Coombe Mill: Where learning is fun

October 19, 2014 at 10:30 PMCoombeMill

 

A farm holiday with us here at Coombe Mill is widely regarded as educational for children and often parents too, however the educational side of our stays are always dressed up as fun and play. With no effort what so ever a stay at Coombe Mill is guaranteed to bring new learning experiences from the moment you board the tractor and trailer ride to saying goodnight to friends at bedtime. Learning is best when it is fun to do.

Learning around the farm

There are times when as parents you may like to support and stretch the natural learning from a holiday here. For this reason we are proud to have teamed up with the on line education experts at twinkl UK to help re launch our education pages on the website.  We were lucky enough to have Heather from Twinkl to come and holiday with her family back in the spring. This experience  fully equipped Heather to understand what we do and how to extend the natural farm learning with her up to date teaching resources at twinkl.  

Together we have spent the summer developing and approving worksheets which are both supportive of the national curriculum and totally in keeping with everyday learning here on the farm.  Just like our holidays at Coombe Mill the worksheets are fun and challenging but most of all interesting and relevant. 

Coombe Mill; Where learning is fun.

The worksheets are divided into three groups: The early years from age 3 - 5, key stage 1 for our infant school visitors from age 5 - 7 and even some carefully thought out key stage 2 sheets for our juniors at age 8 - 11 years old. 

To find the worksheets simply; click on Farm Fun on the Coombe Mill Website home page header and select Education

Education Click Through

From here you can click through to any of the three key stages that best suits your child.

Pick Your Key Stage

The worksheets are all individually labelled and colour coded on each key stage page

 

The Three Key Stages

Click on any you like the sound of to download them to your PC or print out.

Print out or Save for later

The sheets would be perfect for helping familiarise your child with the animals we have and a little bit about farm life before your holiday, or taken around the farm whilst staying as an activity during the day, like the sensory worksheet, or even completed in quiet time reflecting on a busy day here such as the diary activity. Other sheets might be best worked on after the holiday to bring everyday learning and holiday memories together, e.g. some of the pen control or math sheets. The resources are here for you to use them as works for your children. Please use as many or as few as your children enjoy.

Already we have been putting the worksheets to good use here at coombe Mill by combining them into our activity hour. The children happily engage in completing a worksheet as part of their craft activity and we select them by age and theme to fit our focus for the session. I hope you will find them useful too.

 

Resources in use

We are committed to maintaining and updating these worksheets to keep them relevant to changes on the farm and the national curriculum over time. I am thrilled to have twinkl as our education partners in this and hope you will find the new worksheets as exciting and engaging for children as I do.

I'm linking up with Magic Moments and What's the Story with my new education pages.

Silent Sunday / Project 52

October 18, 2014 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill

 

Guy Surfing at Polzeath 

 

 TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky   OneDad3Girls   

 

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill

October 17, 2014 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill

Turning our toddlers into twitchers

After our theme fun last week with fairies and goblins this week we turned our attention to the birds and their needs now that winter is approaching. We had abandoned our bird table over the lush summer months but were keen to bring it back into use now that the colder weather is setting in and the native British winter birds are searching for food to supplement their diet.

We set the activity table up with everything we needed to make a bird feast and some lovely homemade binoculars to go off on an autumn bird and wild animal hunt.   

 

Make a bird Feast and bird spotting with homemade binoculars

Those who wanted to chose a dressing up outfit while I read an animal identification book perfect for the younger boys staying. They were brilliant at joining in and telling me which of the animals they had seen and fed on the farm during their stay. This led me nicely onto the birds and how they needed some help for the winter months too.

Reading an animal story

I brought out some melted lard in a bowl and we added bird seed which the children all helped to stir. It sets really quickly as it cools and by the time we had finished mixing it was forming the solid we needed to place on the bird table. My triplets joined in remembering making these bird bombs last winter and were a great help with the younger children.

 

Making the bird food

 

 

We added apple slices, bread shapes and Cheerios threaded onto string to make a table fit for a bird feast.

 

 Filling the bird table

 

 

It was clear that we were all making far too much noise for the birds to venture in so we set about making binoculars from toilet rolls ready to go on a bird hunt.

 

Decorating Binoculars

 

To assist in our hunting we used a worksheet with all the birds we thought we might spot and some other wild animals too.

 

 Autumn Animal Watch

 

Then we were off exploring leaving the birds some peace to find our table. We hunted high and low with the help of our binoculars but in the end found only pigeons high in the sky, a worm on a mole hill and plenty of bird chatter from the woods beyond before the lure of the play area took hold.

 

Birdwatching

Looking from the tractor soon turned into binoculars flying in the wind and play taking over.

 

Fun in the Play Area

Balancing along the path edge the children soon found themselves back at my garden. We crept in but still no sign of a bird or squirrel enjoying our feast. There was no time to wait as Guy was already opening up the evening train rides.

 

Jed on the Path

 

Needless to say the following day the birds did come and enjoy their ready prepared feast.  Now we will try to keep it stocked again until spring.

 

 

Joining in with Country Kids

If you have been enjoying time in the great outdoors please do come and join the linky. Country Kids is all about fresh air and time away from screens and sofas. Nature has so much to offer and I welcome all play, adventure, craft and learning posts based on children enjoying outdoor space. If you link please take the time to visit a few of the other posts here too, it may just be the inspiration for your next adventure.  

I always comment on every post that links up with me but doing this has led to some commenting systems seeing me as spam *sobs*. 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 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:

Mummy Constant and Mum turned Mom made my heart melt with stunning autumn leaf play.

I adore seal spotting in Cornwall and Baby Routes shows there are plenty to find in Pembrokeshire too

An Autumn treasure bag looks like a perfect way to enjoy collecting natures finest from The Boy and Me  

Right from the Start makes me want to go fishing 

If have huge respect for 3 Children and it who climbed Snowdon with the family raising £950 for Macmillan  

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A helping hand in the kitchen

October 17, 2014 at 7:40 AMCoombeMill

We all know the difficulties that come from day to day life and accept anything that would help to make the day a little easier. With 8 people in the house, 5 of which teen and tween boys, we have a lot of dishes to be washed up daily and I couldn’t live without my dishwashers, yes I actually have 2 in my kitchen.  They are always in use and constantly full of plates with egg yolk, chocolate spread and sauce all over them. So when Servis, a well-known household brand contacted me asking if I wanted to review one of their new ranges of dishwashers as the start of a business partnership I jumped at the opportunity.

My double dishwasher kitchen

Since 1929 Servis has been providing homes with the everyday essentials that make life that little bit easier and I’m sure many of us can remember our parents or grandparents having one in our homes. Servis was re-launched in the UK in 2012 with new ranges in washing machines, washer dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers and cookers. All of their new ranges of appliances have a modern look which would fit in any kitchen as well as a few added extras that makes Servis stand out in kitchen appliances.

The dishwasher that I will be reviewing is the DN61039 and is available in stainless steel or white. It has a great energy rating at A+++ and boasts a low noise level which is always helpful against the backdrop of family mealtime chatter since the kitchen is the hub of our house. It has an impressive 10 programmes available to choose from including an Eco 500 and a Quick 30 minute 40o with both cleaning and drying performance rated A. The dishwashers other features include handy little things such as a child lock option which would be useful for those little fingers that like to fiddle, foldable racks on both the top and the bottom baskets allowing total flexibility and a pause option if you realise that you need something that you've put in the dishwasher halfway through a wash. 

 

Servis then and now

Servis has always been a household name and their attention to detail is impressive. Looking at all the options included in their products suggests they have really thought about how they will fit into a busy home. I am really looking forward to receiving my dishwasher from Servis and putting it through its paces in our busy kitchen. I'll be back to let you know just how I get on and whether Servis lives up to its claims, the first job will be to educate my family in how to use it and explain that unlike one of my current dishwashers it should work on every setting not just number one!

Disclosure

I will be receiving a fully paid for dishwasher to review from the Servis range for which my views and options will be as I find the appliance in use. This post is an information post based on manufacturer information available on the Servis website.

Autumn Duties for Spring Rewards

October 12, 2014 at 10:00 PMCoombeMill

Time to put Rambo and Billy to work

While we kiss good bye to flip flops and enjoy the end of a beautiful Indian summer on the farm our plans turn to the winter ahead and next spring.

A highlight each spring is the arrival of the first lambs and kid goats. Last year Farmer Nick's planning went slightly askew and we had kids born in the January storm who ended up spending their first month of life in his shed waiting for a dry spell before venturing into the great outdoors. This year Nick has downloaded a spreadsheet with all the animal gestation dates and ring fenced February for our first arrivals.  

 

Planning chart in Farmer Nick's shed for sheep and goats

 

The first ewes have been put in with Rambo whose chest has been sprayed. This way we can tell if he has done the deed or not as the orange paint marks transfer to the ewes behind. I am slightly concerned as initially the orange splodge only appeared on the rear of a young ram in with him and not the lady in waiting!

 

Rambo and young ram mix up

 

Things are looking more hopeful with lady number two. She proved less than willing to move fields testing all Farmer Nick's strength but Rambo on the other hand was only to eager to greet her and get down to business. Hopefully he will now be on the right track. The other ewes will be gradually introduced to Rambo's field over the next two months  so that spring births are spread out through to May half term giving more of our guests the chance of seeing a newborn on their visit.

 

Ram and Ewe Meeting

 

The same timing applies to the goats so Billy goat gruff  has a lady friend called Ginger added to his field.

 

Nick and Ginger the goat

 

It turns out Billy has competition from last year's little ram kid who thought he would get in there first!

 

Ginger and kid ram

 

Billy soon worked out that he was missing the action and chased the young chancer into his place. A friendship of the correct goat order has now formed in their field.

 

3 isn't always a crowd

 

With Ginger out of the way Titch and Hairy were led back to the main herd. They had taken up residence in our lambing field over the summer thanks to bullying led by Ginger. So far so good for the pair back in the main field and a chance for their field to rest before lambing next spring. However we have a second shelter in there just in case anyone is bullied out of the shed.

 

Farmer Nick moving Titch and Hairy

 

Goat politics is worse than my daughter's class at school! Hopefully now all will now be well with the new mix of personalities in each field, though I've no doubt each week a new goat is moved a fresh settling in period will follow. 

While Spring is magical here on the farm, the indian summer has left everything looking fresh and lush right now. The animals have vibrant glossy coats and look in peak condition just as they should in readiness for the winter ahead and the trees are just beginning to turn colour leaving a beautiful glow across the 30 acres that forms Coombe Mill. If you fancy joining us this season we are open until the 15th November for a late break and then again from 17th December for Christmas. We also have one remaining cottage to sleep nine for half term including heaps of halloween fun but hopefully no baby animals unless someone has given Farmer Nick the slip!  

 

Autumn on the farm

 

Linking up with The Gallery and Savouring the Season for the autumn photos Brilliant Blog Posts What's the Story and Magic Moments Click on the links to see what's happening in the lives of others.

Please share our family farm holidays, I'd be so proud

Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Coombe Mill

"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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