Posted on May 26th, 2017 - 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.
Happy Bank Holiday Weekend
After a shocking week in the country with the horror of the bomb at Manchester Arena , I am ready for a little fresh air and family time this weekend. Manchester seems to have touched everyone’s life in someway, even here in Cornwall I can’t help but reflect on the fact that two of my own boys were up at a concert in the arena just a few weeks ago. A sunny weekend and family time is just what we need.
On the farm the chickens are back out of their winter chicken house in the field with the ducks and our ducklings are thriving. It’s lovely to see the guests enjoying feeding them all and searching the field for the eggs. Whatever your plans this weekend, I hope you’ll pop by and share them 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.
- 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:
- Helena from The Queen of Collage who commented on 24 posts.
- Helen from The Princess and The Pickle who commented on 22 posts.
- Michelle from Mummy From the Heart & Sherry from Life at Cooks Cabin who commented on 14 posts.
We have no bloggers link dumping this week, although do remember I comment count on Thursday after lunch so get your comments in before then if you want them to be counted.
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 May Rockfish Wellies:
Top Commenter: Helena from Queen of Collage.
I’ve never been to the Isle of Wight but Mummy Travels makes it look very appealing
Forest Schools sounds so like my Activity Hour here I can’t help but love what they do. The Helpful Hiker went along to a taster session to see what it is all about.
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 3950 posts this community is flourishing with outdoors photos.
My favourite photos from the week came from @bebe.voyage, @billieirelandart, @westcountrymum & @themumreviews. Please do check out these lovely folk on Instagram if you are not already following.
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Posted on May 26th, 2017 - Fiona
During term time Coombe Mill is full families with toddlers and preschool children who are able to take advantage of our lower priced weeks. Planning activities they can all join in with is often a challenge, but a good theme helps. We have looked at pirates before and know how popular this is for little ones, but we wanted to add something new and decided to focus on every pirate’s best friend, the parrot. Parrots and pirates was the perfect toddler combination.
Colourful Parrots from toilet tolls
With our theme set the rest all flowed. I had some red painted toilet rolls left from making Chinese New Year Lanterns and decided these would make perfect parrot bodies. With help from parents we cut the toilet roll to make the head, beak and feet and then added coloured floristry ribbons for the wings and head feathers. Ta-da, beautiful parrots for little pirates.
Pirates off on an adventure
I had planned to do some painting next but I could see the children were already becoming restless going off to play with my giant pirate palm tree so I decided to move onto our treasure hunt. We had newspaper prates hats planted on sticks that the children had to spot and collect to lead us to our treasure.
Our trail took us through the fairy gardens where we had to spot the parrots in the tree.
Finding the hat to lead us out of the fairy gardens took a little time as there were plenty of distractions that we let the children explore. Finally we were on our way again and the children were now tuned to looking out for the hats and found them more easily. The last was by the pirate play boat where they began hunting for the missing treasure for my box. This was a great chance to combine play and treasure hunting all at once.
It was a long walk back for little legs so we had them finding a stick along the way. This was to form the oars for their own pirate boat. They climbed aboard with their parrots and the palm tree behind and rowed to home singing along the way.
Painted parrots everywhere!
After all that adventure time the children were ready for my parrot painting. Asking 1 to 4 year old’s to paint a parrot was clearly too tricky so we made them fun and easy with hand and foot prints.
With warm bubbly water on ready in a paddling pool to clean up, painting parrots had never been such fun!
Capturing our parrot and pirate adventures in video
Posted on May 22nd, 2017 - Fiona
Here at Coombe Mill we love to encourage children to use their imaginations and be creative, from raiding dressing up boxes to joining in our popular arts and crafts sessions. When Prezzybox offered me the chance to test one of their colour in cape products from the Selfie clothing company I knew at a glance this would go down well with the children staying here. My only dilemma was whether to choose the Superhero or Unicorn cape design. We plumped for the Unicorn but read on for your chance to win one of your choosing or take advantage of their current sale price.
Unicorn colour in Cape
This cape is made for children who love to be creative, whether you are purchasing as a gift or as entertainment for a party or play date you won’t go wrong with this fun colour in and wear cape. Work alone or in a group to colour in sections to your own choice of colours then transform into a unicorn to zoom around the house or garden.
What we thought
I approached a group of children out playing here on the farm who were eager to come and test out our unicorn cape. A few had to go to lunch but returned at break neck speed to join in. It was team work at its best as everyone took turn with colouring pens and areas of the cape to colour.
Finally they declared the cape finished and began to race up and down the bank in turn with the cape swishing out behind them.
I left them as they disappeared off to play Unicorns in the Fairy Gardens, a cape inspired adventure!
Need to Know
Handmade and hand printed in the UK
One size jersey cloth cape made of cotton / polyester blend
Includes ten fabric colour in pens
Velcro fastening to reuse
colour in practice sheet
0cm x 66.5cm x 78.0cm|
£25 currently on sale for £19.99 at Prezzybox|
|Manfacturer ||Selfie Clothing Co|
Win your Colour in Superhero or Unicorn Cape with Prezzybox and Coombe Mill
If you know a creative child or two that would enjoy colouring in and wearing this fun cape why not enter to win, simply follow the instructions below.
Unicorn or Superhero Colour in Cape
We were sent our Unicorn cape for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The unicorn colour in cape made a very happy afternoon of creative fun for a group of children on the farm.
Posted on May 21st, 2017 - Fiona
In our next life Farmer Nick and I are coming back as property developers. Pardon me while I blow our joint trumpet for a moment, but we have now built or refurbished every cottage over the 15 years of owning Coombe Mill. Polzeath Holiday Lodge is the latest high specification bespoke property to add to the Coombe Mill estate. I’m thrilled with the result, it is perfect for a family of 4.
Planning a New Build
Planning and design begins around the kitchen table around 18 months before completion. Coombe Mill is set on the edge of an area of outstanding natural beauty and on the cusp of the river flood plain, idyllic for a holiday, but time consuming to create designs and applications in keeping with the beautiful surroundings and acceptable for planning regulations. Polzeath was approved as one of 8 new lodges and we were determined to make this the best blueprint we could for the 7 that will one day follow.
Keeping the cost down on the foundations
Cost and cash flow is always at the forefront of our mind and bookings need to be coming in to finance the expenditure going out. Farmer Nick is a wonderful handy man and learned so much about the building trade over the last 15 years that he delights in doing what he can himself. He dug out the foundations for Polzeath lodge on his own mini digger.
I love to see the concrete being poured into the foundation through the giant pipes on the lorry. For anyone who has visited us and worried about the lane, just remember this giant lorry makes it up and down with ‘relative’ ease!
The Builders Take Over on Polzeath
Once the October half term rush is over the boys from North Coast Log Cabins move in. North Coast is local to us and have built all our lodges from the play barn to Polzeath. They know just what we need, how to respect the holiday business around us and work well to deadlines, something critical for us. It feels very quick once they arrive to seeing the lodge go up.
By Christmas Polzeath was water tight and the rooms defined. However the time from Christmas to Easter seemed to drag as all the less glamorous jobs took place. Electrics, plumbing, plastering and carpentry were all messy an unexciting to show. Behind the scenes Nick and I were busy ordering bathrooms, kitchens, choosing colour schemes and the like so we are not holding things up when the builders were ready.
Here we are just weeks before the launch date still looking far from finished!
The Creative Bit
The internal layout follows the already successful blueprint of Trebah and Trevarno; however we made Polzeath taller to allow greater headroom upstairs. This gave us the chance to take the successful playroom format to a new level. Polzeath lodge has more than just a playroom; it is a 3 in one zoned floor with its very own soft play, reading snug and wealth of floor space and toys. We spent the most time researching this area to create something really special from a vast blank canvas.
You gave us the answers
While I give ourselves a pat on the back and marvel at the finished results, I have to also thank everyone who follows me on Facebook. On many occasions when Nick and I disagreed, or couldn’t decide which way to jump, I put the question out to you. The feedback has been so helpful and we really have taken the results on board.
Just look at this initial floatation of ideas for the upstairs space:
You chose a) soft play followed closely by b) Reading snug. We managed to do both and a general play space with seating based on the images above: You can read more about the finished playroom in yesterday’s post
If you don’t already follow my Facebook page please do, I really value all the input on there.
The Finished Polzeath Lodge Revealed
I was just a little excited as I made this little video the week we completed all the work.
Everything came together with the colour schemes and ultra contemporary feel I’d hoped for. All the planning, measuring and holding colour swatches of everything in my bag at all times paid off. Seeing the first family walk in and take in their new home for the week with the smell of fresh wood was payback in itself.
Behind the scenes the stress showed
There were moments of blood sweat and tears in the process, cross words between Nick and I and shouting at the kids that accompany the tension of adding a massive project onto an already busy lifestyle. However we always pull through, apologise to each other and value one another’s contribution. Neither Nick nor I could do it on our own, it is a real team effort including our kids, who as teens, were expected to jump in and help at the drop of a hat as a shouty parent demanded assistance. I hope we can make it up to each other over the summer months with some quality family time at our favourite beach, Polzeath of course!
Come and Stay at Polzeath Holiday Lodge
We are proud to be open for bookings now and even better, we have not set a premium on this exciting new build, so grab your calendar and head on over for a look!
Posted on May 20th, 2017 - Fiona
If you have a young family finding holiday accommodation that is truly child friendly can be a challenge. Having such child friendly accommodation is something we pride ourselves in. As our knowledge and experience of designing and managing new builds and refurbishments grows, so each new holiday lodge becomes more desirable for families. Polzeath is the name of our latest holiday lodge finished just this last week. It is our most superior and luxury holiday lodge yet featuring a bespoke personal playroom which is split into three sections occupying the whole of upstairs.
Soft Play in your own holiday lodge
We have a little room within the playroom kitted out for our younger guests with soft play. Watch them learn to build and stack the towers, create and ride a soft play train and take a slide down to ground level. There is even a concave window to watch what’s going on downstairs.
Quirky Reading Snug
This year’s latest trend in small spaces is a reading snug, somewhere for a little mature quiet time. We have filled our book shelves with all the latest new release books including ones from Lonely Planet Kids, Quarto Kids and Simon and Schuster . Educational reading time is fun in our cosy snug. Soft cushions and seating and a swishy curtain section this quiet area off from the rest of the playroom.
Fully kitted out Playroom
The middle of the room is simply furnished with a comfy sofa for parents. There are draws full of toys for the children to take out for play and building including a giant wooden train set, medieval castle and ride on Thomas the Tank Engine.
Book Polzeath Luxury Holiday Lodge with Bespoke Personal Playroom
You can check out the whole of the property including the modern and contemporary downstairs living space with a super king bedroom, twin room and 2 bathrooms on our webpage for Polzeath. We have space from October onwards this year and just one school holiday space on 26th August. I hope we might see you here soon.
If you are interested in the build process I have a follow up post tomorrow sharing the stages of building Polzeath holiday lodge over the past six months.