Country Kids from Coombe Mill

October 10, 2014 at 11:50 PMCoombeMill

Entering the magical world of fairies and goblins

Activity hour here on the farm goes from strength to strength. Each week we wait to see the age range of the children signing up before agreeing on an activity to suit all their needs.  The one to three year olds this past few weeks have really made us put our thinking caps on for enough stimulating and engaging ideas for them. We had been doing up to 5 different crafts as their attention span is so much less than the older children, however this week I decided on a change. I thought we would try linking the activities together with a theme so their understanding could evolve from one task to the next. Our theme was Discovery and Sensory learning in the world of fairies and goblins. 

 Sensory learning with fantasy fairies and goblins


The dressing up box is always a good way to get imaginations running with children. They chose their own outfits with Mums and Dads helping them dress.

We explained that our little folk were asking for some more food in their garden and that we were all going to help them from the things we found around the farm and here in my garden. Handing out sensory sheets we invited the children to collect the herbs on the list explaining that they were all things their Mums and Dad's used to flavour their food and could be found in and around our green house.


Sensory learning exercise with herbs for early years

Folding over the sensory sheet we rolled and rubbed to release the fragrance.


Making scented paper from nature sensory exercise for early years children

Then we explained that while we added our herbs to meat and vegetable for cooking our fairy folk used them differently. Our fun fairy food scavenger hunt sheet is full of things to collect for the perfect fairy dinner, including herbs we had just been investigating.


Fairy Food Sensory Walk Worksheet

Each child chose a brightly coloured dinner pot to fill with their ingredients and we set off exploring to find them.   


 Fairy Food Hunt at Coombe Mill


They all did really well with finding all the ingredients on their fairy food list and carried them carefully into the gardens. I had arranged some tree stumps in a circle and we all took a seat to enjoy a delightful Fairy story I found in our reception; the children still clutching their fairy dinners.


Fairy storytime


Then it was on to the serious task of scattering fairy food and seeing if we could spot any of the little folk along the way.


 Scattering fairy food in the fairy gardens


We didn't see a fairy but we did see plenty of their handiwork around the gardens!

It was a lovely afternoon in the fresh air full of imagination, fun and a little learning too with collecting and identifying our fairy food ingredients.



If you fancy trying out these activities in your garden or at the park here are printables of the activity sheets we created.

Sensory Leaf Activity and Fairy Food Sensory Scavenger Hunt 


Joining in with Country Kids

If you have been outdoors enjoying the fresh air please come and join the linky. Country Kids is all about family time with the children away from screens and sofas making the most of the great outdoors. Discover our forests, enjoy the beach, get crafting in the garden or find a local park; there is so much out there and a little fresh air is good for us as well as our children. Please grab the badge or link back here and do check out some of the other posts, there are always some lovely ideas for enjoying outdoor time with your children.    

I always comment on every post that links up with me but doing this has led to some commenting systems seeing me as spam *sobs*. If you don't see a comment from me please check your spam, I am probably lurking there!  

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

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)

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:

I love the colour sorting with broad beans from Adventures of Adam

City girl gone coastal took the family to a fascinating woodland fair

The perils of kids football is a broken greenhouse....again! I love this story from Touchline Dad 

Let Kids be kids venture out to the discovery centre which the children embrace

Charlie Moo's  goes to Farmer Palmers for a fun family day with the animals



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A Chance Meeting at the Beach

October 5, 2014 at 10:30 PMCoombeMill


Every week I look forward to Tuesday's from Easter to October as this is our beach afternoon. I collect all the children from their various schools and we head out to Polzeath where the triplets attend surf school and the others have a free 2 hours of beach fun to do as they choose. Usually the bigger ones bring their boards and surf too while I body board, however the sea has been like a millpond the past couple of weeks so we have been running the coast path together with a dip in the sea at the end. This week I instantly regretted the decision as there were some beautiful waves to surf.

Once the triplets were safely off with boards and wetsuits and the Surf's Up team, the bigger boys and I agreed to run the coast path in the opposite direction to usual and see if we could make it as far as Rock beach.

My running these days is not very serious and I am easily distracted taking photos of the lovely view and the boys are soon way ahead of me. 


 Running the coast path


I hadn't even managed a mile before a tent and sign on the cliff edge caught my attention. I wandered over and began to chat to Mark Gibbons who explained his work and how he sets up his tent around the coast painting the same stunning views I enjoy photographing.  It looked like the most idyllic way to earn a living and I was captivated.


Artist at Work on the cornish coast path


I had lost sight of the the boys by now and focussed on a gentle trot snapping away as I travelled. The peace and beauty of the coast is so refreshing I was lost in my own world and nearly missed them running back passed me along the vast stretch of beach!


Polzeath to Rock


Passing Mark again at his tent I could see I wasn't the only one taken by the quality of his work. He had quite a crowd by now and was selling water colours as fast as he was creating them! I was glad I had a chance to chat on my way out and I'm hoping we might soon be supporting some of his work on show at Coombe Mill. We would make a perfect outlet for him to display his work and his delightful water colours would certainly brighten up any of our cottage and lodge walls. If you are down visiting us in the future do keep an eye out for them.


Mark Gibbons selling watercolours at the beach

In the mean time you can find out more about Mark and his work over on his website at Mark Gibbons Art, I promise it is worth a look.

This is just one picture I selected to share from his site, anyone who has visited Polzeath will recognise this scene.


Mark Gibbons Art - Polzeath beach


Back at the beach we managed a quick dip to cool off in the sea before the surfers came out telling us just how amazing the waves were. I'm definitely packing all our wetsuits and boards for next week. However my run was both productive and enjoyable and meeting Mark a real bonus. My love of Cornwall and the coast continues I hope the children never grow out of surfing!


 Mark Gibbons with his seascape at Polzeath


Disclosure: I was not paid or asked to write this post for Mark, I simply chose to share a chance meeting and a talented local artist.     

Linking up with Magic Moments and What's the Story 

Silent Sunday / Project 52

October 5, 2014 at 1:20 AMCoombeMill


Finding an egg on the farm TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky   OneDad3Girls   


Posted in: On the Farm | Weekly Photo


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

October 3, 2014 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill

Beach Fun

The September weather here in Cornwall has been simply amazing. We have enjoyed day after day of sunshine to the delight of our holiday guests and making being outdoors a pleasure.  Our car park has been deserted in the middle of the day as everyone enjoys Cornwall's beaches and harbour towns returning for the evening train rides and we have been no exception.

I love the beach at any time of year but right now the water is really warm and the coast paths dry and safe underfoot for running and walking. We have been managing to go twice a week, once with Surf's Up for the children's surf lesson and on a Sunday for some free play.

My children are now at an age where they know where our "base camp" is and have learned water safely over many years of growing up here in Cornwall and I can trust them on their own. They know to only swim or surf in the lifeguarded areas between the appropriate flags, to watch out for the tide coming in and not to hassle me for beach ice creams, which cost a fortune for six! This gives them and me considerable freedom and we all love to pop down for a few hours leaving Farmer Nick some peace and quiet on the farm.  


Be Beach wise & stay safe

Some of our favourite things:

Surfing for those who can though for me it is mainly body boarding. I do spend much of my time worrying for the older boys who disappear 'out back' to catch the unbroken waves. Often I don't see them for an hour at a time and have to trust their knowledge of the sea and the tides. 


Born to surf enjoying cornwall's beaches

Running from the incoming tide.

This was Jed last week chancing his luck over the rocks against the incoming tide whist waiting for the rest of us to change.

 Running from the tide at New Polzeath

Castle and boat building. this is always best against an incoming tide where they defend their fort to the dying wave.


Building at the beach


Beach gymnastics

Clio is my gymnastics queen and will practice anywhere from the lawn to the beach


Clio the gymnast at Polzeath beach 

Cliff walks and runs.

It is these times I find my teens open up to me and chat freely about the things going on in their lives, their hopes and aspirations and where they are open to a little parental guidance too.   We have stumbled over some interesting sights from poignant signs of lives lost to an artist in residence at the beach all of which create some grownup discussion and learning in the great outdoors.  

 Coast runs with teens North Cornwall

I hope we will keep up our trips to the beach in winter. It is under half an hour for us but with the shorter days, cooler temperatures and school commitments it does become harder. With our wonderful memories of September I'm going to make a real effort this winter.



Joining in with Country Kids

If you have been out and about enjoying the lovely late summer weather please come and share with me here on the linky. The only rules are the post must be largely outdoors and focus on activities outside for children. These can be as varied as play and learning to family days out or crafting.  Please do grab the badge code or link back here and remember to checkout some of the other entries, there are always some wonderful ideas to inspire your next screen free outdoor adventure.

I always comment on every post that links up with me but doing this has led to some commenting systems seeing me as spam *sobs*. If you don't see a comment from me please check your spam, I am probably lurking there!  

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

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)

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:

Jo's Nursery and Lucy Wilson Photography share their week with us here at Coombe Mill

Diary of the Evans Crittens  shares a visit to a lovely country village by the sea

Madhouse Family Reviews shares a lovely local day at the park discovering new things. 

Hatton Adventure World looks a great day out as shared by Bubbablue and Me. Do checkout the goat bridge, I really think we need one of these!   


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Are we bringing up a generation of phone phobic kids?

October 1, 2014 at 8:00 AMCoombeMill

My fourteen year old son is a typical teen. He is popular at school, from what I can gather and pretty self assured, most of the time. That is within the confines of the family, school and holiday guests here at Coombe Mill where he can be larger than life or at the very least courteous. However what happens to my face booking, You tubing, playstaioning expert when the phone rings? He and his brothers all leave it to me to answer, and if Nick or I are out then I can just imagine them all passing the virtual hot potato by way of the phone to see who is going to lift the receiver and manager to splutter a gruff  " good evening Coombe Mill"  down the line.  


Are we raising phone phobic kids



At his age I still remember the old house phone in the hall, no social media, in fact the internet hadn't been invented and TV was only four channels. The upside of this was that I grew up answering the phone and making phone calls to arrange all my social comings and goings with friends and taking messages for my parents.

I suddenly realised when it came to ringing an old friend of ours about work experience that Felix was quite scared of this innocent piece of equipment. To Nick and myself it is slightly mystifying but the sixteen year old agreed remembering having to phone and make his work experience arrangements too. 

Our response was to turn into pushy parent mode backed up by four younger siblings all nudging each other and sniggering around the door as we cajoled Felix into ringing. Of course we had warmed our friend to the idea first and agreed that Felix would ring and ask for himself, yet still even knowing this he was terrified of what to say. I suspected he would be a little nervous but to see him almost back down from what he wanted to do rather than make a phone call did shock me.

I wonder if my teens are typical. May be everything will be arranged by facebook one day and even formal things drift into the world of social media as an acceptable form of communication?  We already restrict thank you letters to the 'our age and over group' allowing anyone younger to be thanked by social media or text. Here again somehow the phone call was by passed as an option and email appears to have the sole function of authorising apps and social media accounts in my children's world.

To speculate further I wonder if the mobile phone will become superseded? I remember the dash for my older two to own their own phone and enter the world of text. However my twelve year old has never used his phone and the triplets have never mentioned one. It turns out all they need is an i pod for the apps and games, facebook and Skype.

Perhaps I shouldn't chastise Felix for his phone phobia; maybe in reality he will never have the need to use one anyway when wi fi fills the airways.

Perhaps he will look back and laugh telling his children of his fear of this old thing called a telephone.


Joining in with Word of the Week, my word being "Phone" and Small Steps Amazing Achievements and Loud & Proud for the phone call made and Brilliant Blog posts.


Posted in: Parenting

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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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