We’re just coming to the end of half term week, with a bonus inset (teacher training) day tagged onto the end. I say bonus when what I really mean is massively annoying, but I’ll save that particular rant for another time.

Being self-employed means that I am able to down tools for a few days and enjoy time with the boys without having to book time off with the boss, or arrange cover from colleagues. It’s one of the reasons I left my corporate job. The disadvantage is that I earn next to nothing during the school holidays and spend a fortune on days out.

This half term we spent a few days visiting friends in the North.  I spent quality time with one of my besties, while the kids entertained each other. We had long walks and let the kids go feral. Evenings were spent eating home cooked food and gulping vodka in front of a roaring fire. Perfection.

But we couldn’t impose on our friends for longer than a few days, so then back to the big smoke and the stress of finding cheap activities for two hyperactive boys.

Our issue is that when we’re at home they want to do such different things, and they want our undivided attention all the time. I have terrible guilt about not wanting to play with them during every waking hour, but I’m a parent, not an entertainer!

M wants us to crawl around on the floor with him, pushing little cars around and talking in tongues. C wants to play challenging games like Monopoly which M can’t join in with yet. Left to his own devices C would happily play video games ALL DAY. That would not only be neglectful parenting, but also playing video games for more than an hour turns him into a cocky teenager (he’s only 8), so that’s not an option.

We’ve found a few activities that appeal to one or the other, but rarely both. C likes to help me in the kitchen – we’ve made a few cakes together and he often helps me with the evening meal. M wants to cut up paper into tiny pieces and distribute them liberally around the floor. Ditto with Lego.

So when the Weekend Box Club sent me a Weekend Box of activities to try out, I was keen to put it to the test.

 

M and I had fun making Aztec themed coasters with card and sticky foam. He made a parrot with wiggly eyes and feathers. And the three of us all enjoyed the spicy hot chocolate.

The Weekend Box contains instructions and contents for each activity in separate packages. This particular box included a couple of messy play activities and being a bit OCD about mess I wasn’t massively keen to get busy with powder paints, but we used everything else in the pack.

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We were busy with the Weekend Box for at least an hour and a half, which could be just enough time to maintain your sanity on a rainy Saturday.

The boxes are great for 3-6 year olds. The first box is £3.75 and then each box costs £7.50, which you can have delivered fortnightly or monthly. You can stop the deliveries whenever you like.

I think they’re a great way to encourage kids and parents to turn off the telly, stop playing on the iPad and have a bit of old-fashioned quality time together.

Readers of Lifestyle Maven can use this unique promotional code to try your first Weekend Box for free (only one per household and only for new customers) from this website: www.weekendboxclub.com. The code is VICKI232.

I would seriously love to hear how you keep your little ones entertained indoors on a small budget so please leave your comments below.