Book Love: ‘Topsy and Tim’s Bonfire Night’

Bonfire Night is a very special night for our family;  it’s a birthday for one of the kids as well as probably my all-time favourite event. Who doesn’t love fireworks, bonfires, roasted chestnuts in a paper bag. And (don’t underestimate this thrill for kids) going out after dark for all of the above on a crisp and cold autumn evening? So when I saw this vintage edition of the ‘Topsy and Tim’s Bonfire Night’ book, I had to buy it. Read on for a look inside!

Front cover of vintage children's book Topsy and Tim's Bonfire Night by Jean and Gareth Adamson
Front cover of Topsy and Tim’s Bonfire Night by Jean and Gareth Adamson
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Conker Comets! Autumn Fun for Kids

Have your kids conkers gone wrinkly? When autumn comes around my kids just can’t help collecting bucket loads of shiny horse chestnuts. However conkers start to lose some of their charm once the shrivels (as we like to call it) sets in. There are only so many games of conkers we can play, so, to avoid being buried alive by these puckered leftovers, we’ve found other ways to make use of them. One of our favourites is to turn them into Conker Comets…

Probably the most fun you can have with conker – and it makes a great bonfire night craft too! Read on to see how we do it.

Brightly coloured conker comets - kids' conker activity
Make a throwable comet out of conkers and tissue paper!
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The Best Milk Chocolate Cake Recipe in the World!

There must be a million or more chocolate cake recipes around, and I’m sure most of them will make you a lovely cake.

However, all of those recipes are just pretenders to the throne when it comes to being the greatest, as in my humble opinion, this classic milk chocolate cake has it in the bag. But don’t take my word for it – read on to find out why it’s so good and how to make one for yourself.

Milk chocolate cake covered in colourful sprinkles
Could this be the yummiest chocolate cake recipe in the world? You’ll have to make it to find out!
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DIY Sparkly Spiderweb Stamping!

This fun spiderweb activity combines two of our favourite things – threading and printing. Using homemade stampers, kids can make gorgeous sparkly spiderweb pictures. The stamps are simple and quick to make, and the best part is you can make them from bits and pieces that you will already have.

Read on to see how we did this fabulous spiderweb craft!

Sparkly spiderweb stamping
Use a simple, homemade stamp of a spiderweb to create glittery web art!
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How to Conquer Playing Conkers!

At this time of year, our local park is littered with conkers (otherwise known as horse chestnuts) – at times they are literally (and rather painfully!) raining down on us. Who can resist prising open spiky cases for that thrill of discovering shiny brown nuts inside?

My kids certainly can’t, and so over the first month of autumn we tend to accumulate a big pile. And what better way to make use of this autumn bounty than through a smashing game of conkers? We love it so much, I had to share it with you. So read on to discover all the do’s and don’ts, rules and the cheats, hows and whys of playing conkers!

Horse chestnuts threaded on butchers string for playing conkers
How to conquer playing the traditional childhood game of Conkers!
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How to Make a Magnificent Forest Mini Den!

My kids love making dens when we’re out in the woods. But there are times when it’s not practical or possible to make one that’s kid-sized. Yet we don’t let that stop us – instead, we just think smaller… Read on to see how to make an adorable mini den!

Preschool girl building mini den in forest
Making a mini den in the woods is a fun way to introduce den building to kids!
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HABA Terra Kids – Real Woodworking Tools

One Hundred Toys recently asked if we would test out a pile of fabulous-looking, kid-sized real woodwork tools from HABA. The kids and I love woodwork. We’ve had woodwork fun out in the woods, at forest school, and at home with a bit of softwood. So we were more than happy to oblige!

Read on to find out why we recommend real tools instead of pretend ones every time.

Boy using saw at a worktable in a forest
HABA’s folding saw is kid-sized and just right for taking to forest school.
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Our Gypsy Caravan Holiday at Farrs Meadow, Dorset

It’s no doubt a result of my childhood as a bookworm devouring Enid Blyton stories that when I think of Dorset, I think of the  Famous Five – ruined castles, mysterious islands, lashings of ginger beer, and gypsy caravans.

So when we decided to take our kids on holiday to Dorset this summer, I was thrilled to discover the beautiful Farrs Meadow, near Winborne, where they have two fully furnished gypsy caravans to hire.

Each comes with a fire pit for proper evening campfires…

There’s a nearby river for wild swimming…

And Saturday night is home-made-in-an-oudoor-wood-fired-oven Pizza night…

At that point, we were all sold! So on a Saturday morning in August, we headed off on our very own caravan adventure.

Read on to find out what it was like, and for our review of this quirky and charming campsite…

Boy sitting reading on front step of gypsy caravan
The gypsy caravan we hired for our holiday at Farrs Meadow, Dorset.
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DIY Mini Doll Food – Made from Wine Corks!

Do your kids love having little picnics with their toys? Mine do, but what they don’t love so much is tidying away, and those little bits of teeny tiny doll food often go astray.

So instead of buying them more, why not try out our quick and easy DIY solution? All you need is a bottle of wine and some paint…

Maileg toy mouse having cheese and cake picnic outside a toy bell tent
Make a lovely play picnic for your child’s toys – all out of wine corks!
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Marvellous Maileg Mouse Review!

Have you heard of Maileg? Maileg (pronounced “My’lye”) are an award-winning Danish toy company that produces gorgeous, swoon-worthy soft toys with a nostalgic, storybook appeal.

We’ve been ogling them for quite a while, so we were beyond thrilled to receive a parcel the other day containing a beautiful Maileg ‘Big Sister’ Mouse, complete with matchbox bed, that was kindly sent to us for review by One Hundred Toys.

If it’s possible to create Hygge in toy form, a Maileg Mouse must be it! Read on to find out why.

Maileg Mouse - Big Sister - sitting in oversized matchbox bed
Maileg’s Big Sister mouse comes complete with her own giant matchbox bed!
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