Family farm holidays in Cornwall magical for children, toddlers and babies.
Coombe Mill Blog
"Tales from the farmers wife" shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.
As summer fades into autumn I like to take advantage of the abundance of blackberries here on the farm. Foraging, baking and crafting are a perfect use of blackberries. I try to mix things up a little each year so nothing is quite the same as the year before. While I had tried a version of all of these activities before, none of them were quite the same. There was something new with our blackberry fabric printing crafts for even our most regular guests.
I handed out collecting tubs and we headed down to the river bank for a power 15 minute blackberry collecting session.
Health and Safety Awareness
Back at the craft tables, Guy led the children to wash their hands while I washed the blackberries to flush out any creepy crawlies.
All cleaned up we were ready to start work. I have a tried and trusted recipe for muffins which is ideally suited to adding any additional ingredient, like blackberries, and also easy for children to measure. With each child adding an ingredient and taking turns stirring while others set out the paper cases there is something to keep everyone in a large group engaged.
Blackberry Fabric Printing Crafts
Blackberry stained fairy clothes
While the muffins cooked in the oven I tipped out a bag of fairy clothes cut outs on to the table. The children had to find pairs of clothes lay out blackberries on one and squish the other on top. I stapled them all onto a line of string to make a fairy washing line to go in the fairy gardens above the new fairy house.
Blackberry tie dyed flags
Our final activity involved winding loom bands tightly around sections of triangular fabric. Next we dunked the fabric in blackberry juice before opening the fabric to reveal some fun circular designs. The children collected a stick for me to staple their tie dye triangle round to make a flag.
By the time the flags were completed the muffins were ready to eat. Even those who claimed not to like blackberries tried one. I think being involved in the whole cooking process makesw children more inclimed to have a taste. There were very few left for me to take home which is always the real test.
Each of these activities are both fun and educational for children. They held their attention and yet cost very little to put together. I would recommend them for a garden birthday party or perhaps a play date at home.
A sunny afternoon with a group of 2 – 6 year olds calls for some creative make believe. It is ages since I’ve focussed on our natural woodland here and the magic of the fairy garden. This was the week to change that with a creative afternoon of woodland wizards and fairies.
Usually I set up for activity hour outside the games room on the grass, however as this session was all about wizardry and the imagination that comes from our fairy garden I thought this would make the ideal place for our creative fun and set up the little bench table in there.
We began with nature crowns; these are something I’ve used in many guises before. Double sided sticky tape on stripes of cereal card is perfect. All the kids need to do is decide what nature they want to feature on their headdress.
Another one we have done before but perfectly suited to the fairy garden where there are sticks and twigs in abundance. We simply used tape and ribbons to decorate the sticks into make believe wands.
Capes for Woodland Wizards and Fairies
For this I used old duvet covers from the business that were in my reject pile for being marked. I cut them into cape size rectangles for the children. They used paint and nature to print their capes then chose coloured ribbon to feed through slits in the top to wear as magic woodland wizards and fairies.
It was a lovely way to pass an afternoon and the children loved the setting. If they finished any of their activities early there was always plenty of fun in the fairy garden to keep them occupied until others caught them up. It would make a great them for a play date or birthday party and is surprising easy and cheep to do.
What you’ll need to create your own woodland wizards and fairies activity
colourful ribbons or wool
double sided sticky tape
Rectangles of material
stapler (if attaching nature)
All the fun of creating woodland wizards and fairies on film
We all know the value of enjoying books from an early age. Quarto Kids have a charming starter book illustrated by Camilla Falsini designed to grab the attention of little ones with a colourful and interactive look at Shapes. 5 Wild Shapes will appeal to children and parents. Read on to discover more and for your chance to win a copy.
More about 5 wild Shapes
The bold colour themes and shapes on every double page are eye catching. A short story of a couple of sentences ties the illustrations and shapes together while the reader is encouraged to get physical and move the counter around each shape. It is an adorable way for youngsters to learn about shapes and discover a little about animals and their habitats.
Find circle as a flower, triangle as a tree, heart as leaves on the trees, wavy as the sea and hexagon as a bees hive and square as a Farmer’s field. Well not Farmer Nick’s farm fields perhaps, but that’s another story! The chunky hardback book is designed to withstand handling by the most destructive toddler, while the wipe clean surface to each hardback page will ensure sticky fingers are not a problem.
Develops hand eye coordination
Builds cognitive skills
Inspires a deeper knowledge of the world
Video insight into 5 wild Shapes
Need to Know
Age 3 upwards (due to small parts) but educationally suitable from Age 2
Board book, 10 Pages
Amazon, Waterstones, Book Depository, books Etc.
Win your copy of 5 Wild Shapes with Quarto and Coombe Mill
For your chance to win a copy of this fun learning book simply follow the instructions below.
We were sent our copy of 5 wild shapes for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. Our copy can be borrowed from the Coombe Mill Games Room for our guests to borrow on holiday.
As the beautiful autumn colours begin to take over our landscape, our thoughts turn to the clocks going back, a busy term for the children at school and Christmas. I hope you can take a few minutes out from it all and see what we have been up to here on the farm, along with some changes going forward. Our Cornish Events Guide October 2019 is handy if you are heading this way with your family.
All change for the cottages from November.
You’ll see from our pricing and availability page that the cottages over the road (Tree Roots, Willow and Honeysuckle) are no longer available to book. They are still owned by us but will be rentable via Sykes Cottages from November 2019. However, they will not be part of Coombe Mill, so no feed run, train rides or crazy golf. The train and crazy golf will move over the road to remain with Coombe Mill Holidays. This will take place over the winter and be a big project keeping Farmer Nick busy. We have done this to try and widen our appeal to an audience that may not have young children. For those of you who know and love Coombe Mill please do share us with friends and remember the ‘refer a friend’ scheme saves you money as well as anyone you refer. Miller’s House will now be the largest property sleeping 10, followed by Heligan Lodge for 8.
Christmas is coming.
Love or loath the subject of Christmas in October, there is no getting away from the fact it is only weeks away. If you’d rather hand all the stress over then why not bring the family to Coombe Mill? The feed run even runs on Christmas morning with a very festive Farmer Nick and our log burners make the perfect warming backdrop to all your festivities. We run 10 nights for the price of 7 up to or from 27th or you can book short breaks on most dates over the festive period to suit you.
Activity hour ended for the summer season with making the most of the huge supply of blackberries on the farm. We squished them, pulped them, made tie dye flags and yummy muffins. The next activity hour will be Halloween, watch out for some ghostly fun if you are with us then!
Thank you for all your photos and kind words
I have been sharing some wonderful posts on Facebook and Instagram from the #CoombeMillHolidays hashtag. Thank you for all the lovely photos and thoughtful things you’ve said about your stay with us. These, together with posts to our Facebook Group and Facebook Reviews are so valuable to us as recommendations for those who have not stayed before. My favourite this month has to be from Angela Cavanagh, You couldn’t make this up if you tried! Thank you to Angela for sharing.
On the Farm
Lambo is Pregnant
Who remembers hand feeding Lambo a bottle of milk in 2018? Well we thought she would never be strong enough to carry babies and left her for the summer season as company for Rambo, our breading Ram. Nick and I were both looking at her the other day and have decided she is actually pregnant! It could be a Christmas lamb for Coombe Mill. We will bring her indoors when the weather turns and watch her closely over the winter months.
Billy has his girls back
When there is a strong whiff of goats’ cheese passing through the farm we know that autumn is here and Billy Goat Gruff is keen to visit our nanny goats. There is no fighting nature on this one and they are all reunited for the winter season. This includes Dusty who was sent to the naughty step for escaping during the summer months. Fingers crossed they all be happy together and even reward us with a kid goat in spring.
It can be so easy to become wrapped up in our own lives. The day to day of family life, school, homework, clubs and playtime can be all consuming. However have you ever stopped to wonder how similar, or different, your child’s upbringing might be from others around the world? In “This Is My World” from Lonely Planet Kids, 84 children age 7 to 10 from around the globe sum up their life in words and pictures. For anyone wanting to expand their knowledge of how different cultures live, this book is a fascinating insight. Read on to discover more and for you chance to win a copy.
More about This Is My World
Discover what it is like to grow up in hot and cold climates, in rich or poor countries, in a house, an orphanage or a flat, a large family or a small one and what impact these things have on the children concerned. Lonely planet Kids and have carefully researched the backgrounds of 84 different children. They have brought each life story to the reader over beautifully arranged double page spreads.
What we love
Bite sized chunks of information from each child on their family and the things that are important in their lives.
Photos of the children with their families, their country and the things that are important to them.
A helpful colour coded reference guide to different continents
A fun to answer quiz at the end.
An aid to social understanding, and human geography within the school curriculum
Good to know: £1 from every UK copy sold goes to War child UK – a registered charity helping children in war torn countries to a brighter future.
We were sent our copy of this is my World for the purpose of this review. However all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. Our copy can be found in the Coombe Mill Games room library for our holiday guests to borrow.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.