Posted on February 23rd, 2018 - Fiona
Our February half term activity hour is always well supported by our hardy winter guests. It may have been freezing cold but we had warm hearts inspired by fun Valentine’s Day crafts. We even included a little Valentine’s treat for the wild birds and the fairies that in turn rewarded the children.
While we waited for everyone to gather, we had a look at the new Orchard Toys jigsaw I’d been sent. The children had no problem putting it together and pointing out the things they could see. There was some pretty bunting included which I promised them they would be making later in the afternoon.
Valentine Day heart craft.
When everyone was gathered round we set to work on our first craft. We shaped clay into simple hearts, added a hole with the end of a paintbrush and painted them to make simple decorations for the children to keep.
Valentines treat for the birds.
The hearts were going to need time to set before they were taken home so we laid them aside to begin our next task. I had premixed melted lard and bird seed which was now just beginning to set and perfect for moulding into shapes. With their new found heart making skills from the clay the children made heart chunks for the birds. We wrapped them in wool for them to take back to their gardens and hang up for the birds. Everyone took a bird spotter sheet to go with their food so they could see which birds came to their gardens to eat during their holiday.
Valentine’s Day Cards.
A quick clean up and we were onto Valentine’s Day card making. Our first job was to find some pretty pink petals. The children knew just where to look and raced off towards the Coombe Mill train tack and our flowering pink camellia bush.
Armed with petals we returned and set about cutting paper cards with pop out hearts to which we stuck the petals with a flour and water glue mix. The children added their own messages and pictures to personalise their cards.
Valentine bunting for the fairies.
Finally we made some valentine bunting to decorate the fairy gardens full of happy wishes for the fairies. We hung this up and in return the fairies sent the children looking for hidden treats in the gardens. Magically there was one for everyone with some careful hunting high and low. I do love our Coombe Mill fairies!
I think I sent this group home happy and tired with fond memories of Valentine’s Day. Fingers crossed they slept well and gave their parents a lovely evening together too!
Valentine’s Day Crafts and Treats
Posted on February 19th, 2018 - Fiona
For all those visual learners out there the amazing Orchard Toys have a wonderful new two piece jigsaw range at affordable prices for teacher tested learning made fun. The range is called Look and Find and we have been checking out Look and find Colour jigsaws. As I am a very visual learner, this really appeals and what’s more there are so many opportunities to develop early year’s skills from the finished puzzles with your child. Are you are keen to discover more and win yourself a Look and Find puzzle box of your choice? Read on to find out how.
Why two jigsaws?
With just 15 pieces per jigsaw it is really quick and easy for little ones to complete. There are colour clues on the ledge of the object jigsaw to make colour matching easy without even needing to refer to the picture on the box. For the picture jigsaw the box might come in handy for little ones, though an adult will soon work it out without. The large chunky pieces are ideal for little hands and as with all Orchard Toys puzzles they are made from sturdy wipe clean card in case of any sticky fingers.
Look and Find Colour Jigsaws
Look and find from your completed colour jigsaws
Once your puzzles are complete the learning just continues. Here are a few ideas to try with your child:
- Colour matching from object to picture puzzle: Try saying the colours and objects out loud.
- Find the coloured objects from one puzzle on the picture puzzle.
- Try 2 in reverse, so spotting things in the picture on the objects puzzle.
By doing these puzzles and challenges together you will be helping your child develop
- Hand eye coordination
- Encourage problem solving
We gave our holiday guests the challenge and they loved making them together and answering the questions after. Having a group of children made them race to spot things first which added to the fun.
Need to Know
Produced by ||
Age Range ||
Contents||2 x 15 piece Jigsaws|
|Environmental Feature||100% Recycled Board|
|Puzzle boxes in the Look and Find range ||4 (Alphabet, Colour, Number and Shape)|
|Stockists||Orchard Toys (free delivery over £25), Amazon|
Win your Look and Find Colour jigsaws with Coombe Mill
If you fancy trying out one of these great learning puzzles why not take a look at the range from Orchard toys and enter following the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
Look and Find Jigsaws
We were sent our Look and Find Colour puzzle for the purpose of this review. Our puzzle can be borrowed from the Coombe Mill Games room. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Posted on February 17th, 2018 - Fiona
After the cold of winter I am ready for spring. Ready to welcome fluffy baby animals to the farm, to see spring buds and blossom on the trees and to take advantage of longer days with real warmth from the sun. My wardrobe is running ahead of me, the shops all have their spring collections in and I couldn’t resist delving into some bright and cheery spring colours when I was invited to check out the Simply Be range. If you are not familiar with Simply Be, they have a wonderful online collection in sizes 8 to 34, which makes them perfect for women everywhere. Their range covers everything, from underwear to shoes and many well known brands. With sensible prices and wardrobe staples I had a wonderful time perusing their collection in preparation for spring on the farm and days out in Cornwall.
The photos below are the items I selected for myself and Amber our duty manager. Amber is a huge fan of online shopping and Simply Be and knew straight away what she wanted. It took me longer as I found the smallest sizes limited in range but I love what I finally choose and know I will wear them all through spring and summer.
Simply Be Spring in Floral Bright
This easy wear wide waisted drawstring skirt from the collection practically jumped off the page at me. I was instantly drawn to the vibrant floral design and found the grippy waist band with drawstring detail forgiving on size. I feel glamourous yet casual in the skirt and the colours just make me feel happy and full of the joys of spring!
There are deep pockets on both sides and on the bum too, not having pockets is usually one of my gripes with women’s clothing so a thumbs up to Simply Be here. There is also a feature split up the back to allow you freedom of movement, that said you can’t race off in giant steps which I’m taking as a good reason to dig out some pretty healed flip flops from my wardrobe to match.
Hooked on Sketchers
I’ve had Sketchers shoes before and worn them all summer so I was excited to find them in the Simply Be collection. These white trainers may not sound ideal for farm life but they are all wipe clean and slip on which is perfect for me on holiday changeover days here. I am walking up and down the estate and in and out of properties taking my shoes on and off all day. It can be hard going on my feet and good shoes are essential. These will be perfect for easily slipping on and off, comfy thanks to the memory foam soles and as a bonus they are stylish too.
Pretty in Pink
Amber instantly eyed up this beautiful dusty pink jacket which fits a treat and is warm yet light looking, perfect for the approaching early spring days. I can see this matching so many outfits and occasions, I wish I’d spotted it first!
It looks so effortlessly smart at any angle and as at home here on the farm as it would be out in town.
Does your wardrobe run ahead of the weather?
Do you prefer to wait for the weather to arrive, and then shop, or do you like to shop first in preparation for the season?
I was sent these products from Simply Be to create this post. However all thoughts and opinions on the products and the brand are my own.
Posted on February 16th, 2018 - 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.
Half Term Antics
If you have school children who have just enjoyed a week off school I hope you’ve been able to make the most of your time together and enjoy some outdoor adventures. The weather is never perfect in February but the right gear and the right mindset can still make outdoor time so satisfying. We have had a lovely time with the farm full of eager little helpers including my niece and nephew who trek down from Cheshire to be with us whenever they can. My own kids are going into exam season now and this holiday was much needed. I’ll be sharing all our adventures over the coming weeks, I hope you will too, as always check out 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:
- Karen from Two Tiny Hands on 12 posts
- Merlinda from Glimmer of Hope and Sara from Mum Turned Mom who commented on 11 posts.
- Lucy from Kids of the Wild who commented on 8 posts.
Thank you no link dumpers again this week! Do remember I comment count on Thursday after lunch so get your comments in before then if you want them to be counted and please approve your comments by then if they need moderating so I can see others leaving you the blog love. Also remember if you comment anonymously on a post I won’t know who you are, there were two this week but I’m afraid I didn’t know who to credit the comments to.
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 February Rockfish Wellies:
- Top commenter from this week Karen at Two Tiny Hands.
- You have to admire the warm hardheartedness of the Brownies in Kids of the Wild’s post this week
- We love the forestry Commission trails and the new Highway Rat Trail looks well worth a visit as tested by Are we Nearly There Yet
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 8185 posts this community is flourishing with outdoors photos.
My favourite photos from the week came from @mytwomums @verymuchsoblog @wouldliketobe and @pixiedusk. Please do check out these lovely folk on Instagram if you are not already following
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Posted on February 16th, 2018 - Fiona
I love the beach as much in winter as I do in summer. It is less crowded, parking is easy and it always gives me a sense of being on holiday whether I am sunbathing or wrapped up exploring. The lead up to the Christmas holidays leaves me short of time and dreaming of time off with the kids at the beach. Thankfully I found that free afternoon and it became a wonderful impromptu beach adventure with my triplet teens.
Hardy winter beach folk
The sun was shining when we left but Cornwall can be very changeable and even though it was only a 15 minute car ride, as we parked up the drizzle began. I was determined not to let this stop us now that I had found the time and the kids had downed technology and were keen for an adventure. The path to the beach crosses fields that were boggy and slippery, this didn’t stop the kids passing a football between them all the way and nearly losing it on several occasions.
Slipping and sliding along the coast path
I was questioning my decision as the wind and rain picked up, but it had become a badge of honour now to reach the beach and we forged onwards despite soggy feet and muddy trousers from falling.
A Stunning coastline
Standing and watching the towering cliffs through the misty air was quite breathtaking.
Fun on a winter beach
The kids clambered down the rocks in no time at all while I carefully picked my way through feeling my age. Once down, the sand is soft and golden interspersed with huge rocky outcrops. I had firelighters and matches with me to look for driftwood and light a fire as we had done in the past, however the rain was making everything too wet and the tide was coming in fast so we made the most of our time just being carefree on the sand and jumping off the rocks.
Danger of tidal beaches
I am always wary of an incoming tide as it can cut off the route back to the steps up to the coast path so quickly. When the waves crept in to within a couple of feet of the path we headed back up the rocks to the safety of the steps.
Teen gossip & hot chocolate
The kids knew I had a flask of hot chocolate and bag of donuts in my rucksack and were determined to enjoy them outside and not back at the car so we found a large rock back on the path with a bit of an overhang to shelter us from the rain and sat there together sharing our impromptu snack.
We must have sat there a good 20 minutes laughing about silly family moment’s together and school gossip. The rain didn’t stop play at all, though we agreed to return when the tide was further out and the conditions drier for the campfire we didn’t manage.
From soggy trek to beach adventure with teens