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.
Posted on June 16th, 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.
It’s mid summer already!
I hope your summer is going well? Personally I can’t believe it is mid summers day this week and that the nights will begin drawing in again. I am such a fan of the long June evenings and we have been taking advantage of them after school with the French exchange students we have staying. My own children may take Coombe Mill for granted, but for these boys from an inland mountain town the farm is heaven from the play areas to the river and animals.
I hope you have been enjoying the long summer days and will share your latest adventures with me 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:
- Helena from The Queen of Collage who commented on 32 posts.
- Kim from Northumberland Mam who commented on 21 posts.
- Cheryl from Time to Craft who commented on 20 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 : Helena from Queen of Collage
Trips with a Tot enjoyed a lovely looking day exploring the National Trust’s Harwick Hall
Otis and Us fell in love with the stunning Pembrokeshire coastline at Church Doors Cove
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 4450 posts this community is flourishing with outdoors photos.
My favourite photos from the week came from @wildwoodland @claire_nowmynameismummy @four_acorns and @jennihorsley . Please do check out these lovely folk on Instagram if you are not already following
Loading InLinkz ...
Posted on June 16th, 2017 - Fiona
I was determined to fit in a week working with herbs, and in particular wild garlic, before it was over on the farm for another year. Wild garlic has such a strong smell rather like spring onions and so useful in cooking. I had a feeling many of our children staying would not have noticed it during the week with us and so I decided on a spot of foraging for herbs and baking savoury scones as the basis for our activities this week.
Preparing to study herbs
We began by cutting up a cereal box to make a backing board for our theory work together with a clever little pouch to store the herbs we would find. Printed information sheets on each herb were stapled next to the pouch with sensory information to fill in on the herbs.
Foraging for herbs
With our work all prepared we set off in search of our herbs. The wild garlic was just at the end of flowering and having showed the children what to look for they soon came across some along the farm paths. Armed with a good bunch for everyone we headed into my garden for snippets of all the other herbs I had growing. We had 6 to collect in total and the children needed help to carry back their haul.
Making wild garlic and cheese savoury scones
Back at the craft tables we washed hands ready for cooking. I had all the ingredients for cheese and wild garlic scones. We measured, mixed and kneaded the ingredients together before cutting them into hearts and stars to go in the oven. The children were wonderful at taking turns to help at every stage.
Completing herb worksheets
While the scones cooked the children began to complete their worksheets using the collected herbs. They rubbed each herb on the page to release the smell and then wrote down how it smelt, felt and looked along with what foods it was used in. They were great at suggesting foods the herbs reminded them of.
Writing up the savoury scone recipe
They worked really hard and made a lovely job of completing their worksheets before moving on to recapping the recipe we used for the scones. I handing out printed sheets where the children just had to fill in the amounts of each ingredient and mount them onto coloured card of their choice decorating them with felt tip pens.
I just had time for a photo of everyone with their competed recipes and herb cards while our delicious smelling freshly baked savoury scones cooled enough to eat.
I was thrilled that every scone was eaten with the children all tasting their hard work and the parents polishing off any going spare. I can safely say cheese and wild garlic savoury scones make a very tasty snack. This turned into a really fun and educational afternoon with even the parents learning a thing or two about cooking with wild garlic.
Posted on June 12th, 2017 - Fiona
Travelling with kids can be tiring and leave you feeling like you have packed everything bar the kitchen sink for a few days away. Orchard Toys specialise in educational games for children and have now come up with the perfect travel companion; a range of mini travel games. These games won’t fill your suitcase, they won’t break the bank to buy and they will keep the kids entertained in the car, on a plane, at your destination or even just on a rainy day at home. What’s more the games are based on childhood classics of yesteryear and require no technology, so ideal for a camping holiday or those wilderness destinations with no wifi. If these sound of interest to you read on for your chance to win 3 different mini travel games with me.
Learning made fun
Like all the games from Orchard Toys these mini travel games aim to make learning fun. Build counting skills, memory, visual recognition identification, problem solving and how to be a good team player. The games are aimed at age 3 – 6. We put two of the games to the test with preschool children at the lower age range staying here on holiday.
Llamas in Pyjamas
Since llamas are very similar to the alpaca we have here on the farm I thought this would be a fun one to try.
The game is a more complex version of pairs played with 2 to 4 players. I thought it might be too tricky for our 3 year olds; however with a little help and encouragement they managed a full game played by the rules at the start of our activity hour and even wanted a rematch at the end!
Little Bug Bingo
I thought this one was a little easier. Based on the traditional bingo game players try to match bugs and insects with their bingo board.
It is a fun way to learn of the mini beasts that inhabit our countryside. We used the game ahead of an activity session based on pond studies and later looked for the creatures from the bingo game around the Coombe Mill Lake. Again the game was perfect for holding the children’s attention.
Need to know
|Games in the series||12|
|Price per game||£4.99|
|Suitable for ||Age 3 – 8|
|Players required||2 – 4|
|Made from||100% recycled board|
Win your choice of 3 Mini Travel Games with Orchard Toys and Coombe Mill
For your chance to win 3 of these lovely educational games just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
3 Mini Travel Games from Orchard Toys
We were sent our 2 games for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Our two mini travel games are available to borrow here on holiday from our Games Room.
Posted on June 10th, 2017 - Fiona
A week into the summer term and already the Whitsun half term holiday feels like a distant memory. However as I reflected back on the farm fun that was enjoyed I really wanted to share this wild child island adventure.
Wild Child Island Adventure
You could be mistaken for thinking you were looking at a page from the famous Lord of the Flies book. The burning cross, the camp fire and spear making in progress does all smack of teenage boys learning to survive on a deserted island together. These boys were indeed all teenagers, one of them my own, but they are far from deserted. The little island is just a rocky outcrop in the river Camel as it meanders its way through Coombe Mill. It was where Felix sat and wrote his inspired GCSE English descriptive writing piece and where I take so many photos of our beautiful river to share here across the seasons. However last week it was home to a group of boys, their imagination and many happy days spent at one with nature. Best of all they were away from technology as there is no wifi or mobile signal over there. This is forest school learning for big kids.
Fire Pit on the Island
I didn’t pry into the purpose of the burning cross, I’m not sure I really wanted to hear the answer, but I did admire the campfire pit and homemade spears lashed up to a tree. They hoped spear fish as they swam upstream to cook on their fire. The theory was sound, I’m pleased to say no fish were ever in danger, but they certainly had some fun trying to catch one and ending up rather wet in the process!
A dam to trap fish and ward off adults
Looking back at the island by day you see the dam they built to improve the island defenses against adults and improve their chances of trapping a fish.
I was more than happy to see them while away their time like this, as were the parents of the other boys. For my own, this wild child island adventure is one of the joys of farm life, for the other boys it is part of the magic of Coombe Mill that keeps them returning year on year. We are the growing up holiday you never grow out of.