Posted on October 21st, 2016 - Fiona
Welcome to Country Kids from Coombe Mill
Country Kids is the original outdoor family fun linky designed to:
“Encourage family fun outdoors, in an age where technology and screens are such a draw to a sedentary indoor life”
Welcome back if you are a regular to Country Kids and if you are new please join in. You will find plenty of inspiration for enjoying outdoor space and please do share your own adventures. We support the National Trust 100 things to do before you are 11¾ along with all other ideas for family fun outside.
October half term this year stretches for 3 weeks depending on where you live with this past week being the first. This is great news for us with booking stretching over the 3 week period and a lovely mix of toddlers and school age children mixing well. However our Egg production is not keeping pace with shorter day light hours meaning just a couple of eggs to collect some mornings. Even so, the children still love looking and scattering the food.
Guidelines for Joining in:
- Post must be predominantly outdoors such as in the garden, the park, the woods or the beach with crafting, learning, exploring or playing.
- Despite the title, both countryside and urban outdoor adventures are welcome.
- Large unheated covered areas like a barn or tent count as outdoors.
- Please comment on my host post and a minimum of 3 others of your choice.
- If you use #CountryKids when commenting the post owner will know where your found them and hopefully come back to visit your post.
- Please take my badge, without it you won’t be considered for winning the lovely Rockfish Wellies.
- Linked posts should be written and made live within the last 2 months.
- I understand sometimes you need to do catch up posts and write about something from a couple of months ago but the publish date should be within 2 months.
- By joining in with Country Kids you’re giving me permission to email you weekly as a reminder.
- There is no restriction on the number of posts that can be linked up, however please be sensible, if you have more than 3 consider linking over a few weeks.
Thank you to my top commenters from last week:
1st Aly from Bug Bird Bee who commented on 36 posts.
2nd Karen from Two Tiny Hands with 25 comments
3rd Cheryl from Time to Craft with 24 comments.
Fantastic work ladies, thank you so much. Do check out their posts linked above too.
My top commented post will automatically qualify for a chance at the Rockfish wellies below provided other giveaway criteria are met.
‘link dump and run’ culprits dropped to just 1 this week *claps* come on guilty one, please do pop back over and share some blog love.
Rockfish kindly sponsor Country Kids
Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly
I am delighted to have Rockfish as the sponsor for Country Kids. Rockfish are a local Cornish company specializing in stylish quality wellingtons for all the family. We have been offering their country wellies in our borrow room here on the farm for over a year and they are always popular for their style, comfort and durability.
Each week my favourite #CountryKids posts, which include my badge or a link back here, will be considered for a free pair of Rockfish Wellies at the end of the month; the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather throws your way.
For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.
Posts from last week in with a chance of winning the October Rockfish Wellies:
Aly from Bug Bird Bee goes through as the Country Kids top commenters with a fab 36 post comments last week.
I really struggled to pick just two others as I loved so many of your posts last week but finally settled on :
Michelle from Mummy from the Heart who was local to the famous Battle of Hastings anniversary celebrations in Battle earlier this month
Ruth from Holloway Family North who was inspired from reading Country Kids posts over the years to venture out to the beach despite the rain
Country Kids 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
Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Country Kids from Coombe Mill on Pinterest.
Join the Country Kids Instagram Community with #CountryKidsFun.
I'll like and comment on all and share my favourites from the week with a tag on a Friday on Instagram and Twitter.
Thank you to those joining in last week again, please keep the tags coming, I love to see them all and we now have almost 200 in just 3 weeks!
My favourites were jugglingskates, chocolateandwineandillbefine, squishedblueberries and meyouandmagoo Do pop over and follow them on Instagram.
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Posted on October 21st, 2016 - Fiona
After weeks of posting about our summer fun I am finally catching up with myself and embracing autumn. Here on the farm the bushes were still laden with juicy blackberries until last week, I knew they would have to feature in our activity hour. Blackberry muffins have always been a favourite with my kids and I remember them being popular last time we made them for Activity Hour. However with so many children staying I knew I would have to organise things carefully and plan a few activities around the muffin making.
We began by heading off blackberry picking, Guy and Jed had been out cutting back the brambles the previous day under Farmer Nick’s instructions, but I intercepted just in time to save a few well placed bushes. There were plenty for everyone and after just 20 minutes we had cup fulls of blackberries which I knew would more than cover everything I had in mind.
With my best readers in charge of the recipe the children helped me to measure out the ingredients and tip them into a large mixing bowl. The children each took turns to stir while I washed the blackberries. Then we folded them into the mixture. From here everyone queued to fill a muffin case ready for the oven.
While the muffins cooked the children made recipe books based on the ones I had created previously for nature books. They carefully copied out the muffin recipe and decorated the cover adding their names.
Blackberry Fabric Printing
We still had plenty of fruit left after our blackberry muffins, so I handed out strips of old duvet fabric cut into rectangles for some printing fun. The children carefully placed blackberries on one half, then folded the empty half over the blackberries, and squished them to make the printed pattern. The result looked like tie dye with some gorgeous red to black printed fabric which I stapled to wool and hung out in the Fairy Gardens.
Finally, the moment the children had all been waiting for, our muffins were cooked and ready for tasting. They went down a treat with just enough for the parents to sample too.
Happy children skipped off for the train complete with recipe books of how to make their muffins at home.
Posted on October 17th, 2016 - Fiona
Jigsaws are a great way to to begin to develop a child’s mind from an early age. Finding a first jigsaw puzzle that is manageable from age 2 and also engaging in picture content is not easy. Orchard Toys have done the research for you and come up with a six in one puzzle box that really does appeal to little ones.
Once upon a time……
The once upon a time puzzle box has six mini puzzles inside, each relating to a different classic children’s story like Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood. Each puzzle comprises of 3 large pieces which slot together easily for little fingers. To help make things easier each story has its own colour background so that picture and colour can be used to match the stories together.
Putting our First Jigsaw puzzle to the test
The real test is not what I think as a parent, but what our 2 year old holiday customers think. I took the puzzle along to the Coombe Mill evening train ride to see if anyone would like to have a try. The colourful jigsaw pieces soon had a willing tester sitting at my table. With just a little help from Mum to show how the pieces slotted together he was busy at work. The concentration was evident and the jigsaw clearly absorbing despite Clio coming along to start the train up.
After the train ride I had another taker who also carefully finished every one of the six puzzles and both boys knew about half of the stories.
What we like about the Once upon a time jigsaws:
- A perfect first jigsaw puzzle
- Develops Manual dexterity
- Encourages picture matching and colour recognition
- An opportunity for creative discussion
- Wipe clean pieces
- Sensibly priced at £7.95 to make a great gift for a birthday or Christmas
- Easy travel box
- Large jigsaw pieces for little fingers to hold
- Colourful eye catching imagery
- 3 alphabet and number ruler / bookmarks make a surprise extra in the box
Win your ‘once up a time’ first jigsaw puzzle with Orchard Toys and Coombe Mill
If you know a little one that would enjoy a little learning made fun with these first puzzles then why not enter to win below. Good luck to all taking part and do check out the other lovely products in the Orchard Toys range too.
Once Upon a Time… Puzzle Set
I was sent my Puzzle box for the purpose of this review. However all thoughts and options are my own.
Posted on October 16th, 2016 - Fiona
Yesterday in my post on ‘autumn is the new spring’ I promised to follow up with more about our newborn October piglets, I’m staying true to my word so I hope you’ll grab a cuppa and enjoy the photos.
In previous years Sally, our breeding sow, has given birth to piglets at the beginning of September. This has worked well providing babies on the farm in early autumn for our holiday guests just as many of the spring born farm animals are growing towards adulthood. Typically September weather remains warm for the new born piglets making it a perfect time. However nature doesn’t always oblige.
Piglet uncertainty as Pasty goes off the boil
Pasty has been Sally’s Moorland boyfriend for the past 2 years. We drive Sally up to stay with Pasty in early spring and wait for the OK to bring her home. This year we received a rather different phone call, Pasty had fallen out of love with our ‘luscious Sal’, and a new boar was being sought. Now we had to wait for Mr Substitute to build up his love for Sally and for Sally to come back into season. We were reassured from a second phone call that all was well and that we could collect Sally. The only real question was over Sally’s new birth dates. We faced a long summer with fingers crossed that Mr Substitute was up to the job and that Sally was indeed in the family way. By September the signs were there and we watched her tummy swell with each passing week.
I took this photo the day before she gave birth, she was really struggling to move around with her heavy belly.
Finally last week we woke to find ten healthy piglets born overnight. This was the highlight of the morning tractor ride with everyone crowding round for a look. It must have been a long night for Sally as she looks quite exhausted here. She is a great mother but eventually she tires of the demands to feed from her piglets and rolls over to sit on her nipples for a rest.
The piglets feed constantly in the first week and are very demanding clambering over one another to reach a teat as soon as Sally makes them available.
While Sally enjoys her morning breakfast she allows Farmer Nick to bring one of her piglets out at a time for us to admire.
The children are fascinated yet a little afraid as they are inclined to “squeal like a pig”. I suspect when our older half term children arrive they will be queuing up to see if Farmer Nick will let them hold one by themselves.
Piglets are a great time waster and have the most adorable little faces so full of expression. This little one had momentarily lost Mummy and her siblings, her concern is written all over her face.
We are grateful for the lovely warm sunny October days for their first week. Already they are putting on weight and growing before our eyes so I am confident when winter arrives they will be strong enough to cope, despite their late arrival. In just a week they have more than doubled in size. Poor Sally on the other hand is loosing weight despite us feeding her extra, but that’s just a natural hazard of good parenting.
We are open all year with some great out of season prices if you fancy an autumn getaway and piglets to cuddle.
hootsuite pics : pic.twitter.com/DTHIdsoKIL gif pic.twitter.com/ZAcIh6Q3XE pic.twitter.com/Q9zYpIk2CX
Posted on October 15th, 2016 - Fiona
I make no secret of the fact that spring is my favourite time on the farm. I adore the longer days, new life on the farm with plants bursting forth and baby animals being born. To me it is the optimum time for a holiday here to take advantage of all this. However something has changed this year and autumn is the new spring.
So what’s changed this autumn?
Autumn has been uncharacteristically mild with dry sunny days and beautiful sunrises. The spring bulbs are quite confused and showing their hand already while the animal kingdom is also upside down. Our bunnies have a real spring in their step and are finally “breading like rabbits”. All summer our boys failed us and now we have two litters. With a little muddle up from our end we have 10 gorgeous bouncing piglets born last week and Bully, our naughty nanny goat, is expecting. It is only the chickens who are not fooled, their egg production is governed by daylight hours and they know the days are shortening. There is much searching each morning but only a couple of eggs.
Best of both worlds
Our guests staying this autumn have been having the best of both worlds. Lovely autumn colours combined with spring growth, low season prices, baby animals on the farm and the warmest sea temperatures of the season! I will be sharing more on our piglets on the blog tomorrow but for now here are a few photos highlighting why for us autumn is the new spring and all the beauty it brings:
With a skyline like like waking in the morning has been a joy.
New born piglets and sunshine keep the morning feed run busy
These cuties elicit an “aw” everyday
Spring growth is bursting forth in the warm October sunshine down in our sheltered valley
Yet autumn colours and crunchy fallen leaves intermingle with the spring shoots.
We could be looking at a Halloween baby here and a sibling for Queenie
Autumn is the new spring for all bar the chickens who are not fooled into increasing their egg production for us.
I wonder if our friendly robin is confused by the gorgeous spring weather too.
Autumn is the new spring with extra value at Coombe Mill
With the seasons changing we have been adjusting our prices, we now have the same low prices in Spring as we have in Autumn so weather you fancy autumn with our piglets and crunchy falling leaves or spring with daffodils and lambs you’ll find the same great out of season value at Coombe Mill.
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