyard you can meet a mummy pig with her piglets which are just too cute, but my favourite was the two Alpacas, Sven and Olaf. I think I can guess where their names are from. 

More Animals

We were so lucky, we arrived at the goats just in time for their daily walk. It was hilarious, the kids were told to just follow the goats and not pull, but to let go of the lead if they ran off. We were lucky enough not to have any runners, but the kids had a real fun time walking their goats. Some were insistent on headbutting any other passing goat, and some were just too stubborn to move. I’ve got some videos to edit to show how much fun they were having. In the meantime here’s a photo.

Taking a goat for a walk

There were lots of Birds of Prey to see too. Each day they do a show but we didn’t catch it on our day. We also didn’t catch the ferret racing, but there is just so much to do, and we didn’t have time for everything.

The kids had so much fun walking the goats, we didn’t think that anything would top this. Then we went on the Deer Train. We had been on before on our last trip eight years ago, but I hadn’t remembered much about it. I think mostly because I was 6 months pregnant and not prepared to hand feed the animals, and the girls were a lot younger at the time, two and four years old. This is an amazing experience, but you need to be prepared to be hands on and not afraid of animals getting really close and personal. (oh, and to be prepared to get a bit messy too!)

The Deer Train

The train is open carts pulled by a tractor and everyone climbs aboard expectantly. The train then rumbles along and the driver, through speakers in each cart, tells you about the unusual sheep in the field. Then he tells you about the deer and llamas that you pass as the train goes around in a circle then stops. 

While circling the driver has thrown out feed for the animals and they come rushing over. Then the driver walks up and down the cart filling everyone’s hands with feed and the animals get right up close to fill their tummy’s. The deer are so beautiful and friendly and once they’ve moved on, the llamas come up for their turn. Finally it’s time for the babies to feed, there is a pecking order here. 

The cart was filled with squeals and laughter as the animals came up to feed. Hands and clothes got mucky and I remembered what I’d forgotten before. The girls had been terrified last time, and I couldn’t feed, so we’d huggled up in the middle of the cart to avoid them! This time though, was amazing. Even better than the goat walking!

More Fun

We had fond memories from our previous trip of the large pirate ship play area, which is indoors on a bed of sand, so great for any weather. The ship can keep kids playing for hours, there is so much to explore and once their imaginations get going you’ll find them role playing their own pirate adventures. Well, that’s what my kids did. I remembered joining in last time, holding my then two year old, Boo’s hand and helping her climb the decks and walk across the rope bridge. This time they didn’t need any hand holding and Graham and I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee while they played.

Ahoy! Me Hearties
It’s a Pirate Life for me!

A Great Day Out

The World of Country Life is really worth a visit, it’s a fabulous day out for the kids but there is loads for the adults to enjoy too. 

The kids (and Graham) also had fun on the air bouncer and the huge slides. There are also swings, roundabouts, trampolines, soft play centres, bouncy castles, sand pits and so much more.  

Accessibility is really good, I had no trouble at all in my wheelchair, although the battery was getting very low towards the end. Pushchairs would be no problem at all, and there are plenty of paths if the grass gets wet or muddy. I had to transfer from the wheelchair to go on the Deer Train but there is a sheltered area to leave wheelchairs and pushchairs. There are two steps up onto the train cart and the seats are wooden and hard inside. 

The pricing isn’t too bad either, it’s £55 for a family of five (£45 for four), which is great value. I checked my Kids Pass the day before and found out I could save on two of the kids tickets, a total of  £22.40! Once inside they have a few rides dotted around that will eat up your pound coins (conveniently we didn’t have any, but the kids were fine with that anyway.) We didn’t have food there but the coffee was reasonably priced, and you can always take a picnic, there are plenty of tables both inside and out you can use. We had to pay an extra £1.50 for the Deer Train, but you get the food included (Which is normally £1 a bag) It’s really worth it. 

Kids Pass

I saved over £22 on admission to The World of Country Life with my Kids Pass. You can save too on all sorts of attractions and eateries. You can try Kids Pass for yourself for just £1 for 40 days.*

Disclosure: I am a KidsPass Mumbassador. *If you don’t cancel your account at the end of your trial you will be charged the full membership.

Country Kids linky

My Sunday Photo 5th August 2018

After a chilled out week I was getting a little cabin crazy so I managed to persuade my kids that we needed to go out. Oh no! But what would they do without their screens, their Ds’, laptops, PS4.  Maybe they could take the Ds’ for use in the car on the journey, it was a compromise I was willing to make for a little freedom from these four walls.

Baddesley Clinton

Just a few miles away was a place I’d been longing to visit, Baddesley Clinton.

 

Baddesley Clinton, front courtyard of 15th Century house.

This is the forecourt, isn’t it just delightful. Built in the 16th Century the house has a lot of history. Mostly to do with the hiding of catholic priests in underground tunnels, which are still there. But also it was home to some extraordinary women with some amazing talents and interesting views. I will write more about our visit later, even the kids were glad we left the house and screens behind in the end.

Of course they were thrilled when we first got there as the house is surrounded by a moat!

front of house with a bridge over a moat

Of  course there were plenty of ducks around too, as well as sheep roaming free in the grounds.

The house was really interesting to visit, there was so much to see. The kids did a little trail around the house where they had to find a number of hidden things which they really enjoyed. I couldn’t go upstairs but I was given a virtual tour by iPad (don’t tell the kids!) It looked really interesting and the kids loved it, which is quite surprising because, if I’m honest, they don’t really like being dragged around old buildings.

Telling the Time

Just one more photo for this post. In the middle of the walled garden, instead of swings, which Boo was disappointed about, there was a Sundial. It was almost right, we just need to move the sun a little. This was taken at 3pm. I’d say it was telling us it was 2.30pm

 

Photalife

 

Sunday Snap

 

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.