Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on April 3rd, 2015 - Fiona

We always make an effort to tailor our farm events to the children staying. While we are in term time it is predominantly preschool children age 2 to 4 on the farm. This usually means slightly shorter feed runs with less time spent with the larger animals and on the train parents often ride too. For our activity hour I like to vary the things we do each week to make them interesting and appropriate for the age, confidence and ability of the children I see with us during the week. Spring is a time of new born babies here on the farm and the children staying have seen plenty this year. As activity hour rounds off the week we have been recapping on the animals here with a little fun learning and crafting.


Animal Themed Learning and Fun During Activity Hour

We began our learning up at the rabbits, collecting grass for them along the way and offering them our carrots. We talked about the correct ways to hold the bunnies so that they feel secure and don’t struggle, about the food and water they need each day and gave the children a little look in the locked hutch where the babies are now just beginning to open their eyes.


Feeding the rabbits during activity hour

Heading back to my garden the children we read Julia Donaldson’s “A squash and a squeeze”, I do love her stories, they always keep the children’s attention and the farm theme was perfect for us.


A Squash and A Squeeze story time to start activity hour

The children were all curious by the array of craft items laid out on the table and keen to make a start. I had been having fun playing with an old toilet roll and turning it into a pig, it was tricky for the two year olds with some scissor action needed but a little parent help and they were all away to go. I was really pleased with the results and will share them on a how to make craft tutorial in time too.


Making pigs from toilet rolls at Activity hour


Keeping the attention of little ones means moving swiftly on and we handed out some worksheets on animals to food matching which can be found on our education pages or you can download a copy here. This was perfect after a week of feeding the animals and having  just visited the bunnies. I was amazed how much the children could remember although the younger ones understandably struggled with pen control to actually join the photos.



Filling out the Food to Animal Worksheets

Craft hour is fun time so after our educational sheet we moved on to some fun animal prints drawing round their little fingers and using finger painting to colour in.

Making handprint chickens

After all that crafting there was just enough time for a quick kick about as Guy came out signalling the train would soon be arriving at the station.


Football Fun During Activity Hour

Joining in with Country Kids

I hope you are having a lovely Easter and have some outdoor fun to share with me here on the linky. Whether you have been out learning, exploring crafting, playing or even cooking I’d love to hear about it. Outdoor time and fresh air is a great way to bring colour to our cheeks and blow away the cobwebs of indoor life. To join in your post needs to be about enjoying outdoor space and family time away from screens. Please grab the badge and remember to check out some of the other posts here, it might just 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:

We may be entering spring but Mum turned Mom is still making the most of the snow with some lego sledging.

Bug Bird Bee made the most of a lift to explore a new section of canal in wiltshire.

Him me Three and City Girl Gone Coastal both enjoyed some wilderness fun close to home.

Honest Mum and Mummys Crochet World took some lovely photos out enjoying some delightful looking parks in the sunshine.

Adventures of Adam brings the woodland into a tray for some imaginative play.

A Day in This Dad's Life enjoys a family day at Hatton Adventure World.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



No-Sew Bunting

Posted on March 1st, 2015 - Fiona

Coombe Mill Activity Hour

At Coombe Mill we run a fun based activity hour at 4 pm on a Friday afternoon as a fun way to round off a holiday here on the farm. We usually do something crafty with the kids, often with an educational bias to help with fine or gross motor skills or encourage imaginative play. As believers in time away from screens and sofas as promoted through the Country Kids linky, our activities involve outdoor space and nature wherever possible. The results are used to decorate areas of the farm or for the children to take home with them as keepsakes.

Coombe Mill ‘How to’ Series

I have been asked how to make the crafts seen on my Country Kids posts that have shadowed the fun from activity hour, so I have created a Farm Crafts category on the blog with a series of “How to Make” tutorials for some of the crafts that we have covered so far. 

This post covers really simple bunting that children of any age can help make and design. My sewing is woeful and so this simple quick fix alternative works just fine for me, gives instant results for our farm craft sessions and lasts surprisingly well.

How to Make badge from Coombe Mill


Make your own designer bunting

Make your own No-Sew Bunting

What you will need:-

  • And old sheet or piece of material
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Stapler
  • Felt tip pens
  • Triangle pattern


No-Sew Bunting, What you'll need


  1. Trace the triangle pattern out on your material until you have however many you want to work with.

  2. Carefully, cut around the triangles on your material (we tried both double sided triangles and single triangles and found that the singular ones worked best as the double sided ones didn’t line up so well).

  3. Decorate your bunting, each child at here at activity hour has the chance to decorate at least one of their own and usually the parents can’t resist joining in with one too.

  4. Fold the top of the triangle over a long piece of baler twine and staple it so that it doesn’t fall off (we found that it worked best with one staple each side of the triangle to hold it over the baler twine and one in the middle that went through the baler twine to stop it from sliding up and down).

  5. Find somewhere that you want to hang it up.

No-Sew Bunting method


A few fun additions that you might want to try:-

  • You could use fabric pens rather than felt tips and the drawings might hold better.

  • Would be a great idea for a birthday or christening to have a commemoration from everyone there.

  • Try different shaped bunting such as squares and bubbles.

  • Try using wax crayons and making leaf print rubbings on the bunting

No-Sew Bunting Fun

We have been hanging ours up in the fairy garden. As the weather does its thing and the rain falls it leaves a lovely tie dye effect. The photo below is after a week of hanging through all weathers last summer. I love the way the colours have run.  Eventually the colour from felt tip pens will fade completely. After about 6 weeks you can take them down and redecorate them in a whole new design, ours have on average 3 uses before they are thrown away, that’s a whole lot of value and fun from an old sheet!


No-Sew Bunting after it rained

If you’ve enjoyed this post, why not follow our How to Make Pinterest board with all the Coombe Mill craft tutorials.  

Follow the Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays board “How to Make” Craft Tutorials on Pinterest.


Did you know the Coombe Mill website also has a full program of educational resources aimed at children from early years through to key stage 2? These resources are perfect for supporting the natural learning on holiday here. 


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Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on January 2nd, 2015 - Fiona


Fun on the Farm over the New Year Holidays

It has been another busy week for us here on the farm with all the cottages and lodges full of guests for New Year. Thankfully we have been blessed with amazing clear days and frosty nights which have been perfect for the morning feed fun and afternoon train rides.


A frosty feed Run to care for the animals


The middle of the day has been the warmest and most of our guests have taken the opportunity to leave Coombe Mill and explore the local beaches. However Monday was our activity hour and several came back early to join us. The activity this week was led by a little fun play the day before when Theo, Guy and Jed, despairing of us ever seeing any snow, decided to go about creating their own snow man and made this:


 Coombe Mill Kids no snow snowman


I asked them how they did it and copied the idea with our guests. We substituted their flower pot for plastic jars and made the head just as they had done from compost balls. The snow is from a snow spray can and the arms and nose made the traditional way with sticks and a piece of carrot. Everyone had lots of fun with the spray can and our non snow snowmen looked very realistic.


Snow Free Snowmen


As it was bitterly cold we popped indoors next to make our party blowers. They had everything but the whistle so we all chose a noise to make when blowing them.


Whistle blower crafts


Warmed up we set off onto the farm led by Felix to light a huge bonfire from all the Christmas wrapping paper from last week’s guests. Nothing pleased the children more than to grab a stick and poke at the fire, the heat certainly kept us all warm!


Bonfire fun & Warmth with the old Christmas wrapping paper


I managed to find some real party poppers with the annoying whistles and gave everyone one to blow on the train ride. The kids of course loved whistling through the train, I’m not sure the parents were so keen on the new acquisition going back to their properties but we were all set up in party spirit ready for our New Year’s Eve Celebrations which I’ll be sharing on next week’s Country Kids.


Train Ride with Party Blowers


The train rides, feed run and activity hour happen all year at Coombe Mill, if you fancy being part of the fun of the farm please take a look at our price and availability as we are booking up fast for 2015 including Christmas and New Year.



Joining in with Country Kids

Whether you have seen snow to play in, frosty mornings to enjoy a walk or just let off some steam at the local park I’d love you to come and share here on the linky. Every week there are some wonderful posts filled with fun days out, crafts or nature discoveries all in the great outdoors. Please do visit the other posts linked up, it might just inspire your next week’s activity and remember a little fresh air and time out from screens, sofas and central heating is good for us all. The badge is here is you would like to use it, it helps everyone find the posts within the community.

I always comment on every post that links up with me but doing this has led to some commenting systems seeing me as spam. If you don’t see a comment from me please check your spam, I am probably lurking there!  

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

Country Kids will continue to run throughout the festive period so please stay with me and share your outdoor festive adventures!


A few of my favourites from last week:

Chelsea Mamma and Chocolate is not the only fruit came to spend christmas with us here on the farm. I've had a lovely time reliving the fun we all had thought their posts, please do take a look.

Just to show I'm not biased Lattes and Little Ones jetted off to sunnier climates and this looks magical too.

Brinabird and son was lucky enough to see snow and her son looks delighted to be playing in it, I hope some comes to cornwall this year too.

Fresh air and exploring outdoors over the Winter Holidays can be perfect for blowing away the cobwebs, these two posts will make you want to grab your coats and run outside Our footprints on the world and Mummy Constant 



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on December 26th, 2014 - Fiona

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Christmas Fudge for our Teachers

Posted on December 9th, 2014 - Fiona


Each year I like to do something for the teachers at the end of Christmas term and summer term. Having just been to a local Christmas fair (coming up for Country Kids this Saturday)  was inspired by the pretty homemade gifts from candles to chocolate brownies but less than taken with the price tickets! It gave me enough to ponder on and inspiration hit whilst rummaging in our top store with all the Coombe Mill business spare items. Amongst the odd glasses and bowls I found a set of little prawn cocktail dishes. They must have been lurking for years and were never going to be the latest must have on our property inventory list but would make the perfect start for my Christmas presents to the teachers this year. I dug out a simple fudge recipe, amended it to my liking and with the help of cling film and floristry ribbon my very own Christmas gift came to life.


Homemade Fudge


The test batch of fudge didn’t stay around long and the children were very excited to make the real ones ready to give their teachers. It is wonderfully simple and quick to do so I thought I’d share it here for my “How to Make” series.

To Make the Fudge

You will need:

  • 350g Granulated sugar
  • 100g Soft brown sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1/4 pint of full fat milk
  • 397g tin of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)

 Fudge Ingredients


  1. Place all the ingredients except the brandy in a non stick pan.
  2. Heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring gently.
  3. Increase the heat till the mixture starts to boil and boil gently for about 15 minutes stirring continuously till the colour turns darker and the mix thickens. You can test a little blob on a spoon so set if if sets.
  4. Remove from the heat and beat in the saucepan for a few minutes to ensure the mix is smooth and slightly cooled.
  5. Stir in the brandy and pour into a 7 – 8 inch tin and place in the fridge to set overnight.
  6. Cut the fudge into squares.


 Fudge Method


If you like the way I have presented the fudge for the teachers, here’s how I did it. It’s nice and simple and uses things you’ll probably have lying around the house. 


Finished Fudge


To do the Presentation

What you’ll need:

  • Sturdy glass dishes or glasses 
  • Ribbon
  • Good quality cling film


 Fudge Presentation


  1. Arrange the fudge squares in the dish.
  2. Place the dish on a large square of cling film.
  3. Draw up the edges.
  4. Secure in a knot with coloured strands of ribbon.
  5. Use the edge of some scissors to curl the strips to give the finished effect.

Gift Wrapping Fudge

A few fun alternatives to try.

  • Try hunting round a charity shop for the set of dishes or even using china tea cups.
  • You can flavour the fudge anyway you choose. Try adding melted chocolate in place of brandy, or using baileys or vanilla essence instead.
  • Coconut ice, peppermint creams  or marzipan cubes in chocolate  would work well too.


Trash 2 Treasure