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.
Right now the sheep and lambs in the fields are shedding their winter coats, if they haven’t already been sheared. If you go on a country walk you can often pick bits of fleece out of the fences where they have been rubbing up against them. In our case we had a mountain of fleece available to us after shearing our sheep back in May. While most of the fleece went to a local crafter we held back a few handfuls for crafts during our weekly activity hour. Sheepscapes are one of my favourites. A 3D sheepscape picture is so simple and ideal for preschool children to make. The finished result is very effective and just like our Jacobs sheep here on the farm.
What you’ll need
Grass and wild flowers
Floristry ribbon or string
Double sided sticky tape
Method to make a sheepscape picture
Go for a walk and collect some sheep’s wool, there’s usually some on the fences around the edge of fields.
Open a cereal box up and cut to leave one side and one long edge.
Trim the excess edges from around the box.
Paint a hand black and make a print so that the fingers form the feet and the thumb is spaced out for the neck and face. Add an extra fingerprint on the thumb for where the eye is going to go.
Stick a blob of fleece to the wet paint for the body.
Stick a googly to the wet paint for the face.
Place a line of double sided sticky tape over the fold in the box.
Stick grass and wild flowers to this and bend up.
Add ribbon to create a 3D Sheepscape hanging picture.
Hang up on display for all to see.
A few alternatives you could try
Try with a group of children on a play date or as a party craft
Paint your hand in multicolour for the body and add a few dabs of paint to the fleece then sing ‘Bah bah rainbow sheep’
Paint a few sheep on a large wall canvas and create a meadow with big hands for the mothers and tiny hands for the lambs
Cut your sheep out to put on sticks and create your own sheep story in a mini theatre by painting a cardboard box as the theatre.
If you can’t find any sheep wool you could always use cotton wool.
A quick minute long video on how to make a 3D sheepscape picture
We love Coombe Mill; it is our life, our passion and our livelihood. However that doesn’t stop us wanting a holiday from time to time too. In the past this has been tricky, but as the children have grown up they can hold the business together for us, alongside our duty manager Amber, allowing us a few days off. Last week we took the opportunity to catch up with family in Athens before travelling south to Kyparissia for a few days holiday. What I hadn’t expected to see was a potential Coombe Mill in Greece for sale. We always have work on our mind, even when we are on holiday, and it certainly had our thoughts racing.
We made a few inquires in the town and it turns out it is an old German campsite with outbuildings that shut down a few years ago. The location is amazing just across from a lovely beach at the end of a little single track lane, yet only a 10 minute walk into the centre of the town.
Spotting the potential
I found myself rather excited studying the abandoned buildings and visualising them transformed into something quite Greek and traditional, yet family friendly and welcoming.
We saw goats, chickens and ponies nearby and the local cockerel woke me every morning so keeping a little farm would be realistic. With views out over the beach and Mediterranean how could we go wrong?
The sandy open beach stretched from the town right along to this quiet secluded location. There wasn’t another person in sight while we walked along.
Just a two minute stroll leads to the little harbour and a choice of tavernas. There is even a mini market at the harbour offering basic provisions. However the biggest treat is watching the sun go down sipping a drink.
Reality strikes now that we are home. Branching out like this would be a huge risk and the Greek property market is fraught with difficulties and uncertainty. This opportunity will slip through our fingers, but there will be others, and one day we might just take the plunge and expand further afield. Coombe Mill in Greece still has a real appeal to me and would be home from home to Farmer Nick, who is half Greek.
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.
Catching the Magic
This little one is holding out her hands to receive a duckling from Farmer Nick. I love the first day of farm fun with our guests; the expressions and wonder at the animals is so special. While the activities continue all week, and the children grow in confidence, there is nothing quite like the magic of the first day. I missed that magic this week as Farmer Nick and I have been on holiday in Greece. Everyone seemed like experts when we returned for the feed run on Wednesday and what happened to the sun? We left in a heatwave and returned to rain. I hope summer will return over the weekend. Whether you have been sheltering from the rain or the heat, home or abroad, I hope you have a few adventures to share 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 1 guilty blogger link dumping this week, please go back and be fair to others, you know who you are! Do remember I comment count on Thursday after lunch so get your comments in before then if you want them to be counted.
On a more positive note huge thanks goes to Joy from Pink Oddy who not only commented on 9 posts but also shared many more on Twitter. Thank you Joy, your time was much appreciated.
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.
May Welly Winner
Congratulations to Helena from Queen of Collage Blog, who is our May Country Kids welly winner. Helena embraces outdoor fun and regularly spreads the blog love on joining in the linky commenting on many of your posts, she was top commenter last month this lovely visit to Roves Farm and starts July as top commenter again.
Helena 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 July Rockfish Wellies:
Our afternoon of fun began earlier in the week when one of the guests asked me why there was a trampoline in the goat field. I replied that it was for the goats and that I was waiting for Farmer Nick to make a ramp for them to reach it. Actually I have been waiting for over a year. The young lad was really taken with the idea of trampolining goats and asked if we could do it while he was here. Finally I had Farmer Nick taking my plan seriously and he began to build the ramp with the help of two our boys. It was harder than he first thought to ensure it was safe for the goats, would withstand the weight of the children climbing up and attach securely. I was a little disappointed I couldn’t attach it with the children but it was just too complicated.
All was not lost; sometimes my husband is a genius. He attached the old otter fencing posts with hollow centres to the edges so that I could bring the children up and fill them with twigs to line the edge of the ramp and temp the goats up. This was just what I needed and my afternoon of goat grooming and trampoline tricks began to form.
Billy Goat Gruff bridge challenge
When the children arrived at the games room for activity hour we began a two team challenge. My little toy Billy goat gruff had to cross from the table to the balcony using just the supplies I put out on the table and anything the children collected in nature. They relished the challenge and soon began to plan and build their bridges.
Next we made two nature wreaths for the goats using my printed list of allowable plants. Generally evergreens are a no and most deciduous plants are OK with a few notable exceptions. Rhododendrons are very poisonous to goats and ours were in full bloom so I made sure all the children knew which bushes to avoid with a helpful chart.
Goat grooming and trampoline lessons
Our last job on the way to the goat field was to collect leafy twigs to line the edges of the ramp and a handful of their favourite cornflakes. Our friendly goats came rushing over to greet us and wasted no time investigating the ramp to reach the twigs as fast as we could put them in the holes.
To my delight they ventured onto the trampoline with the children and happily bounced between mouthfuls of cornflakes while the children groomed them.
Rocky and Queenie were agreed as the best trampolining goats and the most willing to be groomed so the children crowned them with their wreaths. Needless to say the goats showed their appreciation by chomping straight into them!
When all the food had gone and the goats finally left their newly accessible trampoline the children moved onto grooming the ponies.
For these children it was the perfect end to their farm holiday with us. I think goat grooming might feature more often in our activities, the goats loved it.
Here at Coombe Mill we love to spend time outdoors, whether enjoying a picnic on the farm, crafts in the sun or a day at the beach. We believe that time spent outdoors is some of the best, where technology is put aside for active play and learning. If there is one thing that does bug me as a mother of six and organiser of all our outdoor holiday craft it is carrying everything. This is where the Brug comes into its own offering a little help on a family or group outing and a total solution for a solo trip. Read on for your chance to win one of these handy items for yourself and your family.
What makes the Brug Special?
The Brug is water resistant, washable, hard wearing and practical. It is compact when folded up for storage and can be used inside or outside. However for travel the clever feature is the ability to pack all your goodies inside, drawstring the edges and clip them before zipping shut to carry as a bag.
Simply reverse the action when you arrive to unfold your belongings on a handy rug. I particularly like the fact there is no internal rug like fabric for sand and grass and picnic crumbs to get stuck in. The Brug can be easily shaken clean and any spills sponged off and run through the washing machine back at home. Everything about the Brug is carefully thought through from the sturdy shoulder straps to the peg tabs on the corners to secure it down at the beach. We found it very comfortable to carry over the coast path on our walk with water, swimwear, sun cream and the like safely inside.
When we are not using for our own family benefit it comes into its own for our weekly activity hour with the children on holiday here. It is big enough for a group of children to sit on for making and creating and enjoying a snack.
Bring your Brug inside
Much as I love the outdoor use it would also be perfect for travelling with a baby or toddler allowing you to put toys and essentials inside opening up into an instant play mat for visiting relatives and friends. When you start to think there are so many uses for this clever 2 in 1 bag rug and it would make a wonderful gift for a birthday, wedding, new baby, in fact almost any occasion. I personally would be thrilled to receive one.
“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.