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.
In order to keep up with the times and make our guests stay as easy and as comfortable as ever, our first lockdown project was to remove the electricity pound coin metres in all of our six lodges. We are certain that this will be a popular improvement for all our returning guests, but hope that we can all continue to be conscientious about conserving energy and our planet.
Lockdown project 2 – Daily Exercise
We have really been enjoying exploring the local area’s beaches and finding some more good walks. This inspired us to place framed OS maps on the walls in each of our lodges and we hope that this will enable you to explore the local area with ease when you come and stay.
Lockdown Project 3 – Animals
Despite the absence of snow and guests, our animals are now enjoying hearty helpings of hay now the weather is significantly colder. Therefore, our third lockdown project will see Sally our pig being sent off to have her annual holiday of fun with her boyfriend next week. We hope to have new piglets with us by the end of May, just in time for half term.
Lockdown Project 4- Games Room
We have also been measuring up the games room and hope to have this opened up and refurbished by the end of March. There will be some new equipment for the older children, as well as games and books for the younger ones
Our fifth lockdown project for January entailed investigating the potential to market Coombe Mill from a different angle. We are currently in the process of designing a new logo and updating the signs around the farm. We hope to be able to share some of these with you all in our future blogs.
Staycation Bookings this summer
The website https://www.coombemill.com/availability-prices/is regularly updated with regards to our availability and you can still book on the web site or through us. We are getting a number of bookings daily and are nearly full for Easter, May and the Summer holidays.
At Coombe Mill we recognise we are all living in uncertain times. We realise how important it is to have something special booked in to look forward to as a family. So to provide you with complete reassurance:
We offer a full Covid guarantee. If Lockdown or Tier restrictions occur over your holiday week – then you have a choice to
1. Have a full refund or
2. The opportunity to move your holiday to another week at the same price. If you choose a week at a more expensive price you will need to pay the difference.
We all know kids are a source of creativity and imagination. Without the wisdom and experience of life the world is full of possibilities. Lonely Planet kids aims to fuel this creativity and expand young minds with their fun to create themed sticker world books. We have looked before at Sticker World Zoo, Museum, Theme Park and know how much fun they are. Imagine my delight in discovering there is now Sticker World Farm! This is an opportunity for kids to create their very own farm just as they want it. Farmer Nick watch out, there could be some little experts joining you soon full of farming ideas! Alongside Sticker World Farm, in the new series there is Sticker World Castle and Airport. We have all 3 to giveaway to one lucky winner. Read on to discover more about the range and for your chance to win.
More about Sticker World Farm, Castle and Airport
Create your own farm or airport or restore your own castle. The books guide you through the process giving just enough information to keep ideas realistic, yet allowing creative minds to flourish. With over 500 stickers in each book there is no shortage of options to make your farm, airport or castle bespoke. Create a map, choose your crops or animals, design your coat of armour or create a colourful luggage tag. Each book is packed with information and challenges making learning fun and creative.
What we love
Fun subjects kids love
Can be as simple or advanced as the child chooses.
I’m on a bit of a roll with my crafts at the moment. One idea morphs into another and a whole new activity emerges. My latest crafts are all born out of the amazing stickabilty of flour and water. First I used nature on pebbles and then on logs to make a dinosaur log and a Halloween Log. This week I worked on my nature log and came up with a Peg fairy with magic wand and fairy dust.
The first thing we needed was to go off in search of a log, a stick and some autumn nature.
Building a fairy garden
I had some new additions for the fairy garden I was keen to add so the children helped me decide where these should go.
Autumn flower fairies
Anyone remember the flower fairy books from their childhood? They captivated my imagination and stuck in my mind creating the autumn habitat on the logs . We piled on acorns, flowers, leaves and more with flour glue before making the peg fairies.
Magic Fairy wand
Winding some colourful wool around twig made a simple magic wand to add to our log.
Making a Peg Fairy
We pushed two thick leaves through the peg holes to simultaneously create wings and arms. Then the children chose some material for a skirt. Bingo our easy peg fairy was ready.
Magic Fairy Dust
All that was left was to sprinkle some fairy dust. For this I just added a few drops of food colour to sugar. To keep things really natural you could use blackberry juice or any other berry juice instead. The children sprinkled a little dust over their fairy logs placing the bulk in milk bottle tops secured with the flour glue. they were only too happy to pose for a photo with their fairy landscapes.
The children were all quite young and I knew they would need a little help to pull this one off but they managed really well thanks to some great parental support and a concept that captured their imaginations.
Create a Peg Fairy Log and wand at home
This would be a fun and educational activity to recreate from a family woodland walk.
What you’ll Need
Seasonal nature gathered from a walk to include things like leaves, berries, acorns, conkers, pine cones, twigs, feathers
A small log with one stable side as a base.
A small twig for a wand
Two evergreen leaves with structure for wings and arms
Flour and water paste
sugar and food colour for fairy dust
Colourful wool or ribbon for wand.
A rectangle of material with small cut at the centre for a fairy skirt
The opportunity to explore changes in nature with the seasons
I have really been enjoying using nature with the children staying here this autumn. There are so many windfalls hitting the farm giving countless possibilities for learning made fun in our outdoor classroom. With a very young team signed up to join me I knew I had to make things fun and easy this week. Two year olds are very discerning and will vote with their feet if the learning goes over their heads. I remembered how popular dinosaur world creation was last winter but was concerned it would be too fiddly for this group. A little adaption based on my pile of leaves craft and I had a simple dinoscape ready to impress with a dinosaur hunt to finish it off.
Atlas of dinosaur adventures
We began with a little look at the lovely ‘Atlas of Dinosaur Adventures‘ book from Quarto Kids. It is huge with beautiful visuals for each continent. We focused on the Europe page which perfectly depicts all the children could see around them at Coombe Mill from trees and nature to rivers and rocks. Meandering through the landscape were the dinosaurs. Two of the boys were wearing a dinosaur top which was a great start. We talked about the landscape and how it must have looked rather like Coombe Mill back when the dinosaurs were alive.
Collecting Nature for a dinoscape
I didn’t want to keep the children sat still for too long so we headed straight on out in search of fallen leaves, acorns, petals and more to create their own dinoscapes. When the tubs were filled we ventured into the log store to choose a log each as the base to their dinosaur landscape.
Creating a dinoscape
Back at my craft table the children began to spread my flower and water paste on to their log and arrange all their collected nature on top. The dinoscapes came together perfectly as the paste is very forgiving allowing the children to pull things off and re-paste until they were happy.
They were so engrossed in creating their dinosaur landscape they almost forgot it needed a dinosaur on it. They all knew dinosaurs were extinct do I explained we would have to go digging for a buried dinosaur. After a couple of clues they raced off to the sand diggers in the sand pit and began to dig. Oh the excitement as a dinosaur came to life!
A little free play
The temptation to stay and play was too much, and we had no real time limit so we were all happy to let them run around and chase up and down the slide for a few minutes to wear themselves out.
Dinosaurs complete the dinoscape
Finally we reminded them of their dinosaurs and the dinoscapes waiting for them. They ran back to the craft table with dinosaurs in hand and with a little more paste fixed them into their chosen place.
I was so pleased; the activity suited these little ones perfectly with just the right amount of learning and fun.
Recreate a Dinoscape at home
This would be such a simple activity to recreate from a walk in the woods or the park.
What you’ll Need
Nature collected from a walk
A small toy dinosaur to hide (ours came in a pack of 6 for £1.99)
A small log
Flower mixed with water to form a stiff paste.
The opportunity to explore animal diets and habitats
The New Year break sees plenty of guests returning to the farm to see out the old year and welcome in the new. It has become a bit of a tradition for us to turn New Year’s Eve into a fun day for the children with crafts in the afternoon and a party early evening. This year was no exception and I had a group of enthusiastic children waiting for me at the games room to discover this year’s crafts of making New Year Calendars and Firework Paintings.
Making New Year Calendars
Last year we made lanterns and safe sparklers which the kids adored so I was keen to come up with something new which would be as fun and themed again. My homemade calendars worked a treat and the children were full of ideas for things they wanted to add. Some coloured in all their school holiday dates while lots of ideas went into writing to do lists for January in one side of the pockets we created.
explaining nature calendars in activity hour
ordering months for nature calendars
Sticking down pockets to make nature calendars
calendar waiting to add nature
Individual designs complete
They were all made from cutting out the calendar from a free printable online, then using a cereal box to mount the calendar and add ‘to do’ sheets. I do like to bring our crafts back to nature or the farm and so we left a pocket on our mounted calendars free to add the month’s nature finds. This took us outside just as the rain stopped and a rainbow came out.
We weren’t going to have long before the next downpour and the children ran between the nearby bushes and the fairy gardens in search of the perfect piece of nature that shouted Coombe Mill in January to them.
Back inside we added the final touch of nature to our calendars and carefully put on one side while we ventured back out under the shelter of the games room porch for some messy painting fun.
I’d used spray painting last year in our autumn collages and thought it would work brilliantly with lots of different colours on black card as firework paintings against a night sky. I filled a selection of old spray bottles with coloured watered down poster paint and each child took it in turn to choose their firework colours and design.
It was great fun even if we did manage to spray the windows a little too! thankfully with poster paint it soon washed off.
Spray painting firework picture
Spraying poster paint firework picture
Firework spray painting
We hung them up to dry whilst talking over the fireworks show that Farmer Nick would put on for them after the party later that evening. I will need to be very creative to come up with two such successful New Year’s Eve crafts next year.
“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.