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May the Fourth Be With You! Star Wars Competition

I am quite obsessed with Star Wars. I have watched all the films and read lots of books, I have t-shirts, LEGO, Stationary, teddies and Pyjamas. I probably know more about Star Wars than I do anything else!

As lots of my friends are equally big fans we spend a lot of our school play times talking about Star Wars and playing Star Wars type games. You can imagine we are all getting quite excited about Star Wars Day!

We have been excitedly checking the deals at the LEGO store and seeing what else is happening. Now I just need to convince my Mum that she really does want to take us all the way across to the LEGO store after school on May The Fourth!

I asked if we could run a competition for Star Wars Day and my parents agreed but now we have brought the prize I am too excited for someone to win it so I am starting it a bit early.

We are giving one lucky winner the following Star Wars bundle-

Rouge One on DVD

Star Wars Wallet

Star Wars Fridge Magnet

Light Sabre pen set

Star Wars Activity pack

Star Wars disposable watch

Star Wars Hero Mashers Shadow Trooper

Star Wars Travel Mug

Good Luck!

 

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Oh Help, Oh No… It’s A Gruffalo- A visit to Salcey Forest

We are lucky to have some great walks on our doorstep and Salcey Forest is one of the nicest place to spend an afternoon. Until 30th October 2017 you can go on a Gruffalo trail there, we popped over the other week and decided to see what it was all about.

My little brother LOVES the Gruffalo and we all know the story off by heart having heard it since we were tiny. To take part you either just download the app and get going or you can buy an activity pack for £3- this was quite good because it had some fact cards with information in about animals and activities of things you can find in the woods, some things to spot and some stickers and some drawing things so we got one of these to share.

We weren’t sure what you would have to do but it soon became quite obvious. The younger children would peek through binocular cut outs and spy a picture of the creature they were looking for and then you used the app to register the image and all of a sudden it would appear through the phone as it if it was actually there. We also worked out that you could take a picture as if you were next to them which was quite good.

We had fun running through the woods and splashing in the puddles and found all the creatures before arriving at the Gruffalo. At some point we did have a few issues because the mobile signal wasn’t great- we never did manage to get the snake but that didn’t matter too much and Lottie and Sam had lots of fun spotting all the other animals- the Gruffalo was enormous.

This is a nice way for children under 6 to spend an afternoon and quite fun for older kids to help with.

We then went and had a huge piece of cake, two pieces between five of us was more than enough! Once we were all full again we headed off to the tree top trail which is amazing- you can see a really long way across the forest.

If you are in the Northamptonshire area then it is well worth a visit. It costs £1.50 to park for an hour or £4 for the whole day and there are lots of picnic benches as well as a café.

 

 

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Review of The Night Spinner by Abi Elphinstone

If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that I became a fan of Abi Elphinstone last year when I was asked to review the first two books in her trilogy of stories about Moll and her quest to save the world from the Shadowmasks.

Since I finished reading The Shadow Keeper I have been waiting for the next book to be released so I could find out what happens next and the final book in the trilogy- The Night Spinner is even better than I expected.

I was so excited to find the people at South Kensington Books had sent me a copy of The Night Spinner as soon as it was released and even more excited when I realised that it had been signed by Abi Elphinstone herself! I took it into school to show and now everyone wants to read it! I have said they should start with The Dreamsnatcher though so they can enjoy all three books in order.

My Mum and I have been reading The Night Spinner together as a bedtime story and have dragged it out for as long as possible because we didn’t want it to end but we have now finished it. I am quite sad in a way because I don’t know what to read anymore and was enjoying it so much but I am so glad the ending was as good as I hoped.

If you have read The Dreamsnatcher and The Shadow Keeper you certainly won’t be disappointed- there is Shadowmasks, Peatboggers, Kelpies, Giants and Goblins and a feeling that you should definitely be wary of cobwebs but at the same time there is friendship and courage and hope.

There are sad bits and happy bits and the book is even better than the other two and although Moll is as spiky as ever you really want her to find the Amulet of Truth and win against the final two Shadowmasks even though it seems like she has no chance against the dark magic they are spreading everywhere with The Veil.

Set in the Northern Wilderness the descriptions are amazing and you feel like you could be lost out on deserted moors or heading deep into the mist- it made me want to go on an adventure!

There is a great twist near the end and you are kept guessing what will happen until the very last minute.

This is easily the best book I have read in ages and would recommend it to anyone age 8 or over- including grown ups as I had to keep hiding the book so my Mum didn’t read ahead!

I am just hoping that Abi Elphinstone is busy writing her next trilogy!

 

 

Family Fever
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If I won the lottery!!

Like many grown ups plenty of children dream of having enough money to buy anything they wanted and after once again counting up my savings and finding myself still a bit short for the LEGO I am saving up for I decided to write a list of all the things I would love to do if I won the lottery.

I know I am not old enough to actually do the lottery and also realise that I am an awful lot luckier than a lot of children but this is just for fun and a makes a nice day dream!

To start things off I would buy a house for my family- it wouldn’t need to be a mansion, just big enough that we all had our own room (my brother and sister share at the moment) and that we had a nice garden to play in. It would be amazing to have a playroom too!

Then I would take my family to some places I would love to see – Italy for the history, Africa for the Safaris, Dubai for the dessert safaris and Norway for The Northern Lights, We could have a fantastic holiday to look forward to each school holiday!

I would buy a Ford GT as I think they are awesome and would buy my Mum a people carrier so she could fit our friends in as well as us to come and play!

It would be lovely to get some fantastic play equipment for the garden – like one of those huge climbing frames or playhouses as that would keep us all busy.

I would like to do lots of fun days out, there are some theme parks that I would love to visit across the.

Obviously I would buy Krennic’s Shuttle which I have been saving up for but would probably buy lots of other LEGO too.

Finally I would love to choose some charities to support- I would like to find children’s ones such as ones that help refugees because I have seen lots of sad news about children who have to leave their homes for war and they go through awful things to get to safe countries where they still might not get looked after. I would give some to GOSH as they help lots of poorly children and then some adult ones who help people too, especially ones who help people who are ill- there are so many to choose from I would have to do lots of research

What would you do if you were lucky enough to win the lottery?

 

                     Top of my LEGO wish list!

 

 

 

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A Treat For Mum- Elizabeth Shaw Chocolates

I was lucky enough to go on three Easter Egg hunts this weekend and my brother, sister and I have done very well with our chocolate stash over the last few days. I always feel a bit bad that Mum and Dad don’t get Easter chocolates too and we like to share our treats with them but we really like it best of all when we can surprise them with a treat of their own.

I was very happy when Elizabeth Shaw offered me the chance to treat my Mum with a box of their chocolates- I know she has had some from their range before and liked them so this sounded great. They then made it really difficult by giving me a list of different flavours to choose from- they all sounded delicious! There was Orange, Mint, Lemon, Cappucino and Salted Caramel which all made my mouth water!

In the end I went with orange because I love chocolate orange flavour and although I planned to treat my Mum I was hoping she would share with me too!

The box of Milk Orange Crisp Chocolates arrived today with perfect timing as my Mum was worn out from listening to three hours screaming at a soft play centre and chasing my brother round so he didn’t keep trying to climb up the slides. I was able to give them to her when we arrived back home and she was thrilled with her treat.

We all tried them this afternoon and they were lovely- really good orange flavour and very tasty.  I liked the crispy honeycomb bits and Lottie liked the fact they were all wrapped up in shiny parcels like huge coins! We made sure we saved some for Dad when he got home from work and he really liked them too.

It was really nice to be able to give my Mum a treat especially after being spoilt myself with chocolate this past weekend but I think the Elizabeth Shaw range would make a great present for most grown ups for any special occasion or just as a special treat or thank you. I think I might keep an eye out for the salted caramel ones next!

 

 

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Only Joking! My top 15 jokes for kids

I have been asking people to tell me their favourite children’s jokes and thought I would share some of my favourites here on my blog.

What’s sheep’s favourite sweet?  A chocolate baaaa

What do you call a man with a spade in his head? Doug!

Why was 6 scared of 7?  Because 7, 8, 9!

What time do you need to go to the dentist? Tooth- hurty!

Knock Knock. Who’s There? Europe. Europe Who? No need to be so rude!

Did you hear about the magic tractor? It went down the road and turned into a field!

Why can’t the bicycle stand up by itself? Because it’s two-tyred!

What do you call a three legged donkey? A Wonkey!

What’s orange and sounds like a parrot? A Carrot!

There are two mice in the airing cupboard, which one’s in the army? The one on the tank!

Why did Cinderalla get kicked out of the football team? She kept running away from the ball!

What do you can a dinosaur with one eye? Do-you-think-he-saurus

There are two fish in a tank, one looks at the other and says ‘Do you know how to drive this thing?’!

Shakespeare walks into a pub and the landlord says ‘hey, you’re Bard’

A man walks into a pet shop, he says ‘I’d like to buy a wasp’ The man behind the counter says ‘I’m sorry sir, we don’t sell wasps’. The man says ‘well you’ve got one in the window’.

Thanks to my family and friends for sharing their jokes and also @2016NewDad and @Mikes005 on twitter, you gave us a good laugh!

Have you got any great jokes to share?

 

 

 

 

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My Top 10 Days Out for Easter and a Chance to Win an Amazon Voucher

We have been working with a great new website, Wiki Places For Kids to share some of our favourite days out and have found some brilliant suggestions from other people.

When they asked us to team up with them and come up with a list of suggestions for family fun in our local area (Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire) over the Easter holidays we got straight to work.

So many other schools seem to have broken up already and I are feeling quite jealous as we are still a week away from our holidays. Even so we are looking forward to visiting some of these places when we finally get there!

Great Days Out in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire

Stanwick Lakes

We have had a pass for Stanwick Lakes ever since I was a baby and it is one of our favourite places to go- especially when it is warm enough to get soaking wet in the sand and water play areas. It’s nice for a walk and has a great play area to run around it. There is an indoor play area and a café too. They often have other events going on too.

Salcey Forest

There are lots of different routes you can take at Salcey Forest including an awesome treetop trail and currently the Gruffalo Trail which we did the other week- my little brother and sister loved it!

Xtreme360 Trampoline Park

I recently discovered Xtreme360 for a friend’s birthday and it was brilliant. We had such a good time on the trampolines and I liked the fact there were different types. I am hoping to go back soon and my sister is desperate to visit. This is definitely on my list for a fun few hours.

Spy Mission

Spy Mission is an awesome place to visit with a couple of friends. I have been to a few birthday parties here and it is always brilliant. I would recommend this for children age 6 and upwards.

Twinwoods

Twinwoods in Milton Ernest is just about the most amazing place you can go for any sort of adventure you might be looking for-you can do the climbing wall, drive in the race room, fly in the wind tunnel, surf, swim or go to the play area- there is something for everyone and I would love to go back and try surfing again.

Wood Green Animal Shelter

I really like visiting Wood Green Animal Shelter, it’s a great place for all the work they do with animals and it’s a nice place to visit too. Even if you aren’t looking to adopt an animal you can still have a look around- see the animals who are waiting to be rehomed, visit the maze and little playground and pop to the café. It’s a lovely place to have a walk around.

Wicksteed Park

We haven’t been to Wicksteed Park for a couple of years but now my brother and sister are both old enough to come with me I would love to go back. I really enjoyed all the rides there and have had a great time when I have been in the past.

Woburn Safari Park

For a bigger day out we really like Woburn Safari Park Even if it’s raining there is still plenty to see and as you do most of it in your car it doesn’t matter if the weather is bad. We spent ages watching the monkeys last time- they are so funny. I like the fact that you can drive round the actual safari park more than once if you want. There is also plenty of other animals to see when you get out of the car-we loved the penguins. We enjoyed riding on the swans on the lake too.

Laser Planet Milton Keynes

I went to Laser Planet in Milton Keynes with my friend a couple of months ago and we had a fantastic afternoon, we played team games and individual battles and got a score sheet after each game. It was really cool. You can go with friends or on your own and can either have one game or play for the whole day. If you like computer games this is awesome!

Daytona Milton Keynes

Daytona Race track is one of my favourite places to go. I love doing their Arrive and Drive sessions and have been a few times- I have raced against lots of different people and it’s great because you never know who you are going to be up against. It isn’t a long outing but it makes a great activity for a special treat.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my favourite local days out. If you are looking for inspiration in your own area then you can visit Wiki Places for Kids for some brilliant ideas.

Win!

In the meantime we have teamed up with Wiki Places for Kids to offer our readers the chance to win a £20 Amazon Voucher- check out the rafflecopter form for details.

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Into the Wilderness – Our Bushcraft Adventure

Last Saturday was absolutely amazing- the best day out we have had as a family in ages. We left home early in the morning and headed out to Hatfield Woods, for a day of bushcraft with the people at Camp Wilderness.

My sister and I got more and more excited as we got nearer but as we headed down tiny winding roads I started to wonder if we were going in the right direction as we seemed to be in the middle of nowhere!  Eventually we saw some signs for Camp Wilderness and a lady was waiting to send us in the right direction, after letting some horses who were using the track out first we trundled on down until we found where we were to park up.

As we got out of the car we met Kyle who immediately became Lottie’s favourite person by making her a star magic wand with nothing but a stick- it was very clever though! We headed up a big hill, saw our base for the day and met Jade, the lady who had organised everything.

Once we got settled in we tucked into drinks, biscuits and fruit- including watermelon, which I love, and then joined a group of grown up bloggers and their children. We learnt that this was the very first time that Camp Wilderness had run a family day and we were the very first families to be able to experience the camp together which was quite exciting.  We were then spilt into two groups and some people went off to the other base while we stayed where we were.

We all sat round the campfire and our leader explained how when they are running a camp the fire is kept going all the way through- I was really surprised by this as the camps last several days, but they showed us how to gently put things on the fire to keep it from burning out without hurting ourselves. They then talked to us about all the different ways you can start a fire. This was really interesting and we got to try out some of the techniques. Lottie and I got to start a fire using a battery and some wire wool which makes sparks, we thought this was really cool. There was also a flint and steel tool you can use, gunpowder, sun and a magnifying glass or even rubbing two sticks together. I didn’t think this actually worked but it does! Although it takes a really long time and a lot of hard work to get the embers going that way… I think if I were ever stranded I would like to have the tool with me!

We were split down into two further groups and told we were going to form tribes, Kyle was going to be our guide and  we had to come up with a name, design a flag and decide on the history of our tribe. We quickly became the Yippee, Yippee, Yippee Awesome tribe and got going with our flag. My little brother decided this would be a good time to wander off and see whether he could climb up a tree stump- he was very happy when he realised he could and decided he needed to shout toddler noises at all of us to celebrate. This was very funny because Kyle was shouting back to him and it ended up sounding like some kind of chant… we soon decided this should be adopted as our tribe song.

                                                                    

After we had shared the details of our tribe with the whole group it was off to find a great spot to test our new fire-making skills. We soon got our fire started and fed it with plenty of dry wood to keep it going. While we waited for the fire to be ready we had a go at making models with clay – we made faces for the trees!

        

Before long the fire had calmed down enough to cook on it and we went off to the camp kitchen to find they had prepared us some delicious burgers ready for us to cook. We got these cooking and the smell made my tummy rumble!  Fortunately it wasn’t too long before they were ready and we got to enjoy them with some rolls, salad and the most amazing potatoes ever that the people in the kitchen had made. We loved cooking our lunch outside and it tasted fantastic. After lunch we were taught how to safely put out the fire and scatter the ash so it looked like we had never even been there. We even got to have our faces painted with the ash, which made great camouflage. Although with Lottie’s wand made her she looked more like a forest fairy!

                                             

It was soon time to head back to base where we learnt about camouflage and keeping ourselves hidden in the forest. We all used some camouflage (and helped the leaders with theirs!) and then we played some concealment games. These were good fun and involved lots of running about, hiding and climbing in ditches!

Then we went and talked about foraging and how if you are in a survival situation you are safer to eat meat that you trap then risking berries or mushrooms that could be poisonous if you didn’t know what you were getting. We learnt all about different types of traps you could build and saw how they worked. We even got to look at different animal furs and see if we could recognise them- I got some right, I found them a bit weird to touch!

We were shown how to make tribal bracelets but at that point Sam decided he had had far too much excitement for one day and was really tired and grumpy so my Mum had to take him off for a walk. The bracelets were quite tricky to get started and Lottie and I couldn’t get them to work without help and whilst one of the leaders offered to help us we got a bit distracted by the arrival of marshmallows! The bracelets we saw that other people had made looked really good though.

The marshmallows were worth the wait- they were delicious, and I learnt that if you keep low near the fire then you don’t get so much smoke in your eyes. Don’t toast them for too long though as they drop off into the fire if you are not careful! We also had some hot chocolate and yummy marshmallow crispy cakes made by the kitchen- I can’t believe how much they could make out in the forest!

It was then time to get going but we asked if we could have a quick peak in one of the tents before we left- they were huge and looked really nice and warm- one of the leaders said they had lived in one all last year so they must be comfortable!

I would definitely love to attend one of the residential camps– it would be amazing to do with friends. My sister took a leaflet about school trips too which our deputy head is looking at, these look fantastic. There are going to be some open days later in the year for people to go and have a look and perhaps try a few of the things we were lucky enough to do.

If you fancy popping along to one of the free family open days and learning about bushcraft you can visit their Events page on Facebook for more information and can pick from an amazing day at:

Chalmondeley Castle in Wrexham on 22nd April

Penshurst Place in Tonbridge 20th April

Hatfield Woods on 13th May

Daylesford Festival at Moreton in Marsh 20th May

We can’t recommend it highly enough and for them to be able the entertain Sam who isn’t yet 2 as well as Lottie who is 5 and me all in one go as well as lots of older kids then Camp Wilderness must be doing things well!

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer- we were invited to take part in the Family Bushcraft Day with several other bloggers but all views are my own

 

Potty Adventures
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Into the Wilderness

I am so excited!!

We have been invited to go on an adventure tomorrow and I can’t wait… I don’t think I will be able to sleep tonight!

We are joining some other bloggers on a day out at Camp Wilderness and it looks amazing.

The people at Camp Wilderness run Summer camps, school trips and all sorts of fun things but they are also having some open days for families to enjoy outdoor adventures and learn more about bush-craft.

My sister and I have been looking at the itinerary all week and we can’t decide what we are most looking forward to- she is very excited to make campfires, I can’t wait to do everything! We are going to be doing exercises with camouflage, learning how to make fires and cooking on them, learning about trapping  and doing camp crafts- it all looks awesome. My Mum says she is looking forward to toasting marshmallows!

I have just finished getting ready to go and have got my walking boots, raincoat and water bottle so I think I am set- just got to try and get some sleep now ready to leave early in the morning!

 

 

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Dreaming of Sunshine!

It’s lovely now we are starting to see some signs of Spring and the sunshine again and it’s really nice to be able to go out without getting wrapped up in coats and wellies but it has made me dream of going on holiday.

We were supposed to be going to Belgium next weekend for a little break but unfortunately because my Dad has been quite unwell my parents decided to cancel it to be safe, although I have been told we will be doing something else just as fun instead, it does mean I won’t be getting to build a sandcastle just yet.

I love visiting different places and am really wanting to go on a plane which we haven’t done yet. There are so many different places I would like to go to- my Uncle travels a lot and I love to hear about the places he has visited.

Win!

I got myself a Lonely Planet travel journal to keep notes in when we go away and it’s really cool, but I am saving it for a big trip before I get started. My Mum brought another one so we could give it away to one of our readers who also loves to travel- to try and win a copy you can enter below- we’d really love to hear about the place you like most in the world, whether it’s somewhere for sunshine or something colder… maybe I can add it to my list of places to visit.

 
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