Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on July 10th, 2015 - Fiona

Butterflies and Caterpillars 

 Making and Finding Minibeasts

Here on the farm I used to dread a wet Friday, activity hour in my kitchen felt a right squish and a squeeze!  However since Farmer Nick indulged my new farm fun time with its own purpose built marquee we can withstand a summer downpour and carry on regardless.  Just as well as after a glorious week the skies looked threatening on the last afternoon as we headed out to pull sticky weed from around the farm for our first activity.  Farmer Nick thought we were doing a spot of weeding for him but I dashed his hopes saying that our collecting wasn’t going to relieve him of his afternoon chores.

 

Picking some Sticky Weed

Back in the tent we were congratulating ourselves for beating the rain which then proceeded to lash down on the canvas above. It didn’t matter to us; we were already busy making caterpillars by wrapping our freshly gathered sticky weed around my collection of empty toilet rolls. It was harder than it sounds as the weed kept sticking to fingers and clothes just as the name suggests. Eventually we all managed to thread our weed covered rolls onto string to create perfect caterpillars which wiggled and squirmed along the floor when pulled.

 

Making the Toilet Roll Caterpillars

 

We chatted about the magical process of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly before carefully cutting out our own butterfly shapes and print painting one side to another to make our own. These we taped to sticks which formed the body of the butterfly and gave the wings a perfect flap when waved around, just like butterflies flying in the wild.

 

Making the butterflies

The children loved these themed crafts; they were so simple and ideal for preschool ages. As the rain had stopped we used the last of our hour going on a real butterfly hunt.  We found a caterpillar and saw lots of meadow brown butterflies flying around in the long grass but they were so quick it was hard to point them out to the children or capture them on camera, we did a loop back through the Fairy garden to see the pretend ones on sticks that didn’t fly away!

In search of the minibeasts

 

If you’d like to see a detailed post on how we made these and other crafts please follow my #Trash 2 Treasure monthly linky for all upcycling, I’d love you to add your own posts too. I am already taken with these peg butterflies from Let Kids be Kids for a future craft session.

 

 

Joining in with Country Kids   

Country Kids is all about the benefits to children of spending time outdoors. A little exercise and time away from screens and sofas is good for them and good for us adults too. I welcome all outdoor fun from days out to crafts and learning so grab your sun hat or rain coat and see what’s out and about near you.  When sharing on the linky please grab the country Kids badge or link back here and remember to check out the other posts too, there are always some great ideas to 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:

Chelsea Mamma visited one of my favourite places, the Portsmouth Royal dockyards for a great educational day out.

A perfect 30th weekend from Life at Cooks Cabin had be quite taken by her husband's planning.

We weren't the only one studying butterflies this week, When the Dust Settles enjoyed a wonderful nature day out.

There were plenty of butterflies in the gorgeous lavender meadows as spotted by 3 Kids and a Gluestick.

The Melton House enjoyed a boat trip with the bonus of seeing and filming a pod of 7 to 10 dolphins 

Another awesome adventure for One tiny Leap this time in Utah

Closer to home Our Little Escapades took little E for her first seaside paddle

 

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

   

   



Trash 2 Treasure – July

Posted on July 5th, 2015 - Fiona

Welcome to the first ever Trash 2 Treasure Link up as sponsored by our friends at Duck Tape Colours. I’d love you to read what we have been upcycling and if you have a post to add please join me. All the linky guidelines are here if you fancy joining me.

The Fishing Game with Natural Resources

 

Fishing Game from Nature

 

This was one of my first Activity Hour games and is perfect with preschool age children. Fishing with the safety of no water and no real fish but a great lesson in role play and imagination. I have found little ones take to this really easily and can be totally involved in the setting up as well as the game itself and it really is a no cost option. It would work well in the garden or for a bit of fun at a picnic in the park as all the items can be acquired from nature during your outing.

What you’ll need:-

  • A picnic blanket – to make your pond, ideally in a bluish colour.
  • A stick – to become the fishing rod
  • Some sticky weed – to be the fishing line
  • Some leaves – to use as the fish.
    1. We found that Ferns worked well as the fish shaped leaves as their texture worked best with the sticky weed however we had some success with other leaves and flowers too.

What You'll Need Nature Fishing

 

Method:-

  1. Collect all the items needed (we had a walk around the farm beforehand to find out where the things we needed to find were).
  2. Lay out the picnic blanket with space around the edges to stand and fish
  3. Wrap one end of the sticky weed around an end of the stick (so that when you hold it, it hangs down like a fishing rod).
  4. Lay the ‘fish’ leaves out on the blanket so that they’re all spread out
  5. See how many you can catch!

 

Method for Natural Fishing

A few fun additions to try out:-

  • You can only go on the picnic blanket if you pretend to swim
  • If you didn’t want to use leaves you could use material cut into fish shapes (however the material would have to work well with the sticky weeds)
  • Make it a friendly competition to see who could catch the most
  • Turn it into a learning experience by asking them to count the fish or about the different plants.
  • Make the collecting of the items into a scavenger hunt with a tick list to work from.

Kids playing the Fishing Game

 

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. Post can take any format all that matters is that the item made has 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. Our favourite upcycling post each month will receive 3 colourful roles of tape to inspire your next project. Do check out their website for plenty of creative ideas.

 

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

           Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Trash 2 Treasure. on Pinterest.

   

 

Please grab my lovely new badge and join me on my crafting journey.    

 

   

   


Discover Trash 2 Treasure

Posted on June 29th, 2015 - Fiona

A new linky on Upcycling

Trash 2 Treasure the ultimate upcycling linky

 

I have been dithering over this one for nearly a year and finally decided to take the plunge and start a new linky based around upcyling. This all came about from Activity Hour which we run weekly here at the farm. After a year of creating something from nothing crafts and games with the children and sharing the joy they bring as part of my outdoor fun linky Country Kids, I thought it was time to respond to some of the requests I’ve had on how these crafts and games are made. I already have a few ‘how to make’ random posts but my new linky will make them more regular. The linky will cover not just kids’ crafts but any upcycling. Farmer Nick has some wonderful upcycling for house and home I plan to share here and I hope to take inspiration from all who join me too.

Introducing Trash 2 Treasure

The linky for all your upcycling ideas. 

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 to Treasure. Posts can be kids crafts, adult reclamations turned into something beautiful or useful or even yesterday’s meal turned into something tasty for tomorrow.

 

Farm Crafts made at Coombe Mill from upcycling for the Trash to Treasure Linky

Trash 2 Treasure Linky Guidelines

The linky will run on the 1st Monday of every month and stay open for the full month. The first link up will be Monday 6th July 2015.

    1. Posts can take any format, all that matters is that the item made has 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.

    2. Please grab my lovely new badge so others can find your posts from the linky too. 


  1. Please visit and comment on a few other posts on the linky. It’s the best way to develop new ideas yourself and encourage other’s back to your post.

  2. Maximum 4 posts per month – she says optimistically!

  3. Optional – ask to join my Pinterest board and pin your post.

       Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board Trash 2 Treasure. on Pinterest.   

   

My commitment to you

  1. I will read and comment on every post linked up to Trash 2 Treasure
     
  2. Use hashtag #Trash2Treasure on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and I will retweet or like and leave a comment.

  3. I will promote all who link with me at least once during the month to my 9000 twitter followers.

  4. I will comment on all who pin to the Pinterest board.

That's it, please come and join me on my upcycling journey and lets all enjoy sharing ideas for making something from nothing, or turning Trash 2 Treasure. If you've never tried upcycling, pop over to the linky from Monday the 6th July anyway and see what it's all about. Hopefully it won't just be my posts! 

 


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on June 19th, 2015 - Fiona

Fairy Cakes and wizard’s potion 

Here on the farm we had an active group of preschool age boys and girls staying all hoping for some childhood fun for Activity Hour. Thanks to commissioning our new mud kitchen in the week I had a plan forming that I knew would engage them all.

 

Fairy Cakes and Wizards Potion

 

We began as usual over at the craft tent where the children set to work making magic wands to their own design. We secured the ribbons with Clio’s endless supply of old loom bands.

 

Making the Fairy Wands

 

I shared my new laminated recipes for the Mud kitchen for Fairy Cakes, Wizard’s Potion and Goblin Gratin and the children were captivated, their imaginations racing.

 

Mud Kitchen Recipe Cards

 

They didn’t need asking twice to choose a wizard or fairy outfit from our fancy dress collection and then armed with wands and empty containers we made our way across the farm to the mud kitchen filling our containers along the way with cooking ingredients from nature.

 

Collecting ingredients for the Mud Kitchen

 

I was delighted to stand back and watch as the children aged just two to six worked together making dinner for the fairies. There was much concentration, plenty of stirring and waving of wands as fairy cakes baked in the oven and potions boiled on the hob. Listening in on their conversations it was plain to see they were totally wrapped up in the task and loving this new space.

 

Making Mud Pies in the Mud Kitchen

Satisfied with the results the children carefully carried their meals over to the fairy garden discussing recipes as they walked.

Carrying the Fairies Food

Entering the gardens the children turned cakes out by Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs, fed them to our resident gnome and ladled potion and scattered meals around the edge of the pathways ready for the fairies to come down from the trees and out from the bushes.  All that remained was to wave wands and sound the wind chimes to alert the fairies that dinner was served.

 

Feeding the Fairies and Goblins

 

While we waited for the fairies to come Farmer Nick had another project waiting for us on the lower tier of the fairy garden.  The Coombe Mill bug house was taking shape but needed filling with bamboo lengths. Several of the older boys helped to stuff them inside. They were a little disappointed it wasn’t instantly filled with creepy crawlies so I relocated our stone lady bird to sit on top for now. I’m sure it will be a thriving hotel in no time.

 

Filling up the Bug Hotel

 

It was an hour of enchanted childlike play stimulating imagination and creativity in the children with plenty of teamwork too. I can see both our Mud Kitchen and Bug Hotel having plenty of use over the summer season.

 

 

Joining in with Country Kids

If you have been enjoying the summer outdoors please come and join me here on the linky. Country Kids is for all outdoor family fun from garden play to fun days out. Please do grab the badge or link back here and remember to check out the other posts too, everyone loves a comment and you never know you might just find inspiration for your next outdoor 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:

 

The Eden project is a wonderful Cornish attraction, made even better by a visit from Mr Bloom as Our footprints on the world discovered. 

Scavenger Hunts are a great way to enjoy nature for kids, this simple colour one from Baby Routes means even toddlers can give it a go.

Shaun the sheep came to London and would keep you fit if you managed to spot him on every corner as Little Hearts, Big Love did.

If you like the idea of a fairy garden, why not try this miniature one with wildflowers as made by Mother's Little Steps  I've noted it for a future Activity Hour here.

St David's Cathedral is a popular visiting place for Diary of the Evans Crittens and reading their post it is easy to see why.

Life Unexpected enjoyed a day out at one of my favourite Cornish attractions for families with young children, Dairyland.  

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

   

   



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