How to Build Natural Mini Rafts

September 7, 2014 at 10:30 PMCoombeMill

Coombe Mill ‘How to make’ Series

How to Make Crafts for Children from Coombe Mill

Every Friday afternoon we run an activity craft hour on the farm for the children staying here with us on holiday. The fun from these sessions I often share on my Saturday Country Kids linky in-between our own family adventures, but as these sessions build I am creating a post focusing simply on instructions to make the ideas we use. You can find more crafts in the series under the Farm Crafts Category. This week's craft is inspired from an activity back in 2013 on the farm which was such a success we repeated it with the same group of guests a year on for Activity Hour.  There is also a lovely post from The Boy and Me covering making these rafts from our original race last year.

How to Make A Natural Mini Raft 

For all the fun of raft building and sailing in action here at Coombe Mill please see my Country Kids post from this year and last year


How to Make a Natural Mini Raft perfect for sailing on a river pond or lake


What you will need

  • Three or more sticks of a similar length
  • Long grass or reed with some give in it for bending and binding
  • feather or leaves


Things to Make a Natural Mini Raft


  1. Lay the sticks out in a triangle shape overlapping at the edges
  2. Take a strand of reed or thick long grass and bind the corner of your triangle by weaving the reed in and out of the stick ends.
  3. Lay a 4th stick across the centre of your triangle with the end again overlapping the edge of the triangle and bind into place with reed
  4. Add a Feather or stick with a leaf at the top and middle of the raft binding into place with reed. Allow the end of the stick or feather to hang below the triangle shape of the raft, this will help with securing it and give weight to your raft to help it float the right way up.
  5. Float your raft


Steps to make a natural mini raft


A few fun additions you might like

  • Go colourful and add a flower with a thick stem instead of a stick or feather
  • Weave a leaf onto the stick and add a personalised message in felt tip pen or paint
  • Make a few rafts and race them in a river as we did at Coombe Mill
  • Try the activity in different seasons and create a raft for every season noticing now nature changes the colours and textures at different times of the year.


Embellishing natural mini rafts


Go have some fun, it's all natural so if they float away downstream it doesn't matter! This activity is such fun here on the farm. All the children are quite competitive cheering on their homemade raft on its journey downstream along the river Camel. It is a joy to be a part of their excitement. 

I'm linking my natural mini raft tutorial up with the following great linky's. 

Creative Monday & Parenting Pin It Party Tuesday Tutorials Savouring the Season

Silent Sunday / Project 52

September 6, 2014 at 11:50 PMCoombeMill


Girl and a Piglet

Posted in: Weekly Photo


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

September 5, 2014 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill

Crafts to suit age 2 to 12

Activity sessions on the farm have been running throughout the school holidays. It is only an hour on a Friday but turning it into a fun and effortless looking afternoon of entertainment actually takes quite some planning. Our sign up over the busy summer months has regularly consisted of a full A4 sheet of names with ages ranging from two to twelve across boys and girls. I pride myself in being able to create fun out of little more than what nature provides, but the number and age range can be quite a challenge. On this particular week I decided the best plan was to have a few activities in order to split the children into groups allowing everyone to swap crafts when they were ready. Pretty nature crowns, collages from nature and stick bow and arrows were our chosen selection. Having gathered everyone in the garden we showed our example crafts.


Crafts for ages 2 to 12


First of all we needed to find our materials as I had only provided paper, pens, glue and examples. The children were soon filled with ideas and inspiration for how they would make their crafts. They lead discovery tour purposefully towards the fairy garden. Here they began to gather sticks, ivy from the floor and interesting leaves and flowers. Venturing down by the river we added to our haul until our buckets were brimming with goodies from nature.


Collecting around the Farm


Heading back to the garden the children sat at the table according to which activity they had chosen to begin with. The old nature verses nurture debate came to a swift conclusion as the boys came to me to make bow and arrows while the girls chose to make headdresses with Kym or set to work with paper and glue to create a nature masterpiece. There were a few exceptions but even the girls making bow and arrows soon beautified their sticks with ribbons and flowers; so successfully in fact that many of the boys then embellished theirs too.


Making Crafts

I helped a few with how to hold and shoot their new toys and they were delighted with the results testing them over and over.


Helping with Archery

The girls looked like true princesses with the last of the summer flowers framing their heads.


Girls in their Headdresses


Animal and nature collages took on a personal touch with each revealing a little of the character of the artist. I was delighted to find a use for some of our alpaca fleeces at last!


Making the Collages


All in all we had a class sized party of children happily entertained in their foraging and making together. Age differences seemed to evaporate in significance just as with everything here on the farm, bigger children and adults helping younger ones in the most natural way. If only life could always be like this.

Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids is all about sharing fun ways to enjoy the great outdoors. I welcome all crafting, learning, exploring and pure play posts anywhere from the forest to the beach or even an urban adventure so long as it is outside. Fresh air and space, the freedom to be kids, to let imaginations run wild and away from the screens they increasingly gravitate towards is something I feel passionate about. Each week I am overwhelmed with the wonderful posts linked up here and take so much inspiration from all you share. Please keep them coming. Grab the badge and link away and see what others have been doing too.


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:

Day after day of beach fun from Lakes Single Mum 

Le Coin de Mel demonstrates the fun of outdoors at no cost

Pink Oddy took the boys off on a water adventure mine all adore

Walking talking Polly Pocket finds time for family fun at the park with a new baby 

Rainshinemamma shows how child lead learning in the forest can teach children so much





Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Silent Sunday / Project 52

August 30, 2014 at 11:50 PMCoombeMill



Jed and new baby Rabbit



 TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky   OneDad3Girls   


Posted in: On the Farm | Weekly Photo


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

August 29, 2014 at 11:30 PMCoombeMill

Boconnoc Steam Fair

A beautiful summer's day and the choice of two local activities the children wanted to do. Following the morning tractor rides we decided to pack up a picnic and split into two groups. The teen boys went off with Nick to the car rally at Wadebridge while I look the triplets and Theo to the steam fair at Boconnoc House. This looked more of a country fair with more to do for younger children. It turned out to be a good move and everyone was happy with their choices.  


Boconnoc Steam Fair


The size and scale of the steam engines captivated the triplets; they looked in awe at the huge engines and admired their work at work chopping logs. I have to say Farmer Nick would have enjoyed this too.


Watching the Log Chopping


Tractor and train rides ran all day with queues of people waiting their turn.


Steam and Tractor Rides

The whole event ran for 3 days even though we only caught the last afternoon. It was well organised with good signage from the main roads and we arrived to find ample free parking, plenty of attendants to ask for help and toilets everywhere. It had a real festival feel and geared up for all the family to enjoy. We had a wander round together and stopped under the shade of a tree by the motorbike display for our picnic.


Picnic by the Motorbikes


After this I allowed the boys to set off alone and meet up in an hour. They had their own money and set off in search of an ice cream, Clio and I made for the craft stalls delighting in taking our time over all that was on offer without the boys or Farmer Nick complaining they were bored!


Shopping with Clio


I tried on Farm Nick style hats and bought some bracelets while Clio bought a hippy hair band, and slides, it was a lovely hour together.

We heard the boys before we saw them; they had bought a load of 'fun snaps' for 25p and were busy popping them everywhere. I suggested a visit to the fun fair before they ran out of money and they raced ahead when I told them there were dodgems.


Fun on the Fair


2 turns later and a packet of candy floss each and we were ready to head home in time for the evening train ride at Coombe Mill.


Clio with her Candyfloss 


My fears that splitting the family in two parties during the day were soon dispelled as we shared our different experiences over an evening meal. Everyone had something to add and listened with interest to what the others had been doing whilst delighting in being together again. I think we might do this again. 


Our fun day on video:


Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids is all about making the most of outdoor spaces with the children. Getting kids mobile and out in the fresh air can take so many different forms. A family day trip, play in the garden, a craft or learning activity to mention just a few possibilities. Every week I am amazed at all the fun being had out there. Please keep the ideas coming, grab the badge code below and link up your outdoor adventures. It is not just the kids but us grown ups too that feel better for a blast of fresh air so switch off the gadgets and get on out there for a while. 

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:

Let Kids be Kids shares a fabulous day from their holiday here at Coombe Mill. Reading posts from others about life here on the farm makes me realise how easy it is to while away a day on the farm between the organised activities. Please do take a read if you've not stayed with us. 

MumofThree World spent a morning with us here on the farm enjoying the animals and the fishing despite a heavy downpour.  

Right from the Start shares Fairy Houses in the woods. There are some lovely ideas here I plan to copy for our fairy gardens at Coombe Mill.

The laughing Owls show how hiking with a toddler can be a great adventure

GrumpishMum took the family camping with friendly chickens and smiles all round


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Coombe Mill

"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. 

Grab the badge & join the linky for outdoor fun Sat - Thurs

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