There is no denying the magic of Christmas for little ones. Excitement for the Christmas countdown builds all around from the adverts and programmes on TV to the displays in our towns and shop windows. How many times do you get asked “when will it be Christmas” in the lead up to the big day? With 6 children it is a frequently asked question in our house.

Win your Countdown to Christmas Santa Board

When does your Christmas countdown begin?

 The start of the advent calendars marks the beginning of the grand Christmas countdown for us, but there is always a little cheating when someone’s day is mysteriously opened incorrectly and the chocolate missing! The clever folk at Prezzybox have the perfect solution. A sensibly priced Santa Christmas Countdown Blackboard to manually count down the days starting whenever you choose.

What's in the Christmas Countdown Santa Blackboard set from Prezzybox

Product Features

What we thought:

We love the Santa Christmas Countdown blackboard. I may use ours in the house in place of advent calendars this year and put the money saved towards a big box of chocolates for my children to have one a day. However I also like the idea of  hanging it in the games room or train tunnel for our holiday guests, then asking the children to change the number in return for a chocolate on the train ride each evening. I’m so taken with the idea I may just order another. There is even space to write the odd present hint or a reminder of timings for our Christmas train. It is so festive and jolly looking it will double as a Christmas decoration too.

Hanging our Countdown to Christmas Blackboard in a Coombe Mill Cottage

Win your Santa Christmas Countdown blackboard 

If you fancy winning one of these delightful Santa boards to manage your Christmas countdown just follow the instructions below.  Good luck to all taking part.

Santa Christmas Countdown Blackboard

Disclosure

We were sent our Santa Christmas countdown blackboard for the purpose of this review. However all thoughts and opinions on the product are my own.

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky  Family Fever

The Coombe Mill Halloween Fun Day has become something of a tradition. In the past Halloween has collided with half term giving us a full turn out of excited party guests. For the past two years Halloween has fallen just after the holidays, however due to popular demand I have been holding it in half term regardless.  This year Halloween at Coombe Mill was on the 28th October including the ever popular Ghost Train.  The day starts at 9am and finishes at 7pm; if I say so myself we really to make this a day to remember for all our guests.

 If you want to catch up on the full day’s events it will be on the blog Saturday as my Country Kids post this week. For now I am sharing just a small part of the day, the spooktacular Ghost Train.

Ghost Train Preparations

I don’t have long to set up the ghost train as the previous days train ride doesn’t end until 6.15pm. It is then torches to the ready for the lights going in, with a full team effort from my own children between activities on the day to set the tunnel up ready to surprise everyone in the evening.  

Setting up the Ghost Train

Ghost Train Ride

Every year I wonder if it is worth the effort, the whinge from my kids at having to help, the time pressure to decorate the tunnel between activities and the tiresome job of taking it all down again. However as soon as I see the excited group of children my doubts melt away; from queuing to board the train to squealing in the tunnel their enthusiasm is infectious. How could have doubted my efforts in creating a spooktacular ghost train.

Ghost Train in the Dark at Coombe Mill Halt


Ghost Train coming through the spooky tunnel


Fancy Gress Ghost Train in tunnel

passengers-on-the-ghost-train-coming-through-the-tunnel

 

This year we will leave the train all set up and turn on all the lights and sounds once more on the 31st October to delight or spook a new group of children.

 

The Coombe Mill Ghost Train is back for Halloween ?. #halloween #ghost #ghosttrain #scary #spooky #spookyscaryskeletons #countrykidsfun #countrykids #holiday #halftermfun #train #specialday #kidsfunday #nighttrain

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Happy Halloween.

Country Kids

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. 

Welcome to Country Kids from Coombe Mill

October has brought some wonderful sunny days to Cornwall. This week has been beautiful again and the older half term children have loved the freedom of the farm to explore. However they are also kind and inclusive with the younger children, showing them how to handle the animals. I do love the sense of togetherness that builds on the daily tractor feed runs during the week. 

Halloween is also a big event for Coombe Mill. This week I’m sharing a few Halloween preparations with a nature theme. Next week will be all about the day itself and how we turn it in to a full programme of farm activities. I hope you’ll join me here and see how we got on. 

Guidelines for Joining in: 

Thank you to my top  commenters from last week:

1st Hiedi from Him Me Three who commented on 32 posts.

2nd Merlinda from Pixiedusk and Cheryl from Time to Craft who commented on 28 posts

3rd Emma from Emsyjo and Louise from Little Hearts Big Love who commented on 25 posts.

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 climbed to 3 this week *cries* come on guilty ones, please do pop back over and share some blog love. 

Rockfish kindly sponsor Country Kids 

Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly

You Could Win with Rockfish Wellies 

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:

Hiedi from Him Me and Three goes through as the Country Kids top commenters with a fab 32 post comments last week.

Sam from Chocolate and Wine and I’ll be fine turned a pile of leaves from a lovely autumn woodland walk into 4 clever crafts.

I’ve loved all the pumpkin fields linked up this week and could have featured them all. In the end I chose Karen from Would like to be for the dreamy autumn photos. 

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 over 350 photos in there in just 4!

My favourites last week were PottyAdventures, Sands_Heard, Jenni-isdancingintherain  and Theseasonalchild Do pop over and follow them on Instagram.

Week 4 #countrykidsfun favourites. Thank you for joining in with your outdoor fun posts. Please keep them coming. @pottyadventures @theseasonalchild @sands_heard @jenni_isdancingintherain #pumpkin #pumpkinpatch #halftime #autumn #countrykids #autumncolours #autumnleaves

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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I have been inspired by the Forestry Commission and their woodland weaving campaign this autumn. As grownups we know that the colours in our woodlands are quite stunning in autumn and the windfalls from nature on the floor plentiful, but this doesn’t necessarily inspire kids. Turn spotting nature’s bounty in to a treasure hunt and weave it’s magic into the fabric of the forest and you have the kids engaged.  This week I thought I’d take a ‘leaf’ out of the forestry commission’s book and add in a little Halloween twist for good measure. The result: Woodland Weaving meets Halloween.

Woodland Weaving Meets Halloween at Coombe Mill

Making black spiders

In preparation we set a spider’s web of string between two trees down by the river and painted a stack of toilet rolls black. As the children arrived and I announced woodland weaving meets Halloween as the theme, the children looked a little confused, but as I explained further they soon grasped what I had in mind and set about following my spider making instructions.

Spider crafts for Halloween. ?? #Halloween #craft #halloweencraft #kids #countrykidsfun #outdoors #spider #creative #coombemill

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Each toilet roll made two spiders, one we were going to take on a woodland walk to make our giant Halloween spider’s web and one was going to be reserved for later.

making creepy spiders for woodland weaving meets Halloween

 

The children chose a spider for the walk and raced along towards the river. Once there, the spiders were carefully placed in the web.

Weaving spiders into their woodland web at Coombe Mill Farm Holidays

Woodland Weaving into a giant spiders webs

But hang on a minute, the spider web still looked a little bare. Spiders may feast on other insects, but these insects are attracted to flowers and pollen so we filled our spider’s web with the treasures we found down by the river to attract an insect or two for our spiders. We were blessed with the last of the sunlight for the day shining through our web making it more mysterious and beautiful than scary, probably a good thing for the younger children! 

Woodland weaving into a Halloween spiders web at Coombe Mill

Woodland weaving meets Halloween at Coombe Mill Holidays #weloveforests #countrykidsfun #outdoorlife #stickcraft #sticks #sunshine #autumn #nature #halloween #forestschool #learning #outdoorkids #countrykids #holidayfun #coombemill #woodland #cornwall #activekids #exploring #river #riverside

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The lure of paddling in the river soon became part of the treasure hunt and one by one the children ventured in.  Chilly water came perilously close to the top of little boots but everyone remained dry.

 

Playing in the river Camel at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall  

Mini Dream Catcher Woodland Spider Webs

Admiring their work the children were keen to make their own mini spider webs with woodland weaving and spiders inside.  Just as well we still had one spider back at the craft table! Before heading back the children each had to find 3 sticks as the frame for their web.  These were then bound together with wool at the corners and a web pattern formed.

Making mini spider webs or dream catchers

The children placed their spiders in the middle just as they had done for my giant web and then headed to the fairy gardens in search of woodland weaving material. They were spoilt for choice with golden leaves lining the floor.

Filling spider webs or dream catchers with nature inthe fairy Gardens at Coombe Mill Holidays

 Each left with their own carefully designed spider’s web to hang outside their door and a lovely woodland decoration for Coombe Mill down by the river.  A couple of the parents were doing forest school groups with their children and were thrilled to be taking the idea home to share. We ran out of time for the other crafts I had planned but they are stored in my mind for another week! 

 

 

If you fancy trying this one do check out the Forestry Commission website and download their activity pack which has details of how to make a mini woven forest and more ideas as well as details of your nearest forest. They make a great day out and after all that exploring their cosy woodland cafes are stacked with homemade treats and hot drinks to revive you.

 

Country Kids

Disclosure:

I am an  official forest blogger promoting our forests, however I have not been paid to write this post. 

 

Little ones everywhere fall for the charm of Bing and his friends. Bing is an Award winning animated children’s television series based on the books by Ted Dewan. Cbeebies have really got it spot on with this series. The lovable bunny character of Bing, along with his friends and carer Flop, bring the viewer everyday dramas of life as a preschooler. Join the adorable bunny, Flop and the gang as they discover the wonderful world around them in bite sized episodes that are perfect for little ones to enjoy.

STUDIOCANAL have been making episodes of TV hit series into DVDs and have just realised the final volume in series one.

Bing: Show… And Other Episodes.

Bing Show and Other Episodes

Bing: Show… and other episodes is the eighth and final volume in Season One,following Swing, Storytime, PaddlingPool, Fireworks, Surprise Machine, Music and Cat.

The DVD comes with paper cut-outs of the characters where families can enjoy creating a scene of their own.

Celebrating the noisy, joyful, messy reality of pre-school life, Bing stories may be small, but they are full of everyday dramas that all young children and the grown-ups in their lives will recognise.  Each episode tackles the fun times and the worries little ones may have and makes each episode relevant to everyday life. No wonder it is so popular.

If you are a Bing fan why not have a go with these handy downloadable activity sheets too. From Dot to Dot to colouring in they are a great way to remember your favourite episodes.

bing activity sheets

What we Thought 

As Bunnies are one of our most favoured farm animals, a DVD with a bunny character was always going to be popular here.  Kids love our rabbits from the cute babies to the cuddly adults. Just a handful of grass will bring them out to play and the children will spend hours with them. Not surprisingly the kids love that Bing is a rabbit. His appeal is evident as our borrow copy is in hot demand vanishing out of the Games Room as fast as it goes in! 

twin bunnies

Win your DVD of Bing: Show… And Other Episodes.

If you fancy grabbing yourself a copy of this latest DVD why not enter the giveaway below.

Good luck to all taking part.

Bing: Show… and Other Episodes DVD

Disclosure:

I will be receiving a copy of the DVD in return for creating this post. Our copy will be available for our holiday guests to borrow from the Coombe Mill Games Room.