Posted on October 20th, 2017 - Fiona
Faced with one of the seasons wet autumn days and a very young group of eager little helpers, I had had to have a quick rethink about my planned autumn leaf activities. Soggy leaves were just not doing it in my mind so I moved the theme to pig crafts. Our growing piglets are a delight to all our visitors and as one of their favourite foods is windfall acorns, I thought I could work on the idea of a nutritious snack for Sally the pig and her piglets and something fun and delicious for the children.
With tiny tots a story is often a good way to get things started. I chose a couple of very simple farm animal books to bring back all they had learned on a week at the farm. Gradually shyness melted away and interest grew.
I had the craft table indoors out of the rain and wind and handed out my piglet templates. The children set to work painting their pigs. There was no requirement to stay within the lines as we were going to leave them to try and cut out the pieces later on.
Little Pig cup cakes
From painting pictures to decorating cup cakes with pig faces the theme moved on at quite a pace.
I had been tipped off about a special birthday and made a little cup cake pre-decorated with candles to accompany a birthday cake from the parents. Candles, a cake and everyone singing can be overwhelming when you are just 2, but the birthday girl and her new friends took it all in their stride.
A nutritious acorn snack
Finally the rain was easing enough for us to brave the outdoors and help digest the birthday cake. I handed out collecting cups and with raincoats and wellies we began hunting for acorns as a treat for Sally the pig. They were falling all over the car park and it didn’t take my eagle eyed tots long to start finding them.
A long walk for little legs
Collecting things is a great way to distract little legs who were rather hoping Farmer Nick would come by with his tractor to give them a lift.
Finally we made it to the pig sty with brimming cups of acorns and tipped them in for Sally and her piglets to enjoy.
What about those Piggy Paintings
We came back the shorter route over the footbridge to see how our piggy paintings were drying. Some were still tacky but they were dry enough to be cut and stapled together to make keepsake pigs for the children.
Everyone left with their pig crafts, pig face cakes and a tummy full of birthday cake. It was a busy afternoon for my eager 2 year olds. Many didn’t even manage the 6pm train I’d worn them out so much!
Posted on October 16th, 2017 - Fiona
Here at Coombe Mill we are proud to be ambassadors for Orchard Toys. We love the education value of their games from tiny tots to growing kids. With quality parts and affordable prices they deliver time after time. I didn’t need to think twice before accepting the new season game of Cheeky Monkeys to put through its paces. If you have one or more cheeky monkeys in your house this game won’t fail to delight. Read on to find out more and how you could win yourself a game to play.
They’ve all gone bananas
The object of the game is to win as many bananas as you can. The little cheeky monkey cards have 0 – 6 bananas on each. You never know how many will be on your card when you turn it over and hang it in your tree. But that’s not all, spin the spinner to see what you land on, watch out for the pool board and keep your wits about you, it may be better to spin again than keep a monkey with no bananas. Most of all keep an eye on your opponent landing on a monkey and laying claim to your bananas!
Cheeky Monkeys board in play
Need to Know
1 two-part 3D tree
32 monkey cards
1 pool board
1 spinner board
1 two-part plastic spinner arrow
1 instruction leaflet
4 – 8|
Number of players||
2 – 4|
Develop counting skills
Reinforce hand-eye coordination
Promote strategic thinking
What we loved about Cheeky Monkeys
As well as the educational benefits listed above we loved the competitive aspect of the game, and felt it helped with the concept of sharing. No one wants to see their bananas taken by their opponent but this can happen quite legitimately and so lessons in being a good sport as well as competitive come into play. Above all the game is fun to play and quick to understand. Cheeky Moneys gets the big thumbs up from us. It isn’t just us going bananas for Cheeky Moneys, Orchard Toys have just scooped a gold award for the game is the Made for Mums Toy Awards. Well deserved we believe.
Win your game of Cheeky Monkeys from Orchard Toys with Coombe Mill
If you can see your kids going bananas for cheeky Monkeys then why not enter to win. Simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
We were sent our game for the purpose of this review. However all thoughts and opinions are my own. Our game can be found in the Coombe Mill games room for our holiday guests to enjoy.
Posted on October 14th, 2017 - Fiona
The past couple of weeks Coombe Mill has been thriving with families who home educate their children. For them there is no need for permission slips to have time out of school, no need to lie about sickness or face hefty fines. Home education holidays can be taken at a time to suit the family and as these families discover, our farm is a perfect place for hands on fun and learning to seamlessly merge.
Home school on holiday: Enjoying a fishing lesson on the Coombe Mill Lake with Guy
Making learning fun is a big part of the appeal of our farm holidays.
Each day our tractor leaves for the morning farm tour to feed the animals with all the children aboard full of questions for Farmer Nick. There is an opportunity to disembark at every stage and be hands on with feeding and caring for the animals.
Learning about our Fallow deer with Farmer Nick.
Our 30 acre farm is set out with 4 play areas along with more subtle nature based play where children are invited to explore at their own pace and let imagination and creativity take hold. Create a delicious meal in our Mud Kitchen, build the ultimate camp in our den building zone then explore the secret world of our fairy gardens or just watch the children loose themselves amidst our beautiful wooded wild areas.
Curious autumn explorers.
Our themed activity hour always involves an educational element, though this is never forced and always fun and optional. Think forest school meets home crafts.
Painting an autumnal clay print oak leaf.
Home Education Resources
At the end of a day on the farm, in preparation for a holiday here or as post holiday follow up studies, our website education pages are full of curriculum based worksheets which are teacher approved and created for Coombe Mill with twinklUK. Even the local schools use us as an educational resource!
Animals on the farm: A counting and adding up game.
If you home educate your children, please do look us up, whether it is a short break, a week or a fortnight holiday, we would love to welcome you here.
Posted on October 13th, 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.
Autumn is too pretty to stay indoors
Whether you love or loathe the fading daylight of autumn, there is no denying the stunning colours in the countryside and fallen treasures in the wind. Here on the farm we have been busy crafting with acorns and autumn leaves, looking at the changes in the weather and using the scattered debris from the trees as a ready supply for playing Pooh Sticks. Autumn really is too pretty to stay indoors, grab your wellies and head on out. Don’t forget to share your fun 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:
- Louise from Little Hearts Big Love who commented on 12 posts.
- Michelle from Mummy from the Heart who commented on 11 posts.
- Sherry from Life at Cooks Cabin who commented on 10. posts.
We had no link dumpers last week so thanks to everyone who joined in. 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.
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 October Rockfish Wellies:
Top Commenter : Louise from Little Hearts Big Love.
Otis and Us shares an adventure playground every child would love
I do love a country show and the Malvern autumn show looks full of surprises as visited by Stopping at Two
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 6700 posts this community is flourishing with outdoors photos.
My favourite photos from the week came from @tammymumuk, @mammasschool, @fredtedandcompany & @over40andamumtoone. Please do check out these lovely folk on Instagram if you are not already following
Loading InLinkz ...
Posted on October 13th, 2017 - Fiona
After a lovely activity hour studying the weather a few weeks ago I was determined to return to the theme as I still had plenty of ideas I knew our older children would enjoy. It turned out to be a good decision for two key reasons: We had a wide spread of ages and I knew my windsocks would work for everyone and the weather itself moved from threatening cloud formations to sunshine during the afternoon so we had plenty to see.
Measuring wind with windsocks
Last time we studied the weather we made rain gauges, this time I wanted to try windsocks made to my own patented design. We began by decorating a sheet of paper to wrap around an old plastic drink bottle.
Next the children chose colours of floristry ribbon to make the floaty tail for the wind to catch. We fixed these through the end of the bottle by punching holes with a hole punch. Doing the same at the top allowed us to add string to hang them up.
The little ones took great delight in racing up and down with their windsocks gathering wind in their wake while the older ones perfected their designs.
There were so many children our hour was almost up by the time everyone had finished their windsock, but they were so keen to carry on we just went with the flow. Splitting into two groups Amber led the successful weather experiments from a few weeks ago but made it more challenging for the older ones by encouraging them to say how the props could make each weather condition.
Meanwhile I took another group to make cloud study journals. I had the 4 basic cloud types printed in a chart and the children used this to make booklets to record the cloud formation each day for a week.
We sat down and looked up to the sky to see today’s cloud pattern. From nimbus earlier we now had cumulus and status cloud. Heading back to the table the children entered their first days cloud pattern to their journals.
The non scientific weather forecast
Will it be sun, rain wind or snow, you’ll have to play the game: I helped the children fold paper into a little game I remember doing myself as a child. I think we used to use them for fortune telling and silly statements, but I thought they would make fun weather predictors. The children added colours to spell out in the first layer and numbers to count on the second before writing in 8 weather conditions you could pick as tomorrow’s forecast. Lots of fun and arguably as accurate as the BBC!
By the time the evening train came round the windsocks were still flying high. Letting them catch the wind from the train was a lovely idea totally inspired by the children.
I wonder if any of them will go onto be weather forecasters when they grow up. It was top of my list as a child.