Posted on August 19th, 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.
Last week our Nature Raft Races had everyone enjoying playing in the river. This week has been the same with some great friendships and plenty of soggy clothes! More on my Country Kids post.
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 4 commenters from last week:
I had to change my top 3 to 4 this week as 4 of you have really excelled:
1st Steph from Mummy Plus Three Girls who commented on 50 posts this week
2nd Merlinda from Glimmer of Hope who commented on 47 posts this week
3rd Melody from Domesstique who commented on 46 posts this week
4th Helena from Queen of Collage who commented on 43 posts this week
Fantastic work ladies, thank you so much. Please Do check out their wonderful 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 climbed back up to 4 this week so please go back and share the blog love if you didn’t last week.
A big warm welcome to Country Kids newbies this week: Laura from The Seasonal Child and Alana from Burnished Chaos, 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 is the Country Kids top commenter for this week with a massive 50 post comments last week and goes through to be in with a chance of winning.
along with my favoured posts that also met the Country Kids guidelines:
I loved this fairy Festival from Are we nearly there yet?
Retro Birthday fun from Great Yarmouth looks like a day to remember from Him, Me, Three
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 Google Plus community page for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me
Share your posts on Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet
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Posted on August 19th, 2016 - Fiona
A river adventure for the school holidays
I love it when older children come to stay at the farm as it encourages my triplets out into being kids again. At 12 they have hit that in between stage between child and adult where they need a little time away from the pressures of school to rediscover their inner child. They had teamed up with one of the Coombe Mill regulars and after a couple of days of relentless rain everyone was itching to be outdoors. A river adventure beckoned!
Boys will be Boys
The river had been running dangerously high after the rain but had subsided to a level I was happy for them to play in. As they are now older and stronger they can cope with a stronger current and relished the challenge of wading against the current.
Having battled upstream they then swam or body boarded down with the current. It was definitely flowing fast enough to make them look like super swimmers and give them the thrill they were after.
It took just a couple of minutes to whizz by me standing on the bridge and disappear over the rapids. There is a gentle pebble area further down where they could easily climb out and walk back across the fields and over the gate into Coombe Mill.
After a few times down the river they clambered out, dripping wet but full of excitement, to start jumping off the bridge.
Bridge jumping is an old time favourite for my boys. I had thought to try myself after a BiBs dare, but I welched out despite it being a bit deeper after the rain. It was one river adventure too far for me.
Grabbing a body board each they set off once more down the river. I was standing on the bridge chatting to the parents and thinking it was taking them longer this time. The other parents weren’t in the least worried, trusting their son to my two who know the river well. After a while I guessed what had happened and suspected they were surfing all the way through to Wenford Bridge, something I know Guy has enjoyed in the past. I picked up the car keys and some bin bags for them to sit on and drove off to meet them. Arriving there was no sign so I took the camera and headed back upstream to watch out for them. The sun had come out and I was quite happy soaking up the afternoon warmth and admiring the river.
Eventually I decided they must have turned around after all and returned to the car. As I drove past the end of the camel trail who should I see sitting at the tables in the Snail’s Pace Cafe? The three wise monkeys. They had climbed out of the river and gone there to ring me to collect them, but I had no mobile signal. Just as well I had second guessed their intentions anyway! They wanted ice creams and hot chocolate but, as they were shivering and soaking, I decided to just get them home and showered and let them have their treats back at Coombe Mill
To me this was a perfect school holiday afternoon, a child led river adventure away from all the pressures of school. It takes a couple of weeks of being away from school for this to develop and I’m making the most of being with them knowing the new school term and year eight isn’t far away now.
Posted on August 15th, 2016 - Fiona
Why has it taken me so long to discover this brand leader in the sun cream market? For years I have battled with young children trying desperately to apply sun cream for days out in summer. Too many times they have run away from me at the beach, rather than have the white gunk applied; complaining that the sand sticks to it or it makes their skin look white and hurt having it rubbed in. Little did I know Ambre Solaire Kids new ‘Easy Peasy’ products had successfully sorted out these annoyances.
Ambre Solaire Kids Easy Peasy Products
Ambre Solaire really is in a league of its own. I had my sun cream critical kids reluctantly try it out for me to claims of:
“This stuff is really cool”
“Can we take this one on holiday with us?”
I was really impressed by the light formula and ease of application with both the products we tried. Whether you prefer a spray application or tube both do the job without the squeals. They have all the protection you’d expect from a good brand and lots of hidden extras to make them worth the extra money for beach ready kids.
Product Need to know facts for Ambre Solaire Kids
Wet Skin Lotion
Anti Sand Spray
Can be applied to wet or dry skin
Non sticky so no itchy sand feeling
UVA 3 star
UVA 3 star
£7.50 for 150ml
£7.50 for 200ml
Never again will I scrimp and save on cheap sun cream that my children refuse to wear, Ambre Solaire Kids is definitely worth the extra and all for less than the price of a round of ice creams at the beach!
Win your Ambre Solaire Kids Easy Peasy sun cream duo with Coombe Mill
If you fancy winning both these products to see your kids through the summer outdoors with no tears or tantrums just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
I was sent my Ambre Solaire Kids Easy Peasy products for the purpose of this review. However all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Posted on August 14th, 2016 - Fiona
Waiting for Colin the Alpaca Whisperer
After writing recently about summer jobs on the farm we had one outstanding job for the season, to shear the alpaca. This is a highly skilled job and there are very few full time shearers in the UK. A few years ago we discovered Colin. He treats the animals with great care, never hurts or nicks them and is reliable turning up on time. For us this makes him the choice for our alpaca, even if it means waiting our turn, as Colin covers the whole of the UK and northern Europe too.
We had just gone into the summer heat wave when our date came along and our two boys Toffee and Caramel must have been longing to shed their winter layer. Thankfully their coats were beautifully dry so we were able to leave them out in the field until the evening before being sheared. They spent the night in Nick’s shed in a makeshift pen ready for an early 8am start. The temperature didn’t drop below 23 degrees that night so we had to provide plenty of fresh water to keep them comfortable.
It as if the alpaca know Colin. They are as good as gold as he approaches and carries them to the shearing mat, making them look as though they weigh nothing!
So where does the Ann Summers Party come in?
Shearing the alpaca is a great spectator sport and we had invited any early risers staying to come and join us to see an expert at work. Nick is always full of funny quips and when a guest asked how did the shearer manage to handle our flighty pair, he explained the restraining devise used akin to something you might buy in Ann Summers or read in 50 Shades of Gray! This certainly caused a chuckle amongst the parents and a curiosity to come and see.
Colin and his new helper soon had Caramel trussed up and splayed out between two of Nick’s tractors. There was no squirming from here! the neck bean bag, prevents them from trying to sit up or jerk up and hurt themselves but is light enough not to hurt at all.
Deftly he set to work beginning at their back and progressing round to their tummy, legs, neck and finally a little hair do on the top. There are 3 phases to shearing and 3 different grades used accordingly. The back fleece is the softest and thickest and used for spinning and garment making while working down towards the tummy and legs the hair becomes sparser and course. This is used more in stuffing, for example pillows.
Toes were trimmed and teeth checked before moving onto doing the same for Toffee.
Colin is used to Coombe Mill and having an audience as he also does demonstrations at the Royal Devon show. The children were mesmerized and full of questions. I invited them to come and stroke the alpaca while they were strapped down and feel their fur. Then after Colin showed them how the different grades of wool felt different to touch.
Uses for Alpaca Wool
He showed them how to spin the wool in their fingers for knitting and explained how to make felt and gave each child a handful of wool to take away with them. I was left promising we would make something with the wool in activity hour later in the week. Our local carpenter wanted the lower grade wool for stuffing a pillow and the rest will go to our local crofter who will spin it and make beautiful rugs.
The alpaca looked visibly cooler if somewhat naked pack in their pen. A good drink and some food and they were happy.
However there was a nasty dose of wormer in store for the naked pair from Farmer Nick before they were returned to the field to frolic around and enjoy the summer sun.
For the children who came along, it was a once in a lifetime experience that I think will stay with them forever, to me this is learning made fun at its best. One family sent me a photo of this cute little alpaca they made with their take home souvenir fleece. They had washed and felted it first just as Colin had explained. I was true to my word and we made toilet roll people with crazy hair for activity hour that Friday and turned them into skittles at our garden fete party.
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.