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.
I had been creating a giveaway post for a lovely set of Lonely Planet Kids books all about recording holiday memories. One of the double pages reminded me of our popular colour by nature activity last year. With a little twist on last year and inspiration from the book I had a new afternoon of creative fun mapped out turning a rainbow of summer flower colours in to nature flags with a little challenge at the end.
After a beautiful sunny week we had a rumble of thunder and a few humid spots of rain just as we were due to start. I quickly ran through the idea of hunting for every colour under the rainbow in summer flowers and using these to complete nature boards and decorate homemade flags.
Scavenger hunt for a rainbow of summer colours
Then we took our boards of rainbow colours and collecting trays and scoured the lawns, gardens and hedgerows for a little of every colour. I have to say early summer is perfect for finding rich purples, pinks and yellows, though we did struggle with black. A few old leaves from last autumn were deep shades of brown and red and almost black as was the odd feather.
We stopped to see if there was nectar in the honeysuckle yet, smell the last of the wild garlic and play with sticky weed; these are all nature activities I remember from my own childhood.
Smelling the wild garlic
Reaching for honeysuckle
Tasting honeysuckle for nectar
Searching for stickyweed
We found lots of stickyweed
Finally we took our brimming haul back to the craft tables. Thankfully the threatened rain never amounted to much. With a little sticky back tape we secured a sample of each colour to our rainbow pallet boards.
Lets get crafty with nature flags
Then with the creativity flowing we cut flags from old sheets and stapled them round collected sticks to make a flag. Once the fag was formed the fun started. The children took their time designing their nature flags, taking account of heavier items near the stick to allow the flag greater movement. We secured their chosen designs with sticky tape and staples and added a few felt tip finishing touches.
A crazy competition
I had a plan for our finished flags. We would use them on the crazy golf course in place of the regular flags and have a golf competition. I managed a quick snap of everyone with their flags before they chose a hole to make their own.
Then the fun began. We counted number of shots per hole taken by everyone, and thankfully with no rigging from me everyone won at least one hole!
We untied the nature flags for the children to take home with them as a little reminder of a fun afternoon on the farm.
Bring outdoor art and outdoor eating together in this wonderful new concept; a colour-in picnic blanket. Give your kids hours of entertainment, fresh air and creativity. This novel idea is set to transform a visit to the park or the beach. We couldn’t wait to give it a go. Read on to see what we thought and be in with a chance of winning your own.
Simple yet effective outdoor fun.
A good picnic blanket is a great way to keep bottoms dry on the grass or sand free on the beach, but sitting still to eat is never popular with active kids. With this novel picnic rug they can sit and colour the tempting picnic foods then enjoy their own picnic on the rug. With 6 washable pens included the ink stays on the rug and not on their clothes. When you are finished you can wash your rug and the artwork will stay for up to 6 months. There is even a handy carry bag to store the rug for your next picnic adventure.
Designer Kate Edmunds says:
“Colour-in Picnic Blanket was created to combine a fun colour-in activity with a practical waterproof backed picnic blanket. It can also be used as a tablecloth and playmat so it’s three products in one.”
What we thought.
We had the perfect occasion to test out the blanket, a beautiful sunny day and an afternoon of collecting and baking with wild gorse flowers. While the cakes baked, the children set to work colouring.
The children were quite wrapped up in their cake colours and designs and soon forgot about their baking. As I brought out the tray of their home cooked wild flower cakes the pens went down and the picnic rung came into its own as everyone enjoyed their baking.
There is still plenty of colouring left to do, but that’s just fine, I’m hoping for many more creative afternoons outdoors with children on holiday here this summer and everyone can help colour in a little section. When it’s all done there is even the bag to colour!
We have been enjoying some unusually hot weather in the south west this summer and plenty of lovely sunshine too. Our poor sheep have been feeling weighed down with their heavy winter coats and we were willing the days by till our trusted Cornish sheep shearing expert was due to come and relieve them of their extra layer. In the end it was just as the hot and dry spell was turning to hot and wet that Farmer Nick and I were up at the crack of dawn to round the sheep up and bring them indoors, ahead of the drizzle which was sitting heavy in the sky.
Sheep waiting to be sheared
We managed to bring them in just in time. As we set the shearer up, and began the feed run for the other animals with the guests, the drizzle began. We hit a stumbling block right at the start, the shearing head broke and while our shearer drove home for a new one the sheep had to endure an extra hour cooped up inside not knowing what was going on while the lambs were bleating outside for their Mums.
Lambs missing their mothers
It did however give us the chance to finish the feed run with the guests, for them to return to their properties for a little rest and refreshment before we collected them again on the tractor to come and see the sheep shearing.
Little faces peering in on the sheep shearing
This time it was full steam ahead. Our shearer can do up to 100 sheep in a day, it is such heavy hard work I can’t even begin to imagine the calories he must burn or how strong he is but he had our little flock done in an hour.
Our sheared fleeces have already gone to a local crafter who makes beautiful rugs, bags and woollen toys to sell at the local Cornish craft fairs. It’s lovely to see these little cottage industries thrive and we are delighted to donate the fleece.
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.
Exams are over, summer stretches ahead
We are now an exam free house with GCSE’s and A Levels all over. One of my boys will be working on the farm with us over the summer before staring collage in September and the other has gone to work with our local builder ahead of University. The triplets still have school until late July but I’ve noticed much less homework this term. We are looking forward to some sunny summer days and more relaxed family time. Whatever your plans for the week ahead I hope it includes some outdoor fun and as always please come and join me with your adventures 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, sadly we had 1 link dumper this week leaving no comments, please only link if you are going to comment on others.
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 June Rockfish Wellies:
We have been enjoying the most beautiful weather in Cornwall and it has brought out so much pond life and bugs I had planned to study these in our activity hour. then I realised it was Father’s Day at the weekend and swapped my plans for some Father’s Day craft gifts the children could make.
I have learned over the years that preparation is key, especially with younger children who like to see crafty results come together quickly. With this in mind I pre-prepared our Medals with masking tape to make the word ‘DAD’ on pizza trays. All the kids had to do was choose how to paint, with which colours and get going.
The tape on the polystyrene worked a treat. Originally I was going to use paper but when I tried it in advance the tape ripped when peeled. The polystyrene peeled perfectly as well as giving structure.
We finished the medals by poking a hole through the top with the end of a paint brush and treading string through for hanging the medal round Dad’s neck. The children finished at different times and used their waiting time for running and rolling up and down the hill in the sunshine.
Our next Father’s Day craft involved flattening chunks of air dry clay and making hand or finger prints in them then painting them as gifts. We had some lovely prints for the Dad’s to keep as well as a finger print flower beautifully painted.
Even with little ones who can race through crafts I find three is all we manage in an hour. For our third craft we returned to a successful one from a couple of years ago: Nature Ties. With pre-cut tie shapes ready stuck with double sided tape the children just had the fun part of adding the nature. I gave the children a choice of places we could visit to look for pretty colours of nature for their tie and they all chose the fairy gardens racing ahead to show me the way.
When little hands were loaded we came back and spread out across the table and rugs on the grass. It was lovely to sit back at this point and watch the creativity unfold. There was some serious concentration of tie design and which petals and leaves should go where.
I thought I was pushing my luck to bring them all back down from playing on the grassy bank for a photo with their crafts, but they obliged. It might not be perfect but it is true to life and I was thrilled with how well they all did, especially as the oldest was just 5 and the youngest just 2. I hope the Dad’s were as happy with their gifts as we were making them!
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Emma and our 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.