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.
So here we are in January and I’m only just finding the time to write up Christmas! We were so busy with holiday guests and then family visiting that the time ran away. Finally I have one safely delivered back to Uni, one back at work one back at collage, 4 back at school, extended family and festive holiday guests left and time to reflect on some of the fun we had. I’m beginning with a post about our Christmas crafts. Ever since I did our Halloween Log craft I knew that it would be perfect to adapt for our Christmas guests. I added a few bits and pieces and before long I had an afternoon of action packed fun waiting for a group of excited pre Christmas children.
Scavenger Hunt to make Christmas Crafts
Having explained to an eager gathering what the afternoon would entail we set off on a special Christmas scavenger hunt. The children had sheets of all the things they needed to find and collect. This was going to form the basis of our Christmas Log Decoration and Christmas bauble.
Making Christmas logs with Father Christmas
Having put quite a time into preparing my example Christmas Log table decoration I was a little worried about how long it might take in a big group. To speed things up I had pre cut some of the more intricate bits. Just as well I did as it still took longer than I anticipated with sharing scissors and paint. The children took real care over their coke bottle Santa’s and decorated the rest of the log in their own style from the bits we collected and resources I provided.
I still had two activities to run but I know Guy had a roaring fire pit waiting for us to toast marshmallows ahead of running the train for the evening so we agreed to return to the games room and finish our crafts after dark.
I may have ruined tea time for a few but the children had a great time dipping their marshmallows in the fire. Succumbing to the excitement of the moment the adults joined in too, after all who can resist a toasted marshmallow?
Coombe Mill Festive Train
Thankfully Guy was not just in charge of the fire but also our train driver for the evening, a few were worried about missing the train but when I pointed out that our train driver was still cooking they stopped worrying. Finally we ran a late train through the Christmas filled tunnel as the daylight fell away.
Reindeer food & Christmas baubles
For those still keen to continue crafting we returned to the games room where the bottom of our coke bottles became a container for reindeer food. OK so we have fallow deer, but let’s not be too picky, our Rudolph was still on standby for Santa and needed some special food with magic sprinkle for breakfast the following day (Christmas Eve). Christmas paper and colourful ribbon finished the packaging and the children promised to bring them along the following day for the morning feed run to feed to Rudolph.
Finally the left over tinsel, ivy, holly and chosen Christmas card pictures were filled into hollow baubles to make take home tree decorations.
There was certainly enough to keep the most active and creative children occupied for the afternoon. With just 2 sleeps left to Christmas the energy levels were riding high and here on the farm the children were thoroughly enjoying the festive build up with us. Join me next week to see the fun we had on Christmas Eve and don’t forget if you fancy leaving the Christmas organisation to us next year and sitting back enjoying a fun festive holiday we are taking bookings now.
I have really taken to creating flowers from toilet rolls and after the success of our Mother’s Day crafts making cards with toilet roll flowers I decided to take all the elements from here and make two new flower crafts. This coincided with a lovely educational story book arriving for me to review from Quarto Kids all about the seasons in the garden. Before I knew it I had a spring flower garden theme coming together for our guests to enjoy.
The Magic Garden
We began in the games room reading The Magic Garden. It is quite short and illustrative and the perfect length for the children. It put everyone into a creative mood and ready to go out and view the farm gardens with fresh eyes.
So with flower tick sheets and pens we set off in search of a signs of spring flowers on the farm. It is amazing what you find when you have your eyes really open. We hardly travelled any distance to find our first three flowers. The lawn around the games room was filled with buttercups, daisies and daffodils. Just as well Farmer Mick hadn’t yet come along to do his first mow of the year! We soon followed up with the Camellia and primrose and the first bluebells. The Rhododendron was only in bud and the honeysuckle just in leaf so these were much harder. It will be a few months before we see the new season Fuchsia but we still walked over to the bush where they will appear and checked along the river bank for Red Campion.
Creative Flower Pots
We arrived back at the games room just as the rain began and quickly moved the craft table under shelter. The children chose to make the flower pots first. It is a relatively simple craft that needed minimal help from the grownups, yet gives a pretty result. We covered toilet rolls in a choice of fabric.
Then we cut out squares of crepe paper and poked them through pipe cleaners to make magical colourful flowers.
The girls were thrilled with their finished flower pots.
Spring flower garden wreath
Then we moved onto the flower wreaths. The first task was to cut the centre out of a paper plate for the frame. Then we cut and painted toilet rolls to make the flowers.
By stapling the painted flowers on to the paper plate and hanging with ribbon we had pretty wreaths. I had wanted to collect ivy to place between the flowers but the rain was really pouring down so the girls decided to leave their wreaths at the games room to dry and add their own ivy later.
I think they would have happily stayed and crafted all evening once inspired. Their combined concentration and willingness to do everything was infectious. Its amazing how fast time goes and how much creative fun can come from a book and some throw away household items.
I love Easter time. The farm is bursting with new life and the options for Easter crafts seem endless. I had so many ideas for activity hour around the Easter theme and an eager group to come and join me on Good Friday.
Making Easter Bunny bonnets
Easter wouldn’t be complete without an Easter Bunny. We have 3 new little bunnies on the farm and I thought I’d make some Easter bunny bonnets with the children. This was a very simple but effective craft from a paper plate and strips of fabric. The children needed a little help cutting out their paper plate and negotiating the fabric with not very sharp kitchen scissors but apart from that it was all their own work.
The finished results certainly warranted a group photo
Designing Easter Eggs for the Fairies
Now wearing our Easter Bunnies we set about covering Easter egg card shapes in silver foil and decorating them with Duck Tape colours and floristry ribbon to make decorative Eggs for the Fairy Gardens.
Out last craft before going off to hang our eggs was to make Easter cards. The children delighted in carefully colouring the Easter egg designs before cutting them out to stick onto coloured card of their choice. Messages inside went to family members, it was lovely to see them colouring and writing in the chilly March weather and really taking pride in their work. We parent were all for moving on from our Easter Crafts but the children were determined to take their time to make their cards just perfect.
Hanging Easter Eggs and a thank you from the fairies
Finally everyone was ready to take their Eggs along to the fairy gardens and find a branch to hang it from.
There was one surprise left; the fairies had left some chocolate eggs to find in return for their beautiful decorative eggs. A treat no one could refuse!
It was a lovely set of Easter crafts to kick start our action packed Easter weekend here on the farm.
I really miss homemade Mother’s Day crafts from my children. Playgroup and primary school were always a guaranteed source of at least a badly concealed card to wake to on Mother’s Day. However despite prompting I’m lucky now if they tidy the kitchen for me ready to make their dinner! I was determined the same wouldn’t happen to our farm Mummy this week despite her little one being here on holiday rather than in school. (Thankfully a few schools do still authorize educational leave). I racked my brain for some creative ideas and this is what I came up with.
Mother’s Day Flowers
We began by carefully cutting our cereal box back board and toilet roll flowers. All the cutting was simple shapes and very manageable for my 5 year old.
With flower colours chosen we began to paint our flowers. As there is no need to keep in the lines younger children would find this fun too, essentially paint all you see but mind your clean back board isn’t underneath; we had our wipe clean garden table.
Next we selected some fabric from my scrap collection (a handy upcycling of unclaimed left behind clothes over the years!). This I stapled round a toilet roll and fixed to the board. We then stapled the flowers into place and used a felt pen to draw in the stems.
A little message on the front and it was all ready to hide till Sunday.
What could be more traditional than a Mother’s day potted plant? We filled an old garden seed pot with compost and went off round the farm with a big spoon to dig up our choice of plants. We decided on a fragrant spring collection with the wild garlic just coming into leaf, some snowdrops, mini daffodils and some mint from my garden.
Back at the craft table it was another chance for a rummage in my material bag to decorate the pot.
A piece of cereal box on a stick made a perfect message space
Our crafts were finished and Mummy was instructed not to look on the walk back to their holiday lodge, this was to be kept and carried home very carefully!
Did you receive any homemade Mother’s Day Crafts this year?
I have a draw with various treasures I’ve kept from my children over the years, plenty that sadly I didn’t but I’m glad I kept a few.
Welcome to Trash 2 Treasure. I am combining July and August to cover the holiday season and will be back with a new link up in the autumn.
With summer comes the tadpoles and frogs. We have been learning all about the frog life cycle with the children here on the farm and making some fun crafts like this fly catching frog to go with it. However my post this month takes advantage of the fleece scraps we saved from shearing our sheep. I hope you’ll take a read and add your own creative makes to the link up too.
Joining in with Trash 2 Treasure
Trash 2 Treasure is all about upcycling. Posts should be about making something foraged from nature, household throw away items or low value items you have added value to.
Posts can take any form, all that matters is that the item made has primarily been upcycled. Whether you cook, sew, make or create I’d love you to join me.
The linky will run on the 1st Monday of every month and stay open for the full month.
There is no post limit as the link up is open all month.
Old posts and new posts welcome.
Please comment on my host post and at least 2 others and use #Trash2Treasure in the sign off so other’s know where you came from and can pop back to see what you have made too.
Do remember to pop back during the month to check on later posts linked up. I will share linked posts during the month as a reminder to pop back and as a thank you for joining in.
Please add my Trash 2 Treasure badge to help others find the link up and to be in with a chance of winning the lovely Duck Tape Colours (see below).
Most of my Trash 2 Treasure tutorials will come from fun keepsakes we have made with the children in our farm activity hour, but sometimes I share bigger upcycling projects from the farm too. I hope through the linky to acquire some new ideas from you.
A little extra from the awesome folk at Duck Tape Colours
Trash to Treasure is sponsored by Duck Tape Colours, makers of colourful tape to add pattern and sparkle to all your upcycling projects. My favourite upcycling post each month will receive 3 colourful rolls of tape to inspire their next project (very sorry but UK postal addresses only). Do check out the website for plenty of creative ideas.
Congratulations to So Mum Blog who has won the Duck Tape Colours for June with a fun Lego Desk Tidy for So Kid. Please drop me an email me with your address to get these posted out to you.
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“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.