Nine nuggets for November activities

Nine heart-warming activities for the month of November

  1. Poetry for Bonfire night

Bonfire night  from our book ‘Now share a verse…’ available from Amazon

‘When firework flares light the sky

With rainbow sparkles and flashes,

Whoops of joy fill the air

At seeing the golden splashes.

When I was young each family

Built a huge bonfire from a mix

Of planks and doors and rubbish

And stacks and stacks of sticks.

A Guy Fawkes made from sheets,

Stuffed with newspaper and tat,

Wore our Dad’s old trousers,

A white shirt and a hat.

The guy sat on a cart proudly,

Then all the kids would cry

To the passers-by on the streets,

‘Give us a penny for the guy.’

We usually bought Standard fireworks,

Bangers and Catherine Wheels.

The boys threw the Jumping Jacks

By the girls to hear the squeals.

I loved the Roman Candles,

The fountains spitting out stars.

Rockets set off from milk bottles,

Could they go as far as Mars?

As the bonfire burned in the garden,

We baked potatoes in the ashes,

Ate treacle toffee, drank some soup

Or hot milk – making moustaches.

My favourites were the Sparklers,

I wrote my name in their light.

In November I always looked forward,

To a fine, dry bonfire night.’

Sharing this poem

Bonfire night in the post-war period was a time of great excitement for children and families. 

Bonfire night parties were held in people’s back gardens and there were fewer organised events. Health and Safety was not taken seriously. Dads would be in charge of the firework selection box. Their jobs included nailing the Catherine Wheels to the fence and lighting the rockets which would be placed in milk bottles. 

Bonfires were built up in the back garden over a number of weeks and potatoes were often baked inside them. People recall eating baked potatoes covered in ash and charcoal and raw inside. These were eaten with a teaspoon in gloved hands. In the north, parkin, a gingerbread cake made with ginger, oatmeal and black treacle was enjoyed. Other tasty delights were hot soup, sausages, hot drinks and treacle toffee. The night was usually very cold. Anything that kept you warm was appreciated, including the wearing of warm clothes such as balaclavas, mittens (on strings) and scarves.

Children played with fireworks in the streets and as the poem says would take great delight throwing them at one another. Jumping Jacks were a favourite for this activity as each one made a series of bangs in a random zigzag pattern.

Guys were made as an effigy of Guy Fawkes and put on a trolley or cart. Children would collect money for fireworks night. ‘Penny for the guy, mister’ was a frequent cry on street corners before November 5th. The penny was the old 1d.

Finish the Phrases…

Catherine… Wheel

Roman… Candle

Jumping… Jack

Mount… Vesuvius 

Penny… bangers

Penny for the… guy 

Toffee… apples

Remember, remember… the 5th November

Gunpowder, treason and… plot

2. Remembrance Sunday

‘In the silence remember those,

Who gave their lives so we have ours.

As the poppies shine and fall,

We send a prayer to bless them all.’

Crochet and knitted poppies in front of Winchester Cathedral

Make your own poppies from red paper for remembrance. Write a message for a loved one on each.

We found this beautiful poppy wreath. The poppies are made from drawing around a hand on red paper and cutting out the shape.

3. Mickey’s birthday 

Mickey Mouse celebrates his birthday on November 18th.

‘We love watching Mickey with Minnie too,

They always bring laughter to me and you.

On this special day, we just want to say,

Happy happy birthday with fun all the way!’🎂

Here’s our Disney quiz! (You can view excerpts from the films on YouTube)

  1. What is the name of ‘The Little Mermaid?’ Ariel
  2. Name the 7 dwarves helped Sleeping Beauty? Happy, Bashful, Dopey, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Doc
  3. What is the name of Bambi’s rabbit friend? Thumper
  4. Who does Alice meet when she falls down a rabbit hole in ‘Alice In Wonderland? Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, March Hare, Dormouse, Queen of Hearts, Tweedledum and Tweedledee…
  5. Who wants a new coat in ‘101 Dalmatians’? Cruella De Vil
  6. What food do Lady and the Tramp eat when they share a romantic night out? Spaghetti
  7. What does the Fairy Godmother turn into a coach so that Cinderella can go to the ball? Pumpkin
  8. What is Pinocchio? He is a puppet that is brought to life
  9. In which Disney film would you find Mowgli, Balloo and Shere Khan? The Jungle Book
  10. Simba is a young lion in which 1994 Disney film? The Lion King

Or just put your feet up, get out the popcorn and celebrate Mickey’s birthday by watching your favourite Disney film.

4. Games Night

‘The 1960s – such a great age –

Beetle Drives and Mouse Trap were all the rage.

Snakes and Ladders, Tiddly Winks I could name,

Dominoes, cards – what was your favourite game?’

On these darker nights, pull up a chair and play some old fashioned games such as Snakes and Ladders, Ludo or card games such as Old Maid or Donkey.

5. Apple store!

‘Apples in the autumn grown on our trees,

Blessed by spring blossom and summer scented breeze.

Ripened by the sun, made juicy by rain from the skies,

Lovely to eat on their own or in buttery apple pies.’

Use those apples to make pies and warming crumbles.

Cut apples in half to find the hidden star.

6. Musical Melodies

Listen to some autumnal music

‘Autumn Leaves’ Nat King Cole

‘A foggy day in London town’ Fred Astaire

‘Forever Autumn’ The Moody Blues

‘Autumn Almanac’ The Kinks

‘Autumn Serenade’ John Coltrane 

‘Shine on Harvest Moon’ Rosemary Clooney


‘All things bright and beautiful’

‘For the beauty of the earth’

‘Come ye thankful people come’

‘Now thank we all our God’

‘We plough the fields and scatter’

7. Children in Need

Pudsey Bear

Have a coffee morning in aid of ‘Children in Need’.

‘Nothing is better than morning coffee

With a piece of cake and milk that’s frothy!

But it’s an even better sensation

When a charity gains from your donation.’

8. Lighting up Christmas

Take a trip to see the Christmas lights – which are switched on in November.

9. Christmas Countdown

‘Preparations for Christmas are getting under way,

Collect holly and mistletoe on a walk one day.

Make an advent calendar for that Christmas countdown,

Bake a cake and mince pies for smiles all around.’

Have a happy November!

All poems © Bonnie Day Limited.

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