Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on August 21st, 2015 - Fiona

Annual Nature Raft Race

It has become a bit of a tradition at Coombe Mill to run a recycling raft race at Easter time and a natural raft race from nature in August.  This is the third year for the Nature raft race originally inspired on a summer’s day at the farm with The Boy and Me and Mummy Mishaps.  Several of the guests with us this year have actually been staying for all three years, hence it has become a bit of a tradition on this week.

 

Annual Nature Raft Race

 

I began the afternoon with a quick demonstration of a raft I had made earlier in the day and tested for buoyancy.  This gave those who were new an idea of how to go about making their raft.  The rules were very clear: if it was found in nature it could be used and if not I confiscated it.  I did a quick circuit around the different groups as they began to build taking away baler twine and the like to make sure everyone had to think creatively for a string substitute.  Reeds and ivy were perfect and one or the other bound each of the rafts that were made.  Most people worked in family groups; it was lovely to see the parents fully involved and really quite competitive over their designs and ideas.

 

Making the Natural Rafts

 

When the allotted half an hour was up we began to make our way upstream to the Coombe Mill footbridge. I have just discovered Periscope and recorded from here on my iPhone  

 

Excitement was building and I had a job to gather all the children together for a photograph ahead of the big launch.

 

natural raft racing

 

Counting down on previous years with a ‘3, 2, 1’ caused some confusion for the children, so this year we agreed on a ‘ready steady go’.  There was no cheating at all and the children all found a space over the bridge and waited for the command before releasing their rafts from the top of the bridge into the water.

 

Dropping the Rafts into the River

 

The excitement was immediate as the children rushed down from the bridge to follow their rafts downstream.  There was much shouting and cheering as they raced along the river bank and down to the finish line to wait for the rafts to appear.  Thanks to a little help from Guy and @DadneedsDecaf wading through the river behind the rafts every one of them survived the journey to be cheered under the finishing bridge.

Rafts Racing Down the River

By this stage there were many more children and grownups venturing into the river, from paddling to body boarding, re-racing rafts to just daring each other to take a dip.  I love to see people taking advantage of nature’s playground here at Coombe Mill.

 

Kids having fun splashing in the River

 

Guy treated us to one of his famous jumps from the bridge.  

 

Guy Jumping from the Bridge

 

 

 

Joining in with Country Kids 

If you have been outside enjoying the summer weather then please come and join me on the linky. All outdoor fun from playing in the garden to days out are welcome but please make sure they are predominantly outdoor based. Country Kids is all about promoting fresh air and time away from sofas and screens. I would be very grateful if you would take my badge or link back to me and please remember to check out the other posts here, you may just find the inspiration for your next post.  

Country Kids is around in these 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 (no need for a hash tag in Pinterest)

 

Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on Pinterest. 

 

 

Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me 

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet

 

A few of my favourites from last week:

I love this version of a pondoscope from Baby Routes, such a fun and easy way to study pond life.

Plenty of frolicking around in the countryside for Jack's Paper Moon and a trip down memory lane with older kids for ClaireJustine and a nature immersion from Growing Family

A fascinating insight into the ghost towns of Salisbury Plain now used by the military from A Family Day Out.

Camp Bestival looks such fun for families, Chelsea Mamma always manages an interesting angle on the events.  

I can see why Storyland is a family favourite day out for Mum Turned Mom.

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

   

   



Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on August 14th, 2015 - Fiona

A short break in Sussex

Leaving Coombe Mill in the height of the holiday season is never easy, but having children taking GCSE’s and A levels for the next few years we have no option if we are to enjoy a family break. Thankfully we have Amber who has been working with us now for over a year and is more than capable of holding the reins with Farmer Ted while we are away, so with much planning we took a short mid week break to visit Nick’s Mum between changeover dates.

 

A Short Break in Sussex

We met up with Nick’s sister and her children who traveled down from London to see us, even with Guy and Jed away on Scout camp we still had 7 children between us which made quite a party. Our children always love a trip to Brighton but we hadn’t visited the Marina in years & headed out with a picnic.

The older boys and Nick enjoyed boat spotting while the younger ones had races along the promenade and used up all out loose change in the lifeboat donation slots.

Exploring Brighton Marina

No trip to Brighton is complete without a trip to the pier but as it is quite a trek from the marina some of the children and Yia Yia (Nick’s Mum) took the fun seaside train.

 

Brighton Seaside Train

There was just enough time for a little play on the beach for our London cousins who came home with pocket full’s of pebbles which I then showed them how to paint into minibeasts as we do at Coombe Mill.

 

Fun on Brighton Beach

 

I took advantage of some wonderful early morning runs over the south downs and felt I gained a bonus hour every day while the rest of the family were still in bed!

 

The views from runs

We love chilling out at Yia Yia’s house, enjoying her beautiful garden and wondering into Lewes town but it was such a short break I was determined to pack in as much as possible. We had remembered our National Trust membership and although the children were not keen we set off with a picnic on our last day for Knole House. It was an impressive house dating back to the 15th Century, full of history and set in its own deer park.  It was colder than forecast and after an early start the first stop was the coffee shop.

 

Coffee Shop Stop

 

Revitalised we headed for the central courtyard to join the house tour which was fascinating in its history, though I found the things I really remembered was the origins of some well known expressions, for example “coming out of the woodwork” comes from the servants who would come out of the secret wooden door at the back of all the main bedrooms to tend the fires etc in the rooms. A ‘dumb bell’ in a gym comes from an old rope hanging over the billiard table which the men would pull whilst waiting their turn at the table to strengthen their sword fighting arm. The rope was  constructed like a church bell but without the bell ring, hence the term “dumb bell” and the one at Knole is one of only 2 remaining. The famous Knole sofa design with drop down ends also originates from the house here, we even spotted one in Yia Yia’s shop window on the way home! The greatest disappointment was the kitchens being closed as this is one of my favourite rooms in old National Trust houses.

 

Knole House

Culturally complete we headed out to collect our picnic from the car and explore the deer park. There were plenty of families enjoying the acres of park with picnics just like us. We soon found we had company for lunch. There were signs up not to feed the deer, but having deer ourselves we know just what their favourite tipple was and proceeded to pull down a few oak twigs for them. There was one who we decided must have been hand reared, she would eat out of our hands and let us stoke her. There is no way our deer would let anyone do this. All the kids were captivated but Theo the most, this more than made up for having to listen to the history of every painting in the house!

 

Meeting the deer at Knole Park

 

I love this photo of Theo sharing a few photos of our stay with Yia Yia in the garden on our last evening

 

Theo and Yia Yia looking at photos

 

It may only have been 3 days away, but it was just enough to give us a little family break and yet be back home in time for Activity Hour and changeover at the farm.  Guy and Jed were sad to miss out but had their own adventures on their first ever week long scout summer camp.   

 

 

Joining in with Country Kids 

If you have been outside enjoying the summer weather then please come and join me on the linky. All outdoor fun from playing in the garden to days out are welcome but please make sure they are predominantly outdoor based. Country Kids is all about promoting fresh air and time away from sofas and screens. I would be very grateful if you would take my badge or link back to me and please remember to check out the other posts here, you may just find the inspiration for your next post.  

Country Kids is around in these 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 (no need for a hash tag in Pinterest)

 

Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on Pinterest. 

 

 

Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me 

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet

 

A few of my favourites from last week:

I do love a good beach post and Diary of the Evans Crittens and Thriving with Twins both had lovely yet different days to share.

We weren't the only ones visiting a National Trust property this week, Redpeffer enjoyed a historic adventure too.

History comes in many forms, The Sherwood Forest Festival looks heaps of fun for Charlie Moos while Medieval Castles was part of an action packed holiday for Inside the Wendy House and the outdoor museum visited by Over 40 Mum to One looks fascinating.

Wetlands are great for spotting nature as Mummy Travels discovered

Garden play works whatever the weather, Let kids be Kids shared some great sunny day DIY games while Baby Routes built a wonderful rainproof wigwam.

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

   

   



Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on August 7th, 2015 - Fiona

A fun filled PYO afternoon

Every year I try to take the children fruit picking, there is always a big debate between strawberries and raspberries, but this year it was left to the weather to decide. I had watched in envy as more and more posts joined Country Kids with juicy looking strawberries and happy children in fruit laden fields, however Sunday was our only free day until the schools broke up and for the past month it has rained without fail every Sunday. Finally our chance arrived, despite a wet forecast the sun was actually winning through. The older boys had gone with their Dad to the annual Wheels Car Festival; Clio was surfing with a friend after a sleepover which left Theo, Guy, Jed and me for fruit picking.

 

A Fun-Filled PYO Afternoon

 

In just 20 minutes we were parked up, punnets in hand and setting off for the fruit fields. Theo being the oldest won and it was raspberries first. Rows and rows lay before us and the kids were quite engrossed wondering up and down the rows of bushes picking away, yet when I looked round their punnets were almost empty, it turns out that eating rather than collecting was their priority!

 

Picking Raspberries

 

We combined our efforts into one punnet and I carried on into the strawberry fields, which to be fair were showing a distinct end of season look so we moved onto the redcurrants, blackcurrants and gooseberries where I filled my punnet.

 

Fruit in the Trees

 

Having stuffed their faces with raspberries the boys had lost interest in the fruit; I caught up with them looking at the wallabies which were twice the size of ours!

 

Jed watching the Wallabies

 

Then an underground Play phone caught their imagination. I must show this one to Farmer Nick, it would be great for Coombe Mill, the two phone boxes were places across a field connected by an underground pipe and the message spoken through one end could be heard loud and clear at the other. I’m sure there is a sensible wave frequency explanation but it tickled the kids who kept running back and forth exchanging messages to each other.

Talk and Listen Phone

There was plenty of play equipment for youngsters and many families enjoying their roast dinner on the outside benches, even though they are really too old my boys had a quick go on the swings and balance beam before the huge over eight’s zip wire caught their attention. Here they were in their element remembering the fun they had last year. It looks tame enough but swings out so far at the end it is truly hard to cling on especially when there or four pile on for one turn, inevitably someone came flying off, thankfully no one was hurt though I wonder how looking back at the photos now!  

 

Fun on the Zip Wire

 

I sat and watched as they bundled down the tunnel slide one after another, racing back around for another go. I do enjoy these rare moments when they still enjoy a little childlike fun.

 

Down the Slide

There is always one who has to be a dare devil, this time it was Theo who decided to climb up the outside of the tunnel before sliding back down. I was delighted he made it safely with just his shorts as the casualty which ripped on the bum as he climbed over the top. Just as well it was time for us to leave!

 

Theo Climbing the Slide

We had a lovely afternoon in the sun, though no one was impressed with our fruit picking back home. Never mind, there is always another day now the holidays are here!  

 

 

 

Joining in with Country Kids

If you have been outside enjoying the summer weather then please come and join me on the linky. All outdoor fun from playing in the garden to days out are welcome but please make sure they are predominantly outdoor based. Country Kids is all about promoting fresh air and time away from sofas and screens. I would be very grateful if you would take my badge or link back to me and please remember to check out the other posts here, you may just find the inspiration for your next post.  

Country Kids is around in these 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 (no need for a hash tag in Pinterest)

 

Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on Pinterest. 

 

 

Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me 

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet

 

A few of my favourites from last week:

Life at Cooks Cabin had a magical time hunting for over 40 fairy doors whilst exploring Furzey Gardens.

Exploring Arundel Wetlands Centre, Chelsea Mamma got up close with some British Wildlife.

Mudpie Fridays spent the day stream fishing in at a great family spot in Abinger Hammer, Surrey.

Lichfield's rich heritage was thoroughly explored by A Moment with Franca with a trip to Beacon Park and the Cathedral.

Dreaming of the Country stayed up past bed time to have a picnic of bacon sandwiches on the beach

Whilst Lakes Single Mum learnt some important life skills on how to stay Swim Safe at Brockhole.

 

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

   

   



Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on July 31st, 2015 - Fiona

Carnival Fun

July and August are the carnival months in Cornwall. This is a local tradition taken very seriously as each village and town hosts its own carnival, the floats often tour several carnivals as there is one a week working across North Cornwall. We have joined in our local village and neighbouring village Carnival for almost all the 13 years we have lived here and every year excitement builds as we engage in dinner table discussions over our theme. My teens have sadly lost interest in dressing up and participating but the triplets were as keen as ever to enter again this year so we decided to let them take the lead. Star Wars was the outright winner and the kids wasted no time in painting and designing scraps of card down in Nick’s shed in the evenings after school with their friend.

 

Guy and Clio making the Float

In previous years we have lent a significant helping hand as Nick is a bit of a DIY expert and always has a few clever touches, however this year we were flummoxed as neither of us knew the first thing about Star Wars. Just days before when the kids had used up pots of paint, ruined a few sets of school uniform and left chaos around the shed we could finally see where they were heading. Then we had the difficult decision, did we take over and redo their work on proper wooden boards and try to enhance their effort with clearer sign writing or leave it as it was after the time they had invested?

The First Attempt at the Float

In the end they agreed that we would work together to convert their idea onto durable wooden panels, not least because the mile journey to the village, especially if it was a windy or wet evening could leave us bereft of float trimmings by the time we arrived!

With an intensive 2 days of work we were ready to go, the weather was being kind too with a beautiful balmy summer evening.  We explained to the newly arrived guests that we would be out for the evening as they questioned our outfits and float in the car park, and suggested they come along and join the fun since the procession meandered from the village green right past the top of our lane and onto the football ground.

 

Ready to go join the Carnival

 

Colourful bunting adorned the village together with the traditional scarecrows this year themed around The Mr Men.

 

Little Miss and Mr Men Collage

Judging and registration takes place early on up at the village green and the children duly obliged with a lightsaber war for the benefit judges and press.

 

Acting for the Judges

The pipe band striking up is the signal that the procession is about to begin. They are followed by the village Carnival Queen float, the walking floats and then the tractors, cars and trailers. Villagers line the streets cheering each passing float and our kids could be seen dancing around throwing sweets from the trailer to the children along the roadside and lapping up the attention in return.

 

The Carnival procession

 

Up at the football ground the marquee is full of trophies for prize giving, food tents and a licensed bar. Children’s entertainment is laid on and a real carnival feel takes over as costumes are abandoned and play begins.

 

Fun at the Football Field

The triplets were thrilled with our 2nd place trophy cheering all the way back to Coombe Mill.

 

Coombe Defeats the Dark Side

Events like this are great for uniting a community and I’m thrilled to be a part of our village, even if we are in reality a mile outside in our own private valley.

    

 

Joining in with Country Kids

If you have been outside enjoying the summer days then please come and join me on the linky. All outdoor fun from playing in the garden to days out are welcome but please make sure they are predominantly outdoor based. Country Kids is all about promoting fresh air and time away from sofas and screens. I would be very grateful if you would take my badge or link back to me and please remember to check out the other posts here, you may just find the inspiration for your next post.  

Country Kids is around in these 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 (no need for a hash tag in Pinterest)

 

Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on Pinterest. 

 

 

Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me 

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet

 

A few of my favourites from last week:

Everyone loves a little strawberry picking, this farm visit from Wander Mum had plenty to do to make a full trip.

I do love a county show and Mummy of 2 + 1 makes the Spilsby one look lots of fun for all the family.

A flower show to rival the best from The Joy of Five with lots to do besides flower admiring! 

If you are looking for garden inspiration for your children then take a look at this post from Right from the start, Rachel has a back garden any child would adore.

Carnglaze Caverns is somewhere I've yet to visit in Cornwall, but it's right up there on my to do list after this post from Kippers and Curtains.

The Maize Maze at the Forest Adventure Farm  kept the children guessing for Mummy M's Memories.

Not everyday is beautiful in England, but with the right attitude there is still outdoor fun to be had in the rain as City Girl Gone Coastal shows.

 

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

   

   



Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on July 24th, 2015 - Fiona

Minibeasts

For activity hour this week I wanted to do something to introduce the children to our new bug hotel. It was a short step from here to forming a whole session on mini beasts. 

 

Hunting for Minibeasts and designing our own

 

I had a copy of the Superworm book by Julia Donaldson which I love and which many of the children were familiar with so we began our session over in the craft tent reading some of the fun situations in which super worm found himself.

 

Reading the Superworm book

 

With imaginations fired up I showed the children how they were going to make their very own super worm from wool and sticks. I have to confess this was a bit of an aptitude test for the parents too as they followed my instructions on finger knitting. The children all chose their Superworm colours and watched their worms grow along their parents finger before choosing a twig handle and the wool to watch their worm wriggle and squirm along the ground. If anyone fancies having a go at these I am going to follow up with a step by step tutorial over on my new linky #Trash2Treasure.   

 

Making the Finger-Knitted worms

 

Worms completed we moved onto painting stone bugs like the ones living in our Fairy Gardens.  The children finger painted bugs in their own designs on to the stones, some resembled real bugs while others created interesting make believe bugs, each were finished with googly eyes.

 

Painting our bug rocks

Our minibeast session was moving at quite a pace and next up I had pinned a lovely tutorial from Baby Budgeting some time ago for attracting butterflies to the trees. This was the perfect time to give it a go after not finding enough time on our butterfly and Caterpillar week.  The children loved making their plate designs and it was something every age group could do to their own level.

 

desiging the paper plates

We threaded string through the edges of the plates and took them over to the fairy gardens and bug hotel along with some old pot plant holders. Over in the gardens we added a few slices of banana to everyone’s plate and pot before hanging up the plates and wedging the pots in to any spare nook and cranny in the bug hotel.

Feeding the bugs

We searched under logs and round canes for some real live minibeasts but didn’t manage to spot any as the Hotel is still very new. However I knew just where there would be some and took the children into the higher levels of the Fairy Gardens to look under the tree stumps. Sure enough a plethora of worms, woodlice and the like scurried away from the light to the children’s delight. They proceeded to lift every stump and giggle and the hive of activity that lay beneath picking them up where they could.

 

Hunting for minibeasts

 

It was such a fun way to spend our hour and many of the parents were thrilled with the children’s reaction to the bugs thanking me for making the creepy crawlies so exciting.

 

 

If you are fans of the Superworm story, you may be interested to know that The Forestry Commission have a Superworm Trail running over the summer in many of their woods. It’s a great Country Kids day out at just the price of parking the car. If you are staying with us then Cardinham Woods is the closest at about 25 minutes drive from Coombe Mill. 

Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids is all about inspiring families to enjoy time outdoors away from sofas and screens. If you have a post that fits please do come and share with me. All outdoor fun including playing, crafting, learning and discovering are welcome. Please do check out some of the other posts linked up, there are always some great ideas to inspire your next outing.  

 

Country Kids is around in these 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 (no need for a hash tag in Pinterest)

 

Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Country Kids  from Coombe Mill on Pinterest. 

 

 

Join the Google Plus community page  for Country Kids and add #CountryKids to your tag elsewhere for a +1 from me 

Share your posts on  Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet

 

A few of my favourites from last week:

Chocolate is not the only fruit returned to Coombe Mill  for their family holiday and share their joy at being back on the farm

The Wildlife and Wetland Trust is the place to visit right now with gorgeous goslings all around as photographed by Attachment Mummy on a lovely family adventure

This playgroup in Cornwall was full of outdoor inspiration for Learning for Life

A Family Chatter makes camping in the South West with young children look quite idyllic.

With  farm fields, toys, free play and some clever picnic boxes hosting a party is going to be a winner as Bubba Blue and Me discovered  

For a great National Trust Day out try Cliveden House in Berkshire as visited by My Travel Monkey 

Redpeffer used her National Trust membership after school where the children enjoyed the freedom of the gardens together  

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall