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.
Posted on October 9th, 2017 - Fiona
Here at Coombe Mill we love books for children that are easy to understand, simple to grasp and fun to read. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the two themed titles of Hide and Sneak. The title immediately struck me as fun and with themes of Animals and Vehicles I knew it would be perfect for my tractor and train little holiday enthusiasts staying on the farm and the animal lovers too.
Can you spot the odd one out?
The only writing in the whole book is a few words of explanation on page one. From here it is a double page spread of finding the odd one out from the pictures. A clever use of illustrations with a clear odd one out that will challenge logical thinking in very young children and still be fun for growing kids too.
What we thought of Hide and Sneak Animals and Transport
We brought the books out to a discerning group of 2 – 7 year olds at the start of a craft session and my suspicions on how they would react was more than born out. The children were enthralled racing to spot the odd one out and turn the page for the next challenge. As they got the hang of what they were looking for they spotted the odd one out quicker. I can totally recommend these books from age 2+. They would make great birthday present or stocking filler this Christmas.
Need to Know
|Books in the series|
Vehicles hide and sneak
Animals Hide and Sneak
|RSP||£6.95 per book|
|Format||Hardback and pages|
|Illustrated by||Bastien Contraire|
Amazon – Vehicles & Animals
Win your copy of Hide and Sneak Animals and Vehicles with Coombe Mill and Phaidon
We have 3 sets of these lovely books to giveaway. If you know a little learner keen to begin some early logical reasoning why not enter to win. Simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part
Hide and Sneak: Animals and Vehicles.
We were sent our copy of the books to create this review, however all words, thoughts and opinions on the books are entirely my own. Our copies can be found in the Coombe Mill Games Room for all our holiday guests to borrow.
Posted on October 8th, 2017 - Fiona
This was my 5th Brit Mums Live event, every year I question whether I should go again and each time I return I’m glad I did. I always go home with a few new insights I want to implement on my website and blog and feeling happy to be part of the blogging community. It is an exhausting 48 hours but worth it. Everyone will have their own highlights from Brit Mums Live 17, this is by no means all that there was on offer, just the moments that were important to me and which I hope might be insightful to others thinking of going in future years.
Order Order we are in Parliament.
I choose to make a full 2 days of Brit Mums and teamed up with Karen Whitlcock and Michelle Pennell in joining the Parliament tour. We were treated to the family tour as a blogging group and it was full of interesting information covering the history behind why Parliament operates as it does today. I have a degree in Politics and I was surprised how detailed the tour was whilst staying at a level understandable for children about age 8+. I now want to treat my teens to the same tour and try to sit in on a Question Time from the gallery.
Brit Mums Live 17 a cracking new venue
County Hall was a long way from the Brewery of previous years but a great alternative. Right next to Westminster Bridge, Big Ben, Parliament and the London Eye. For a country bumpkin like me it was a wow at every turn outside and a stylish hosting venue. The food was scrumptious all day and there was no shortage of drinks or time and space to catch up with old blogging friends and make new friends too. Please can we come back here next year Brit Mums organising team.
The learning bit
SEO we all need to know
So as well as countless opportunities to mix with brands and chat to fellow bloggers there are some serious learning sessions to choose from. I took the deep dive SEO with Judith Lewis for the second year which was excellent. I’m putting together a separate post on “ SEO – the bits YOU need to know” so unless you are an up to date expert I totally recommend having a look at this. It will take 5 minutes to pick up what took me 3 hours! Drop me a note in comments and I’ll tag you when I post it.
Photography Know how
I also jumped in on the Photo deep dive with Rachel Riley. I am totally grateful to Rachel for helping me sort the theory of how to shoot in manual on my camera. I had a few settings out on my DSLR making taking manual photos harder than it should have been. Something so simple, fingers crossed I’ll now be wowing you with my photos.
It isn’t often I have a chance for a manicure so I wasn’t giving up the opportunity to have my nails professionally painted. I felt so far from the farm chatting to the lovely ladies from Am I Number 5? and choosing a pretty colour for my nails with a contrast glitter green to represent the 1 in 5 women who suffer each month. My daughter assures me a contrasting finger is very modern! Now to see how long I can hang onto my pretty nails back on the farm in Cornwall!
Party on the Thames
Thanks to City Cruises and Brit Mums genius idea the BIBs party was hosted whilst cruising down the Thames. I was lucky enough to be a finalist again this year in the Readers Choice Category and am hugely grateful for the support for my blog in reaching this stage. Thank you a million times if you voted for me. I captured a large chunk of the BIBs ceremony on board the boat on Instagram stories live. What a great tool this is. I can’t use it much in Cornwall with poor signal and no farm wi-fi (don’t worry there is wi-fi in the properties if you stay with us) but it worked a treat on the river. Sadly it was all lost but I have a few stills in my video at the end of this post. Huge congratulations to all the winners especially those I’ve come to know and admire over the years Chelsea Mamma, My Travel Monkey, One Tiny Leap. It was a pleasure to sit with the gorgeous winning Mrs: The Dad Network and congratulations to Life, Love and Dirty Dishes who won my category.
Up on deck was my favourite place. It was well worth braving frizzy hair in the rain for the views along the Southbank and under Tower bridge and a good catch up with Kate Sutton from Wit Wit Woo.
I finished the night off in style with great blogging chums in All Bar One for a second night and return home with a frazzled brain, screaming liver no voice but a warm feeling about the lovely blogging community and of course a goodie bag of useful loot! Thank you Jen, Suzanne, Nadine and all at Brit Mums for another great experience.
All my highlights from Brit Mums Live 17 on video
Highlights from Brit Mums Live 17 right here, if you’re after a flavour of the weekend please do take a peep, if you were there did I capture you?
Posted on October 7th, 2017 - Fiona
After a whirlwind weekend up in London for #BML17 coming home to my October farm full of autumn colours was like a breath of air. Don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing time, caught up with old friends and met some lovely new bloggers, drank too much, stayed up too late and absorbed SEO till my brain hurt. It was a wonderful 2 days in the heart of London and I’ll have a full post on that tomorrow. For today I want to share the first signs of autumn on the farm. I left in September and returned in October and it was as if the farm transformed from summer to autumn in that very weekend. Or maybe that’s the impact of 2 days away. Either way after a much needed sleep catch up, I woke to my regular farm checks, complete with Brit Mums sparkly nails, camera in hand and was blown away by the beauty of where I live.
Autumn colours around the lake
Our morning tractor and trailer takes the children around the lake. I walk this an hour before to check on the animals and these three photos are all different angles across the same lake. There really is something fresh to see at every turn.
Approaching the lake
Half way point
I was up before curtains began to twitch over at the holiday lodges.
Artistic Autumn Inspiration
While our holiday guests dressed for the morning farm ride, I was busy taking inspiration from the autumn colours and fallen treasures for our craft session later the same day.
If you fancy seeing the colours of autumn on the farm we still have a couple of spaces for half term which includes our legendary Halloween fun day. For a more relaxed week with younger children come and see us either side of this.
Posted on October 6th, 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 #50 things along with all other ideas for family fun outside.
Hope you’ve had a good week and seen the beautiful autumn sunshine we have enjoyed in Cornwall. After a fun weekend at Brit Mums Live in London I was thrilled to return to my countryside setting, catch up with my kids and indulge in some fun outdoor crafts scavenged from the farm floor as autumn sheds its load from the trees. It is such a stunning time of year in the countryside, I hope you have had a chance to enjoy the wonderful autumn colours and fallen treasures too. I’d love to see you 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:
- Sara from Mum Turned Mom who commented on 19 posts.
- Jo from Where Jo Goes who commented on 18 posts.
- Helena from The Queen of Collage who commented on 16 posts.
Thanks to all of you who joined in last week and for the comments you took time to leave, we had a week with no link dumpers so a pat on the back to you all!
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.
September Welly Winner
Congratulations to Jo at Mummy Needs Wine who is our September Country Kids welly winner. Jo enjoyed a week in August with us on the farm and wrote about her afternoon raft racing with us in Activity Hour. I really enjoyed seeing the magic of Coombe Mill from a guest perspective.
Jo please email or DM me your choice of wellies showing in stock from the amazing Rockfish selection and a UK delivery address.
Favourite posts from last week added to the shortlist for winning the October Rockfish Wellies:
Top Commenter: Sara from Mum turned Mom
Where Jo Goes shares an amazing looking country park in Mexico I know my teens would love to visit.
Still on the abroad theme Dutch Dutch Goose shares a cute dawrf adventure trail in Switzerland.
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 6590 posts this community is flourishing with outdoors photos.
My featured photos from the week came from @rjlrobinson, @dancingdandelionsblog, @lisaclarkphotographymildura & @_lauriesharp. Please do check out these lovely folk on Instagram if you are not already following.
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