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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At the end of the Christmas holidays I had a big sort out in our craft cupboard, I was hanging onto far too many bits and bobs on a ‘just incase I find a use for them’ and was trying to be ruthless to make a path into my overflowing cupboards. the trouble is I hate to throw anything away if I can think of an upcycling idea. I had sorted all the crayons out and had a bag of scrap stub ends, but instead of throwing them out an idea began to form. As I child I remember to this day finding myself in all manner of trouble when I began experimenting melting my crayons on my parents radiators. It made a lovely pattern much to my parents horror. Images flooded back to me and I thought I build on the idea in a more constructive way. If I could find a way to melt the crayons into new, more fun shaped crayons, and even add a fragrance to them it would make a great experiment and a wonderful sensory experience for little ones. It took me a few goes where the kitchen looked like something out of a chemistry lesson before I found something that worked, but the end result is worth sharing.
What you’ll Need
Old broken crayons, paper coating removed
Silicon cake pop tray
Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or curry spices
Jug suitable for heating in the oven
Place the crayon stubs into the silicone molds, you can use one or more colours per mold
Add quarter of a teaspoon of your chosen spice per mold, you may find it easier to only put the spice into the single colour molds.
Place the mold on a baking tray & bake for 2 minutes in a moderate oven, about 150 degrees.
Remove from oven, turn the tray and stir the spice into the melting crayon, this is why it is best not to add spice to the multicoloured crayons or the colours will mix too. Return to the oven for a further 2 minutes.
Check and remove when melted, do not leave them too long or the crayons will bubble and spoil. Leave to cool for a good half an hour.
Place a selection of the same colour of crayon in a jug
Place the jug in the oven, checking and stirring every couple of minutes. Remove when melted
Pour over the base layer of crayons in the molds
Leave to set for a further half an hour. Chilling in the fridge is a good idea once they have begun to set.
Turn out your multicoloured shaped sensory crayons.
Have fun smelling and colouring with your rainbow coloured finished crayons.
A Few Additions you could Try
Place them in a jar with a pretty label as a gift.
Why not try one a large crayon instead of little ones
See if you can find other substances to hold the fragrance, we tried garden herbs crushed and fine oils but the oils sometimes separated from the crayons and the garden herbs were too subtle.
You could use a heart shaped cookie cutter to create a large heart shaped Valentines cookie.
A Vlog tutorial to make scented shaped multicoloured crayons
Joining in with Trash2Treasure
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 to Treasure is sponsored by Duck Tape Colours, makers of colourful tape to add pattern and sparkle to all your upcycling projects. Our 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.
January my not have had the most link ups ever but wow there were some great upcycling ideas making it so hard to pick a winner. In the end for a beautiful finished job I chose Emmy’s Mummy with her pirate bedside chest of draws completing Harry’s new bedroom. Congratulations Clare, 3 fun Duck Tape Colours on their way to you for more upcycling projects.
I said this month was hard and if you take a look at these wonderful ideas you’ll see why:
A sock and a syrup tin made a wonderfully simple stationary holder for Time to Craft
Here at Coombe Mill we are great believers in learning through play. Each week we try to come up with crafts and activities for the guests staying at Coombe Mill based on a craft or activity that is both topical and educational. Often these relate to learning from the week on the farm or special times of year. With New Year upon us I was keen to do something linking to fireworks and fire safety with our young guest’s head of our New Year’s Eve party.
Parragon books had sent me a beautiful Fire Station 3D pop up and build play set together with a fun activity book which perfectly fitted my plans for our afternoon session and the children wasted no time in crowding round to help me assemble it.
The play set is made from waxed board so substantial in quality and designed to be used more than once. The pieces pop out really easily and there is a handy double page diagram in the activity book to help you put it together. I have to confess it took the parents joining in to help us get it right so although I’d say the finished play set is suitable from age 3 upwards it takes someone older to help assemble it. There are 10 pop up characters to play with and the fire engine fits perfectly into the play station when complete. The Rescue ladder moves to give hours of imaginative play.
The activity book is perfect to supplement the fire station play containing some lovely challenges to help with early years verbal reasoning, counting and pen coordination skills.
Win your firestation Activity book and Playset
If you fancy one of these lovely sets from Parragon books for your little one to enjoy then just follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
I was sent my Fire station play set and Activity book for the purpose of this review, all thoughts are my own.
Welcome back to a 5th year of Country Kids, I’m delighted to be back promoting outdoor family fun and will be sharing Christmas and New Year on the farm over the next few weeks.
No wonder we talk about the weather in the UK, we began only our second Christmas feed run in torrential rain, it was already clear from the previous day that the chicken fields soaked from weeks of wet weather was soon going to turn into a dangerous mud soup and so we took the decision to round up the chickens and transfer them to the hard surface peacock enclosure for the holidays. This way we could safely visit them without sliding over in the mud; it was a very hands on start to the day for many.
With craft hour due that afternoon I was willing the weather to perk up with a plan afoot that involved a visit to the fairy gardens. Thankfully for me the weather was on my side and it turned into a real spring like day just in time for us to start. We began making Elf post boxes in the craft tent, I had practiced them in advance and even have a tutorial on how to make them, but I took a few short cuts like pre painting the toilet rolls and cutting and painting the lids in advance to ensure we had enough time.
Just as everyone was glossing their boxes I had a prearranged call from my elves in the fairy garden requesting that the children were all needed. We downed tools and all made our way over to find a little Elf sitting under an umbrella with a letter for us.
The children all crowded round while my little Elf carefully read out a letter from Santa requesting that all the children take a scoop of the Elf’s specially prepared reindeer food for Rudolph the Coombe Mill Deer Stag, apparently Blitzen was feeling poorly and Rudolph might be needed on Christmas Eve, the food if given on the morning of Christmas Eve would give Rudolph the powers he needed to help Santa. Elf Clio read every one a Christmas story before handing out food to every child.
Before we returned to the tent I had two more little helpers with a BBQ blazing offering the children a chance to toast a marshmallow. They used homemade Eco logs to burn instead of coal, if you fancy trying them there is a tutorial for them on the blog tomorrow evening.
Revived and with a mission in hand we headed back to the craft tend to write messages to Rudolph and seal the special food bags ready for Christmas Eve.
Those who were still keen moved onto Christmas tree making before Guy gave us a ‘toot toot’ for the Christmas train. Many took the Christmas tree crafts home to finish but a few continued after the train and expertly finished their work.
After the downpour at the chickens I was so relieved the afternoon cleared to see my activity hour plans come to fruition and the children having such a lovely time.
Joining in with Country Kids
I’d love you to come and share your outdoor fun with me here on the linky. All posts are welcome from playing in the garden to days out. All I ask is that the post is predominantly outside, away from screens and enjoying some fresh air. I’d be delighted if you would take my badge or link back here and please remember to check out some of the other posts, 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
Win a pair of Muddy Puddles Wellies with Country Kids
I am delighted to announce that Muddy Puddles have joined with Coombe Mill to sponsor the Country Kids link up. My favourites each week will be considered for a pair of Muddy Puddles Wellies at the end of the month; the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather throws your way. If you are not already familiar with this wonderful outdoor children's range please do take a look at their website where they have everything needed for year round country kids. The wellies we offer may change each month but are always high quality, comfy and stylish so keep an eye out here on Country Kids to see which designs are up each month. For more more information on the Muddy Puddles wellies on offer with us and terms and conditions to win see here
This year has seen me move into the newly popular area of vlogging. I have hijacked Farmer Nick’s flood light and become a fan of vlogging for tutorials on both my cooking and craft activities. It is fair to say when looking back on my blunders over the year it is my crafting mishaps that are the most frequent, suggesting I am still very much an amateur in this area. However with eager children to entertain on the farm every week I do enjoy coming up with new ideas and then sharing how I do them here on the blog. Hopefully next year my rookie errors will reduce, in the mean time I hope you have a giggle at my expense on my outtakes video here. There were plenty more farm ones I can recall but not saved on film, it tends to be all hands on deck with the animals, but watch out Farmer Nick, after you have called my bluff and framed me here I might just have the camera running on you more in 2016!
Wishing all our Coombe Mill Holiday guests and blog followers a very Happy New Year
If the Christmas Tree is occupying the living room and your hall or kitchen needs a little creative something this could be just the ticket and virtually free to make too. I know many of the decorations these days can be bought cheaply, but by choice I still like to upcycle things and bring nature into the house where I can. This festive branch is an easy Christmas craft to keep in mind if you are heading off on a woodland walk. The wild winds from the autumn storms have brought twigs and branches down all over; it wasn’t hard to find the one I wanted here on the farm at Coombe Mill. If you are looking for inspiration why not check out the Forestry Commission sites, they are encouraging stick foraging with their stick man trail and activities while you walk their specially maintained paths and would be delighted for you to take home a fallen branch to make a festive home decoration too.
Paint your pebbles in pretty colours and leave them to dry. For a touch of glamour give one corner of the dried pebbles a highlight spray with the gold paint.
Wedge your branch into the bucket or plant pot with some large heavy stones so it stands upright and stable.
Spray the branch with gold spray, ideally outdoors, and leave to dry.
Place a sheet of wrapping paper under the plant pot and draw the sides up folding the ends in around the large stones and use a piece of sellotape to secure if needed.
Place the coloured pebbles over the top of the garden stones and wrapping paper to make a pretty finish to the pot.
Add your chosen decorations.
A few additions you could try
Why not try an all natural branch with sprigs of holly or mistletoe hanging down
Use it as a Christmas message or Advent Tree with a different rhyme or saying for each day to open up.
Wind Christmas lights around to make it sparkle
Treat the children and hang chocolate pennies or Christmas chocolates.
Our Christmas Branch will go to decorate our craft and ping pong tent for the festive season and showcase all the decorations the children can make with us in our Christmas Activity Hour.
Vlog Tutorial to make a Christmas Branch
This craft is part of my monthly upcycling linky #Trash2Treasure. It opens on the first Monday of each month, is sponsored by the lovely folk at Duck Tape Colours with a prize each month so please do come and join me there with any upcycled projects you have from big DIY projects to children’s crafts. The December link up is here.
“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.