Woodland Weaving Meets Halloween

Posted on October 28th, 2016 - Fiona

I have been inspired by the Forestry Commission and their woodland weaving campaign this autumn. As grownups we know that the colours in our woodlands are quite stunning in autumn and the windfalls from nature on the floor plentiful, but this doesn’t necessarily inspire kids. Turn spotting nature’s bounty in to a treasure hunt and weave it’s magic into the fabric of the forest and you have the kids engaged.  This week I thought I’d take a ‘leaf’ out of the forestry commission’s book and add in a little Halloween twist for good measure. The result: Woodland Weaving meets Halloween.

Woodland Weaving Meets Halloween at Coombe Mill

Making black spiders

In preparation we set a spider’s web of string between two trees down by the river and painted a stack of toilet rolls black. As the children arrived and I announced woodland weaving meets Halloween as the theme, the children looked a little confused, but as I explained further they soon grasped what I had in mind and set about following my spider making instructions.

Spider crafts for Halloween. ?? #Halloween #craft #halloweencraft #kids #countrykidsfun #outdoors #spider #creative #coombemill

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Each toilet roll made two spiders, one we were going to take on a woodland walk to make our giant Halloween spider’s web and one was going to be reserved for later.

making creepy spiders for woodland weaving meets Halloween

 

The children chose a spider for the walk and raced along towards the river. Once there, the spiders were carefully placed in the web.

Weaving spiders into their woodland web at Coombe Mill Farm Holidays

Woodland Weaving into a giant spiders webs

But hang on a minute, the spider web still looked a little bare. Spiders may feast on other insects, but these insects are attracted to flowers and pollen so we filled our spider’s web with the treasures we found down by the river to attract an insect or two for our spiders. We were blessed with the last of the sunlight for the day shining through our web making it more mysterious and beautiful than scary, probably a good thing for the younger children! 

Woodland weaving into a Halloween spiders web at Coombe Mill

Woodland weaving meets Halloween at Coombe Mill Holidays #weloveforests #countrykidsfun #outdoorlife #stickcraft #sticks #sunshine #autumn #nature #halloween #forestschool #learning #outdoorkids #countrykids #holidayfun #coombemill #woodland #cornwall #activekids #exploring #river #riverside

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The lure of paddling in the river soon became part of the treasure hunt and one by one the children ventured in.  Chilly water came perilously close to the top of little boots but everyone remained dry.

 

Playing in the river Camel at Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall  

Mini Dream Catcher Woodland Spider Webs

Admiring their work the children were keen to make their own mini spider webs with woodland weaving and spiders inside.  Just as well we still had one spider back at the craft table! Before heading back the children each had to find 3 sticks as the frame for their web.  These were then bound together with wool at the corners and a web pattern formed.

Making mini spider webs or dream catchers

The children placed their spiders in the middle just as they had done for my giant web and then headed to the fairy gardens in search of woodland weaving material. They were spoilt for choice with golden leaves lining the floor.

Filling spider webs or dream catchers with nature inthe fairy Gardens at Coombe Mill Holidays

 Each left with their own carefully designed spider’s web to hang outside their door and a lovely woodland decoration for Coombe Mill down by the river.  A couple of the parents were doing forest school groups with their children and were thrilled to be taking the idea home to share. We ran out of time for the other crafts I had planned but they are stored in my mind for another week! 

 

 

If you fancy trying this one do check out the Forestry Commission website and download their activity pack which has details of how to make a mini woven forest and more ideas as well as details of your nearest forest. They make a great day out and after all that exploring their cosy woodland cafes are stacked with homemade treats and hot drinks to revive you.

 

Country Kids

Disclosure:

I am an  official forest blogger promoting our forests, however I have not been paid to write this post. 

 


Trash 2 Treasure October 16

Posted on October 2nd, 2016 - Fiona

Trash 2 Treasure October

Welcome to a new month of Trash 2 Treasure. Autumn is truly with us now and with the season comes a whole host of lovely nature craft ideas. Those autumn leaves, ripe fruits and fallen sticks are great for upcycling. Added to this is the upcoming excitement of Halloween and Bonfire night. We have been busy on the farm making nature frames and blackberry prints this past month month and are now looking forward to decorating the farm for Halloween.  

trash-2-treasure-october

Joining in with Trash 2 Treasure

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The linky will run on the 1st Monday of every month and stay open for the full month.

  4. There is no post limit as the link up is open all month.

  5. Old posts and new posts welcome.

  6. 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. 

  7. 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 and a thank you for joining in.

  8. 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 2 Treasure sponsored by Duck Tape UK with Coombe Mill Holidays for creative fun.

 

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. Do check out the website for plenty of creative ideas. 

My September winner of the duck tape colours is Jill from Creating my way to success. Jill upcycles some amazing things from fabric scraps. I particularly liked this bear from an old school sports kit. He would make a great mascot.  winner of Treash 2 Treasure with Coombe Mill September

 

Trash 2 Treasure Communities

If please use the hashtag #Trash2Treasure for your makes, I’ll find you and promote your post or picture on

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Google Plus

If you link up below to Trash 2 Treasure October I’ll also send you an invite to pin on my Trash 2 Treasure Pinterest board 

 

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How to Make Chattering Ghost Bunting

Posted on October 2nd, 2016 - Fiona

With Halloween approaching I am looking at ways to decorate the farm and transform our train tunnel into a Halloween ghost ride. There are all kinds of wonderful things in the shops but they do come at a price, so where I can I like to upcycle and create my own ideas to mix in with the shop bought items.  My chattering ghost bunting idea comes from a recent discovery of how versatile tin cans are.  I have already used them to make tea light candle holders, scarecrows and garden butterfly decorations, and I was sure there would be a Halloween interpretation I could create. My Halloween farm days are becoming so popular over half term and I always like to have something new for returning guests.  

How to Make Chattering Ghost Bunting

 What you’ll need for chattering ghost bunting

  • String
  • Tin cans, larger or fizzy drinks ones are best.
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Black marker pen
  • A little tissue or kitchen roll

Things you need to make chattering ghost bunting for Halloween

Method

  1. Wash out your tin can and drain well, make an incision into the can at both ends and cut of the top and bottom saving the can pull.
Cut the ends of the can
Cut open and Dry the Can
  1. Cut up the middle of your remaining tube, flatten and dry the inside with tissue.
  1. Use a marker pen to draw the outline of two ghosts
Draw your Ghost Shapes
Cut out your Ghost Shapes
  1. Cut out your Ghosts
  1. Hole punch in two Eyes and use marker pen to draw around the eyes to give them clarity and a spooky look. 
Punch and draw the Ghost Eyes
Hang the Ghosts on the line
  1. When you have a collection of ghosts thread them onto the string separated by a ring pull between each ghost.
  1. Hang them up in a tree and listen to them chatter in the wind!
Ghosts Chattering in the Wind

A Vlog tutorial on how to Make chattering ghost Bunting

 

 

A few additions you could try

  • Try cutting bat shapes or pumpkins from an Orange Tango tin instead.
  • Instead of bunting you could just use a nail to tack them onto a tree or fence as I did with my butterflies.

tin-can-butterflies-and-halloween-bats

 

I think my Chattering Ghost bunting will form part of a Treasure Hunt of things to spot on the farm at Halloween.

Do you have any thrifty makes for Halloween? Please come and share them on my upcycling monthly link up Trash 2 Treasure.

Trash 2 Treasure


Nature Books and River Art

Posted on September 9th, 2016 - Fiona

When I run activity hour I never know how many will come along, sometimes it is just a handful, other times it is a full house. This was one of those days where everyone came along inspired by the idea of creating nature books and embarking on a river art challenge.

Bodyboarding down the river to admire the river art

Nature books and a Nature walk

We began by making nature books with coloured card, paper, sticky labels and duck tape colours. My two tables were full to bursting as everyone gathered their materials and queued up to have their books stapled.  

Making nature books in Activity Hour at Coombe Mill

 

When everyone had finished we went off on a nature walk to find interesting leaves, flowers and more to paint, print or stick into our nature books. We passed by the lilac bushes to check for butterflies and despite the number of us and the noise we brought we still saw several.

Nature Hunt to collect inspiration to fill nature books

Back at base the children set to work following my example book. I was delighted how engaged they all were, from flower initials to leaf prints and collages.

Filling Nature Books with Nature from the farm at Coombe Mill Holidays

River Art Challenge

We had already used up our hour but I had promised the kids a river challenge and many were wearing beach shoes in preparation so we left our nature books with paint drying and headed down to the river. 

Here everyone split into teams and the challenge was to build the highest rock tower. My own boys ended up soaked of course building the tallest tower in the middle of the river. There was somewhere shallow enough for everyone to build and enjoy a paddle and the results were amazing.

River art on the Camel at #coombemill. Part of activity hour yesterday . #River #riverart #rivercamel #cornwall #countrykids #adventure #challenge #kidsofinstagram #play #water #summer #fun #holiday

A video posted by Coombe Mill (@coombemill) on

 

River art challenge at Coombe Mill

Before we knew it six o’clock rolled round and Guy, dripping wet, ran from the river to the train to host the last ride of the week. Everyone hopped on with squelching feet and soggy clothes or wetsuits; just as well it was a sunny warm day! The laughter and happiness radiated from the train and I even used one of the photos to update my website homepage.

Train ride in wet suits

While the youngest headed indoors the older ones took body boards and continued their river fun on body boards stopping to admire their river art along the way!

Bodyboarding down the river to admire the river art

It was yet another memorable August week here on the farm with many promising to return and assuring parents they would never outgrow Coombe Mill!  I am enjoying the preschool crafts and games again now in September; hopefully some of these toddlers will one day become the new generation of nature loving adventure seekers here. 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall TAT


How to Make a Hobby Horse

Posted on September 4th, 2016 - Fiona

Trash 2 Treasure September

Well come to a new month of Trash 2 Treasure. The new school term is upon us and weather you have little ones heading back to school, nursery or playgroup; I hope it is a positive start. From my experience the first weeks back can take a little adjusting to and leave you looking for a quite craft at the weekend or with younger siblings still at home. I have one to share today that might fill that time perfectly. A cute hobby horse made from not much more than an odd sock from Farmer Nick and a stick found on the farm. Being quick and easy to make but with endless possibilities for imaginative play, this hobby horse is a perfect after school or afternoon fill in craft.   

How to Make a Hobby Horse

What you’ll need to make an upcycled hobby horse

  • Old Sock
  • Long straight stick
  • Wool
  • Soft Stuffing – we used old laundry bags, but old material scraps or other odd socks would work
  • Googly Eyes

What You'll Need Hobby Horse

Method

  1. Stuff your sock with your chosen stuffing.
Step 1 Stuff the Sock
Step 2 Put Stick into Heel of Sock
  1. Push the stick through the stuffing and into the heal of the sock.
  1. Take a long piece of wool and wrap it round the toe of the sock and up the sides to form a bridal and reigns. You can do this in sections if you find it easier
Step 3 Use wool to make Bridle
Step 4 Tie wool around the top of the horse to create ears
  1. Tease some stuffing into two sections at the heal of the sock and separate with wool to make ears.
  1. Stick on some googly eyes.
Step 5 sticking on the eye

 

A Vlog Tutorial on How to Make a Hobby Horse

 

A few Extras you could try

  • Why not add a colourful rosette to your horse’s bridal.
  • Finger knit your wool first to make the bridal and reins more substantial.
  • Use a shorter stick as a cross section secured with wool as handles.
  • We made these hobby horses as part of our Knights and Dragons activity hour with swards, crowns and shields too.

Knights and Dragons with their Horses

Joining in with Trash 2 Treasure

If you have post about something you have made with something from nature or something you would have otherwise have thrown away please come and share on Trash 2 Treasure. The linky will run on the 1st Monday of every month and stay open for the full month. Posts can take any form, all that matters is that the item made has primarily been upcycled from something of little value or found in nature. Leaves and loo rolls, sticks and staples, there are so many throw away items which, with a little imagination, can be turned into something of value. Most of my something from nothing craft tutorials will come from fun keepsakes we have made with the children in our farm activity hour but sometimes I will share bigger upcycling projects from Farmer Nick too. I hope through the linky to acquire some new ideas and I welcome all posts old and new.  

A little extra from the awesome folk at Duck Tape Colours

Trash 2 Treasure sponsored by Duck Tape UK with Coombe Mill Holidays for creative fun.

 

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 your next project. Do check out their website for plenty of creative ideas. 

My August winner of the duck tape colours is Liz from Me and My Shadow with an upcycled mosaic tea tray from collected china fragments.  Me and my shaddow August winner tray


As always there were some wonderful upcycled ideas last month, Please keep them coming.

My other favourites during the month were a DIY phone holder from Emma at the Mini Mes and Me and an odd sock toy dog from Jill at Creating my Way to Success

When joining in please use the hashtag #Trash2Treasure on Twitter, Instagram or Google Plus and I’ll find you

If you link up I’ll send you an invite to pin on my Trash 2 Treasure Pinterest board   

Please grab my badge and join my crafting journey and do pop back to check out other people’s posts during the month.




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