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.
Choose Your ASDA Photo Valentine's Day Gifts
Valentine's Day Gifts made easy with ASDA photo range. The quick and thoughtful way to express your feelings through your favourite photos o... Read More
Welcoming The New Year & Cornish Events January 2020
Events in North Cornwall for January 2020 and a look back on the Christmas fun at the farm with an offer for a spring holiday. ... Read More
Christmas Festive Fun at the Farm
Focus keyphraseHelp on choosing the perfect focus keyphrase(Opens in a new browser tab)
URL preview:https:/... Read More
It must have been the hottest few weeks of the summer and I was worried everyone would stay on the beach rather than return to the farm to join me for a dinosaur dig led activity hour. I should have more faith, as 4pm approached each week I heard the cars driving back and the children rushing along the footpath to join me. Dinosaurs had sparked their imaginations and they were keen to find out what we would be doing.
The book gave the children inspiration for how to colour in my pre-cut dinosaurs. These came from a lovely activity book by Orchard Toys, traced onto cereal boxes. The children took their time creating their own bespoke dinosaur design before choosing a ribbon colour and hanging them around their necks. Older children cut out the dinosaur shapes themselves.
Painting Dinosaur Models
From previous craft activities, I knew how solid flour and water sets as a paste. This gave me the inspiration to experiment with a stiff flour and water mix in some dinosaur biscuit cutters. I made them in advance leaving them to set overnight, however in the morning they were still quite pliable. Figurring that they just need to dry out more, I popped them in the oven at a low heat turning them every 10 minutes. Within half an hour they were set solid and I left them to cool before taking them along for our craft sessions.
The children had great fun painting them in their own choice of colours and designs into some truly unique stegosauruses and friends.
We left our model dinosaurs drying in the afternoon sun while we headed off on a dinosaur trail to find the dinosaur dig.
The children had to find the different dinosaurs from the Orchard Toys book I’d printed and stuck up along the trail. They had no trouble spotting them and showing me which way they were facing and therefore which way our trail would take us. Each picture had the dinosaurs name, together with the phonetic spelling, which the children attempted at each stop.
The final clue led us to the dinosaur dig. Hiding by the river were blocks of ice with dinosaurs cunningly encased inside. The children soon worked out they would need either a large stone to bash the ice and free their dinosaur from its ice age casing. It makes a creative learning activity and a change from hidding the dinasaurs in the sand pit which I’ve done in the past.
Collecting the children together for a photo by the river with their dinosur dig finds was a callenge. There is always someone looking the worng way, but that’s real life!
I collected the dinosaur clues up on our way back. A few of the children stayed behind to colour in their favourites that matched their model dinosaurs.
How to create your dinosaur Dig at home
Buy an inexpensive pack of plastic dinosaurs.
Pop each dinosaur in a tub of water. I recycled supermarket cartons from veg like mushrooms.
Place the tubs in the freezer to set overnight.
Print off some dinosaur pictures and set them out to make a trail.
Turn out the dinosaurs in ice ( you may need to run them under a warm tap to loosen them).
Place the dinosaur dig ice packs at the last clue.
Let the kids loose on the trail.
The children really enjoyed their dinosaur afternoon each week and would quite happily have carried on making more things. All except one girl that is, who declared she preferred unicorns to dinosaurs. My mind is already working ahead now on a unicorn version!
Finding new and innovative toys from birth upwards isn’t that easy. Toys need to be primarily safe, but also engaging for baby’s discovery in the first few years of life. We thing we may have found the perfect toy. Musical Animals from Baby To Love. This adorable collection introduces babies and young children to the delights of the animal world in a safe, imaginative and soothing form.
Meet the Musical Animals
Choose from Madeleine, Luca, Achille, Vincent and Jean. Each has a music box stored away inside them surrounded by a super soft textured animal in rounded form. These delightful animals come in a variety of pastel colours related to their wild animal equivalent and are sure to be a popular addition to any bedroom or playroom
Each animal boasts a different soothing melody. Simply pull the cord from the underneath of the animal and the tune will begin to play. Madeleine the Whale plays Swan Lake, Jean the Toucan flies in the sky to Over the Rainbow and Achille the Crocodile, who we have, plays the gentle Fur Elise.
What we love
Educational for tiny tots:
Helps to stimulate curiosity.
Helps sensory development of vision, hearing and tactility.
Beautifully crafted with no sharp edges.
Soft yet durable.
Would make a great present for a baby shower or first birthday party.
Here’s how my Nephew enjoyed meeting Achille the Crocodile
We were sent our Musical animal: Achille the crocodile for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Achille can be found in the Coombe Mill Games room toy box for all our holiday guests to enjoy.
I had a real mixed age range for half term on the farm and wanted to come up with a craft that would appeal to them all, especially the 9 and 10 year old boys who I suspected wouldn’t join in if the activity wasn’t spot on. I’ve not run a session of bow and arrow making in years, however I had inkling it would be right up these boys street from youngest to oldest. I was right, despite being the nicest day of the week I had quite a gathering return from the beach in time to join in.
I had enlisted the help of Guy who, reliving his own childhood had made a template for us to follow. He and his brothers then proceeded to fire it around the garden and I was worried it wouldn’t survive till activity hour! Turns out it was well made and only a lost bow into the trees needed recreating.
Sticks from the Fairy garden
Guy had been pruning some trees for Farmer Nick and saved the best bow style twigs to scatter in the fairy Gardens for the children to find. They also each chose a length of bamboo for a lightweight arrow.
Back at the craft tables Guy whittles notches in the end of the bows and arrows. He also explains a little knife safety.
Making a Bow and Arrow
Now we were ready to turn twigs into bows and arrows. We used strong string in the groves cut by Guy to create the bow. A length about 20 cm over the length of the stick is ideal for tying and tensioning. A slight bend in the stick will occur, just like a real bow.
Bow and arrow decoration
We used a mix of colourful floristry ribbon and wool to decorate our bow and arrows. Some of the boys just wanted to go straight into play, but when I reminded them we needed to identify whose arrow went furthest they relented and began to choose their colours and materials. By the end even the most reluctant was embellishing their design with a wrap around hand grip.
Making a Target board
To make things more fun I laid a white sheet down on the slope of a hill and the children helped me paint around a dustbin lid to make a target. This is perfect for giving them a direction to fire in and something safe to aim for.
Target practice fun
Needless to say they had a great time firing at their DIY target. To make things fair the younger children were helped by parents and stood closer. The older ones relished the challenge of standing further and further back.
Tips if you try this at home
Tension good quality the string well.
Use a stick with a slight bend for the bow but not too flexible or it may snap.
Keep the stick to a maximum of ground to chin height, otherwise it may become unwieldy to use.
Arrow needs to be long enough to pull back without going beyond the string.
Ensure arrow is straight to control direction.
Having a target keeps a focal point to the firing.
Make sure children are supervised with using the knife.
Why not make a nature crown or headdress to go with your bow and arrow.
Travelling with kids can be tiresome unless you are well prepared. No parent wants to hear, “Are we nearly there yet” or “I’m bored” when you’ve hardly left the house. Technology can be a huge help with DVD players and tablets, however as a great alternative Lonely Planet Kids have come up with “Games on the Go”. These comprise of a compact boxed set of 40 reusable wipe clean cards and an erasable pen. The whole lot is smaller than a tablet or portable DVD and perfect to pop in your handbag ready for those moments where you need to entertain those in the back seats.
To find out more about these great value wipe clean card games and for a chance to win yourself a set read on.
What are Games on the Go?
Each of the 40 wipe clean reusable cards contains a drawing exercise, brainteaser or puzzle. They are perfect to keep young minds working and keep them busy on just about any form of travel. Whether you are in the car, aeroplane or train, they are easy to bring out and use. The cards are designed for a mix of ages so you may need to shuffle through to find the ones most suitable for your child. From counting to creating, word search to country identification, there is enough variety and complexity to span the age groups.
What we love
Something for all ages
Easy to use
Develops creativity and logical thinking
Answer card included separate to question cards.
Can be used anywhere
Video demonstration using Games To Go
Need to know
Age 5 upwards
Contents: Box with 40 wipe clean cards, 1 erasable pen
Paper from responsible sources and certified by Forest Stewardship Council
We were given a set of the Game to Go for the purpose of this review however all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. The Coombe Mill set can be borrowed from the games room for travelling on fun days out in Cornwall.
So we are in the height of summer and loving it here on the farm. Some of the rain in early June followed by the heatwave at the end has brought out the best in the hedgerows and flower boarders. The farm, lakes and gardens are all looking lush.
We’d love you to take a minute and check out what we’ve been up to in June, opportunities for your next holiday here and things out and about to inspire you with our Cornish events July 2019 family guide.
Short Breaks from 31st August.
We have opened up the end of August into September for short breaks. I know many of you are tied to school holidays and find the mix of higher summer pricing and difficulty of taking a full week away from work a problem. A short break from 31st August could be the answer. From just over £500 you can enjoy a short break and recharge the batteries as a family ahead of the new school term.
The Royal Cornwall Show
This is always a highlight in the farming calendar. Not a week to try and reach anywhere the other side of Wadebridge as a holiday maker, but a great day out if you enjoy county shows. It is chance for Nick and I to be inspired by new ideas and we enjoyed a lovely day out there.
Foot Bridge over the Camel under repair.
Farmer Nick spotted the wood starting to rot on our foot bridge and quickly declared it out of bounds. Instead of doing the easy option of just replacing the wood, he deployed a more complicated but superior system of replacing the wood with non slip plastic decking similar to that used successfully on Heligan’s deck last year. With the help of our eldest two sons they had it all completed in a week. Not only does it look smart, but the non slip surface is much better than the old system of wood with wire mesh over the top.
We have been making bow and arrows and having fun hitting homemade targets in half term. It is always a popular activity although it does get quite competitive! If you are joining us in July I’m looking at mindfulness and the kindness trail and nature photo frames.
On the Farm June 2019
Friendly the deer gave birth to a gorgeous little fawn to set things rolling. The little one was up and running with Mum within a week delighting all who spotted her. We now know there is at least another two and are hoping there are more we haven’t yet discovered.
Turkeys on the Move
After the disaster of losing both of our Turkey chicks last month the Turkeys have begun to lay again, however it seemed the crows were the beneficiary of their efforts. Farmer Nick and the guests moved them from Jurassic Park into the old aviaries where they have plenty of space, a wilderness to chomp through and a totally enclosed home open to the elements but not the crows! Fingers crossed for good news to follow.
With the stop start rain in early to mid June, keeping the sheep dry ahead of shearing was quite challenging. We managed it with a quick team effort to lead the flock indoors ahead of another downpour. Thankfully they only had to spend one night indoors before our shearer was on hand to relieve them of their winter coats. Timing crossed perfectly with the morning feed run giving a wonderful chance for the children to stop on their rounds and watch an expert at work.
If you are feeling inspired to visit us in July, here are a few of the local activities you might want to plan your visit around.
Cornish Events July 2019 local to Coombe Mill
Cornish Events July 2019
Find out more
Distance from Coombe Mill
Classic car show with family entertainment, food stalls, bouncy castle etc
“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.