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

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on November 7th, 2014 - Fiona

Preparing for Bonfire Night

The Coombe Mill bonfire party is planned for the 9th November this year. It is usually the first Sunday following the 5th. Most of our guests this week were heading home before our big event; however some of them joined us for the local village bonfire party at St Tudy. This event has a true village feel to it with proceeds from the summer carnival and voluntary contributions entering the playing field paying for the evening. There is a huge bonfire which takes days to build, as we know only too well and stalls selling drinks and pasties all to be enjoyed before the fireworks themselves. The public are fenced off from the bonfire and firework lighting to keep things safe for everyone, though stopping mine from creeping ever closer is always a challenge. In between the fun the children play on the swings and slides and run around with their friends. 


St Tudy village on Bonfire Night


For our craft hour I thought we would reflect on bonfire night, the fireworks we had seen and dangers that lurked and have a little fun crafting under the firework theme.


Bonfire Party Safety and Nature Fireworks

We created a list of practical tips for children at bonfire parties which Clio proudly read out to everyone.


Keep Safe on bonfire Night Message


After the serious side of our little safety talk it was down to business. We collected some sticks and an assortment of colourful autumn leaves from the fairy garden and brought them back to the house.


Searching for leaves and sticks in the Fairy Garden


We used our leaves to create a bonfire and firework collage on the back of our fire safety tips and held everything in place with a glue stick and then cling film which also gave it structure.


bonfire and Firework Collages from Nature


Then we drew some fireworks with wax crayons and painted a diluted black paint over the top. The water based paint wiped off the wax crayon but soaked into the paper to create a night sky for our fireworks.


Fireworks in the night sky - A Coombe Mill Craft


My favourite activity  was making sparklers. I cut lengths of florist ribbon which the children stapled around their sticks and frayed the ends out to make our very own hand held multicoloured sparklers. 


 Ribbon and Sticks to Sparklers



By the time we finished our crafts the sky outside my house was dark so we took our colourful sparklers into the fairy garden and waved them in and out of torch light to recreate the magic of Bonfire night and entertain the fairies. The children thought this was really fun and it left the parents smiling and not worrying they were going to hurt themselves as they waved them vigorously around and around. You can see just how effective they were in the video clip at the end of sequence below.




Joining in with Country Kids

Please come and join me on the linky with your outdoor fun this week. Whether you have been to a bonfire party yourself, enjoyed sparkers in the garden or been out for some fresh air in the park I’d love to read about it. Country Kids is all about encouraging us to leave the sofa and the screens and get mind and body moving and exploring in the great outdoors, no matter what the weather brings! Please grab the badge or link back here and remember to check out some of the other posts, it might just inspire your next adventure.

Country Kids is around in these communities, I’d love you to join me there:

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 feel I should apologise for the number from here on the farm, but how can I not let them shine?

I can't stop myself re reading this post from My travel Monkey who expresses so well what makes a holiday here at Coombe Mill unique for many.

Lauraevelynbee explains how our location and facilities makes us a perfect holiday for day trips out and about in Cornwall combined with quality time here on the farm.

 A Day in this Dad's Life stayed with us for half term and this is his take on our Trick or Treating fun.

And away from the farm....

I'm adding the eye and spoon race to next year's Halloween games as run by Mummy Mishaps

I've not been to Avebury since my school days but this walk by 76 Sunflowers makes me want to return 

We were not the only ones with a ghost train, the Princess and the Pickle found one on their day out too.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


If you are having trouble linking up please CLICK HERE   



Sensory leaf activity

Posted on November 2nd, 2014 - Fiona

Coombe Mill ‘How to make’ Series

How to Make Crafts for Children from Coombe Mill

Every Friday afternoon we run an activity craft hour on the farm for the children staying here with us on holiday. The fun from these sessions I often share on my Saturday Country Kids linky in-between our own family adventures, but as these sessions build I am creating a post focusing simply on instructions to make the ideas we use. You can find more crafts in the series under the Farm Crafts Category. This week’s craft is inspired from a pin that our Apprentice Amber’s sister showed to us on our Pinterest that we’ve turned into some sensory fun.

Sensory Leaf Art


Sensory Learning Activity

What You’ll Need

  • Sensory leaf activity printable

  • Rolling Pin

  • Herbs from the garden

  • Kitchen roll (optional)

What you'll need for the Sensory Leaf Activity  


  1. Edit the sensory sheet to fit the fresh herbs and plants you have available and print off the amount of copies you need

  2. Gather a leaf per person for all the herbs and plants you have on your sheet

  3. Get the kids to lay out the leaves in the correct circles

  4. Fold the paper over on the line. 

    4a If you are using a blackberry as we did a sheet of kitchen roll will help the inevitable splat from the squished blackberry running out of the paper and onto your work surface.

  5. Roll the rolling pin over the sheet pressing down firmly

  6. Unfold the activity sheet

  7. Smell the different smells from the herbs as well as the different patterns and colours the leaves made. 




Step by Step sensory Leaf Activity


Some of the younger guests had difficulty using the rolling pin so used a rock to hit the paper or placed it on the floor and jumped on it and then rubbed the leaves on the paper to get a stronger smell.

Stones and Smudges  

A few fun additions you could try:-

  • You could try using a hammer instead of a rolling pin if the children have better motor control

  • You could have multiple sheets with different herbs and plants on

  • You could combine it with some paint to make different leaf patterns. 

 Sensory Fun

The photo above is taken from our activity hour on the farm where we used this sensory craft as part of our fun and learning that week.

Click on the picture below to download or print out a sensory sheet for yourself! 


Sensory Sheet 

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


Follow Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays’s board How to Make Craft Tutorials from Coombe Mill 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 which are prefect for supporting the natural learning on holiday here. 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Posted on November 1st, 2014 - Fiona

Country Kids from Coombe Mill