Weekly Farm Photo

July 25, 2015 at 11:00 PMCoombeMill

A hop skip and a jump from Toffee the Alpaca who has just had his annual hair cut along with his partner in crime Caramel.  Read the whole story on the blog tomorrow but for now I couldn't resist this ungainly photo of him running free in the field, the joy of losing his coat obvious to see.

 

Alpaca running for joy on the farm after being sheared & let back to the field at Coombe Mill

Posted in: On the Farm | Weekly Photo

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill

July 24, 2015 at 11:20 PMCoombeMill

Minibeasts

For activity hour this week I wanted to do something to introduce the children to our new bug hotel. It was a short step from here to forming a whole session on mini beasts. 

 

Hunting for Minibeasts and designing our own

 

I had a copy of the Superworm book by Julia Donaldson which I love and which many of the children were familiar with so we began our session over in the craft tent reading some of the fun situations in which super worm found himself.

 

Reading the Superworm book

 

With imaginations fired up I showed the children how they were going to make their very own super worm from wool and sticks. I have to confess this was a bit of an aptitude test for the parents too as they followed my instructions on finger knitting. The children all chose their Superworm colours and watched their worms grow along their parents finger before choosing a twig handle and the wool to watch their worm wriggle and squirm along the ground. If anyone fancies having a go at these I am going to follow up with a step by step tutorial over on my new linky #Trash2Treasure.   

 

Making the Finger-Knitted worms

 

Worms completed we moved onto painting stone bugs like the ones living in our Fairy Gardens.  The children finger painted bugs in their own designs on to the stones, some resembled real bugs while others created interesting make believe bugs, each were finished with googly eyes.

 

Painting our bug rocks

Our minibeast session was moving at quite a pace and next up I had pinned a lovely tutorial from Baby Budgeting some time ago for attracting butterflies to the trees. This was the perfect time to give it a go after not finding enough time on our butterfly and Caterpillar week.  The children loved making their plate designs and it was something every age group could do to their own level.

 

desiging the paper plates

We threaded string through the edges of the plates and took them over to the fairy gardens and bug hotel along with some old pot plant holders. Over in the gardens we added a few slices of banana to everyone's plate and pot before hanging up the plates and wedging the pots in to any spare nook and cranny in the bug hotel.

Feeding the bugs

We searched under logs and round canes for some real live minibeasts but didn't manage to spot any as the Hotel is still very new. However I knew just where there would be some and took the children into the higher levels of the Fairy Gardens to look under the tree stumps. Sure enough a plethora of worms, woodlice and the like scurried away from the light to the children's delight. They proceeded to lift every stump and giggle and the hive of activity that lay beneath picking them up where they could.

 

Hunting for minibeasts

 

It was such a fun way to spend our hour and many of the parents were thrilled with the children's reaction to the bugs thanking me for making the creepy crawlies so exciting.

 

 

If you are fans of the Superworm story, you may be interested to know that The Forestry Commission have a Superworm Trail running over the summer in many of their woods. It's a great Country Kids day out at just the price of parking the car. If you are staying with us then Cardinham Woods is the closest at about 25 minutes drive from Coombe Mill. 

Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids is all about inspiring families to enjoy time outdoors away from sofas and screens. If you have a post that fits please do come and share with me. All outdoor fun including playing, crafting, learning and discovering are welcome. Please do check out some of the other posts linked up, there are always some great ideas to inspire your next outing.  

 

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:

Chocolate is not the only fruit returned to Coombe Mill  for their family holiday and share their joy at being back on the farm

The Wildlife and Wetland Trust is the place to visit right now with gorgeous goslings all around as photographed by Attachment Mummy on a lovely family adventure

This playgroup in Cornwall was full of outdoor inspiration for Learning for Life

A Family Chatter makes camping in the South West with young children look quite idyllic.

With  farm fields, toys, free play and some clever picnic boxes hosting a party is going to be a winner as Bubba Blue and Me discovered  

For a great National Trust Day out try Cliveden House in Berkshire as visited by My Travel Monkey 

Redpeffer used her National Trust membership after school where the children enjoyed the freedom of the gardens together  

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

   

   

Knock knock any fairies at home

July 20, 2015 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill

 If you have young children then I bet you have been exposed to a little fairy magic somewhere. Perhaps an activity at playgroup, a fairy walk or fairy garden on a nature trail or maybe you have your very own fairy space in your house or garden? Here at Coombe Mill the fairies have waved their magic over us and we have a whole series of interlinking Fairy Gardens accessed by a lovely homemade entrance with twinkle lights at night.

 

Fairy at the Entrance to the Fairy Garden

Reclaimed from an overgrown wilderness space next to our Coombe Mill car park these Fairy Gardens are now an enchanted area adored by our younger holiday makers.  Each week I watch as little trinkets and ornaments move around in there being rearranged during imaginative play, each child returning to the gardens in the belief the fairies have been busy again!

Fairy Garden's enchanted goodies

Here in our activity hour on the farm we make new things to decorate the trees each week which keeps the gardens looking fresh and full of intrigue. A dressing up box of fairy and wizard outfits in our reception adds to the sense of adventure and imagination for the children and I love how this space is evolving all the time.

Kids exploring the fairy garden

There has been one significant absence that I keep pestering my handy man and husband Farmer Nick about and that is some Fairy doors on the tree trunks and newly made mushroom stools. I have been collecting examples on my Fairy Garden Pinterest board to try to inspire him, but it just hasn't yet made the top of his very long farm to do list. To my delight myownfairy.com has come to the rescue. They have a range of magical Fairy doors in pretty colours made from treated wood. Not only do they look cute but they include a special key to the door and some fairy dust together with a certificate from the fairies and instruction leaflet on how to entice a Fairy into your home.  The colourful packing is delightful and designed to spark imagination from the moment you see the box.

 

Fairy Door in the Box

 

I couldn't wait to open ours and see the magic that lay within. The doors can be used inside or out; they would look wonderful on a high skirting board or small cupboard door however they are also coated for outdoor use in the garden, though you will need to retreat them regularly if they are left outdoors. A tree trunk, planter or even garden fence would all be perfect. Priced at £19.99 they would make a lovely birthday gift or treat for any little one wanting to develop their imagination. I can recommend a look at the website for lots of magical ideas including the option to join their Fairy Club.

What's in the box

 

After a tour of the Fairy Gardens here at Coombe Mill I decided to place our Fairy door against one of Farmer Nick's newly carved magic mushrooms, my children helped me to create a little pathway and we placed the key on a jutting out wood piece near the door, the instruction manual suggests  leaving the key out overnight and if it has gone my morning you know a fairy has moved in which I think is a lovely idea.

 

Fairy Door on the mushroom

Then our imaginations were off and we experimented with a leaf path and the door on the Bug Hotel, against a tree stump and even on a stepped path up to a telegraph pole! 

 

Fairy Door around the Fairy Garden

Wherever we placed our door and sprinkled fairy dust it brought a glittering splash of colour to the gardens; now I want to save for a door in every colour to bring imagination and wonder to our Fairy Gardens.

The lovely folk at myownfairy.com have a special offer for Coombe Mill Readers this summer

 

A Special Offer for Coombe Mill Blog Readers

WIN your own Fairy Door

Win a Fairy Door

 

For a chance to WIN a fairy door from myownfairy.com follow the instructions below.

Good luck to all taking part, we absolutely adore our new addition in the Coombe Mill Fairy Gardens and I'm sure you will too.

Win a Fairy Door

Disclosure

I was sent my Fairy Door with no obligation but I was so impressed I chose to write this review and invite myownfairy.com to run this giveaway with us.    

 

Every child needs a mud kitchen

July 19, 2015 at 8:00 PMCoombeMill

I wrote recently about a whole new wild adventures section for Coombe Mill starting with our wildlife trail. I have been thrilled with the response this has generated here on the farm and the number of people enjoying the challenge each week. I mentioned in the post that it was just the start of a whole range of ideas along the wild adventures theme I hoped to introduce on the farm and that I wanted a at least one more up and running before the busy summer season took hold. I'm delighted to say that I have managed it and we now have a mud kitchen.

 

Every Child Needs a Mud Kitchen

 

I identified an old log store next to one of our open air BBQ's as the perfect location. It is rare that anyone uses the logs for the BBQ preferring the speed of briquettes and in recent years that log store had remained empty. I decided it was the perfect place with a roof and sides to protect from rain or sun to design an all weather mud kitchen so that children could create in their own space while adults cooked supper next door.

 

Mud Kitchen by our outdoor BBQ's

 

Farmer Nick rescued an old sink and drainer and old kitchen cupboard from storage and set this up in the centre of the log store for me. From here I added some old pots, pans and baking trays, a plastic tea set and some cooking utensils. I hate to see things go to waste just because they are no longer good enough for the holiday properties. Now everything has a second life! I even created some fun recipes just to inspire the children and make the area resemble a real kitchen.

 

Mud Kitchen Accessories

 

I have to say when you install something and children need no explanation but just dive in and play then you can be sure you are onto a winner. This is exactly the response our lovely new area has generated. Before we had even finished the children had been in filling tea pots with river water and making mud pies. One parent said her boys had spent all afternoon playing in there and that it was their favourite place, it was only half done at this point! We have used the recipe cards to make fairy food in activity hour.

 

Having Muddy Fun in the Mud Kitchen

 

Every week when I tidy the kitchen ready for our new guests it is evident just how much fun has been had in there.

 

Used Mud Kitchen Equipment

 

A mud kitchen needn't be as elaborate as ours, but supplying an area with some old pots and pans to play with really does give so many development opportunities for young children at so little effort:

 

Educational benefits from a mud kitchen:

  • Imaginative play

  • Teamwork and role play creating with others

  • Independent play from adults

  • A chance to copy actions seen in a home kitchen such as stirring, mixing, baking

  • Safe messy play

  • Develops an appreciation of nature

  • Encourages hands on nature exploration
  • Full sensory experience as children touch and mix the mud
Mud kitchen recipes made for Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays, Cornwall

 

If you are visiting us on holiday this summer I hope you will be in receipt of some delicious treats from your children's efforts, and don't forget if you have a spare corner in your garden this could be the perfect way to encourage learning through play.  

I'm linking up to my new monthly linky #Trash2Treasure for all upcycling projects. Do pop over for more ideas to make from throw away items or nature.

 

Trash 2 Treasure

 

 Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com    Let's Talk Mommy  

Posted in: On the Farm

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Weekly Farm Photo

July 18, 2015 at 11:30 PMCoombeMill

I took this photo whilst walking along our lodge path early one evening. The Dad and daughter fishing had no idea I was photographing them from across the river, but they looked so content  together by the lake I couldn't resist a photo. I stopped to watch from a far as they cast their line in the hope a carp would bite. When I checked with them the following morning on the feed run they had indeed caught a decent size carp before turning in for the night. 

 

Summer Fishing evening with Dad on the Coombe Mill Carp Lake

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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.

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