Here at Coombe Mill we are big fans of the toddlebike2. Right from when the first toddlebikes were launched back in 2012 we could see what a great idea these bikes were. They are the ultimate lightweight first balance bike for tots. Basically if you have a little one who can walk, then they can benefit from a toddlebike.
These little bikes will take them up to their first bicycle with pedals and stabilisers and what’s more the toddlebike2 is so hard wearing and durable it can be passed down through siblings and even then still be in perfect condition.
While they can be used both inside and out, our Coombe Mill toddlebikes live out in our under 5’s ride on play area all year round. Even with the winter weather they soon hose off to look good as new whenever they are needed. We put our brand new Toddlebike 2 up against our one from last year and you would be hard pushed to spot which was which!
It might have been the end of a busy day here on the farm, but when I brought our new toddlebike 2 and its mate out to play, the children jumped at a chance for a turn quite forgetting the biting cold of winter. The smiles and races that followed backed up my view of how much fun these trikes are. At just £23.95 they are great value. If you order from the toddlebike website you also get free delivery in the UK.
Available in 3 great colours, pink, blue or red there is a toddlebike2 to suit everyone. Throw them in the car on a day out, carry them to the park or just ride around the house or garden. They are so light and durable making them perfect for any occasion.
We love the #toddlebike2 here at #CoombeMill . A fun way to get around and crunch over the autumn leaves ???????????. #outdoors #countrykidsfun #explorer #pottyadventures #countrykids #farmstay #winterholiday #kidsfun #kidsoutdoors #kidsadventure #curiouslittleexplorers #outdoortoys #rosycheeks #chilly #sutumnleaves #holidaykids #fun #balancebike
I can’t recommend these little trikes highly enough. If you have a tot who is just on the move, do think about ordering one, or why not enter to try and win one in a colour of your choice. Just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
We were given our toddlebike2 for the purpose of this review; this in no way affects my opinions expressed here. We are huge fans of these first balance bikes.
Winter can be harsh on the animals, especially in goat society where they struggle with the wet. Lacking the oily coats of the ponies or sheep, their ability to withstand long periods of wet is poor and they rely heavily on their field shelter.
That in itself is no problem, we have good shelters for all our farm animals. However goat society is very hierarchical and those at the bottom of the pile can be excluded which is very dangerous. We have in the past had to have two field shelters to protect the weak against the dominant and prevent some being left out in the wet. This year I’m delighted to say that since we have put all the goats in together for the winter months, a harmonious living has developed.
Billy goat gruff is happy as he is no longer looking longingly at the girls from across the fields and even our little hand raised goats, typically bottom of the hierarchy in goat society, are thriving. Little Queenie born earlier this year only moved in with the other nanny goats just a few weeks before being joined by the rougher boys, yet has learned to give way to Billy at feeding time and earn acceptance among the others in the field and shelter.
For several nights when the weather changed, I braved the wind and rain by torch light to make sure no one was out in the wet. It was with considerable relief I saw many eyes shining back at me from the shelter doorway.
They continue to be as popular as ever with the guests, climbing up to meet us in the mornings and calling out for their cornflakes and hay. It’s lovely to watch the children grow in confidence with the goats, pick out their favourites and feed them by hand.
The only goat now separated is Bully. Named for a reason, we had to take her away from the other nannies in the summer for bad behaviour towards her peers and our younger guests. With a huge set of horns which she is happy to deploy at the slightest injustice, she is undoubtedly head of goat society with all except Billy goat gruff. Back in the summer the only field available for her was in with Billy and the castrated male goats. Bully thrived in there and easily held her own. However by autumn we suspected she could be pregnant.
Bully has proved to be a very poor mother in the past, abandoning Queenie and Sprout, and we have been watching her carefully in isolation in case she gave birth. As time passes, and no babies arrive, it is tempting to release her from isolation and free up the field she is in. We will need her current field for new born lambs and their mothers in Spring, however with goat society so harmonious at the moment adding Bully in with her peers again is a risk.
For now we are procrastinating and letting things be, however if it turns out to be a phantom pregnancy we will need to risk putting Bully back with the others . If our naughty nanny reverts to type, and upsets the balance with the others, she may find herself free to a good home!
So last week, after weeks of dry, I shared my love of Coombe Mill with a little rain. This week I have had my fill of rain! Storm Angus came tearing through Coombe Mill drenching everything in its path. Rain that was forecast to last just a day hung around, like a nasty smell, giving us 3 consecutive soggy days and nights. At one stage I wondered if the tractor taking the guests to feed the animals would make it over the road bridge as the river raged below.
I felt like storm Angus stripped us of the last of autumn. Just before it hit, I captured the beautiful golden glow along our woodland paths.
Now a week later it feels as though a month has passed!
As sad as I may be at the passing of autumn and the swirl of fallen branches and leaves littered across the farm, for our deer it is just what they have been waiting for. Those ‘just out of reach’ branches have toppled giving them plenty to feast on in their field. As farmer Nick comes round in the morning offering a tasty breakfast, you can visibly see Rudolf hanging back in the undergrowth. His nostrils inhale the air morning air, but reject the prospect of coming down to be admired, preferring to feast on the fallen autumn treats to the rear of the field.
I couldn’t have been happier as by Wednesday the clouds lifted and the sun broke through. Although now very much a winter sun, it still has a warmth that I can’t resist, especially at the end of the day.
I’m still adjusting to the end of the day being shortly after 4pm and having the headlights on for the school run, but it is also a good excuse to light a fire and open a good bottle of red wine! Remember if you are booking with us this winter all our cottages and lodges have cosy woodburners; just remember to bring the wine! Or why not enjoy a chilly winter’s evening in our BBQ hut as we did last week, a good fire will keep it warm and a winter BBQ feels like a real family treat.
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Storm Angus has been giving us more than our fair share of rain this week, but it hasn’t stopped us getting out and enjoying the farm. Leaves are falling by the bucket load and trying to catch one as they flutter down is always a good game. This little chap is up in our deer field where fallen branches and leaves are providing an autumn feast for our deer this week. Whether you’ve had clear skies and freezing temperatures up north or mild with wind and rain like us down south, I hope you have managed a little family fun outdoors to share.
1st Sonia from Mummy Constant with 18 comments
2nd Louise from Little Hearts Big Love with 16 comments
3rd Karen from Stopping at Two with 13 comments
A big welcome to Amy from Very Much so Blog who joined in for the first time last week.
Just 1 guilty blogger linking up and not commenting on any posts. If that was you please go back.
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.
Top Commenter : Sonia from Mummy Constant with a lovely winter break in Yorkshire
The Cotsworlds has some cutest villages in England, but how about this one made in miniature as visited by Stopping at Two
I couldn’t help but fall in love with the autumn colours in the New Forest with this post from Very Much So Blog
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I was after a different sort of autumnal adventure for activity hour this week and an ideal I had been thinking about for a while suddenly fell into place thanks to a little creative thinking. I had been planning to do some kind of nature photo frames and was preparing my example frame when I suddenly thought how great they would be for explaining perspective to the children. My nature frames became magic photo frames with a little lesson in science thrown in!
We began with a nature walk down the welly walk. I was surprised to find that even my two week guests hadn’t been along the trail before and so it was something new for everyone. On the way down we looked out for signs of autumn with the bracken dying back and fallen golden leaves.
The clearing at the end is a perfect play ground with a tree swing and a sandy shallow section of the river perfect for paddling. I think the kids could have spent all afternoon here and everyone wanted to return in their own time.
The return journey led us back through the bamboo tunnel with eyes peeled for collecting interesting pieces of nature.
Back at the craft tables we began to make our photo frames using rainbow wool and cereal boxes.
We weaved the collected pieces of nature into our frames.
This was my chance to introduce a little science. I asked each child who was bigger, them or their photo frame. Even my youngest could tell me they were bigger. Yet when I took a photo of them looking through the frame they could see themselves inside the frame. How could that be? Then I showed them my hand up close and they watched as I moved further away. Clearly my hand appeared smaller. It was a great way to explain perspective and how the magic photo frames worked.
Each took their magic photo frames home with tired legs from our walk and a little knowledge imparted.
The magic photo frames were so successful we used them with a younger group of children too, but instead of collecting the nature first, we made the frames first and took them on our walk to fill them as we went. Explaining perspective to younger children was harder but they loved the idea of the magic and giggled at the pictures of themselves inside the frames!
The Forestry Commission are encouraging us to explore our woodlands this season and get creative weaving with nature just as we have been doing. Do check out their website for more creative ideas and downloadable packs as well as a list of your nearest forests. As we are coming up to Christmas there is also a list of forests selling Christmas Trees. Why not make a day of visiting and come home with a little piece of the forest for your home too.