Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on June 12th, 2015 - Fiona

 

Leave our eggs!

Every summer just as the egg production from the chickens really sets in so the crows arrive.  The children hunt high and low each morning on the feed run in all the chicken laying boxes and scour the undergrowth in the field in search of eggs, but the early mornings give the crows a head start on us. So often we are left with a pitiful collection in our farm bucket only to find the evidence of the crows tasty breakfast feast scattered around the deer field by way of empty egg shells!

 

Crows, Broken Eggs and Feeding Chickens

 

There had to be a way to beat the crows, other than waking up at 4am to chase them away.  Amber was running the morning feed run when the answer dawned to make scare crows. This was the perfect answer to an annoying problem and one our younger guests could help with for activity hour. In no time we began planning our giant scarecrow and mini ones that each child could make too.

 

Scarecrow making

As everyone gathered for the afternoon session we split into two groups, Amber and some of the adults helped cut tunics out of an old sheet while I led an expedition to the fairy garden in search of twigs for our scarecrow frames.

Cutting tunics and collecting sticks

The children set to work decorating their tunics in their own bespoke designs and designing faces on paper bowls.

 

Colouring in the scarecrows

To assemble them we used string to make a cross for the body and arms, fed our tunics over these and secured the heads by poking the neck of the sick through the paper bowl.

Making mini scarecrows

When every child had their own mini scarecrow ready we set off for Jurassic Park where the chickens lived stopping by Farmer Nick’s shed for some straw to stuff our giant scarecrow that was made much the same way but kitted out in some of my children’s old clothes! Together we stuffed the stick structure into shape and dug the whittled end into the ground.

 

Filling the big scarecrow

 

The children then pushed their mini scarecrows into the ground around the field near all the laying boxes and stood back to admire their work.

 

Placing the Mini Scarecrows around the field

We all set off for the evening train ride in the hope that flapping tunics would deter the morning crows.

 

 

With no feed fun on a Saturday it was the new guests on Sunday who reaped the rewards of our scarecrows; I think we really did make a difference with a bucket full of eggs to share.

 

Morning Feed Run Eggs

Joining in with Country Kids.

Outdoor kids are healthy kids, even if it is just an hour in the park or the garden a little time outdoors is good for them and for us parents too. If you have been enjoying the freedom and space of outdoors please come and join the linky. All activities from garden crafts to adventure days are welcome but please do make sure they are based outside. Please grab the badge to link back here and remember to check out some of the other posts linked up, you may just find the inspiration for your next adventure.

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 was totally taken with the idea of a sensory garden at the Wolseley Centre visited by Odd Socks and Lollipops

Herne Hill Mum shared 3 of my favourite days out from Coombe Mill from her family visit in May

We have all enjoyed the Royal Cornwall Show last week, I've not managed to write about it this year but Time to Craft did for the Royal Bath and West which looks every bit as much fun.  

Stockeld Park had a special visitor in the form of Mr Bloom entertaining Yorkshire Tots for the day 

Buba Blue and Me enjoyed an educational day learning about Shakespeare's mother, with plenty to see and do for little ones.

The Beasley Buzz had a wonderful break with some very posh camping and plenty of outdoor fun. 

Buba Blue and Me enjoyed an educational day learning about Shakespeare's mother, with plenty to see and do for little ones.

I loved this adventure from Fun as a Gran placing geocaches to earn a cub scout badge.

Exploring off the beaten trail can lead to some lovely discoveries as Mother Scuffer and Sophie Is discovered. 

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

   

   



Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on June 5th, 2015 - Fiona

1st year anniversary of Activity Hour at Coombe Mill

Half Term marked a full year of running activity hour here at Coombe Mill, I’m not sure where that year has gone or how we have managed to come up with so many ideas to entertain and delight the children at the end of the week but somehow we keep doing it. It has grown in popularity and even has its own purpose built tent now which has been so helpful on those soggy or windy sessions.  Finding something that will work on a school holiday week when the ages range from 3 to 12 isn’t easy but I find by combining a few ideas, some old favourites with some new activities, everyone can join in.

 

Half Term Bunting decorating

 

We began the hour with making bunting. This is something we have done before and shared a tutorial on how to make, however this time we gave painting the fabric as an option as well as felt tip with some lovely results. It has made a wonderful start to decorating our tent with a bright splash of colour against the white tent lining and the children really took their time over the designs.

 

Half Term Bunting decorating

 

From bunting to stone painting with pretty messages, paint and finger paint all from the children’s own imaginations. I had collected the pebbles from the beach and painted them in matte white emulsion so that either felt tip of paint could be easily applied for effective results.

 

Painting the Coombe Mill Rocks

 

I had been waiting for a group of older children to help me with the next task. Clio had donated her enormous discarded bag of loom bands so we could make bouncy balls.  The tutorial for how to make these can be found over at Red Ted Art on You Tube though believe me it is harder than Maggie makes it look. The older children and Mums and Dads really enjoyed the challenge and together we made half a dozen truly bouncy balls.

 

Loom Band Bouncy Balls

 

We cleared away the craft table and restored the table tennis net to test out the balls as ping pong ball replacements! It really did work and we had quite a tournament going on. 

 

Ping Pong with Loom Band Balls

 

Meanwhile for the younger children we set up a skittle run of tin cans from the recycling bin, while they struggled to make the balls they had no trouble throwing them at our cans castle. The weight of the balls soon knocked the cans down which kept us rebuilding them only to have the next child do it all over again while I moved the start line further and further away!

 

Loom Band Ball Skittles

 

Needless to say we overran our hour and easily managed to keep all age ranges occupied with our thrifty homemade activities, all of which would be easy to repeat at home.

  

 

Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids aims to get families off the sofa, away from screens and outdoors having fun in any shape or form. From garden games to days out please do come and share with me on the linky. A little fresh air really is good for us all. Please remember to link back here or grab the badge code below and do check out the other posts linked up, you might just find a great idea for your next adventure.  

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:

Herne Hill Mum came to stay with us at Coombe Mill and shares her week on the farm trying out several of our new wild adventures.

I've never thought of the RHS gardens for a day out but Renovation Bay-Bee shows what a delight they are.

This story of a 1st seaside trip really touched me from Parenthood highs and Lows making me realise how lucky we are to live near lovely beaches. 

With woolen fairies to seek out and binoculars to search with the National Trust makes these woods an adventure for Hayley from Home.

Portsmouth on a budget for Mad Mum of 7 made a great family mini break and a bargain too.

This zip wire from One Tiny Leap looks awesome. 

A special trip to the fire station makes someone's half term over at Chocolate is not the only fruit.

Daddy stepped up to the mark for someone to one beach time that turned into quite an adventure for Blogger Mummy Lauren.  

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 



A Tent for All Seasons

Posted on May 31st, 2015 - Fiona

Tenting but not Camping

Here at Coombe Mill all our properties are stone cottages or Scandinavian style lodges. I am often asked about camping, but seriously when you see the slope of many of our fields and the steep lane to approach us it isn’t hard to see that we have the perfect fields for mountain goats but that tenting isn’t really an option. However I did spot a wonderful marquee style tent at Trago back in the winter and persuaded Farmer Nick it was just what we needed; not as accommodation but as a base for my Activity Hour which has been growing in popularity and threatening to overwhelm my kitchen on rainy afternoons!

Activity Hour in the House

 

Locating & Constructing our Tent

 

We agreed that the cottage car park was the perfect place being flat and on tarmac and right next to the train which runs immediately after. Even with the tent marked out we agreed there was still space for 2 cars per cottage. Putting up the tent took a few weeks as the pegs securing the frame down were concreted into the tarmac to ensure it would withstand any winter storms. The children helped Nick with the project as step by step it began to take shape.

 

Setting up the Tent

Multi functional

Nick had a genius idea for the tent to ensure it was put to good use all week. After all Activity hour was only at the end of the week and half the time we were out and about on the farm for this anyway if the weather permitted. Table Tennis was the idea and we purchased an outdoor game which fitted perfectly inside with plenty of space to move around too. It soon proved an instant hit with children and adults all enjoying a match.

 

Playing Ping Pong

There is even the option to turn half the table up to play solo.

Guy Playing Solo Ping Pong

At the end of the week we simply remove the net, cover the table with old curtains and draw up Nick’s specially designed benches to make the perfect base for our Activity hour crafts.

Ping Pong Table Read for Activity Hour

 

We left the tent completely open on one side so it is always light and airy yet provides the protection we need against the wind and rain on our crafts not to mention preventing a gust ruining a crucial ping pong point and I’m sure the tent sides have saved the nearby bushes from being littered with lost balls!

 

A Tent for All Seasons

 

Thanks to a YouTube tutorial from the wonderfully creative Maggie of Red Ted Art I managed to combine ping pong and crafting in the tent during half term. Like so many parents we are left with a huge bag of loom bands since the craze fizzled out. Maggie had a simple yet effective idea to turn them into colourful bouncy balls; it was a short step from there to use them as ping pong balls. We had a lovely craft hour making our bouncy balls and testing them out on a ping pong challenge.

Loom Band Ping Pong Balls

 

If you are coming to Coombe Mill this summer I hope you will join us for Activity hour in the tent and enjoy a family ping pong game at  your leisure too.

     


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on May 29th, 2015 - Fiona

Trerice National Trust

Now that the football season has come to an end and our Sundays are no longer consumed with football matches across the country for Guy and Jed we are free between the morning animal feed run and the afternoon train ride to make the most of some family time.  Keen to make the most of our new National Trust membership we checked out options for the day. Trerice at 40 minutes drive and close to Newquay felt perfect. We hadn’t been before and had no idea what to expect.  We left the teens behind, Ally revising for AS levels, Felix for GCSE’s and Theo who is boycotting family days out as “uncool” at 13!

Family Fun at Trerice

I have learned over time that my children only operate on full tummies so the first stop was MacDonald’s for lunch. Refuelled we drove into the car park at Trerice surprised how busy it was since it was still school term time. Despite this as we entered it actually felt really quiet and the children immediately set up a game of chase along the pathways in the formal gardens. 

 

Tag in the Formal Gardens at Trerice

 

Our last National Trust visit was Cotehele just before the season started and the house was still closed. This time there was no problem going inside and guy and Jed were delighted to be greeted by a room of medieval armour in the first room. Thanks to some helpful staff they were allowed to try the chain suits, this really made their day, though made of metal they did question how anyone managed to run from their enemy or even see them clearly decked out in the full kit!

 

Trying on the Medieval Armour

 

Clio soon lost interest in the boys and busied herself with a giant jigsaw of the house that Jed had abandoned on seeing the armour.

Upstairs the children couldn’t have been more delighted than to see a vast empty banqueting room with an old woven mat, a chance to practice their gymnastics, check out the view from the window and try a little weaving for themselves.

 

Exploring the Great Hall

 

As we expected the rest of the house received a cursory glance and they turned down the chance to follow the house trail eager instead to explore further outdoors. A mini maze caught their attention.

 

Exploring the mini maze

 

Of cause they ignored the steps preferring to leap over the flower bank to reach the maze!

Jumping over the Flowers

In the outbuilding they found a huge empty guilt frame next to a box of dressing up clothes. Without the interference of the teens they rummaged in the box and found an outfit each in which to pose, and repose within the frame.

 

Silly Dress Up at Trerice

 

At the head of the hayloft a table of brass rubbings caught their attention.  A reminder for me that we need to try out bark rubbing here at Coombe Mill, I couldn’t believe the children hadn’t heard of brass rubbings before.

 

Brass Rubbing at Trerice

 

 

What I loved about Trerice was the informality, it was quiet and peaceful and we were free to explore. Down onto another terrace and the children found a game of quoits casually placed in the centre of the garden.  I can’t tell you how much fun this provided as family challenges took on a serious dimension. The triumphant garden lap by Jed when he won akin to a crucial premier league football goal! 

 

Family Game of Quiots

For me the beauty of the National trust is the gardens in bloom at this time of year, I hung back to capture a little of the beauty.

 

Trerice Macro Flowers

 

While the kids disappeared up a tree! Even the journey back to the car involved scaling a wall and exploring down the lane.

 

Climbing trees and walls at Trerice

 

Back home the triplets regaled their brothers on all they had missed.  I can thoroughly recommend Trerice for a visit if you are staying with us. It is also just minutes from Newquay with its famous beaches and seaside town centre if you fancy combining both on a day out. We popped in for an hour to enjoy ice creams and a mooch around the shops.

 

 

Joining in with Country Kids  

Country Kids is all about getting up and getting out, whether it is to play in the garden, enjoy an outdoor craft or a day out exploring please come and share with me on the linky. The only restriction is it MUST be mainly outdoors and an enjoyable way to take in some fresh air away from screens. Please grab the badge code below or link back here and remember to check out the other posts too, it might just be the inspiration for your next adventure.  

 

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:

 Wakefield Place has so much for young adventurers as Wild about Here shows 

Just 30 minutes from home and Little Hearts Big Love found themselves a great day out 

It's festival time and the Joy of Five shares her first one ever, I'm eyeing up the giant rope swings for Coombe Mill

A pirate park on the Isle of Sheppey is the latest island discovery for Hannah and the minibeasts

I love a little resourcefulness and You Me and Magoo showed this in making their own garden swing 

Let kids be kids hired a real farm to their home for their children's birthday. This could be Nick and I in retirement! 

Mum to a Monster enjoyed Bank Holiday on the cheap with plenty of fun and a great recommendation. 

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

   

   



Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on May 22nd, 2015 - Fiona

Bank Holiday in Padstow

As locals we should really know better than to visit Padstow on a May bank holiday weekend, but my Brother was down and they really wanted to visit. My own kids never miss an opportunity to enjoy Rick Stein’s fish & Chips so against our better judgement we loaded the cars and set off in beautiful sunshine.

 

Family Fun In Padstow

 

It was already lunch time when we arrived having had the morning feed run to sort first and the boys had to help Nick with surgery on a sheep’s horn that was growing into her eye. Not a pretty sight as there is a blood supply to the horn, I stayed well away but apparently it was a success and she is saved from going blind.

We know the best places to park to avoid all the congestion of the town centre and enjoyed the short stroll along the end of the Camel Trail following which we headed straight for the queues forming outside the famous fish n chip shop.

 

Walk to the Chippy

 

By the time our lunch was ready the heavens began to open. So typical of a bank holiday, we scurried into one of the harbour side bus shelters with our chip boxes and sat munching while the rain lashed down feeling like true British tourists!

 

Rick stein's fish 'n'chips in the rain

 

The rain eased off and with full tummies we ventured out. Guy had brought his portable fishing rod and set up on the far harbour wall. It was blowing a gale and freezing there but my river jumping adventurer never seems to notice. He was happy as could be with his fishing rod, apart from the passing boats which had him reeling in quick to save his line from on more than one occasion!

 

Fishing on Padstow Harbour

We left Guy with his fishing and wandered into town.  I love that my kids are so uncomplaining, the adults were freezing dressed for summer when we left but the children just made the most of their time fooling around in the harbour, playing with a ball for sale outside a shop, climbing walls and venturing out onto the beach despite me warning them the sandy mud would claim their shoes!

Padstow shops and Fun on the beach

 

Back at the car Nick took out my bike, everyone thought I was mad to cycle with it so cold and no rain coat if the heavens opened again but it is a lovely 20 mile ride I haven’t done in ages so I waved them off and began pedalling.

 

Taking the Bike out of the Van

 

If you ever get the chance it is a lovely family friendly trail that runs from Padstow to within a mile of Coombe Mill. Picnic benches are dotted along the route, the river Camel runs along one side and the old railway line the other. It even passes the Camel Valley Vineyard where the gates were open inviting me in for a glass of their own bubbly and a tour, I was tempted!

 

Cycling from Padstow to Coombe Mill

 

As I cycled towards the Bodmin section the old stream train was just drawing into the last of the in use stations. What a treat to see the enthusiasts at work and smell the old coal boilers.

 

Cycling past Bodmin and Wenford Railway

 

When I arrived home Guy had run our little train for the guests and retired to the lake with my brother and his friend to continue his fishing while Clio and Theo were gardening on the farm with Nick.

 

Fishing and Gardening after a day out in Padstow

 

We enjoyed our day being tourists with my brother. If you are staying with us and plan on visiting Padstow do ask me about parking, bike hire or bring your own bikes and take advantage of our bike shed here at Coombe Mill. There are also crabbing nets and reals to borrow from reception. 

 

 

Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids is simply about family fun outdoors. Anything goes from days out to crafting in the garden. All that matters it that it involves leaving sofas, screens and the comforts of indoors for some good old fashioned fresh air fun. Please do grab the badge or link back here and please check out some of the other posts linked up, everyone appreciates a comment and it might just inspire your next adventure. 

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:

Redpeffer is making the most of National Trust membership, I loved this post from Coughton Court.    

A Family day out explores dungeons and more at Dover Castle. 

The gorgeous photos from this farm had me captivated from One tiny Leap .

I was rather taken with this little family after dinner treat from Mummy 3+ 1 dog's Memories.

A full football day for active fun for That Lancashire lass

A great post from Mum in a Nutshell with her surfing teen that reminds me of my own kids. 

 

 

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall