Country Kids from Coombe Mill

September 12, 2014 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill

Away from Coombe Mill 

We have been visiting family in the south of France for the past couple of weeks. It is a lovely end of summer treat for the children and for Nick and me too. It is a long full day travelling down that involves a very early start from England, but it is so worth it when we arrive. Beautiful as Coombe Mill is, it is still lovely to spend some time away. For us the south of France has cousins the same age as our children, a lovely big house, the delightful town of Uzes and the river and beach a short drive away. It is a complete break for us all and Nick's cousin Georgia and her husband Jean Luc are so hospitable we have returned for the second year running.  


A week in Uzes in France

All the children picked up where they left off. With 10 teens and tweens around the house there is always someone to 'hang out' with and always something to do. For us adults there is endless food to make, laughs to share and time to relax and enjoy the things that matter most from being with the children to enjoying late evenings over wine on the veranda. Here I am sharing just a snapshot of some of our favourite activities. 

A day at Montpellier beach was an hour's drive which is more than we are used to in Cornwall but the beaches so vast that even at the end of summer they didn't feel crowded. My dare devil children soon followed their cousins lead and spend a considerable amount of time jumping from the road bridge into the mouth of the estuary. I think I am secretly pleased this isn't an option around us!  


 Montpellier beach

Ping pong tournaments in the garden were enjoyed so much by the kids that we are now looking into a ping pong table for Coombe Mill.


Ping Pong on holiday


Sadly we really don't hat have the weather for an outdoor pool, but they are a garden staple in the south of France and just as my children rediscover the farm with friends around, so the cousins did with the garden pool and our children.


Pool side in Uzes

 The joy of a large group and older children is that not everyone has to join in everything. Nick and I took Clio and Guy to Nimes for the morning; we enjoyed an alfresco breakfast in the town square before a trip around the ancient Roman coliseum.


Coliseum in Nimes

Ally, Felix and I took our bicycles along and spent many an afternoon cycling through the local villages and countryside. We checked on the vineyards, witnessed a wedding and teased each other when someone was slacking on the hills. These bike rides were one of the highlights for me along with eating figs and grapes straight from the garden. 

Evenings eating out on the veranda were the perfect way to end each day and catch up on the day's highlights. The views as the sun set were awesome and the fun and laughter from us all infectious. 


Fun on holiday in France


It was a long journey back to Cornwall but so worth it for the family time we enjoyed away from the business together. My only regret was missing the birth of our piglets. Thanks to Jo of Jo's Nursery who was staying at Coombe Mill I had a running commentary and a lovely photos from instagram to keep me going till I could see them for myself. 

piglets at Coombe Mill Sept 14


Highlights from our week in the South of France:

Joining in with Country Kids

If you have been enjoying some time with the kids outdoors this summer please come and join me here on the linky. Country Kids is all about family time away from screens and sofas anywhere from the garden to a family holiday like us this week. Just grab the badge or link back here and remember to check out some of the other posts, there are always some lovely activities to inspire your next family adventure in the great outdoors.

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:

Blackberries are amazing this year Dairy of the Evans Crittens share a great day picking them and baking.

Check out this for a wonderful VIP trip by Maybush Studio to the famous River Cottage. 

The joy of a UK holiday with young children is beautifully told by Life as our little family.

Fun as a Gran makes the most of nature with some impromptu river fun. 

Let Kids be Kids watches her children play Mummy with delightful photos out in the garden. 


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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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


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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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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


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