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 (let’s not 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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HABA Terra Kids – Real Woodworking Tools

We love a bit of woodwork with the kids – whether out in the woods, at forest school, or at home with a bit of softwood, so we were very happy when One Hundred Toys asked us to test out a pile of fabulous-looking, kid-sized real tools from HABA. Read on to find out why we’re now eschewing pretend tools for the real deal.

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. And they each come with a fire pit for proper evening campfires… And 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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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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Book Love: The Bog Baby, by Jeanne Willis and Gwen Millward

book 'The Bog Baby' by Jeanne Willis and Gwen Millward

Book Love – ‘The Bog Baby’ by Jeanne Willis and Gwen Millward.

‘The Bog Baby’ by Jeanne Willis and Gwen Millward is one of our favourite picture books, being that rare beast that can captivate both a seven-year boy and a three-year old girl time and time again. I couldn’t count how many times I’ve read this to the kids, but it still brings a tear to my eye too (in a good way!!).

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Tips for Visiting the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio Tour

The entrance to the Harry Potter studio tour in Leavesdon, UK

The entrance to the Warner Bros. Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour, UK

This week we took G-Man and friend to the Harry Potter studio tour as his birthday treat (instead of a party – hurrah!). We had a great time geeking out on all the amazing Potter film artefacts and sets (especially, I must confess, us grown-ups in the group). It’s a fantastic experience that, despite the horrendous cost, I definitely recommend. It is also one of those places where a bit of research and prep beforehand really pays off – especially if, like us, you are taking young kids. So here are my top tips for avoiding misery, saving money and making the most of a family trip to the Making of Harry Potter studio tour!

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Our Top 10 (or 11) Favourite Play Food Toys to Buy

Our kids love playing with their toy kitchen (yes, it is the ubiquitous Ikea Duktig play kitchen; and no, it has not, alas, been pimped).  Over the years we’ve amassed a fair few bits of play food to go with it – some inherited, some gifted, a few picked up in the sales.  But if we could do it all again, these eleven sets are the ones I’d make sure to get!

11 best toy play food and accessories

These are our top choices for stocking up a play kitchen!

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