Posted on August 13th, 2016 - Fiona
The holidays seem to be racing by far too quickly and I was concerned I hadn’t managed a single beach trip. To me summer beach days are what spring to mind whenever anyone mentions the school august break. I would feel cheated of my summer if we didn’t visit, yet somehow the time had been slipping away.
Making time for Summer beach days
Finally we woke to a beautiful day which wasn’t earmarked with essential jobs or other outings. Loaded up with wetsuits and a picnic we headed off to enjoy the heat of the day at the beach.
Polzeath is always busy in high season but it is a lifeguard beach with good facilities and easy parking, making it a great location for summer beach days. Even when the sea is busy there are always quite secluded bays to be found at low tide giving a feeling of space and discovery.
The kids were soon changed and heading into the waves. I’m sure Jed is a secret fish; he can never be bothered with a wetsuit but still stays in the water as long as the others.
I soon lost them in the waves, but they are all good swimmers and know to remain within the life guarded flags. Meanwhile I enjoyed a little peace and quiet on the beach, with just the occasional opportunist gull swooping by to check for picnic leftovers!
All too soon we were heading back to Coombe Mill to catch up with the holiday guests and run the evening train. With salt in my hair and sand tingling against my skin I knew we had enjoyed one of the summer beach days I had been craving.
Looking out towards the coast after dinner, I stopped to watch the sun set and will the holidays to slow down a little. We live in such a beautiful place and I really want more time to enjoy it together before the new school term.
Posted on August 12th, 2016 - Fiona
Welcome to Country Kids from Coombe Mill
Country Kids from Coombe Mill 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.
We have had some classic August weather with sunny days and showery ones. However we were lucky enough to have a perfect afternoon for our annual nature raft race which turned into a full afternoon of family fun down by the river. More on this one on my post here on the linky.
Please come and share your adventures.
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.
- Large unheated covered areas like a barn or tent count as outdoors.
- 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.
- Link 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.
Thank you to my top 3 commenters from last week:
1st Steph from Mummy Plus Three Girls who commented on 38 posts this week
2nd Merlinda from Glimmer of Hope who commented on 36 posts this week
3rd Rachel from Coffee Cake Kids who commented on 30 posts this week
Fantastic work ladies, thank you so much. Do check out their posts linked above too.
My top commented post will automatically qualify for a chance at the Rockfish wellies below provided other giveaway criteria are met.
‘link dump and run’ culprits fell to 3 with more linking up this week which is great, thank you.
A big warm welcome to Country Kids newbies this week: Chloe from Sorry About the Mess lovely to have you join in, I hope you enjoyed the link up and will come back again.
Introducing Rockfish, the Country Kids Sponsor
Win a pair of wellies from Rockfish Monthly
I am delighted to announce that Rockfish have joined with Coombe Mill to sponsor the Country Kids link up. Rockfish are a local Cornish company specializing in stylish 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.
For more more information on the Rockfish Wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here.
Posts from last week in with a chance of the August Rockfish Wellies:
Steph from Mummy Plus Three Girls is the Country Kids top commenter for this week with a massive 38 post comments last week.
Sorry about the Mess came to Coombe Mill and shares the most amazing video of their family stay here on the farm and out and about in Cornwall, even though the original plan was Costa Brava!
Mummy Shire did go abroad for their holiday and discovered the things the kids loved most were the family times spent playing crazy golf. Farmer Nick will like this as he want’s to make one at Coombe Mill.
Country Kids Communities
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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 Google Plus community page for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me
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Posted on August 12th, 2016 - Fiona
This is our 4th year of running a nature raft race. It was a tradition began with the Boy and Me at the end on their first visit 4 years ago, and one we have repeated on their return each year. I was slightly nervous as many of the regular guests from this week had moved on resulting in a different group of holiday makers this year that had never joined in the activity before. However more than half were regular Coombe Mill guests and embraced the idea of a nature raft race with the enthusiasm I’d hoped for.
Nature Raft Race Preparations
From my point of view this is a great activity requiring very little set up and nothing to clear away after. That said, I did build a prototype and check it for buoyancy beforehand which I brought to give a guide. If you want to have a go I have a ‘how to make’ post.
The weather was on our side and armed with bamboo canes as a base I left everyone in groups around the lawn designing their rafts.
The children dashed around the bushes looking for things to make their rafts stand out while parents took over lashing reeds and wispy long grass round their bamboo frames.
When everyone was finished we headed down to the water.
Ready for the 2016 Nature Raft Race to Begin
Our starting point was the foot bridge and the race was from here to the Coombe Mill road bridge further downstream. We have had some over enthusiastic race starters in the past but all the children were excellent this time waiting for my:
Three, Two, One, GO!
Before dropping their nature rafts down into the water.
The river had been running fast after rain earlier in the week and the children had to dash along the river bank to keep pace with their rafts.
I had a group of older children, including Guy and Clio in the river to wade down after the rafts freeing any that had become tangled in the reeds or on rocks along the way.
It felt like just a couple of minutes before the first rafts were sailing down under the finishing bridge to a huge audience above. Best of all is that being 100% natural, any rafts that escaped could happily carry on to Padstow with my worrying about littering the river!
With the race complete the lure of the water called. One by one the younger children and parents followed the older kids into the river. Another hour of river play followed with swimming and body boarding in the late afternoon sunlight.
Gradually the children made their way across to the island to inspect the remains of the half term camp and try their hand at crossing the log bridge still there and test out the rope swing.
I have a feeling the nature raft race and river play will go down as a highlight of the holiday for many this week and I’m already looking forward to carrying the tradition in to next year.
Posted on August 8th, 2016 - Fiona
Discover the magic of the ‘Shine a Light’ books from Ivy Kids
As parents we all know how important it is to engage children in books from an early age. A good book needs to be well illustrated with a clever age appropriate story line. I know with my own children they decided very quickly which their favourite books were and wanted to read them over and over again, long after I was sick of them! Creating information books with this same ‘must read’ factor is even harder. Ivy Kids have risen to the challenge and now have a delightful ‘Shine a Light’ series written by Carran Brown. Each book explores a different topic covering nature or machinery sharing the hidden inhabitants or components in an ingenious secret way.
A page only reveals half a story, yet if you hold the page up to the light, then the secrets of the world being explored will be revealed.
If you are reading the books as a bedtime story then a torch will have the same effect in a darker room.
The magic of these books is in making the secret world spring to life. The words on the page invite you to take a guess at what might be hiding before shining light through the page to see if you are correct. It is a great way of making learning fun and really captured the interest of the children staying with us on the farm.
Shine a Light Series: Need to know Facts
- There are 9 books available in the range covering nature and machinery
- Books are 260mm square in size
- Hardback R.S.P. £10.99 Paperback R.S.P. £7.99
- Approximately 1500 words and 40 pictures per book
- Suitable for age 3 upwards
Win 1 of 3 Shine a Light Books with Ivy Kids and Coombe Mill
If you would like to win one of the Shine Light books above just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
Shine-A-Light Ivy Kids book
We were sent our copies of these books for the purpose of this review. However all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Posted on August 6th, 2016 - Fiona
Fun and Adventure from the Start
It is easy to forget with some truly wet days this week that they were in fact sandwiched between some beautiful days too. There is nothing better than arriving on holiday to sunshine and warmth. This week everyone was in high spirit as the sunshine continued for the first farm ride on Sunday morning. Over half the children had stayed with us before and they had adventure and fun written all over their faces right from the start with hands shooting up to be first to drive the tractor.
Spontaneous Goat Carrying Challenge
I never expected a goat carrying challenge to begin but while Nick dashed off to investigate a fallen tree through the deer fence, I was left in charge of goat feeding. It’s quite hard to take photos, hold the feed buckets and watch the children to make sure everyone has a turn at feeding. I failed at the photos. However as the feed bucket emptied, the children began to develop their own spontaneous goat carrying challenge. I quickly abandoned the feed bucket over the fence to free a hand and untangle my camera from round my neck. I’m so pleased I did, unexpected moments like these are there to be captured.
Rocky and Sprout are both hand raised and more than happy to be treated like babies. They made easy targets for the children and their goat carrying antics and really looked to be lapping up the attention in the photos. The children were thrilled by their conquest and more and more came it to have a hold.
I think the kids could have spent all day in with the goats and the goats in turn would have been happy to stay and play, but there were more animals waiting patiently for their breakfast to arrive.
I love to see the children interacting with such confidence with our animals. It is often those returning who have the confidence to lead, while those who are new naturally stand back to watch and learn before joining in themselves.