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.
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I felt like I was due a lucky break, we had bravely fulfilled a few soggy activity hour sessions, dodging showers with wellies to complete our outdoor tasks and retreating into the games room for the crafts. This week we were blessed with a winter sun that felt more like summer and I was determined to make the most of it by collecting and using nature that wasn’t soaked through. An autumn scavenger hunt for nature’s treasures was my starting point and my mind was full of possibilities to make with our collected goodies.
A treat to start
I had set out quite a challenge for little legs so we started by enjoying a homemade cookie for energy while I explained the scavenger hunt and handed out collecting bags and pens.
Autumn Scavenger hunt
We set off and in no time the children had spotted the first things on their list. Acorns and acorn leaves, helicopter seeds and sycamore leaves.
Encouraged by our early finds we wandered through the fairy gardens for more treasures and on across the farm path where all the children managed to tick off everything on their list. I think the elderberries and hawthorn berries were their favourite, they looked so juicy and ripe unlike the blackberries which really were looking end of season.
Hello from the animals
We had added the pigs and the chickens to our tick sheet knowing we would pass them, but the sheep and goats also came to say hello in the hope a branch might be spared for them. Finally we took the footbridge back across the open field to our craft station where we emptied out our treasures ready to make some autumn crafts.
Autumn Scavenger hunt leaf keepsake
The children chose an oak or sycamore leaf card with double sided tape to arrange their autumn scavenger hunt find on. It made a lovely keepsake of all the things they found from the sheet.
The remaining collected items were used to thread into paper plate wreaths. Here all the pretty berries and flowers made a colourful collection to hang in each house. A few pieces of autumnal coloured floristry ribbon completed the wreaths and the children left happy with their afternoons work.
I can totally recommend a scavenger hunt as a way to motivate little legs on a country walk and learn about nature all at once.
If you are looking for a fun board game this Christmas that will keep the whole family entertained, laughing and competing frantically then look no further. Staccups from University Games is the fun stack by colour, fast paced, hand eye coordination game must have this season. It only takes a minute to learn, but will you be fast enough to win? If this sounds like a challenge for you and your family this Christmastime read on to discover more about the game and a chance to win one yourself.
How to play a game of Staccups
The game is designed for 2, 3 or 4 players. The little cups are designed with one colour on the base and another on the top jut to try and confuse you. There are more than one way to play set out in the rules but essentially it is a race to place a top colour on your stack onto a matching base colour on the podium before your opponent does. If no one can go then you spin the central spinner to reveal a new colour to play to.
What we loved
We had several round of fun and laughter, frustrations and shouting but all in the best possible taste. Something makes the looser want to come back for a rematch, it sounds so simple but being fast enough is the trick.
It makes a great all round family game, though I also see it as a fun adult game after a few drinks and an excellent pre-exam trainer for teenagers as a bit of light relief from exam revision with brain speed training. Change the rules to turn taking for young children to help with colour identification and basic hand eye coordination and suddenly you have the perfect game for all ages and all occasions.
Need to Know
Age 8 to adult (with revised rules can be played from age 4 plus).
Smyths Toys, Argos, Toys R Us, and The Entertainer
32x Staccup Cups 1 x Podium Stand Spinner
Win your game of Staccups with University Games and Coombe Mil
If you fancy bringing some family fun to your Christmas time with this fast paced game why not enter to win. Just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
We were sent our Staccups game for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. If you are staying with us this Christmas and beyond our game is available to borrow from the Coombe Mill Games room, when we haven’t got it in play!
It is very rare I manage to put my kids in front of a camera these days, photos for the blog or my social media are totally embarrassing and frowned upon. Their own posts on their own channels, well that’s different of course, not cringe worthy at all! Don’t get me wrong, having 6 teenagers is amazing in lots of ways, I’m just not allowed to talk about them or photograph them and that’s OK, I respect their desire for space away from my blog and the public face of Coombe Mill. Then a men’s fashion brand offering a choice of clothes from their website to model came along and I suddenly knew I’d have a queue wanting their photo taken. Wisely I avoided an argument and just asked the eldest currently still living at home. All embarrassment gone and happy to be seen in his choice of Timberland Jumper and Union Blues jeans we set off into the grounds of Coombe Mill for photos. I only used a few of the snaps I took for the official review, but I was so pleased to have a stack of photos without him turning away from the camera or frowning, I’m sharing some here too. My kids all say I wear “Mum Goggles” where they are concerned, and they may be right, but to me my teenage fashion conscious boy looks quite the man here and the backdrop of Coombe Mill in autumn only adds to the effect. He is busy applying to University this year and will be my second to leave the nest next September. I am so proud of him in so many ways and thrilled he has given the OK to share these photos.
Stepping out in style with understated teenage fashion.
Coombe Mill in autumn makes a wonderful photo backdrop.
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.
Winter grazing brings kids and animals together
Here on the farm we have let all the goats and alpaca out to graze the paths around the lake usually reserved for the tractor rides. The animals are delighted to munch on the leftovers of the summer growth while it saves Farmer Nick on Hay bills and strimming costs. The bonus for the guests is having the animals wander freely around with us on the morning feed run. This young lad was quite fearless striding on through them all on his way to the deer field, he certainly had an adventure or two to take home. I hope you have an outdoor adventure to share too 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.
We have just one guilty blogger link dumping this week, Please go back if it is you. 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 November Rockfish Wellies:
Top Commenter this week: Louise from Little Hearts Big Love.
Top Commenter 04.11.17 (Appologies for not counting last week in time): Sonia from Mamma’s School
I’ve not visited the Tower of London in years, but this pot from Over 40 Mum to One reminds me how much there is to discover there
Discovering you can eat every part of a plant might sound strange till you read this lovely post from Right from the start.
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.
Last year, when the chicken flu scare came along, Farmer Nick spent his Christmas Holidays building an indoor chicken coop to comply with the government ban on free range chickens. It actually worked out really well and the chickens thrived in their winter quarters with luxury laying boxes and plenty of space. As he had built the coop so well we decided we might actually take them in this year by choice. The entrance path up to their field was starting to get boggy being trodden over through wet autumn feed runs which makes it easy to slide over. We chose a busy Sunday morning with lots of eager helpers for operation chicken move.
Practicing on the chicks.
We visited the chicks first for chicken catching lessons. The chicks are in a smaller coop already and easier to pick up than the adults, not to mention being smaller and less intimidating to the children. They mastered the art of chick capturing with ease which filled us with confidence.
Moving the chickens
Next stop the adult chicken field. Farmer Nick let the children run around first feeding the ducks and chickens in the field to build confidence in everyone.
Then they collected the eggs, enough for everyone to be rewarded for their help.
Finally the kids tried their new found chick capturing skills on the chickens. Huzzah, a captured chicken ready to move.
Most of the children preferred to cuddle the chickens into them holding their wings down so they didn’t flap. Farmer Nick did show them how to hold them by their legs and wait for them to stop flapping and hang still which is the easier way, but most were happy to just watch this.
Each with their own style the chickens were carefully moved from the field to their winter chicken coop.
Chicken entertainment and nutrition
We caught the last of the chickens the following morning and were greeted with our first eggs from those who had already spent the night there. The children added branches to their indoor toy. This will need refilling as part of our morning rounds throughout winter but it adds a little fun chore for the kids to the regular animal feeding and nutrition boost for the chickens while they are indoors.
It really is a ‘hands on’ experience holidaying here on the farm. Of course we could have moved the chickens on our own, but it is much more fun to allow the children staying to help out with our working farm activities.
“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.