Posted on September 8th, 2017 - Fiona
It is years since we have held a traditional summer garden party at Coombe Mill and we decided on a whim about a month ago to plump for the last week of the summer holidays after rediscovering photos of our last big garden party in celebration of the Royal Wedding. We still had some late availability so it felt like a good way to give the week a little bonus push. What we could never have foreseen was the glorious bank holiday weather that would make the day a huge success.
I spent the previous day preparing by baking cakes and shopping so there would be plenty of food to go around. Nick and the kids set up games, bunting and the bbq on the morning and were ready to relax on the lawns with our guests by the afternoon.
Garden party games
In true local farm style the big attraction was the tractor pulling. We knew this would be a bit hit having tested it in the past for the kids birthday parties. We simply had two tractors with rope, a start line and a finish line and the kids had to race them over the finish line.
Even when the team events finished the children delighted in steering while parents dutifully pulled them along.
Even the little ride on tractors came racing alongside their parent counterparts.
Splat the rat was next on the popularity list. This age old game never ceases to appeal to grownups and kids alike.
The teens spent hours playing badminton tournaments taking advantage of the beautiful still day
Even the little paddling pool, giant 4 in a row and tin can alley were all in use.
Food and drink for all
Playing games in the heat proved to be hungry work and Farmer Nick’s BBQ soon had people drifting over for a drink and a bite to eat.
I think my garden party cakes and toasted marshmallows were the food highlights for the kids. They were very patient waiting for me to cut into the cake.
Friendships to last the holiday
For me the highlight was seeing everyone making friends, young and old alike. Friendships blossomed as the sun set over the valley. Kids ran in groups while adults chilled out with wine.
Choo Choo it’s 6pm
There was huge excitement as the train made it’s evening appearance, no one could miss out as the railway line ran right though the middle of the party.
The fun continued until the light began to fade and the dew set in. It was a lovely way to start the week and the weather was simply perfect. I’ll have to make sure I don’t leave it as long to run the next Coombe Mill garden party.
Our next big party will be Christmas Eve. If you fancy joining us for that why not pop over to our Facebook Page and Win yourself Christmas on the farm.
Posted on September 4th, 2017 - Fiona
There is something fascinating about bones to kids. I remember as a child falling about laughing as our biology teacher made fun of the skeleton in the science room. A generation on and my own children are filled with excitement if they uncover an old animal skull when camp building here on the farm. With this in mind I was keen to have a look at the new book of Bones for kids by Phaidon. It takes the reader on a journey looking at the bones of 10 record breaking animals. If this is something your child might find fascinating too, read on to discover more and for your chance to win a copy of the book.
What we thought of Book of bones
The book is both engaging and informative with its superb illustrations and well written record breaking facts. Each page keeps you guessing which animal it could be with clever clues. When you think you have guessed, turn the page and see if you are correct and fill in your knowledge on the animal in question. Discover which animal has the heaviest bones, the longest neck, and the smallest bones and so on. Some you will guess easily, others with have you thinking and there are sure to be a few surprises in there too.
We loved the physical size, at just over A4 paper size it is great for reading to a group of children where guessing the animal first becomes a game. The quality and feel of the book are all impressive. We have already used the book as part of activity hour on the farm where my discerning audience gave it the thumbs up as we moved from Bones to Stick Man!
Need to know
|Retail price|| £16.95|
|Age range|| 5 – 8|
Hardback non fiction
315 x 254 mm
|Written by|| Gabrielle Balkan|
|Illustrated by||Sam Brewster|
Win you copy of Book of Bones – 10 Record-Breaking Animals
If you fancy owning a copy of this insightful book for children why not enter to win one. Simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
Book of Bones
We were sent a copy of the Book of Bones for the purpose of this review. The Coombe Mill holidays copy can be borrowed from our games room. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
Posted on September 3rd, 2017 - Fiona
For years I have been hankering after a giant sand pit for Coombe Mill. It has been one of those projects on the back burner for years since our old play boat sand pit fell apart. It takes a twist in events to bump something up the ‘to do’ list; in this case it was finally condemning the old Play Tractor as too rusty and unsafe, after years of happy use.
Now we had the perfect reason to introduce a giant sand pit and the only decisions became where to build it, how big and what toys to add.
Farmer Nick is on the job
The tractor had been down near the river but as this area can flood we decided to build the new giant sandpit higher up above the play fort. The space was limited by the bank behind but Farmer Nick never let something like this stand in his way, with his favourite toy the mini digger the bank retreated. We marked the area out with spray paint and Nick set to work helped by our eldest boys for the heavy concreting and lifting.
As always when Farmer Nick puts his mind to a project, it comes together remarkably quickly. I put the skeleton of the project up on Facebook to guess what we were up to and had a giggle at some of the suggestions with everything from a bar for parents to a lock up for naughty kids!
The roof began to go on and the boys work was nearing completion so it was over to me to decide what toys to add. I knew just the site to explore and took a look at the sand pits for sale over at Big Game Hunters for inspiration. There I found just what I was looking for, in amongst the fun shaped wooden sand pits was the perfect sand pit toy for us – mini diggers.
While we were building the sand pit all the children were fascinated with Farmer Nick’s mini digger and he had to be very careful to leave it safe and without keys at all times as the little ones couldn’t resist sitting up on the driver’s seat.
Our new all weather giant sand pit ready to use
A sand pit filled with mini diggers was the perfect answer for our farm holiday. What’s more at just £22 a digger they looked a bargain and we ordered 5 for our finished giant sand pit.
Needless to say both the sandpit and the diggers have been a huge hit with the children here. The imaginative play coming out from the sand pit is a delight to watch. Just listen to the conversation between the boys in this little video clip
It isn’t just boys enjoying it either, the girls have been creating in there too and buckets and spades and sandcastles have popped up between the diggers. The diggers are lightweight and the children can move them round the sandpit themselves to dig and re-dig to their heart’s content. I’m thrilled with this new all weather play feature which I hope will be in use here all year.
Curious about the old tractor?
Never one to throw things away, the old tractor top is now a mini field shelter in the goat field. As for the rest, the rusty old heap nearly defeated Farmer Nick and the boys towing it out, but with a borrowed flat bed trailer and two tractors they finally did it! I was so terrified for them watching it all with health and safety out the window I never took a photo.
Stay and play for all weather fun
If you have kids that would enjoy playing in our new giant sand pit and any of our other all weather play areas across our 30 acre farm why not take a look a look at our latest
price and availability.
We have some great
early bird discounts on next August too.
Posted on September 2nd, 2017 - Fiona
Wall to wall sunshine for the August bank holiday weekend, I can’t remember the last time we were so lucky, not just sunshine but lovely and warm too. It couldn’t have come at a better time for us, we had committed to a big garden party for all our guests and the glorious weather made it a real success. If ever there was a time to arrive at Coombe Mill and take in the beauty of the farm and charm that keeps our visitors returning then last weekend was that time.
Sunshine on the feed run
Feeding the animals each morning is the perfect way for our guests to meet one another. The children strike up friendships so easily and in the August bank holiday sunshine there were smiles all around as the children ran across the fields and met the animals.
Coombe Mill Garden Party
With just a few hours for us to set up while our guests chilled out around the grounds we had a garden party up and running. From the waft of cooking on the BBQ to the fun of country fair games it was an afternoon to remember. Some of my favourite moments came from watching teams of children making friends and running off together while the parents could sit and soak up the atmosphere watching their children at play. I even set up a little paddling pool for the youngest to keep them cool in the afternoon sun.
August Bank Holiday Monday
Bank holiday Monday rolled round and the sunshine continued. For me this was a chance for some family time off and a visit to the beach after our busy garden party. From the look of the empty car park after the morning feed run I think our guests followed our lead.
If you are thinking ahead to next summer we have some great early bird August prices on selected family lodges and cottages currently available.
Posted on September 1st, 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 #50 things along with all other ideas for family fun outside.
Back to school!
So this is the week we make sure the uniforms are ready, the shoes polished, pack lunch things are in the fridge and the kids are ready to move up a class or school. It is this coming Tuesday for my own children and I have to say I’m not looking forward to the early starts and two schools runs again, however looking back we have had a wonderful summer both personally and as a business and I have plenty to share over the coming weeks. I hope you are also ready for the new term with an outdoor adventure or two in hand for the link up.
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:
- Michelle from Mummy from the Heart who commented on 20 posts.
- Sara from Mum Turned Mom who commented on 18 posts.
- Dawn from Dear Mummy Blog who commented on 14 posts.
Thanks to all of you who joined in last week and for the comments you took time to leave, a ticking off to the one link dumper we had this week!
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.
August Welly Winner
Congratulations to Clare at Flip Flops or Wellies who is our August Country Kids welly winner enjoying outdoor fun in the south west of England. I loved this post of Canoeing in Devon and Cornwall. It takes me back to our French adventures and makes me realise we should try it here too. Do follow their journey over on their blog.
Clare please email or DM me your choice of wellies showing in stock from the amazing Rockfish selection and a UK delivery address.
Favourite posts from last week added to the shortlist for winning the September Rockfish Wellies:
Top Commenter: Michelle from Mummy from the heart
Watch out for pirates in the Maize Maze. A fun day out from Over 40 Mum to One.
Up close with the Polar Bears in Copenhagen for Renovation Bay-Bee
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 6050 posts this community is flourishing with outdoors photos.
My featured photos from the week came from @talking_mums@thefrenchiemummy @bakedbymummyiris & @thecampfirediaries Please do check out these lovely folk on Instagram if you are not already following.
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