Fairy wands

July 27, 2014 at 10:30 PMCoombeMill

Coombe Mill Activity Hour

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. 

DIY fairy wands

You can see the fun we had making these on Country Kids here


Fairy Wands

What you’ll need:-

  • Stick
  • Ribbon
  • Feathers
  • Leaves
  • Flowers
  • Sticky tape

What You'll Need


  1. Find a wand in the wild, the woods is often a great place!
  2. Cut lengths of ribbon (I use floristry ribbon) and tear it length-ways to get thin strips. 
  3. 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.
  4. Wrap your second piece of ribbon around the stick the opposite direction to get different patterns. 
  5. 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). 


Wand Making Steps

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:-

Tin Foil Star

What you'll need:- 

  • Star shape stencil (you can use our template or draw your own)
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard
  • Tin foil
  • Duct Tape


  1. Get your star shape ready, if you want to use ours click this picture How to make a star for a wand 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.
  2. Lay it onto your cardboard (to make it more eco you could cut it out of an old cereal box) and trace around it.
  3. Cut the cardboard around your outline to have the basis of your star.
  4. Place your cardboard star over some tin foil and make sure that you have enough tin foil to cover the star. 
  5. Wrap the tinfoil around the star, we cut into it to save ripping it up too much.
  6. Put the stick on top of your covered star and use duct tape to attach
  7. 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.


 Fairy Wand Making


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.

I'm linking our How to Make wands up with Tuesday Tutorials Pin Party & Handmade in July What's the Story and Magic Moments


Silent Sunday / Project 52

July 26, 2014 at 11:48 PMCoombeMill

A fringe for Clementine the donkey

  TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky   OneDad3Girls   

Posted in: On the Farm | Weekly Photo


Country Kids from Coombe Mill

July 25, 2014 at 11:40 PMCoombeMill

Strawberries, Play and Enterprise

Every summer we love to go fruit picking at Pencarrow House and Gardens. It is only 15 minutes drive from us and we all love the raspberries there.  However this year they are not tending the fruit or opening for PYO to the public. I have loved all the strawberry picking posts coming in each week on Country Kids and felt we were missing out. Then I remembered Trevathon Strawberry Farm which we pass on our way to the beach. Nick was keen to visit here too as we knew the owners breed wallabies and Nick was after some companions for our Bruce and Shelia. We set off with the triplets and one of Clio's friends after an early lunch to give ourselves a few hours before the afternoon train ride.

We had no idea what to expect having never visited before and were delighted to discover free parking, a busy shop with farm goodies and gifts and a lovely looking restaurant where you could eat inside or out and which lead  onto a play area and open meadows.

The children each took a punnet and listened to directions to the PYO fields. However it took us a while to get there as they ran off to play first.


Listening to the Directions

The zip wire was huge and left Nick wondering how on earth they had passed this with their insurance company as it was bordering on dangerous with the huge spring back at the end. Thankfully there was sand and tyre chippings underneath as the triplets did fall, partly as they had ignored the instructions to go one at a time and all bundled on together!

The tunnel slide was equally popular; I rather fancy one of these for Coombe Mill

 Fun on the Park

Finally we picked up our punnets and headed passed ripening fields of wheat to the strawberries, blackcurrants and gooseberries. We sampled them all before the children all opted for strawberries and Nick for gooseberries. There were plenty of strawberries to go round as the field stretched out for acres and each row was teaming with fruit.


Gooseberries, Stawberries and Blackcurrants

Nick and I had time for a coffee in the sun and a look at the wallabies while the children continued to fill their punnets.  

Finally they returned and we loaded our haul onto the shop counter. It came to £25 but we had a full afternoon's entertainment and a lot of fruit to show for it so it felt like good value.

Picking Strawberries

Back at Coombe Mill we set to work making strawberry muffins.

Designing creative posters in the sun the children planned to take these with the muffins to sell them at the train ride and round the properties after. Three trays of tempting warm muffins sold in no time.

Cake Making 2

The children stopped along the path for their own little feast, just to make sure they were as delicious as they looked. The strawberry chunks in the cake mixture tasted like chunks of the finest strawberry jam.

They happily shared their profits and requested the remaining punnets be made into another batch just for our family the following day.


Cakes for sale

I think we may just be returning to Trevathon farm next year.

Joining in with Country Kids

Please come and join me with your outdoor fun here on the linky. I set Country Kids up to share ideas for enjoying screen free active time with children in the fresh air. 146 posts later I still love sharing our weekly antics and learning from your posts too. Thank you for supporting the linky and inspiring me and others who join. Please keep the fun going, anywhere from the town to the beach so long as it is outside it is welcome here. Just grab the badge and link away. Remember to check out some of the other posts too, there are always some great ideas and plenty of creative family fun to inspire your next adventure. 

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

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A few of my favourite posts from last week

Mummy Pink Wellies shares her first few days on holiday here at Coombe Mill

Sophie Is totally had me sold on doing a festival with the family from the photos here 

Dining In made me smile with Grandad who is a big kid at heart

Let's Talk Mommy has plenty of family fun in the sand and sea 

Adventures of Jack  discovers the magic of sun and water in the garden 

Mummy vs Daddy make a picnic in the park so much more with a little improvising and props

Would Like to be always makes me smile with beautiful photos of her country girls 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Learning with Animals

July 23, 2014 at 7:40 AMCoombeMill

This week's Gallery theme over at Sticky Fingers is Animals; not one I could miss with the wide range we have here on the farm.  The children on holiday here are free to visit our animals all day as well as on our organised 'Little Helpers' session each day. This is a great opportunity for children and parents to ask Farmer Nick all about the animals, from breeds, to gestation periods and food types to safely. There is no end of questions born through interest and curiosity on the hour and a half tractor feed run each morning.




Petting and feeding farm animals



Listening to Farmer Nick & asking questions in spring 


Instinctive nurturing of children with baby animals

The experience children have here crosses very closely with part of the school curriculum and we have always encouraged this link through our printable education pages. Did you know we even have a pairs game on the website for children to play before or during their holiday?


Right now we are in the middle of updating our Coombe Mill education pages ready for the new school term and I'm delighted to announce that we have teamed up with the online educational experts Twinkl UK for this. They are putting their educational knowledge and resources into some bespoke printable pages from preschool to key stage two all based around nature and the farm animals here at Coombe Mill.  

I'm sharing here just a sneaky preview of some of the delightful worksheets coming up.

 Animal Matching Education Worksheet


Education is always easier with practical learning too, link that learning in a visual and relevant way and learning on holiday is fun. Please do pop back in September and check out our finished resources; they would be ideal to support a day trip to a farm park local to you as well as in preparation for making the most of a holiday here at Coombe Mill.


Coombe Mill Loves Animals


 photo 93142f35-6d39-479f-b3de-d94dbca68162_zps58499252.jpg Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery


Home Safety with Toddlers from Royalty to Holidays

July 22, 2014 at 8:00 AMCoombeMill

As Prince George turns one today I'm sure the Royal house hold is adapting to a boy on the move and a birthday party to match. Any parent who has a toddler will be familiar with the changes that are needed around the home at this stage. Those tasteful ornaments and flights of stairs suddenly become a liability along with the cream carpets that looked so good pre children. Here at Coombe Mill we go to great lengths to ensure that our properties have all the safety features you might need in place for a safe family holiday with a toddler as well as practical additions for your own peace of mind. We can even bake a birthday cake for their special day. All our properties have stair gates built in, bed guards are free to hire and blackout blinds ensure a good night's sleep for everyone. We even have potties, toddler steps and more to borrow in our reception for a real home from home holiday.


 Toddler Safety at Coombe Mill


Home insurance specialist, Together Mutual Insurance, has compiled some top tips on safeguarding your home if you have toddlers like our young Prince taking off on two feet; after all to us parents our own little ones are the prince and princesses of our lives.


 Safety Tips for all Prince and Princesses

  1. When selecting the wallpaper and carpet for a room, make sure you consider how easy it will be to clean them. Children love scribbling, especially on walls. So opt for the easy clean wallpaper or be prepared to display your little one's masterpiece for quite some time. Here on the farm we choose darker brown carpet which is so much more forgiving on toddler spills.


  1. Make sure that the little one doesn’t get hurt by baby proofing sharp corners and securing furniture that could topple. But also check that in doing so, you won’t damage or devalue your favourite piece of furniture.


  1. Standard contents policies include an element of cover for accidental damage - including stereo equipment and glass-in furniture - but they don't cover accidental damage to other goods or actual furnishings. So it is worth adding extended accidental damage cover to your home contents policy, or investing in hard wearing sofas. Make sure kids don’t take food on to the sofa and if they are colouring in, that they wash their hands and leave the ALL the pens and crayons in the play area, not in back pockets. Felt pens on our holiday sofas are one of the hardest doodles to remove and you really don't want to be trying this one at home.


  1. Little ones love everything that sparkles, and have a nasty tendency finding mad hiding your precious gems in the weirdest places. And if they haven’t stowed it away, there’s always the chance they’ve flushed it down the toilet. Keep your jewels out of children’s grasp and get them suitably covered in your contents insurance. Take care on holiday as we have recovered all manner of chains, car keys and even wedding rings left in a draw or fallen down the side of a sofa.


  1. Mummy’s handbag is a treasure trove of goodies and one little ones love to explore. If your tot gets into your purse, your lipstick and mascara being used as crayons could be the least of your worries. One spilt juice carton could spell the end for the bag and what’s inside. Make sure your bag is closed and kept out of reach.


  1. It is said that children are a drain on finances. In addition to their high maintenance cost, tiny tots often like to slip credit cards, crisp £20 notes, cheques and important business cards through the gaps in floorboards. Avoid pulling up the flooring and make sure you have your credit card details close to hand, stored in a safe place away from the big spenders.


  1. When visiting the grandparents it might be worth them paying an extra premium for accidental damage cover to be added to their policy. That way, if your toddler knocks over something valuable, you can rest assured that it will be covered.


  1. A standard home insurance policy doesn’t cover portable electrical equipment and clothing for accidental damage. So, as much as your phone or i-pad pacifies your child, it might be better to get them a child friendly version and to hang your favourite expensive jacket out of harm's way


  1. Keep baby wipes with you at all times. They are great for any messy activities, and can equally be used to clean up minor spills* as well as mucky hands (*Before using wipes to clean furniture and upholstery try wiping in a small inconspicuous area and only continue to use if no adverse reaction occurs)


  1. Last but not least, accept that CHILDREN WILL MAKE A MESS and this is a part of growing up and play. Make sure you are prepared in and out of the home and that you’re covered with a suitable policy for if, and when, the worst does happen and something important is damaged. Rest assured that here on the farm we are ready for messy fun with our outdoor wellies and overalls free to borrow for all the fun of the farm.

Toddler in overalls and wellies


A few statistics from Together Mutual Insurance to make you think:


 Statistics on home safety from Together Mutual Insurance

We wish Prince George a Happy and Safe Birthday from Coombe Mill.

 Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

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"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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