Christmas Fun in an Educational Board Game

December 2, 2015 at 10:30 PMCoombeMill

Christmas is exciting for youngsters, there is a magic that we openly create as adults and then sit back and delight in with the festive build up from baking to crafts, parties to the fun of Christmas Eve and arrival of Santa. But how many times have you stressed over presents, wondered what to fill a stocking with, buy for a friend's child, a niece or nephew? The clever folk at Orchard Toys have the perfect answer, not too expensive, full of Christmas cheer and educational too; quite simply the perfect game for 3 to 6 year olds this Christmas time.   

Christmas Surprises

Christmas Surprises a Festive Shape and Colour Game


Two fun games in one with double sided cards so carefully designed

Game 1

Beat your opponent and decorate your Christmas tree first by matching all the coloured bauble pieces from the centre of the table, great for colour recognition and speed of identification. There is a colour dice instead of a number dice so no number recognition is necessary to play. Simply roll the dice, see what colour it lands on and if that colour bauble is available on the table you can place it in the correct space on your card. Up to 4 players can play and the winner is the first to fill their card.

Christmas Tree Game

Game 2.

Help Santa fill his sack with presents. This game teaches shape recognition; again no number knowledge is requited as the dice has a different shape on each face. Players take it in turns to roll the dice and see if they can find a present the same shape as is shown on the dice face. The player then takes the present and places it in the corresponding empty shape space on their Santa's Sack. The winner is the first to fill the sack. Will the sack full you can then turn over the presents to reveal what Father Christmas will be delivering.

Santa's Sack Game


Both these games are a great teaching resource whilst being fun to play. While enjoying the game your child will be:

  • Improving social skills and observation
  • Improving their manual dexterity
  • Building on speed of recognition for colour and shape
  • Meeting learning objectives from the Early Learning Goals in the national curriculum.


Step by Step Christmas Game


All the boards and counters are made from heavy duty wipe clean card, so no problem if some sticky fingers are at play and the visual bright colours and merry Christmas designs are eye catching and designed to appeal to children. All this for just £9.50 from the Orchard Toys website.  

Win your Christmas Surprises Game

Orchard Toys have a Christmas Surprises game to give away to one lucky Coombe Mill Blog follower. To be in with a chance just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part and a Merry Christmas from us all!  

Christmas Surprises Game


I was sent my Christmas surprises game for the purpose of this review. All opinions voiced are my own. If you are visiting Coombe Mill this Christmas our copy will be in our reception shop for you to borrow and enjoy in the peace of your holiday cottage or lodge.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

April 3, 2015 at 11:50 PMCoombeMill

We always make an effort to tailor our farm events to the children staying. While we are in term time it is predominantly preschool children age 2 to 4 on the farm. This usually means slightly shorter feed runs with less time spent with the larger animals and on the train parents often ride too. For our activity hour I like to vary the things we do each week to make them interesting and appropriate for the age, confidence and ability of the children I see with us during the week. Spring is a time of new born babies here on the farm and the children staying have seen plenty this year. As activity hour rounds off the week we have been recapping on the animals here with a little fun learning and crafting.


Animal Themed Learning and Fun During Activity Hour

We began our learning up at the rabbits, collecting grass for them along the way and offering them our carrots. We talked about the correct ways to hold the bunnies so that they feel secure and don't struggle, about the food and water they need each day and gave the children a little look in the locked hutch where the babies are now just beginning to open their eyes.


Feeding the rabbits during activity hour

Heading back to my garden the children we read Julia Donaldson's "A squash and a squeeze", I do love her stories, they always keep the children's attention and the farm theme was perfect for us.


A Squash and A Squeeze story time to start activity hour

The children were all curious by the array of craft items laid out on the table and keen to make a start. I had been having fun playing with an old toilet roll and turning it into a pig, it was tricky for the two year olds with some scissor action needed but a little parent help and they were all away to go. I was really pleased with the results and will share them on a how to make craft tutorial in time too.


Making pigs from toilet rolls at Activity hour


Keeping the attention of little ones means moving swiftly on and we handed out some worksheets on animals to food matching which can be found on our education pages or you can download a copy here. This was perfect after a week of feeding the animals and having  just visited the bunnies. I was amazed how much the children could remember although the younger ones understandably struggled with pen control to actually join the photos.



Filling out the Food to Animal Worksheets

Craft hour is fun time so after our educational sheet we moved on to some fun animal prints drawing round their little fingers and using finger painting to colour in.

Making handprint chickens

After all that crafting there was just enough time for a quick kick about as Guy came out signalling the train would soon be arriving at the station.


Football Fun During Activity Hour

Joining in with Country Kids

I hope you are having a lovely Easter and have some outdoor fun to share with me here on the linky. Whether you have been out learning, exploring crafting, playing or even cooking I'd love to hear about it. Outdoor time and fresh air is a great way to bring colour to our cheeks and blow away the cobwebs of indoor life. To join in your post needs to be about enjoying outdoor space and family time away from screens. Please grab the badge and remember to check out some of the other posts here, it might just inspire 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:

We may be entering spring but Mum turned Mom is still making the most of the snow with some lego sledging.

Bug Bird Bee made the most of a lift to explore a new section of canal in wiltshire.

Him me Three and City Girl Gone Coastal both enjoyed some wilderness fun close to home.

Honest Mum and Mummys Crochet World took some lovely photos out enjoying some delightful looking parks in the sunshine.

Adventures of Adam brings the woodland into a tray for some imaginative play.

A Day in This Dad's Life enjoys a family day at Hatton Adventure World.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



Coombe Mill: Where learning is fun

October 19, 2014 at 10:30 PMCoombeMill


A farm holiday with us here at Coombe Mill is widely regarded as educational for children and often parents too, however the educational side of our stays are always dressed up as fun and play. With no effort what so ever a stay at Coombe Mill is guaranteed to bring new learning experiences from the moment you board the tractor and trailer ride to saying goodnight to friends at bedtime. Learning is best when it is fun to do.

Learning around the farm

There are times when as parents you may like to support and stretch the natural learning from a holiday here. For this reason we are proud to have teamed up with the on line education experts at twinkl UK to help re launch our education pages on the website.  We were lucky enough to have Heather from Twinkl to come and holiday with her family back in the spring. This experience  fully equipped Heather to understand what we do and how to extend the natural farm learning with her up to date teaching resources at twinkl.  

Together we have spent the summer developing and approving worksheets which are both supportive of the national curriculum and totally in keeping with everyday learning here on the farm.  Just like our holidays at Coombe Mill the worksheets are fun and challenging but most of all interesting and relevant. 

Coombe Mill; Where learning is fun.

The worksheets are divided into three groups: The early years from age 3 - 5, key stage 1 for our infant school visitors from age 5 - 7 and even some carefully thought out key stage 2 sheets for our juniors at age 8 - 11 years old. 

To find the worksheets simply; click on Farm Fun on the Coombe Mill Website home page header and select Education

Education Click Through

From here you can click through to any of the three key stages that best suits your child.

Pick Your Key Stage

The worksheets are all individually labelled and colour coded on each key stage page


The Three Key Stages

Click on any you like the sound of to download them to your PC or print out.

Print out or Save for later

The sheets would be perfect for helping familiarise your child with the animals we have and a little bit about farm life before your holiday, or taken around the farm whilst staying as an activity during the day, like the sensory worksheet, or even completed in quiet time reflecting on a busy day here such as the diary activity. Other sheets might be best worked on after the holiday to bring everyday learning and holiday memories together, e.g. some of the pen control or math sheets. The resources are here for you to use them as works for your children. Please use as many or as few as your children enjoy.

Already we have been putting the worksheets to good use here at coombe Mill by combining them into our activity hour. The children happily engage in completing a worksheet as part of their craft activity and we select them by age and theme to fit our focus for the session. I hope you will find them useful too.


Resources in use

We are committed to maintaining and updating these worksheets to keep them relevant to changes on the farm and the national curriculum over time. I am thrilled to have twinkl as our education partners in this and hope you will find the new worksheets as exciting and engaging for children as I do.

I'm linking up with Magic Moments and What's the Story with my new education pages.

Learning with Animals

July 23, 2014 at 7:40 AMCoombeMill

This week's Gallery theme over at Sticky Fingers is Animals; not one I could miss with the wide range we have here on the farm.  The children on holiday here are free to visit our animals all day as well as on our organised 'Little Helpers' session each day. This is a great opportunity for children and parents to ask Farmer Nick all about the animals, from breeds, to gestation periods and food types to safely. There is no end of questions born through interest and curiosity on the hour and a half tractor feed run each morning.




Petting and feeding farm animals



Listening to Farmer Nick & asking questions in spring 


Instinctive nurturing of children with baby animals

The experience children have here crosses very closely with part of the school curriculum and we have always encouraged this link through our printable education pages. Did you know we even have a pairs game on the website for children to play before or during their holiday?


Right now we are in the middle of updating our Coombe Mill education pages ready for the new school term and I'm delighted to announce that we have teamed up with the online educational experts Twinkl UK for this. They are putting their educational knowledge and resources into some bespoke printable pages from preschool to key stage two all based around nature and the farm animals here at Coombe Mill.  

I'm sharing here just a sneaky preview of some of the delightful worksheets coming up.

 Animal Matching Education Worksheet


Education is always easier with practical learning too, link that learning in a visual and relevant way and learning on holiday is fun. Please do pop back in September and check out our finished resources; they would be ideal to support a day trip to a farm park local to you as well as in preparation for making the most of a holiday here at Coombe Mill.


Coombe Mill Loves Animals


 photo 93142f35-6d39-479f-b3de-d94dbca68162_zps58499252.jpg Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery


Hands up for canes & tights!

February 13, 2012 at 8:30 PMCoombeMill

A chance encounter

I was running along the camel trail late last year when I bumped into the year 5 / 6 primary teacher from our children's local village school. When I asked her what she was up to peering along the river bank she explained she was looking for a good place to come with the children as a day trip to bring their study of river and ponds to life. "Why not bring them down to Coombe Mill" I suggested, we have lakes, streams and the river Camel. 

A school trip was developed

It was the perfect answer, we exchanged worksheets, the children continued with their study in class then out went the letters for a trip to Coombe Mill to see how much they could really discover. They arrived armed with clip boards and descriptions of beasties to identify, homemade nets from cane, tights and wire and yoghurt pots to capture their wildlife.

 Homemade nets for pond dippingschool clipboards to record work around the ponddeeply engrossed in their work

They were rewarded with plenty of pond skaters and dragon flies together with unknown beasties which they draw on their clip boards to identify back at school. The focus of their time was around the top end of the old trout lake which turned out to be perfect. 

Busy childrencreepy crawlies collectedcarefully studied pond finds

The mishaps

Well it wouldn't be a school trip without one managing to fall in! 

searching the pond from the bridgedon't fall in!

After completing the pond work Farmer Nick added to the morning with a trip around the farm on the tractor. They all had a magical morning up close with the animals.

I love the way the hands go up as Farmer Nick takes over as teacher. It could only be a school trip!

School Trip with farmer Nick 

See the rest of their farm adventures on video here. They really were a pleasure to take round


Back at the house it was relays to the bathroom and utility for hand washing before they tucked into my homemade cookies and fruit in our kitchen whist discussing all they had experienced here at Coombe Mill.


Cookies in the Kitchen


It must have made an impact on the children as now after any school cooking class, they safe all the vegetable scraps for Dotty and her piglets to enjoy and hand them to me to take at the end of the day.  

I have a feeling it won't be the last school trip we host! 

You can find plenty of helpful worksheets on the education page of our web site from foundation stage through to Key stage 2, including the pond life sheets the children were working on and how to make the dipping nets they used here on the lake.


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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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