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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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. Farmer Kym had the idea for this craft following a festival she went to earlier in the year.
What you’ll need
Long strands of ivy
Flower heads with a bit of stem (to make them easier to attach).
Gather about 3 or 4 long strands of ivy together.
Measure the head of whoever’s headdress it is and create a circle in the ivy.
Feed the long ends through the the centre of the loop and back down.
keep twisting the ends of the ivy in and around the ivy circle until a small amount is left.
Tuck the ends of the ivy into the circle to stop them from being in the way.
Weave the stems from the flowers into the ivy circle and decorate into your perfect fairy crown.
A few fun additions you could try out:-
Turn gathering what you need into a scavenger hunt
Florist ribbon can be added for extra colour and twirl
Organise some imaginative fairy role play that with your crown.
If you couldn’t find the ivy you needed for the Fairy Crowns you could always give these a go, great way to stay natural and also recycle
What you’ll need:-
Old cereal boxes or cardboard
Design the outline of the crown on the cardboard and cut out the design.
Measure the crown around the child’s head and mark it to show where they can decorate (so that none of their designs are covered up)
Have the child decorate the crown by attaching their flowers, leaves, ribbon, and feathers.
Staple the cardboard in a ring to make it into the crown.
A few fun additions you could try out:-
If you had more time than us you could use PVA instead of staples.
If you don’t have time for PVA but don’t like the idea of staples you could always used sticky tape.
Let the kids decide how they want the band of their crown to look.
Give them colouring pens/pencils and let them colour in as well as attach natural items.
Native American Headdress
On a miserable wet day when the outdoors is less appealing why not give these a go using all recycled materials.
What you’ll need:-
Old postcards, thick magazines or old cereal box’s cut into ovals about the length of a feather.
Fold down the newspaper down so that it’s a band about 2 inches thick.
Measure around the head of whoever’s having the headdress
Staple the strip at that measurement
Fold the oval shaped card in half and cut triangle chunks out of it
Unfold for a paper feather.
Staple to the headdress as and how you like.
Repeat until the headdress is complete
A few fun additions you could try out:-
Again, PVA could be used instead of staples
If you only have plain card to use for the feather they could always be coloured in with pens and pencils.
You could make different shapes with the folded over card for different designs
Try cutting along the folded edge to make different patterns inside the headdress.
For more crafting tutorials do please check out my ‘How to make’ Pinterest board
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 an activity back in 2013 on the farm which was such a success we repeated it with the same group of guests a year on for Activity Hour. There is also a lovely post from The Boy and Me covering making these rafts from our original race last year.
How to Make A Natural Mini Raft
For all the fun of raft building and sailing in action here at Coombe Mill please see my Country Kids post from this year and last year
What you will need
Three or more sticks of a similar length
Long grass or reed with some give in it for bending and binding
feather or leaves
Lay the sticks out in a triangle shape overlapping at the edges
Take a strand of reed or thick long grass and bind the corner of your triangle by weaving the reed in and out of the stick ends.
Lay a 4th stick across the centre of your triangle with the end again overlapping the edge of the triangle and bind into place with reed
Add a Feather or stick with a leaf at the top and middle of the raft binding into place with reed. Allow the end of the stick or feather to hang below the triangle shape of the raft, this will help with securing it and give weight to your raft to help it float the right way up.
Float your raft
A few fun additions you might like
Go colourful and add a flower with a thick stem instead of a stick or feather
Weave a leaf onto the stick and add a personalised message in felt tip pen or paint
Make a few rafts and race them in a river as we did at Coombe Mill
Try the activity in different seasons and create a raft for every season noticing now nature changes the colours and textures at different times of the year.
Go have some fun, it’s all natural so if they float away downstream it doesn’t matter! This activity is such fun here on the farm. All the children are quite competitive cheering on their homemade raft on its journey downstream along the river Camel. It is a joy to be a part of their excitement.
I’m linking my natural mini raft tutorial up with the following great linky’s.
A beautiful summer’s day and the choice of two local activities the children wanted to do. Following the morning tractor rides we decided to pack up a picnic and split into two groups. The teen boys went off with Nick to the car rally at Wadebridge while I look the triplets and Theo to the steam fair at Boconnoc House. This looked more of a country fair with more to do for younger children. It turned out to be a good move and everyone was happy with their choices.
The size and scale of the steam engines captivated the triplets; they looked in awe at the huge engines and admired their work at work chopping logs. I have to say Farmer Nick would have enjoyed this too.
Tractor and train rides ran all day with queues of people waiting their turn.
The whole event ran for 3 days even though we only caught the last afternoon. It was well organised with good signage from the main roads and we arrived to find ample free parking, plenty of attendants to ask for help and toilets everywhere. It had a real festival feel and geared up for all the family to enjoy. We had a wander round together and stopped under the shade of a tree by the motorbike display for our picnic.
After this I allowed the boys to set off alone and meet up in an hour. They had their own money and set off in search of an ice cream, Clio and I made for the craft stalls delighting in taking our time over all that was on offer without the boys or Farmer Nick complaining they were bored!
I tried on Farm Nick style hats and bought some bracelets while Clio bought a hippy hair band, and slides, it was a lovely hour together.
We heard the boys before we saw them; they had bought a load of ‘fun snaps’ for 25p and were busy popping them everywhere. I suggested a visit to the fun fair before they ran out of money and they raced ahead when I told them there were dodgems.
2 turns later and a packet of candy floss each and we were ready to head home in time for the evening train ride at Coombe Mill.
My fears that splitting the family in two parties during the day were soon dispelled as we shared our different experiences over an evening meal. Everyone had something to add and listened with interest to what the others had been doing whilst delighting in being together again. I think we might do this again.
Our fun day on video:
Joining in with Country Kids
Country Kids is all about making the most of outdoor spaces with the children. Getting kids mobile and out in the fresh air can take so many different forms. A family day trip, play in the garden, a craft or learning activity to mention just a few possibilities. Every week I am amazed at all the fun being had out there. Please keep the ideas coming, grab the badge code below and link up your outdoor adventures. It is not just the kids but us grown ups too that feel better for a blast of fresh air so switch off the gadgets and get on out there for a while.
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)
Share your posts on Instagram and Twitter with #CountryKids for a like or a re-tweet
A few of my favourites from last week:
Let Kids be Kids shares a fabulous day from their holiday here at Coombe Mill. Reading posts from others about life here on the farm makes me realise how easy it is to while away a day on the farm between the organised activities. Please do take a read if you’ve not stayed with us.
MumofThree World spent a morning with us here on the farm enjoying the animals and the fishing despite a heavy downpour.
Right from the Start shares Fairy Houses in the woods. There are some lovely ideas here I plan to copy for our fairy gardens at 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 focussing simply on instructions to make the ideas we use. You can find more crafts in the series under the Farm Crafts Category.
How to make fun stick fish
What you will need:-
A pair of scissors
sticky tape or stapler
Two sticks of equal length with a curve to them
Lay the sticks out into a fish shape
Tie one end
Adjust the shape back to a fish an tie the other end
Staple, tie or tape the ribbon around the beginning of the fish
Weave the ribbon up the body
Secure the end so that it doesn’t unravel.
Draw on an eye
Tie string to the centre of the top stick and hang your fish from a tree in the garden or in your bedroom.
A few fun additions to try out:-
Try using different colour wool instead of ribbon and weave both ways along the body
Use it as a dream catcher and leave messages woven into the ribbon
Make different sizes and create a shoal of fish
Turn the craft into a learning exercise by practicing counting the fish, ordering by size and identifying different ribbon colours.
Collect the sticks as part of a woodland walk, children love to create with the things they have found.
Go looking for real fish in a lake, river or the sea.
At Coombe Mill we have recently started an activity hour at 4pm on a Friday afternoon as a fun way to round off a holiday here at Coombe Mill. We usually do something crafty with the kids, often with an educational bias to aid imaginative play and to help with fine or gross motor skills whilst also having fun. 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
Quite a few people have asked me how to do certain activities that they’ve seen on my Country Kids posts in which I’ve posted about the activity hour, so I have decided to start a ‘How to’ post series to accompany the crafts that we have covered so far.
Find a wand in the wild, the woods is often a great place!
Cut lengths of ribbon (I use floristry ribbon) and tear it length-ways to get thin strips.
Secure your ribbon at one end either by tying a knot or using sticky tape. Then wrap it around your stick till you get to the bottom then secure it again.
Wrap your second piece of ribbon around the stick the opposite direction to get different patterns.
Tuck some decorations like flowers leaves and feathers under the ribbon (it might be best to use some sticky tape to make sure they don’t fall out).
A few fun additions you could try:-
You could add ribbons that hang down like streamers
You could paint the sticks to make them more colourful
Try going all eco and green by winding reed instead of ribbon round your wand.
You could cut out cardboard stars to place at the end of your wand to make it a fairy wand like this:-
What you’ll need:-
Star shape stencil (you can use our template or draw your own)
Get your star shape ready, if you want to use ours click this picture to enlarge it, save it to your computer, open it in word and then print, it should be about the right size then cut around the star so that you’ve got your template.
Lay it onto your cardboard (to make it more eco you could cut it out of an old cereal box) and trace around it.
Cut the cardboard around your outline to have the basis of your star.
Place your cardboard star over some tin foil and make sure that you have enough tin foil to cover the star.
Wrap the tinfoil around the star, we cut into it to save ripping it up too much.
Put the stick on top of your covered star and use duct tape to attach
Wrap a small piece of tin foil around the back of the star to cover up the duct tape. You could secure it with clear sticky tape afterwards.
Searching for items and making the wands was a good hour of fun here on the farm. It would also be prefect for a birthday party activity or a play date idea.
This is the first post in my ‘How to Make’ series, but watch out for more to follow. They will all be in my Farm Crafts category.
“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.