Create your own reusable Advent Calendar

November 23, 2015 at 10:00 PMCoombeMill


We all know how exciting Christmas is for children, the countdown, the excitement and the endless "how many more sleeps" questions. An advent calendar is a great way for little ones to visualise the Christmas countdown and manage their excitement. Combine this with a creative way to express themselves and space for a treat and you have Eat Sleep Doddle's gorgeous Advent calendar bunting.

Eat Sleep Doodle Advent Calendar

The 2.7m long bunting had the required 25 mini stockings to ensure your Christmas countdown is complete. The pack can be bought at Prezzybox for £18.95 and includes a set of washout fabric pens.The days are numbered on each stocking leaving the rest a blank canvas for you and your family to design your own Christmas pictures.


What's in the box


The fabric pens work really well although you have to be careful not to press too hard as they can run further than you intend. I'd suggest having a little practice try on a spare scrap of fabric first to get a feel for them.  I left our bunting out on the kitchen table having started the first few to see if my children would take to it after school. Sure enough school bags were dropped and pens were soon in hand. It is a lovely way to spend an hour together, and a whole 25 days to admire your handiwork!  


Kids Drawing on the Stockings


I filled ours with a mix of healthy fruit bars and fun mini Haribo packs, both of which fitted perfectly, but any single size chocolate bar or sweet packet would work.


Colour and fill yourself


If you are not keen on filling with sweets, try some festive sprigs from the garden or even a secret message, or even a new small toy each day, the options are endless.


foliage advent calendar decoration

I plan to take ours into our Ping Pong tent for the festive season and perhaps add to it in our Christmas craft hour with some homemade festive bunting and other decorations ready for our Christmas Eve celebrations.

The bunting itself is all washable fabric so at the end of the season you can wash and put away your calendar ready to start all over again next year. A great way to recreate the magic year after year and extra pen sets can be purchased if needed.

Win your Eat Sleep Doodle Advent calendar Bunting

Your chance to win with Prezzybox and Coombe Mill just follow the instructions below.

Good luck to all taking part and remember you can buy these creative stocking calendars from the Prezzybox website.

Eat Sleep Doodle Advent Calendar


I was sent my advent stocking bunting for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  


How to Make a Fairy or Elf Christmas Post Box

November 22, 2015 at 8:00 PMCoombeMill


Imagination and Christmas go together, with elves, Father Christmas, reindeer and fairies all featuring dancing in our children's mind creating a festive build up of excitement alongside the traditional Christmas story.  Have you ever stopped to think who writes a Christmas list for the fairies? Here at Coombe Mill we have a Christmas Post box in our reception for any worried little ones concerned that Santa may not know where they are staying, however our Fairy Garden is full of fairies also wanting to post their messages.  Now they can with our easy to make toilet roll post boxes at perfect fairy size! A fun craft for fairies living inside or outside your home.

Fairy & Elf Post Box

What you will need

  • A toilet roll
  • Red, black and White Paint
  • Black ink pen
  • Scissors
  • Cereal box or other card
  • Stapler
  • PVA Glue

What You'll Need Postboxes


  1. Cut into the top of the toilet roll about 1 cm deep

  2. Fold out each tab at the top of the toilet roll

  3. Draw a circle on a piece of cardboard the size of the splayed top and cut it out.

  4. Staple the circle of cardboard to the splayed top.

  5. Draw a long thin rectangle about 1 cm from the top to make a letter box.

  6. Cut the rectangle out, trying to keep it as neat as possible.

  7. Paint your toilet roll red all over, making sure you paint the underside of the top where it folds out and leave to dry.

  8. Paint a black line around the base of the toilet roll.

  9. Paint a white square under the rectangular cut out and leave to dry.

  10. Write your special Christmas message in the white box.

  11. Paint over the entire post box with P.V.A glue, being careful over the writing so that it doesn't run. this will help make it water resistant for outdoors. 


Post Box Step by Step

  1. Cut out rectangles of cardboard making sure they're the right size to fit through the post box hole.

  2. Write your special Christmas messages. 

  3. Post it through the letter box for the fairies and elves to read. 


Fairy Post Step by Step


A few additions you could try

  1. Pop cotton wool on top to look like snow 

  2. Add some festive paint or sticker decorations

  3. Make some Pipe cleaner Fairy Folk to go with your post box.

  4. Put it next to a dolls house, fairies like to gather in here!

  5. Pop a battery tea light inside and use as a Christmas ornament

  6. Hide a few in the garden or house and make a Christmas Trail


On my first day of Christmas shopping in Plymouth and I spotted this one in the shopping centre, complete with snow effect and extra decoration ideas. 


Christmas Post Box in the snow


How to make a Christmas Post Box Vlog Tutorial






Trash 2 Treasure   clairejustine      toddler approved tuesday   Twinkly Tuesday     Clarina’s Contemplations

Farm beauty through the drizzle

November 21, 2015 at 8:41 PMCoombeMill


Weekly Farm Photos

We have two big projects on the go this month, cattle grids along the top lodge road and a refit to the Children's play barn in the heart of Coombe Mill. Both projects are at that messy unattractive stage and so rather than share photos of ripped up lino in a now empty barn, or cement mixers along the lane I'm taking a step back from the day to day to share a little of the nature that makes me smile even on a November day notable for its dark sky and drizzle.


Despite the storms and winds this week the last of autumn leaves are still clinging to the branches.


Autumn leaves after a storm at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, UK


Our sheltered valley produces its own micro climate extending the influence of summer.


Rich colours of Autumn leaves at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, UK


Evergreens and winter berries keep a fresh green look to the farm and are perfect for Christmas decorations


Evergreen leaves and berries in autumn at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, UK


Fungi thrives on the woodland floor embracing the mild damp conditions


Fungi in the woods in autumn at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, UK


Our lodges stand empty during this month of closure although drifting smoke from the chimneys, fairy lights and Christmas trees will transform this scene in just a few weeks time. Fingers crossed the road will be open again in time.


Scandinavian Lodges in November at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, UK

Trebah and Trevarno lodges are the last remaining properties on the farm if you fancy joining us for Christmas 2015; they both sleep 4 plus cots and have huge playrooms for those less than perfect days on the farm!


Trebah and Trevarno Scandinavian Lodges, Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall, UK


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

November 20, 2015 at 11:00 PMCoombeMill

A beach for the adventurous

Now that we are closed for a few weeks before Christmas I do like to take advantage of our reclaimed family weekends, with no changeover, feed run and train rides our family life resumes a more leisurely pace.  With a free Sunday stretching before us and a surprisingly mild day the kids joined me for a trip to Tregardock beach.

A Beach for the Adventurous

Commonly referred to as "The secret breach" in our house, Tregardock is a beach for the adventurous and not recommended for families with young children. Parking is on a narrow no through road with a 15 minute cross country hike to a steep descent to this stunning National Trust gem devoid of people and facilities.

The kids were all in good spirits with plenty of family banter flying around and much play fighting and dare devil jumps on the way down.  A family walk is such a pleasure with children to liven things up.


Walking to the beach


As always the kids bounded on ahead of me leaping from rock to rock on the steep descent making it all look effortless. I gingerly crept down behind them with all my hands and feet needed to keep me steady.


Kids on beach before me


Despite being a mild day we still had to keep moving to stay warm.  Jed had his football and a game instantly brought us all together.


Football on the beach


I always say to take a towel or change of clothes with kids and water, even in winter there is always one wanting to venture into the sea. Fully warmed up from Football it was Jed who stripped off and waded out into the still water. I must say it did look inviting, but dipping a toe was enough to cool the rest of us down!   Jed in the Sea




Ally settled for stone skimming and soon the others followed as a challenge was set.


Skipping stones

With craggy rocks to climb and caves to explore this really is a beach for explorers and even though we know it well the kids still love to investigate all around looking for changes since their last visit and crystal chunks in the rocks.


Rock climbing and Cave Exploring

The rocks were brimming with mussels and the children set about collecting driftwood to light a fire and toast a few since I had failed to bring any snacks and they were all getting hungry and chilling down as the sun was setting. The fire was a success and everyone crowded round but I was mindful of the tide coming in fast and as the beach is totally cut off at high tide I ushered us all back to the pathway home before they had a chance to begin cooking.


Beach Bonfire

However we did bring our mussels home with us and added them to our steak pierrade supper providing a real "surf n turf" feast.


Birthday Tea

Coombe Mill is open again from 17th December for the Christmas and New Year break if you fancy a family getaway. Do ask me about how to get to Tregardock, it is only a 15 minute drive from Coombe Mill. 



Joining in with Country Kids

I'd love you to come and share your outdoor fun with me here on the linky.  All posts are welcome from playing in the garden to days out.  All I ask is that the post is predominantly outside, away from screens and enjoying some fresh air.  I'd be delighted if you would take my badge or link back here and please remember to check out some of the other posts and be generous with commenting, it might just be the inspiration for your next adventure.

Country Kids is around in these communities, I'd love you to join me: 

Pin on the Pinterest Board Just ask for an invite to pin and include Country Kids on your pins for me to stop by on your boards too (no need for a hash tag in Pinterest)


Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays's board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on Pinterest. 



Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me 

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet


A few of my favourites from last week:

Little Steps made the most of the mild weather here in Cornwall and like us dipped a toe or two in the sea!

All the fun of an autumn night carnival by Blog Bay-Bee

Dutch dutch Goose explains how to appreciate the sky at the Celestial Vault 

Buba Blue and Me enjoyed the colours of autumn in the sunshine at Stowe Gardens


Win a pair of Muddy Puddles Wellies with Country Kids

Muddy Puddles Giveaway with Coombe Mill Country Kids November 15 


I am delighted to announce that Muddy Puddles have joined with Coombe Mill to sponsor the Country Kids link up. My favourites each week will be considered for a pair of Muddy Puddles Wellies at the end of the month; the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather throws your way.  If you are not already familiar with this wonderful outdoor children's range please do take a look at their website where they have everything needed for year round country kids. The wellies we offer may change each month but are always high quality, comfy and stylish so keep an eye out here on Country Kids to see which designs are up each month. For more more information on the Muddy Puddles wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here   


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



Toddle Away with a Toddlebike2

November 16, 2015 at 9:30 PMCoombeMill


Here at Coombe Mill we have been top supporters of Jo Hockley and her clever Toddlebike range since they first came to market. We kindly received a few early bikes to put through their paces. Given our bikes remain outdoors in a ride on playground all year round and are used each week by new owners you might expect that over 2 years later they would be showing their age. Not a bit of it, our Toddlebikes receive a hose down with the other play equipment and come up looking as good as new. This is a testament to how well built they are which is quite remarkable for the lightest bike on the market!


The original Toddlebikes being washed


Knowing that Toddlebike Mark 2 was being launched there was no doubt in my mind we would want to check it out. However I was worried it might lose some of its core qualities of being super lightweight, eye catching, durable and perfect for early walkers. I'm thrilled to say that the Toddlebike2 retains all these key features and manages to add even more functionality.


Toddlebike2 info


However it isn't what is printed on the website that impresses, or the amazing value at under £25 or anything I write here; it is the sheer joy on little ones faces as they manoeuvre along any terrain that is the real proof that Jo had got it right again.


Kids enjoying the toddlebike 2

I feel like we have a bit of a 'Toddlebike fleet' forming here on the farm as they never wear out and I decided they would be perfect to add to our games afternoon for activity hour. We had more complex games for the older children and Toddlebike races for the youngsters. It was so much fun watching them go and the new red Series 2 was in hot demand proving the design is eye-catching to a discerning young audience.


Toddler Toddlebike Race


It was all too much for the older children and even though they had their own games coming up they couldn't resist a go on the Toddlebikes. Just as well the bikes are so sturdy so we could indulge them in a little fun!



Toddle Bike older kids race


If you have a little one just walking or aged around 18 months plus the Toddlebike2 would make a wonderful Christmas present. This is something that will be used day after day indoors or outside and still live to be passed on to siblings in years to come. All this can be yours for just £23.95 on the Toddlebike Website.


Win your Toddlebike2

Toddle Away with a Toddlebike2


The new Toddlebike2 comes in 3 stunning colours Racing Red, Pinky Pink and Midnight Blue. We are thrilled to be offering one of these to a lucky Coombe Mill blog reader. For your chance to win just follow the instructions below.

Good Luck to all taking part.



I was sent my Toddlebike2 for the purpose of this review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.  



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall Family Fever toddler approved tuesday      

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"Tales from the farmers wife" shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.

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Here at Muddy Puddles we believe ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong kit!’. We’re on a quest for all children to be fit for adventure, and to embrace the outdoors.

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