Can You Pledge One Hour?

A typical working week in this house involves me leaving around 7.20 and Shaun arriving home around 6.40. This isn’t a unique situation we’re in, and is the norm for most people living in London. Add your commute of up to an hour each way and being at work eats into your day. Andy Stephenson from Weekend Box commissioned a survey recently, and based on the results created Pledge One Hour.

pledge one hour

Pledge One Hour works on the idea that you make sure for one hour a day you spend some quality family time together – and with that is a website with suggestions for activities you can do together.

This all came about as after a survey by Fly Research asked 1,100 parents how much time they spent with their children.

* 40% of parents get less than 1 hour per day of quality time with their children

* 83% want to spend more time with their children and 95% felt that doing activities together made them feel closer as a family.

* 73% cited not having easy access to activities and resources as the biggest barrier to spending more time with their children.

Which is where Pledge One Hour comes in. We’ve reviewed Weekend Box earlier this year and found them great fun. Using everyday objects it did a lot of the thinking for us, and everything is still being played with now. We’re also working through the 50 Things National Trust activity suggestions when we can, so imagine something that covers both?

There are three sections on the website – Explore the Great Outdoors, Indoor Arts & Crafts and Child-Friendly Recipes. They’re all based around things which you should already have – be it sitting outside listening to birds, baking some Popcorn Cupcakes (oh yes!) or just making a miniature kite from an old plastic bag (a Weekend Box activity we’re still getting a lot of play from!) – there’s a lot of choice and it doesn’t cost a lot of money to do it.

As Andy says, “I don’t want to live in a world where parents and children face greater detachment due to the pressures of daily life, where children are left to entertain themselves with solitary screen time or mindless toys that fall short of adding any sensory value to their development. We can’t change the world overnight, but lots of little steps will help to break down those barriers.”

David Bond, Film-maker of Project Wild Thing said: “Our kids are spending almost a third of their waking hours staring at screens and the evidence is clear that this has a serious impact on their health and wellbeing.”

So can you do it? Can you Pledge One Hour? Come and join in – use the hashtag #pledgeonehour and share what you’re doing – with this beautiful weather right now it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and do something fun!

Weekend Box

Weekend Box is a new idea – four easy activities posted to you in a box, aimed at children from 3-8 years old. That’s the simple version, there’s a little more to it than that though – read on to see what we think.

Weekend Box

Weekend Box were offering a free box via Facebook, and being someone who loves to try before I buy I went for the offer – and a week or so later our first box arrived.

The weather hasn’t been great lately and while we’ve got out, there are only so many games of Pop Up Pirate you can have before it’s quite nice to do something different. Add to that we’ve all been full of cold and thinking of things can be an effort, especially when there’s some preparation involved. The Weekend Box is like a takeaway of decent kids activities, posted twice a month in a letterbox sized box.

This was our only problem – the box had come undone so some parts were missing. A quick email and the missing bits were posted and arrived two days later which is great customer service. There is a list on the website of what you should get which is really handy.

Each box has four activities – Something to Make, Something to Cook, Something to Read or Write and Something Green. Ours were to make some Snowballs, make a Miniature Kite, some Finger Painting and some Map Making. All these activities are perfect for H – she often comes home with a map she’s created at school, loves flying kites and loves baking so we opted for the latter two.

Weekend Box

When each activity is done there’s a small sticker to put on each page, and one bigger sticker to add to a poster – when you’ve completed a certain number of activities you can send Weekend Box a picture and get a surprise.

There is also an option to rate each box after you’ve tried it which is handy.

Would you like to try a box for free? If so, my referral code is JO1848 – put that code in when you register (which only takes a minute). Each box costs £7.50 which if you consider the convenience (they even include glue) isn’t too steep a price to pay if you know you’ll do the activities. 100% of the Weekend Box contents are reusable or recyclable; 95% come from recycled material.

The snowballs were good, and H took charge while we were making them (Shaun took care of the baking). The kite was also made with one of our old Ocado bags and flies quite nicely indoors too if you happen to move fast enough; we haven’t dared brave the winds yet, they’ve been strong and loud.

My favourite part of the Weekend Box was being advised of the extras we’d need to do the activities – more often than not we’ll get things we don’t have in stock, and as I do my online shopping at the weekend for the following week it’s nice to plan a few days ahead.

The Weekend Box is fortnightly, I love the organisation of it, and like other boxes you can stop your subscription at any time, thanks to their new customer portal. We’ve had our second (paid for) Weekend Box, but I will be pausing ours, if only to catch up!