Posted on June 24th, 2017 - Fiona
As the saying goes the best camera is the one you have with you. Much as I love my DSLR I don’t always take it out with me, especially if I’m not expecting to be on a notable adventure. However I always have my phone and last weekend I was glad of it. After dropping Theo at Polzeath beach with friends, Clio joined me for a hike over The Rumps as her friend didn’t show up. I’m sure she was disappointed to be stuck with me but I was delighted to have some one on one time with her. In a busy family of six teenagers one on one time is rare, partly because the kids don’t necessarily choose my company anymore, and partly because time is always at a premium with the holiday business and the needs of a large family.
In the end it turned into a beautiful clear blue afternoon and a lovely girly catch up for us both. It makes me realise that time with just one child is every bit as important now they are growing teens as it was when they were young, they just don’t like to admit to that these days. The camera on my phone came into its own capturing some precious moments together.
The Rumps from Polzeath round towards Port Isaac form a stunning stretch of coastline, even though I have run or walked this stretch many times I have to stop and admire the raw beauty with every visit.
Panning across The Rumps to show off a stunning stretch of Cornish coastline
Looking out to sea waiting for me to catch up!
Running half into my photo for the most unusual capture!
A last look back at the seascape that makes up the Rumps before heading home
If you ever visit the beautiful beach of Polzeath, do make time to walk the coast path too, the views out to sea and back across the bay to Polzeath and Padstow are worth the trek.
Posted on June 23rd, 2017 - Fiona
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.
Summer Sun from the farm
So mid summer is here and Nick and I are away in Greece for a few days this week while the children manage the farm with Farmer Amber. Fingers crossed they have remembered to wear sun cream as the sun really is strong this month. Remember to cover up with cream and hats when you are out and about and I hope you’ll have a few adventures to share on the link up below.
Guidelines for Joining in:
- Post must be predominantly outdoors such as in the garden, the park, the woods or the beach with crafting, learning, exploring or playing.
- Despite the title, both countryside and urban outdoor adventures are welcome.
- Unheated covered areas like a barn or tent count as outdoors.
- Please comment on my host post and a minimum of 3 others of your choice.
- If you use #CountryKids when commenting the post owner will know where your found them and hopefully come back to visit your post.
- Please take my badge, without it you won’t be considered for winning the lovely Rockfish Wellies.
- Linked posts should be written and made live within the last 2 months.
- I understand sometimes you need to do catch up posts and write about something from a couple of months ago but the publish date should be within 2 months.
- By joining in with Country Kids you’re giving me permission to email you weekly as a reminder.
- There is no restriction on the number of posts that can be linked up, however please be sensible, if you have more than 3 consider linking over a few weeks.
My top commenters from last week:
- Helen from The Princess and the Pickle who commented on 27 posts.
- Helena from The Queen of Collage who commented on 26 posts.
- Clare from Mudpie Friday and Aly from Bug, Bird, Bee who commented on 22 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
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 June Rockfish Wellies:
Top Commenter : Helen from The Princess and The Pickle
Adventuring off the beaten track in Champagne Daisy the Bus created some great memories.
Time to Craft discovered wildlife at the bottom of the garden.
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 3850 posts this community is flourishing with outdoors photos.
My favourite photos from the week came from @goingonanadventureblog, @bebe.voyage, @adevonmum & @steph_baybee1. Please do check out these lovely folk on Instagram if you are not already following
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Posted on June 23rd, 2017 - Fiona
After making vintage tea cups and saucers into bird feeders I was keen to find a way to use these as part of our activity hour. As is so often the case, once I have an idea for a theme, then the whole afternoon plan begins to fall into place. A bird spotters trail along the old Welly Walk would replace my old tin can flowers with my 7 tea cup bird feeders and 2 bird houses to find and fill with goodies.
Every good bird spotter needs some binoculars
These were so easy to make and put the children in the right mindset. A couple of toilet rolls stapled together and some ribbon and we were ready for some creative painting.
With a gentle breeze and a glorious hot day, we hung the binoculars out to try ready for going on the trail.
Goosey Gandar in the grass
While our binoculars dried we set to work turning paper plates into geese just like the ones at Coombe Mill. A little clever cutting and folding gave some surprisingly good results. We showed them off against blue craft paper, picked grass for the geese to sit in and mounted them on card ready to hang.
This took just enough time to allow our binoculars to dry and everyone collected their bespoke coloured binoculars ready for the bird spotters trail.
To keep little legs motivated on our trail I handed out bird spotters trail sheets and pens packed with things to tick off and do along the way.
On an adventure along the bird spotters trail
The first thing to spot was the welly walk signs telling us the way to go. From here we were looking out for old wellies, tea cups and bird houses. I had a watering can ready to collect water from the brook and some birdseed with me; the children helped to add the seed to each of the saucers and fill the cups with water.
At each step the children ticked things off. There were birds to try and spot through the binoculars and bird songs to listen for. Annoyingly the most prevalent bird was the crow after our chicken eggs from the adjacent field!
Bird spotters treat
My cane tunnel was still looking great and the children ran through to discover the lovely shallow paddling area in the brook the other side and the tree swing. This was the perfect place to play and enjoy the afternoon sun before the trek home.
I am planning to work on the bird spotters trail sheets a little more and leave laminated copies in our reception for holiday guests to take and work though in their own time. Without a big noisy group of us there will be more birds to spot!
Posted on June 19th, 2017 - Fiona
Being sensitive, anxious or self aware is a common feeling for everyone. I bet even the most confident person can think of a time or a situation that has left them feeling a little awkward or uncomfortable. For some children these times are more common and familiar than for others. A little subtle help for sensitive children to boost their confidence and help them feel more comfortable ad less overwhelmed in social situations can come in many forms. Parental support, good friends, preschool leaders, toys and so forth. I often see a child at here on holiday that is less confident than the others, hanging back on the feed run with their parents and watching in awe of the outgoing kids. With encouragement and time over the week on holiday, the sensitive and cautious children usually come to join in and be a part of the group, watching these transformations melts my heart.
Long Hat is a Hero
When Scrivo Media asked me if I’d like to review the new children’s book Long Hat is a Hero aimed at helping sensitive children I could instantly see the nature connection with the farm and relate to the story and the issues it tackles.
Long Hat is a gnome who feels sad. He is overwhelmed by his peers in his beautiful woodland home and struggles to understand how he is feeling. His owl friend comes to the rescue and turns Long Hat’s sensitivity to an advantage with a clever plan.
What I like about the book
The story itself is delightful. It is uplifting, positive and easy to relate to tackling childhood sensitivity though relatable woodland characters. It is a subtle approach that is very clever and I believe will appeal to children.
What I feel could be improved
I think the book would benefit from being 50% bigger in size with larger writing. Currently the writing is very small to read. The illustrations are good and the ratio of writing to illustrations feels right, it could just do with being scaled up. That said the story message is compelling and as the book isn’t too long it will still hold a child’s attention.
Need to know
Win a copy of Long Hat is a Hero for a sensitive children
If you know a child prone to sensitivity, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed in social situations, this book could be a valuable and discrete way to help them. To enter to win a copy of the book, follow the instructions below.
Long Hat is a Hero
I was sent my copy of Long Hat is a Hero for the purpose of this review. Our Coombe Mill copy can be found in the reading snug of Polzeath lodge, a lovely quiet spot to take in the story. All thoughts and opinions on the book are my own.
Posted on June 17th, 2017 - Fiona
Life on the farm changes each week with each new set of guests. We may do similar things each day with our morning tractor rides and evening train rides, but it is the children and families staying that change the dynamic. There is always a buzz of excitement on a Sunday as everyone joins in the activities on offer here for the first time. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of seeing the excitement of driving the tractor for the first time, feeding the animals, holding them and enjoying all that we have to offer. Sometimes it isn’t even the tractor or the animals that captures the children’s imagination; it can be something as simple as nature itself interpreted through the eyes of a child. I try to be ready with my camera to capture those special moments to share here, though I need eyes in the back of my head as I never know where or when those magic moments will occur. What I do know is that there are special moments in every family holiday here and being here to witness them all is a privilege. Watching children discover the farm from the structured activities to the self created ones makes mine the best job in the world and provides so much of my inspiration on how to develop what we offer.
Driving the tractor is a highlight for children
Our tractor and trailer rides go out each day, it may be the same for farmer Nick, but for the children each day is new and exciting.
Special moments from self made activities
These two boys started quite a trend of jumping from the split trunk of this old tree. In no time there was a queue forming to give it a go.
Station mistress says go
Flag waving is a top job at the Coombe Mill Railway
Stop that train
Watch out someone has pulled the signal to stop the train.
If you fancy making some special moments of your own here at the farm we still have availability this summer.
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