Posted on March 25th, 2017 - Fiona
Last week Farmer Nick came home with three new goats, who are settling in just fine with us. This week he left me a little box of pound shop chicks on my desk. He was in Plymouth with time to spare and randomly thought of my activity hour when he saw this little bargain box of 20 chicks in the pound shop within the Easter craft display.
I was thrilled; Easter is always such a fun time on the farm but with many regular guests returning I like to come up with different crafts each year. The challenge was on to find a use for these dear little fluffy chicks. My immediate thought was little Easter baskets, some mini eggs and a chick inside. I took some coloured paper to test out my idea and I’m rather pleased with the result.
I will add to this with some form of Easter nature trail to challenge the children as well as our famous Easter Sunday Egg Hunt. Now all we need for Easter is some baby chicks and sunshine. Nick is busy collecting eggs from our Rhode Island Red chickens that have just started to lay again, but sadly they won’t hatch in time for Easter. All is not lost though as we did have baby bunnies born earlier this week. Another couple of weeks and they will hopefully look more like rabbits than mice! However I do hope I’m not sharing too soon, rabbits make poor mothers and are inclined to give up on their brood for reasons known only to them. Fingers crossed for these little cuties.
We do still have a few spaces over the holiday weeks if you fancy joining in with our Easter craft activities as well as meeting our Easter bunnies and new born lambs.
Do you have a special Easter craft or activity planned?
Posted on March 24th, 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.
Farm Fun in Spring
Our Ewes are hopefully all pregnant and I am only early morning lamb watch each day. I have to say with the sleet and hail of last week I was crossing my fingers that our ewes were crossing their legs! The lovely ewe above is Ebony, our hand raised lamb of 3 years ago who is still super friendly and always happy to say hello. Have you spotted any spring lambs in the fields near you yet?
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 18th March:
- Louise from Little Hearts Big Love who commented on 16 posts.
- Sonia from Mamma’s School who commented on 15 posts.
- Helen from The Princess and the Pickle who commented on 14 posts.
We have 3 guilty bloggers linking up and not commenting on any posts (as of Thursday pm when counted). Come on you know who you are please go back to be fair to others.
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 March Rockfish Wellies:
Top Commenter : Louise from Little Hearts Big Love.
If you only have a small garden, this miniature pond from Acorn STEM could be just the answer
for a little inspiration on the things to do and discover in your local woods check out this lovely post from Four Acorns
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 2300 posts this community is flourishing with outdoors photos.
My favourite photos from the week came from @leilajophotos, @ethannevelyn, @kippersandcurtains and @itsagingerbreadlife Please do check out these lovely folk on Instagram if you are not already following
A Personal Update
Lucy from Kids of the Wild has been away from Country Kids for a few weeks, in fact offline completely. Lucy's world fell apart with a frightening cancer diagnosis for her beautiful daughter. You can read Lucy's first post about their ordeal here. I'm sure you will join me in sending love and prayers and positive thoughts to the family at this difficult time.
Loading InLinkz ...
Posted on March 24th, 2017 - Fiona
Despite having quite a few staying with us, our craft and activity hour clashed with the best day of the week and most of our guests had taken advantage of a chance to visit the beach. I had just one little girl come along who had been looking forward to it all week. Having stayed before I knew she would be fine on her own and at just 4 years old I took a gamble she would be up to understanding the frog life cycle and the associated crafts I had planned.
We began by talking about frogs and seeing if we could find one in the My first Animals book I had just reviewed. This proved no problem.
Encouraged by her understanding I moved onto explaining the life cycle from frogspawn to tadpoles, froglet and finally frog with some helpful printables to match and label.
At just four I was keen not to overdo the formal worksheets on holiday so we set off in search of frogspawn on the farm. I’d double checked beforehand that the place I’d identified last week still had some frogspawn there.
What I hadn’t tried before was wading into the depths of the stream to pull some out. It was very boggy and I didn’t want our guests stuck in the mud so I volunteered to carefully step down the bank and pull some up in our bucket. To our complete joy there was not only live frogspawn but tadpoles already formed and swimming around. We tipped the contents of the bucket into a jam jar to carry back to the art table and have a closer look, stopping on the way to see the toad under the bridge, a little clue along our wildlife trail. At this moment I wished he was a frog, but it was a chance to explain the difference.
Getting the magnifying glass out we were able to see plenty of movement in the jar.
While the tadpoles swam round we drew frogspawn with chalk on black paper. This was super effective and easy to create a lifelike effect.
We skipped drawing tadpoles and moved onto our creative frog game. In no time a toilet roll and a stick had become a frog with a fly to catch. I promised it was possible and had the parents both trying as well as the little girl.
With some pre-made paper frogs we squeezed in one more activity, decorating frogs that jumped and then laughing over table top frog races.
Time ran away from us and we caught up with the other families returning from their days out for a last train ride. There was great interest in the crafted frog game and our little 4 year old kindly let the other children have a go with her frog.
I’m so pleased I didn’t shy away from taking on the frog life cycle theme with just one, it was great to have the time and energy to ensure understanding in one so young and the frog turned into a wonderful keepsake game.
Have you tried explaining the frog life cycle to little ones?
Posted on March 20th, 2017 - Fiona
As children begin to explore and understand the world around them, books can be a great way to reinforce these first concepts. From identifying colour and shape to animals and then words, there is so much all around that young minds are absorbing. Learning through play and activities has always been something we encourage at Coombe Mill. From the morning farm rides to meet the animals to activities and crafts at the end of the week, learning on the go is fun for little ones. Now Quarto Kids have a range of books called in their Learning Garden range that bring many of these first experiences home in a colourful series of themed books.
My First …….
Each of these new Learning Garden book series start with “My First” choose from Animals, colours and shapes or words. They all boast hard back pages designed for little fingers with colourful imagery and simple illustrations. These eye catching books are not ones to dwell on but are great for a few minutes down time, for reflecting over things children have seen and done. At just £6.99 each that’s great value learning in our book.
We showed the books to a couple of children staying at Coombe Mill at the end of the week. They had great fun pointing out the animals they had seen with us on the farm.
It became a game to see who could identify the colour and the shape first while words were guessed from the pictures.
Learning as a continuous process
Learning is a continual process for young children. I see these books as a great asset in recalling things seen and experienced in everyday life. It was easy to see how they fit in with life here on holiday and I’m sure you will find the same for your children at home too.
Win your set of 3 Learning Garden books with Coombe Mill
If you have or know preschool children who would enjoy these educational books why not enter to win a set below. Good luck to all taking part.
Learning Garden Series
We were sent our copies of The Learning Garden: “My first words”, “My first colours and shapes” and “My First Animals” for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and options are my own. Our holiday guests can borrow these books from our games room during their stay.
Posted on March 18th, 2017 - Fiona
So, I send Farmer Nick off to buy more animal feed and he comes home with 3 goats and a bag of feed all for free! He may forget our children’s names on a daily basis, but clearly his old negotiation skills from his Tesco buying days are still with him. I was quite taken aback with how he managed this one. Apparently as he was waiting for our regular feed delivery to be loaded he spotted a “Free to good home” Advert on the shop notice board and followed it up. 2 nanny goats and a castrated Billy in a neighbouring village to us all sounded too good to be true, but as it was so close he popped back to hook up the trailer and go and see. Before I could ask what they were like he was back here complete with 3 gorgeous looking goats in the back of the trailer. “They even gave me the bag of food they had just bought” he exclaimed.
We let them out into the field adjacent to our existing goats for a day before opening the joining gate to let them familiarise themselves together. The newbies did look a little overwhelmed with their new spacious field and boisterous companions.
Even though little Queenie did her best jumping tricks to impress the new goats.
We have no idea on the age of the new goats but I’m rather hoping Billy will show a keen interest in the nanny goats for some late season kids. Farmer Nick on the other hand is suspecting we have been sold a set of oldies, as the boy is looking a little arthritic. Either way I’m sure they are going to be happy with us.
Speaking of kids, I’m sure “Hairy” is beginning to gain a bit of a tummy. Fingers crossed this means kids in a month or two here on the farm.
If you fancy a spring break and meeting the ‘new kids on the block’ we still have spaces for the Easter holidays and some great prices either side of these.