The importance of Water Safety

Here at Coombe Mill with a river and two lakes we know just how important water safety is. In the summer season the children love to play in the river and providing the current is gentle enough it is something we encourage. For our younger guests we try to keep a few arm bands and floats in our boot room to borrow alongside the wetsuits as a little extra security for parents. Even when the river isn’t suitable to swim in here we have a link up with our friends at Camelford Leisure Centre where Coombe Mill guests can swim in a full length heated indoor pool free of charge. The Camelford Pool has a life guard on duty but it is still the responsibility of the parent to ensure their child is safe in the water at all times. For non swimmers a swim aid such as Aquaplane is peace of mind for holiday fun.

Playing in the river at Coombe Mill

Aquaplane: The New Swim Aid

Move over arm bands, there’s a new swim aid come to kick you into touch! Aquaplane is the brain child of swim instructor Chris Shore, who has coached many championship swimmers, and he says:  

 ‘It’s all about feeling confident and safe. Aquaplane straps to a child’s back, leaving their arms free from resistance, enabling them to stretch out in the water, and achieve the correct body position naturally and easily’.

Aquaplane is perfect for building water confidence and a feeling of being able to float with limbs free to splash, however it also adapts to take a child through all the different stages to further their swimming techniques as Chris explains:.

 ‘Aquaplane will help a child to learn to swim on their back, too.  The wide & low profile enables the learner to have more balance and the patented design gives a superior streamlined position compared to all other swimming aids.

Once your child is through the early stages of development, you can then remove the straps and Aquaplane can be used as a kick board to enhance stroke development.

As further progress is achieved, Aquaplane turns into a performance tool to build stamina and strength.’


Aquaplane swim aid for children

What we thought of Aquaplane

We put Aquaplane to the test with a family staying with us who were going swimming at Camelford.  The girls at age 4 had already mastered the beginnings of swimming and used the Aquaplane as a float. This is what their Mum had to say on their return:

When we got to the pool they both tried the aqua plane as a float to practice kicking, it worked well and the girls enjoyed it. They loved the rocket shape and it was comfy for them to hold. I was also amazed at how quickly it dried.


Aquaplane the new swim aid used as a float


The following week the Aquaplane was borrowed again, this time using the straps to allow freedom for arms as well as legs whilst giving body support. I asked the Mum how she found the product and she told me:

“The straps adjust easily to ensure the float fits comfortably and securely in place giving our daughter confidence to splash.”   


Aquaplane swim aid with straps in use at Camelford Leisure Centre

Need to know Facts for Aquaplane:


Pack contents   Float and 2 body straps
Suitable forchildren aged from 3 upwards
Endorsed byTwo luminaries in championship swimming – Chris Shore, Chris Cooke (Team GB Athens ’04 and Beijing, ’08) as well as swimming instructor and Commonwealth Games team member, Dan Coombs (Delhi’10)


Win your Aquaplane Swim Aid with Hippychick and Coombe Mill


Win an aquaplane swim aid


If you know someone learning to swim this summer that would benefit from an aquaplane, why not enter to win. Simply follow the instructions below.



We were sent our aqua plane from Hippychick for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and those of our visitors who tested it for me. Our Aquaplane is available for Coombe Mill guests to borrow from the boots and wetsuit room.

Last week I couldn’t wait to share our exciting new family holiday lodge, Polzeath. A week on I am proud to say our first holiday makers have rebooked to return again next year. This is the best sign that we really found the perfect holiday home design in there. Following all the hard work of building Polzeath, my promise on Monday’s post was to try to spend more quality family time over the summer months at our holiday lodge namesake, Polzeath Beach. What I didn’t realise was that my first opportunity would roll round so fast. It was the end of a busy changeover day here at the farm and with all the guests in, and the family fed, I donned my “Mum’s taxi” hat to drive Theo’s girlfriend home. The evening sun had already left the valley when we left but was now dazzling me as I drove towards the coast and I had a sudden craving to breathe in some sea air. When I suggested to the pair in the back seats I extend their time together watching the sunset at Polzeath they were quick to agree. We parked up on the cliff top for our impromptu visit where I filled my senses with sea air and the beautiful setting sun while they playfully strolled ahead.


Polzeath Beach on a Summer’s Evening


sitting by the coastpath at Polzeath



sitting by the coastpath at Polzeath


carrying from the waters edge at Polzeath


 Hugs at Polzeath beach at sunset



Sat on a rock watching the sun go down at Polzeath beach


What none of us knew as we wandered carefree across the beach were the horrors waiting to unfold at Manchester Arena. Theo’s two older brothers were at the Arena for a concert just a few weeks ago. It feels like everyone has some kind of connection, even me from my quiet corner of Cornwall. My heart goes out to all affected by events that Monday evening.  



My thanks go to my lovely models who agreed to feature in my photos. Trust me there is no taking this for granted with teenagers.   

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. 

Country Kids 27.05.17 in the ducks and chickens

 Happy Bank Holiday Weekend 

After a shocking week in the country with the horror of the bomb at Manchester Arena , I am ready for a little fresh air and family time this weekend. Manchester seems to have touched everyone’s life in someway, even here in Cornwall I can’t help but reflect on the fact that two of my own boys were up at a concert in the arena just a few weeks ago. A sunny weekend and family time is just what we need.

On the farm the chickens are back out of their winter chicken house in the field with the ducks and our ducklings are thriving. It’s lovely to see the guests enjoying feeding them all and searching the field for the eggs. Whatever your plans this weekend, I hope you’ll pop by and share them on the link up below. 

Guidelines for Joining in: 

My top commenters from last week:

  1. Helena from The Queen of Collage who commented on 24 posts.
  2. Helen from The Princess and The Pickle who commented on 22 posts.
  3. Michelle from Mummy From the Heart & Sherry from Life at Cooks Cabin who commented on 14 posts.

We have no bloggers link dumping this week, although do remember I comment count on Thursday after lunch so get your comments in before then if you want them to be counted.

Rockfish kindly sponsor Country Kids 

Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly

You Could Win with Rockfish Wellies and Country Kids from Coombe Mill 

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. Keep your posts coming, it could be you winning next!

For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.   

Favourite posts from last week added to the shortlist for winning the May Rockfish Wellies:

Top Commenter: Helena from Queen of Collage.

I’ve never been to the Isle of Wight but Mummy Travels makes it look very appealing 

Forest Schools sounds so like my Activity Hour here I can’t help but love what they do. The Helpful Hiker went along to a taster session to see what it is all about. 

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 growing 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. With over 3950 posts this community is flourishing with outdoors photos.

My favourite photos from the week came from, @billieirelandart@westcountrymum & @themumreviews. Please do check out these lovely folk on Instagram if you are not already following.

My #countrykidsfun featured images for this week are from @billieirelandart @westcountrymum @themumreviews a mention in the #countrykids link up on the blog tomorrow for you. Thank you for all the lovely outdoor fun tags this week. Happy bank holiday weekend to all. #coutryside #countrylife #farmgate #sunshine #familyfun #beach #seaside #funseekingkids #pottyadventures #field #rememberingthesedays #outdoorsandhappy #outdoorlife #sandpitfun #happiness #familymoments

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 

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During term time Coombe Mill is full families with toddlers and preschool children who are able to take advantage of our lower priced weeks. Planning activities they can all join in with is often a challenge, but a good theme helps. We have looked at pirates before and know how popular this is for little ones, but we wanted to add something new and decided to focus on every pirate’s best friend, the parrot. Parrots and pirates was the perfect toddler combination.

Parrots and Pirates go on an adventure

Colourful Parrots from toilet tolls

With our theme set the rest all flowed. I had some red painted toilet rolls left from making Chinese New Year Lanterns and decided these would make perfect parrot bodies. With help from parents we cut the toilet roll to make the head, beak and feet and then added coloured floristry ribbons for the wings and head feathers. Ta-da, beautiful parrots for little pirates.


Making toilet roll parrots

Pirates off on an adventure

I had planned to do some painting next but I could see the children were already becoming restless going off to play with my giant pirate palm tree so I decided to move onto our treasure hunt. We had newspaper prates hats planted on sticks that the children had to spot and collect to lead us to our treasure.


Finding pirate hats on a treasure hunt


Our trail took us through the fairy gardens where we had to spot the parrots in the tree.


Finding Parrots in the Fairy Gardens

Finding the hat to lead us out of the fairy gardens took a little time as there were plenty of distractions that we let the children explore. Finally we were on our way again and the children were now tuned to looking out for the hats and found them more easily. The last was by the pirate play boat where they began hunting for the missing treasure for my box. This was a great chance to combine play and treasure hunting all at once.


Pirates collecting treasure this afternoon. #pirateplay #treasurehunt #treasureisland #creativeminds #creativekids #countrykidsfun #holidayfun #playtime #pirateship #slide #chilhoodunplugged #childhooddays #childhoodmemories #funtimes #coombemill #countrykids #farmholiday #farmstay #farmfun

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It was a long walk back for little legs so we had them finding a stick along the way. This was to form the oars for their own pirate boat. They climbed aboard with their parrots and the palm tree behind and rowed to home singing along the way.


Row row row your boat gently down the stream and watch out for the falling palm tree! #countrykidsfun #imagination #bloopers #palmtrees #creativekids #boat #cardboardart #cardboardbox #funseekingkids #adventureisoutthere #wildandfree #holidayfun

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Painted parrots everywhere!

After all that adventure time the children were ready for my parrot painting. Asking 1 to 4 year old’s to paint a parrot was clearly too tricky so we made them fun and easy with hand and foot prints.


Painting parrot hand and feet pictures


With warm bubbly water on ready in a paddling pool to clean up, painting parrots had never been such fun!


bubbles in the paddling pool

Capturing our parrot and pirate adventures in video

Country Kids

Here at Coombe Mill we love to encourage children to use their imaginations and be creative, from raiding dressing up boxes to joining in our popular arts and crafts sessions. When Prezzybox offered me the chance to test one of their colour in cape products from the Selfie clothing company I knew at a glance this would go down well with the children staying here. My only dilemma was whether to choose the Superhero or Unicorn cape design.  We plumped for the Unicorn but read on for your chance to win one of your choosing or take advantage of their current sale price.

Win a Unicorn Cape

Unicorn colour in Cape

This cape is made for children who love to be creative, whether you are purchasing as a gift or as entertainment for a party or play date you won’t go wrong with this fun colour in and wear cape. Work alone or in a group to colour in sections to your own choice of colours then transform into a unicorn to zoom around the house or garden.

What's in the tin

What we thought

I approached a group of children out playing here on the farm who were eager to come and test out our unicorn cape. A few had to go to lunch but returned at break neck speed to join in. It was team work at its best as everyone took turn with colouring pens and areas of the cape to colour.


Another fab idea from @prezzybox colour your own unicorn or superhero cape to wear. It was a big hit here on a sunny afternoon. #cape #creativekids #countrykidsfun #outdoorlife #outdoorsandhappy #colouring #colouringfabric #cape #capemaking #designerkids #teamwork #kidsatwork #creativeminds

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Finally they declared the cape finished and began to race up and down the bank in turn with the cape swishing out behind them.

Running in the cape

I left them as they disappeared off to play Unicorns in the Fairy Gardens, a cape inspired adventure!

Playing in the Fairy Garden

Need to Know


Handmade and hand printed in the UK

One size jersey cloth cape made of cotton / polyester blend

Includes ten fabric colour in pens

Velcro fastening to reuse

colour in practice sheet

Dimensions 0cm x 66.5cm x 78.0cm
Suitable for ages 2-10
Price £25 currently on sale for £19.99 at Prezzybox
Manfacturer Selfie Clothing Co


Win your Colour in Superhero or Unicorn Cape with Prezzybox and Coombe Mill

Win a Superhero or Unicorn cape

If you know a creative child or two that would enjoy colouring in and wearing this fun cape why not enter to win, simply follow the instructions below.

Unicorn or Superhero Colour in Cape


We were sent our Unicorn cape for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The unicorn colour in cape made a very happy afternoon of creative fun for a group of children on the farm.