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.
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Sometimes I have an idea bubbling that I just know I have to use. Kindness Rocks groups have been springing up all around on Facebook and I have been impressed with the fun they are generating. Michelle from Mummy from the Heart shared a post in February about her girls finding some of these rocks and making their own and I thought then we should start a Coombe Mill Rocks page. We have finally set up the page and added many of the decorated Rocks and plaques from around Coombe Mill. To these I planned to add more from activity hour. I have also had a yearning to make a wishing tree. The two projects felt similar enough to tie together by adding kindness messages to a designated wishing tree.
More about Kindness Rocks
In case you are unfamiliar with kindness rocks, the idea is to find a rock, say in the local Facebook where you found it and then re-hide it somewhere else to be found again. The originator write on the back where the stone is from and you can see how far they travel. For this reason I thought it would be perfect for holiday makers here, they can create and take rocks all round the country and further. If you fancy getting involved join our group.
Kindness tags for our wishing Tree
We began with our kindness tags and the children were soon absorbed in choosing which phrases to use and decorating their coloured card with their choice of material scraps.
Coombe Mill Rocks Nature Trail
As I wanted to finish the tags with nature we set off outside on a kindness rock hunt. I have quite a collection scattered over the fairy gardens and new wildlife trail and handed the children a tick sheet with just 16 on to see if they could spot them all on our walk and also to inspire them for making their own later.
When everyone had found all the stones I reminded them to look for some colourful petals and leaves on their way back to finish their Kindness tags
Back in the Games room we put the finishing touches to our tags, laminated them and punched holes to add string for hanging and floristry ribbon to spin in the breeze.
Making Coombe Mill Kindness Rocks
It was time to use my collection of white painted rocks from the farm. Everyone chose one and set to work using their choice of felt tips or paint to carefully create their own special designs.
I took all the rocks back to my house to dry then varnished them and laid them out for the children to collect after the tractor ride the following morning. They all disappeared. We will have to wait and see if they turn up hidden at Coombe Mill or somewhere near you. They all have Coombe Mill Rocks on the back in permanent market so do let me know if you find one!
Creating our Wishing Tree
Our final task of the afternoon was to return to the nature trail and begin to populate my designated wishing tree. It is a fruit tree and just coming into blossom. We hung our kindness tags and watched as they swirled in the wind.
I’m delighted with our start to our wishing tree and a Coombe Mill Rocks collection. I think we will be adding to both over the coming weeks.
If like me you think there is a magical side to nature, a sense of great things unfolding before your eyes, then you will love this new book from Quarto Kids. The Magic Garden takes the reader on a journey through nature and brings the wonder of the seasons and how nature adapts into a magical story that is actually very factual. Follow Chloe on her journey and learn how nature works. Designed for young children to understand the basics of biology in a fun and engaging manor, this tale is a must. To discover more and be in with a chance of winning a copy of the book yourself read on.
What we love about The Magic Garden
The book is highly illustrative and tells nature’s clever cycle in the most engaging way for young children. Discover how the leaves change colour and fall from the trees, how the flowers are pollinated in summer and how they spread across the land. With delightful illustrations on every page it is easy to follow Chloe on her journey through nature. We read the book to a group of children who were captivated. It was the perfect introduction to the spring nature crafts we were following with.
There is a detailed section at the end of the book to explain some of the more confusing concepts in nature, such as why snakes eat meals bigger than they are and how caterpillars transform into Butterflies.
Need to know
Age 4 – 6
Hardback, 32 pages, published March 2018
Quarto online, Amazon
Win your copy of The Magic Garden with Quarto and Coombe Mill
If you fancy discovering the magic of nature with your child why not enter to win this lovely book. Simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
Without wanting to jinx things, I’d say spring 2018 has been our best lambing season ever. All our ewes have now lambed and all have been healthy births and escaped the jaws of the fox or claws of a buzzard. However last week we did have one casualty. Ebony, our newborn abandoned lamb of 4 years ago gave birth to twins. At first she seemed to take to the little girl and reject the boy. But within a couple of hours things had changed. They boy was in favour and the little girl, with newly docked tail and yellow spray markings had been pushed away. We placed Ebony and her twins in a small pen together in hope of a happy reunion and watched them carefully. However it soon became painfully clear the little girl’s life was in danger as Ebony repeatedly butted her away. We are never certain in this situation if the mother knows something we don’t in terms of the health of the rejected lamb, or if it is some form of emotional rejection. With no obvious birth defects showing, we took the only option available to try and save the abandoned lamb. Nick and I took a bottle to Ebony and expressed a good feed to start the lamb off and she spent the rest of the day safe, if lonely, in the warmth of our greenhouse.
Newborn abandoned lamb looking the spitting image of Ebony her Mother.
By the following day the little lamb was calling out for her bottle first thing and reluctantly taken to the special blend powdered milk in a bottle. This is always a big step with any abandoned lamb, but especially tricky in this case where she had been initially accepted by Mum. As the week progressed she has gained in strength and character and is now a highlight of the morning feed run here on the farm. The children love to feed her a bottle and have her join them on the tractor and trailer. In turn our little lamb, now named Lambo through our Facebook page, loves the affection and attention from the children.
First morning out on the farm ride to the delight of the children.
Children enjoying feeding Lambo her morning bottle.
When she is down to 2 feeds a day Lambo will moved over to join the ducks and chickens where she will have more animal contact yet be safe from the foxes and finally move in with the other sheep when she is fully fox proof in size.
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.
Hopefully the chill of April is now behind us and we an look forward to some warmer days for May. Certainly our little abandoned lamb featured here is happy to see the sunshine as it means she can roam our garden and not be shut into the greenhouse! With the days now stretching out into the evening there is plenty of scope for outdoor fun, please do share yours 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.
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.
Thanks to all of you who joined in last week and for the comments you took time to leave, we had a week with no link dumpers so a pat on the back to you all!
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.
April Welly Winner
Congratulations to Karen from Stopping at Two who is our April winner of the lovely Rockfish wellies. Karen brought the family back here to Coombe Mill for a 3rd holiday over Easter and shares all the things they enjoyed out and about here on the farm. Karen, do DM or email (email@example.com) your choice of wellies from the Rockfish range including size and colour as shown in stock.
Favourite posts from last week added to the shortlist for winning the May Rockfish Wellies:
I have really taken to creating flowers from toilet rolls and after the success of our Mother’s Day crafts making cards with toilet roll flowers I decided to take all the elements from here and make two new flower crafts. This coincided with a lovely educational story book arriving for me to review from Quarto Kids all about the seasons in the garden. Before I knew it I had a spring flower garden theme coming together for our guests to enjoy.
The Magic Garden
We began in the games room reading The Magic Garden. It is quite short and illustrative and the perfect length for the children. It put everyone into a creative mood and ready to go out and view the farm gardens with fresh eyes.
So with flower tick sheets and pens we set off in search of a signs of spring flowers on the farm. It is amazing what you find when you have your eyes really open. We hardly travelled any distance to find our first three flowers. The lawn around the games room was filled with buttercups, daisies and daffodils. Just as well Farmer Mick hadn’t yet come along to do his first mow of the year! We soon followed up with the Camellia and primrose and the first bluebells. The Rhododendron was only in bud and the honeysuckle just in leaf so these were much harder. It will be a few months before we see the new season Fuchsia but we still walked over to the bush where they will appear and checked along the river bank for Red Campion.
Creative Flower Pots
We arrived back at the games room just as the rain began and quickly moved the craft table under shelter. The children chose to make the flower pots first. It is a relatively simple craft that needed minimal help from the grownups, yet gives a pretty result. We covered toilet rolls in a choice of fabric.
Then we cut out squares of crepe paper and poked them through pipe cleaners to make magical colourful flowers.
The girls were thrilled with their finished flower pots.
Spring flower garden wreath
Then we moved onto the flower wreaths. The first task was to cut the centre out of a paper plate for the frame. Then we cut and painted toilet rolls to make the flowers.
By stapling the painted flowers on to the paper plate and hanging with ribbon we had pretty wreaths. I had wanted to collect ivy to place between the flowers but the rain was really pouring down so the girls decided to leave their wreaths at the games room to dry and add their own ivy later.
I think they would have happily stayed and crafted all evening once inspired. Their combined concentration and willingness to do everything was infectious. Its amazing how fast time goes and how much creative fun can come from a book and some throw away household items.
“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.