Tag Archives: fun

Weekend Box: Do we have time?

According to a third of UK parents they have just one hour available each day to spend with their child.

A survey commissioned by children’s activity provider Weekend Box Club, revealed that 90% of parents long to spend more time with their children. Modern living and pressures dictate that finding quality time to spend together is proving difficult.

They asked their subscribers to complete the questionnaire to get a picture of how parents juggle the balance of quality time with their family and modern day living.

The survey of more than 1,200 parents revealed that:

  • 98% of parents enjoy quality time with their children
  • 98% of parents see the benefits of spending time together
  • 98% of parents say enjoying activities together brings them closer
  • 95% of children love trying new things with their parents
  • 65% of parents struggle to come up with ideas of things to do

    Fun is the top thing UK parents look for in activities and every day, parents are faced with the task of finding fun, stimulating and educational activities for their little ones after school and at the weekend.

    Newcastle-based Weekend Box Club creates and sends out activity packs to subscribers each month, filled with two or four activities to enjoy together.

    Make, bake, create and explore are all covered by the boxes, which aim to ensure time spent by parents with children aged 3-8 is quality. The boxes can be used at home, away, in the car or with friends.

 

weekend-box-infographic

We are currently bloggers for Weekend Box after using them on and off for quite a while, I like to think of myself of being very crafty and home educating means that over time you start to see the educational value in all things but my girls love them and really enjoy waiting for the next one to drop through the letter box.

The boxes come complete with activities and easy ‘how to’ sheets, for the parents and children to follow together. So easy to follow in fact the girls will often just make something from the box without even telling me!

They are also created with education in mind, with each activity supporting early years learning and development. This pleases me as i can tie it in to other work we are doing.

You can subscribe for regular boxes (which fit through the letter box) or buy gift boxes to be posted to a little one, addressed to them.

Child psychologist Dr Elizabeth Kilbey, seen recently on Channel 4’s ‘Secret Lives of Four Year Olds’, said: “Weekend Boxes are so much more than an activity pack. They are a genuinely great way to spend time with your children and support their development.”

The activity boxes aim to provide easy resources for the 65% of parents who struggle to find original things to do.

And for the 71% of parents who would pay to have resources sent to their door, the Weekend Box Club solves the problem of what to do with their children when they have time available.

Most parents said they had 10-20 hours available for spending quality time with their children each week, but most of these wished they had more time.

More than half said they often ran out of time to actually enjoy an activity after having to plan it.
And 89% said if they had access to resources, they would spend more quality time with their children.

Andy Stephenson who founded the company in 2013, said: “The survey has shown that parents really do want to spend time with their children but just need a helping hand in finding things to do.

“They want something to hand, something ready and something fun, low cost and stimulating which promotes their child’s development – all of which Weekend Box Club answers for them.

“Children need time and attention and the benefits to both parents and their children when they can spend time together is priceless.”

 

So what do you think? Will you be trying a weekend box? At just £4.95 for a the mini box and £7.50 for the bumper box and now you can try your 1st Weekend Box for free – use the promo code LIZ145 when signing up at https://www.weekendboxclub.com what are you waiting for?

Advertisements

Love From! Magazine Review

Every little girl loves a magazine, and to be frank we have tried them all over the years. My girls being the crafty magpies they are always go for the ones with the freebies stuck to the front but who am I kidding they are always a little naff.

20140317_153144

However the new Love From! magazine for girls ages 4-6 is something a little special. In each issue you receive two magazines, one purely craft based with colouring in etc and one more education based with stories and puzzles all nestled together with a bumper craft kit with stickers and stationary. This type of thing is right up our alley and was happily received by all of my girls, even our eldest who’s 10!

20140317_153211

What makes this magazine stand out from the crowd is that each issue concentrates on one specific character and everything you receive is factored around that. This makes purchasing a little more exciting in my opinion and scraps that whole, ‘ this issue is no different from the last’ problem you find with most children’s magazines.

Issues are released every four weeks and you can find out all about them here , issues are priced just £3.25 which compared to the competition is definitely a bargain!

What magazines do your little ones love to read?

Im off now to stick fairies on to ALL OF THE THINGS!

* We received a copy of the magazine for free but all opinions are my own*

Kids Bee Happy Sand Art – Review

logo
I have to admit it, I have crafty kids, I don’t know if this is entirely my doing or not but any opportunity to A) make a mess or B) create something wonderful and they are there!
When I was given the opportunity to review some of the Kids Bee Happy Sand Art I was over the moon! The girls have been trying new things, the Moshi Monster Hamma Beads where a roaring success and I crossed my fingers this would be too.
Being slightly neurotic with OCD about mess, yeah I know I have a cat, dog and 3 kids and its always a mess but hey i dream of an immaculate home! I was a little worried about hoovering up sand from every nook and cranny of my tiny kitchen but i have to admit there was barely a mess at all much to the girls disappointment .
Being able to peel off small sections as you go gives even the youngest of children the skill not to randomly sprinkle sand on every surface in view and makes for a very lovely and precise finish. Even Emma who has some special needs found the kits easy peasy and having such a beautiful finished picture really made her day.
My girls LOVED making these and their little smiling faces prove just that..
IMG_20131221_134141
 Emma age 7 with her finished Snowman picture.
IMG_20131221_143337
Zoe aged 4 with her wild Alien picture.
With the wide range of coloured sand provided you can really make some special and unique pictures as you can see from Zoe’s finished picture. The larger sticky areas once peeled off really allowed for her to go with her imagination and create this multicoloured landscape.
They loved the little plastic wallets that you can slip your finished art work into to keep them in tip top condition. They grace the playroom walls and its regularly a point of conversation, especially ” Muuummm when can we do these again?” That alone says it all about these wonderful kits.
If you would like to try them yourself you can find a massive range here at http://sandartcrafts.co.uk
My girls give them a massive thumbs up and thats OK with me!
L x

Adam The Doddles Man and his trusty pooch Rover

Unknown
 
 
I’ve always been fascinated by drawing forms, they aren’t just an artists tool but are art all by themselves, Adam The Doodles Man and his very lovely dog Rover are no exception! I couldn’t wait to free them from their very modest packaging and if I’m honest, have a little play with them!
adam doodle man rover

They soon found their pride of place upon my fire place, they have already welcomed in two birthdays and the beginning of Christmas and never look out of place.
I will often catch the girls playing and chatting with them and we have a lesson planned in the new year for our community group on Famous Artists so these will be coming along for a drawing workshop with some very lovely children.

Adam the Doodles Man is the perfect companion to help you with your figure drawing. Made of stainless steel wire connected at the joints with aluminium rivets, his fully adjustable joints and limbs will hold any pose for as long as you need. He never rusts, never rests, never eats and never sleeps, so will always be on hand whenever you need him!

The Doodles range also includes Rover the Doodles Dog, together the pair make an ideal gift for any budding artist!

3109112_LR1000_A




If men and dogs aren’t really your drawing thing then fear not, Homerama have robins and reindeers in their online store, who doesn’t want little moveable, metal animals dotted all over their house whether they are artists or not?!

5419819_LR1000_A

After browsing the web I also found some snowmen, SNOWMEN!!!
These have to be the coolest gift for artists, lovers of finer things and general weirdos like myself!

5419829_LR1000_A

I can’t wait to build a collection of my own, and i plan to create some gorgeous line drawn images for gifts next year, Thanks Adam The Doodle’s Man for inspiring me to create something new!

Project Wild Thing

As a mum of 3 that home educates i think I’m fair in saying that as a mum whatever your situation you are time strapped, there’s an endless tirade of cooking, cleaning, tidying, making and unmaking appointments, food shopping, pet care, bath time, homework (i think you get the point!) So where do you fit in the time to just simply down tools, act like the child you really are and get outside, and get dirty?
Well that’s the point, something has to give! We as families cannot go on with using technology to replace the sheer wonderousness of outdoor play, yes its scary allowing our little angles (when they aren’t trying to murder each other that is!) to go outside alone, or even to have our eyes taken off them for 30 secs, i get it i really do, having a child manage to get out of your house and wander off down the street is enough to put the fear of god in you, i don’t think i actually breathed for the whole 3mins it took me to find her! But this cotton wool world we have all created out of our own insecurities is taking away the one thing children yearn the most and that’s the ability to learn from their surroundings, there is really only so many times you can play angry birds after all!

So anyway after receiving a Little Dish email i discovered this new project, Project Wild Thing, and this is what they do..

Project Wild Thing is a film led movement to get more kids (and their folks!) outside and reconnecting with nature. The film is an ambitious, feature-length documentary that takes a funny and revealing look at a complex issue, the increasingly disparate connection between children and nature.
And Project Wild Thing is much more than a film, this is a growing movement of organisations and individuals who care deeply about the need for nature connected, free-range, roaming and outdoor playing kids in the 21st century. Hundreds of people have already committed huge amounts of time, energy, resources and money to help get the project where it is today. Which is really just the beginning.
The journey started in late 2010 with film-makers Green Lions exploring a film approach to an emerging issue coined ‘nature deficit disorder’ in kids. A collaboration formed with the National Trust who were also looking at the issue and through the Britdoc Foundation support for the development of the film and movement has gathered along the way from RSPBPlay EnglandPlay ScotlandPlay WalesNHS Sustainable Development UnitTFTWoodland TrustsAMV BBDO and Arla foods.
In summer 2012 Greenlions formed a collaboration with Good for Nothing, helping co-create the foundation of David Bond’s nature marketing program, this was supported by generous contributions from the Do LecturesTYF AdventuresEden Project and Al Kennedy.
In the autumn of 2012 the Natural Childhood Summit hosted by the National Trust brought together hundreds of organisations to explore the challenges and issues more widely and collaboratively.
Project Wild Thing emerged and thousands of people have pledged to support the project a year before the film has launched. A Kickstarter campaign raised further funding from hundreds of awesome individuals around the world to finish the film production.
In January 2013 Swarm Partnership came on board with support from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and The Wild Network was hatched. The network is an open, growing collaborative group of organisations big and small seeking to tackle the many issues raised in the film and champion the wonders of being outside. An advisory group was established with the WildLife Trusts currently heading that up.
Phew!
Project Wild Thing and The Wild Network is a people powered movement, it’s success will be down to the actions and the energy of this growing community.
If you want nature, wildness and free-range living for kids and adults to exist alongside an increasingly industrialised and technological society then join us and get involved in making that happen.
See you on the outside.
 
So sign up https://projectwildthing.com and pledge as little as 10 mins per day where you swap screen time for outside time and enjoy what nature has to offer yourself and your children. Nothing combats those stress levels than a lovely walk through the park or a dog walk to the local lake or even as simply as walking home from school instead of taking the bus or car… whatever gets you all out of the house and enjoying each other if we don’t make the change, who will?!!

Fund raise with Mr Tumble for Children in Need

 
 
BBC SOMETHING SPECIAL MAGAZINE NEED KIDS’ HELP TO CREATE A 10 METRE MR TUMBLE AND RAISE £2,500 FOR BBC CHILDREN IN NEED
 
Thousands of children encouraged to fundraise together by building a giant piece of art of their favourite TV character, Mr Tumble
 
BBC Something Special magazine, an inclusive title created to be accessible for children with learning disabilities, has launched an inclusive art event called the Big Tumble Art Project to raise £2,500 for ‘BBC Children in Need’. The national campaign asks readers, pupils of mainstream schools and schools for children with varying levels of disabilities to decorate stars and spots in the magazine using an art technique of their choice. The magazine will then pledge £1 to ‘BBC Children in Need’ for each one they receive by the deadline of 30th October.*
 
The pieces will be collected together to build a giant, 10 metre high collage of Mr Tumble from 11 November 2013 by pupils at Jack Tizard School in London, a school for pupils aged 2-19 years with a range of severe learning difficulties.  Art consultant Emma Middleton from The Foundling Museum advised the BBC Something Special magazine team on the types of art techniques to use and how to make the project inclusive. They also helped plan an art session with Jack Tizard School creating Mr Tumble’s giant bowtie, which is available to view on BBC Something Special magazine’s Facebook page.
The spots and stars are available in issue 33, on sale now and Issue 34, on sale from 16 October until 12 November 2013. Schools can choose from a range of art techniques, making the activity suitable for a wide range of abilities with techniques including stamping, printing, glittering, scrunching, sponging and finger painting. A special worksheet is also available on BBC Something Specialmagazine’s Facebook page.
Sara Oldham, Editor of BBC Something Special magazine said “We urge kids to get creative with us and contribute to this fantastic collaborative art project which allows children to work together andraise money for a great cause- I can’t wait to see the finished result!”
Emma Middleton, Curator of Projects at the Foundling Museum said: “It’s a fantastic project for children to be involved in. Not only will they discover a new art technique, use a variety of listening, communication and coordination skills and learn about shape and colour – they will also be part of an empowering experience that will make a lot of people feel very proud.”
Sarah Monteith, Director of Marketing and Fundraising at BBC Children in Need said: “It’s great to have the support of BBC Something Special magazine to encourage children across the UK to join together to fundraise for BBC Children in Need.”

*capped at £2500

Star Paws Sticker Book Series – A Review

Brand new titles in the amazing STAR PAWS sticker book series!
STAR PAWS is back, and it’s better than ever! This brilliantly funny, silly and utterly addictive sticker book series is taking the world by storm! Perfect for all ages, all animal lovers, and anyone with a sense of humour! STAR PAWS is packed with over 250 stickers and more daft jokes than you can count, for dressing your animals up ready for fashion shows, medieval battles, festive fun or even a mission to the moon!
 
Get ready for work everyone! It’s time to pick some exciting careers and dress up a whole host of animals in STAR PAWS: AMAZING JOBS. There are plenty of outfits to choose from, including doctor, gardener, spaceman, film director, dentist, pop star and wrestler – you’ll be completely spoilt for choice!
 
ISBN 9781447241461
 £3.99 | PB | Age 3+



Step into a medieval world of chivalry, heraldry, dramatic battles and revolting peasants with STAR PAWS: KNIGHTS. Meet and dress the dashing Sir Arthur Sixpence and join the Knights of the Hound Table as they joust and feast and attend Knight School! Design shields for the brave, apply pustules to the poor and enjoy dressing up dogs, cats, guinea pigs and rabbits in some truly amazing medieval outfits!      
 

ISBN 9781447236924
£3.99 PB Age 3+
 
 
 
 
 
 Enjoy the complete retail experience, animal dress-up style, in the fabulous STAR PAWS: SHOPPING! Choose hats in Bears Accessories, help out in the changing rooms, become a stylist, a beautician, or simply shop until you drop! There’s so much to try on and so much to buy – everything from smelly perfumes and crazy fingernails to nice new pants.
 
ISBN 9781447241478                                                                                                                                                       
£3.99 | PB | Age 3+           
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
There are presents to wrap, feasts to prepare, snowballs to throw, halls to ‘deck’ and Christmas jumpers galore!
Help spread some Christmas cheer with bells, bows, snow-white beards and jazzy winter knitwear. And look out for the mistletoe…!
The PUURFECT Christmas gift for anyone and everyone!
ISBN 9781447236917
£3.99 | PB | Age 3+    
 
 
 
 
 
I had never heard of Star Paws before I was asked to review it and i have a sticker book addict in Emma. She usually goes for the really expensive ones by Osborne from Waterstones and she simply adores them, well i say adores as she has defiantly found a new love in these gorgeous sticker books.
They are fun and easy to do for all ages, my youngest is 4 and had THE best time with her Amazing Jobs book and even our eldest at 9 with the Shopping book really enjoyed it.
They are fun and educational all at the same time whilst allowing the child to use its own imagination to create something that sparks interest in them and we all know how hard that is right now with TV and computers dominating their life.
The images are delightful and if you are a bit of an animal lover like myself, you will spend as much time just admiring the pictures inside 😉 .
They are of excellent quality and well worth the £3.99 retail price and i think these will be taking the place of our regular Osborne sticker book as they get the thumbs up from me as well as all three of my daughters!
We have squirrelled away the Knights book for a family member for Christmas, I know he is going to be delighted with it! But ssshhhh don’t tell the kids or I’ll have a riot on my hands!
I’m seriously looking forward to getting my hands on the Pirate and Super Hero’s ones!!      
 
L xx