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.
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The rabbits on the farm here are one of the most popular animals with the children. Feeding them, cuddling them and looking after them is something that can while away an hours on holiday. Children are endlessly drawn to their soft fur and cute looks, though catching them can be quite a challenge. Watch out in spring and you may spot the Easter Bunny.
With Easter looming I thought sharing one of my most popular bunny rabbit crafts was in order for April’s #Trash2Treasure. What I love about this bunny rabbit tutorial is that it requires no glue, no stick on extras and no artistic talent; you can have a whole herd of rabbits in minutes with a few empty toilet rolls; something we have plenty of with a large family and a holiday business!
What you’ll need
First cut the ears out of the body of the toilet roll being careful not to cut right through the top
Bend the ears up and fold the edges over
Cut feet and the front and back
Cut a V in the back of the toilet roll and pull forward for the tail.
Paint your bunny rabbit
Use a black pen or paint to mark out your rabbits face.
Paint the Tail
Enjoy your Easter Bunny
Easter Bunny Craft Suitability:
Preschool and primary school age children will love this craft. Younger children will need some help with the scissors but older children who have mastered basic scissor control should cope with every stage.
A Few Alternatives you could try
Add a branch to sit on and a chick for company out of more toilet rolls.
Thread string through the top to create bunting.
Hide a crème egg inside and place around the garden as an Easter Egg Hunt.
Make an Easter Basket for your bunny.
Add your bunny rabbit to an Easter Bonnet.
Thread them onto Fairy Lights to create an fun Easter Decoration.
With Mother’s Day approaching we decided to embellish our spring craft theme from half term into some Mother’s Day Flower Crafts for the children to make. I had warned parents ahead of time on the feed run of our theme and it was lovely to see so many Dad’s bring their children along to keep the crafts as a surprise for Mother’s Day.
It was cold and windy outside so we set up the craft table in the games room. Our first task was to make the vases for our tulip flowers. We stuck Duck Tape Colours round the top of a cut out juice bottle before heading outside to find sticks for the stems and stones to secure the stems in place.
The fairy garden is always a draw for the children and keeping them on task looking for sticks was quite a challenge at times, but lovely to allow them a little time to wander round in there too.
From the fairy garden we headed down to the river where I knew there would be an ample supply of stones to bed the stems into place
Back in the games room we cut, stuck and painted our toilet roll tulips onto the top of our stick stems.
From here the children moved onto making mother’s day cards with crepe paper flowers and painted stems.
The younger ones were drifting off to play while the older children took their time over their cards. When everyone had finished we set off on a nature hunt. I have a trusted sheet of spring flowers that are always easy to spot on the farm. We took a bucket along to collect a few fallen petals too for our last craft.
With our bucket overflowing and the rain starting we headed back indoors to arrange petals along a strip of coloured paper. The children headed over to the dressing up box to play while we laminated the strips of petal paper to make Mother’s Day flower bookmarks.
The children enjoyed their crafts and the Dad’s were great at helping me. I hope the mother’s enjoyed a rest indoors awaiting their surprise presents! I wonder if any of the cards were saved till Sunday?
Have you tried homemade flower gifts for Mother’s Day?
Last week Farmer Nick came home with three new goats, who are settling in just fine with us. This week he left me a little box of pound shop chicks on my desk. He was in Plymouth with time to spare and randomly thought of my activity hour when he saw this little bargain box of 20 chicks in the pound shop within the Easter craft display.
I was thrilled; Easter is always such a fun time on the farm but with many regular guests returning I like to come up with different crafts each year. The challenge was on to find a use for these dear little fluffy chicks. My immediate thought was little Easter baskets, some mini eggs and a chick inside. I took some coloured paper to test out my idea and I’m rather pleased with the result.
I will add to this with some form of Easter nature trail to challenge the children as well as our famous Easter Sunday Egg Hunt. Now all we need for Easter is some baby chicks and sunshine. Nick is busy collecting eggs from our Rhode Island Red chickens that have just started to lay again, but sadly they won’t hatch in time for Easter. All is not lost though as we did have baby bunnies born earlier this week. Another couple of weeks and they will hopefully look more like rabbits than mice! However I do hope I’m not sharing too soon, rabbits make poor mothers and are inclined to give up on their brood for reasons known only to them. Fingers crossed for these little cuties.
Despite having quite a few staying with us, our craft and activity hour clashed with the best day of the week and most of our guests had taken advantage of a chance to visit the beach. I had just one little girl come along who had been looking forward to it all week. Having stayed before I knew she would be fine on her own and at just 4 years old I took a gamble she would be up to understanding the frog life cycle and the associated crafts I had planned.
We began by talking about frogs and seeing if we could find one in the My first Animals book I had just reviewed. This proved no problem.
Encouraged by her understanding I moved onto explaining the life cycle from frogspawn to tadpoles, froglet and finally frog with some helpful printables to match and label.
At just four I was keen not to overdo the formal worksheets on holiday so we set off in search of frogspawn on the farm. I’d double checked beforehand that the place I’d identified last week still had some frogspawn there.
What I hadn’t tried before was wading into the depths of the stream to pull some out. It was very boggy and I didn’t want our guests stuck in the mud so I volunteered to carefully step down the bank and pull some up in our bucket. To our complete joy there was not only live frogspawn but tadpoles already formed and swimming around. We tipped the contents of the bucket into a jam jar to carry back to the art table and have a closer look, stopping on the way to see the toad under the bridge, a little clue along our wildlife trail. At this moment I wished he was a frog, but it was a chance to explain the difference.
Getting the magnifying glass out we were able to see plenty of movement in the jar.
While the tadpoles swam round we drew frogspawn with chalk on black paper. This was super effective and easy to create a lifelike effect.
We skipped drawing tadpoles and moved onto our creative frog game. In no time a toilet roll and a stick had become a frog with a fly to catch. I promised it was possible and had the parents both trying as well as the little girl.
With some pre-made paper frogs we squeezed in one more activity, decorating frogs that jumped and then laughing over table top frog races.
Time ran away from us and we caught up with the other families returning from their days out for a last train ride. There was great interest in the crafted frog game and our little 4 year old kindly let the other children have a go with her frog.
I’m so pleased I didn’t shy away from taking on the frog life cycle theme with just one, it was great to have the time and energy to ensure understanding in one so young and the frog turned into a wonderful keepsake game.
Have you tried explaining the frog life cycle to little ones?
If you are a cook who likes to use fresh herbs, you may well be like me and have a window ledge full of little pots ready to take a cutting to add to recipes. Mine were beginning to look rather messy scattered amongst a couple of neglected pot plants and during a kitchen clear up I suddenly had the urge to tidy this area. With some new glittery Duck Tape Colours that matched my kitchen perfectly and a pub drinks holder from a box of goodies kindly been given for our farm crafts a plan for a potted herb holder was formed. It would also make a great activity for kids to give on Mother’s Day.
What You’ll Need
Pub Drinks Holder
Duck Tape Colours
Supermarket growing herbs or herbs with a little root from the garden in good compost.
Collect 4 herbs in matching pots.
Cut strips of your chosen duck tape colours to cover the outside of the pub tray..
Take care to cut and tuck around the drink holder spaces to give a smooth finish on top.
Pop your growing herbs into the drink spaces and arrange on a light surface or window ledge
Snip leaves as needed
Water regularly according to instructions: Basil I find needs a daily top up but coriander and Rosemary need very little.
Replace as required.
A few alternatives you could try.
Instead of throwing the pots away when the herbs are used, try planting some spring seeds in them or succulents
Look for other containers that will fit the holes. I found Robinson’s squash bottles a perfect fit and cut these to size, added a little duck tape colours to the raw edge at the top and filled them with gravel before adding tin can flowers and tissue paper flowers. This makes a crafty alternative to the potted herb holder for spring that is great to do with children.
If you don’t have access to a pub drinks holder, you could cut holes in the top of a cereal box.
“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.