50 Things to do at Coombe Mill Farm Before You are 4 and 3/4

19 October 2014 · 5 comments

in 10 Outdoor Ideas Series, Early Years Outdoors, Outdoor Play

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When working in Cornwall, I decided to use Coombe Mill Farm as my base. Many of you will already be familiar with the award-winning blog which Fiona writes detailing the activities of her family and what happens on the farm throughout the year.  I really enjoyed my visit and wished my own son was a toddler as this is an ideal child-friendly place for a holiday.

As Fiona says, it works well because there is a routine which suits very little children. Every day at 9am you can join in the feeding of the animals. Every day at 5pm you can have a train ride. There’s lots of simple things to do, for free, to keep your child happily busy exploring the 30 acre site.

So I  thought the list below may give you a flavour of what you can get up to down at Coombe Mill Farm. It may also give you and the children in your class or centre the incentive to create your own list for your schools grounds or outdoor space…

Coombe Mill Farm

  1. Wake up really early and go quietly outside to see what is happening before anyone else is up.
  2. Make some tracks in the wet grass for someone else to follow. Where will they go?
  3. Roll down one of the grassy slopes.
  4. Walk barefoot and feel the earth beneath your feet.
  5. Look for dew-covered spiders’ webs first thing in the morning on a calm day.
  6. Eat breakfast outside.
  7. Sort your rubbish and put it in the correct recycling bin.
  8. Join Farmer Nick’s Little Helpers Club and feed all the farm animals every morning.
  9. Have your photo taken at the bill board. Which character will you be?
  10. Drive the tractor on the way to feeding the animals (seriously – a real tractor)
  11. Find out how many eggs the hens have laid each morning.
  12. Hug a goat.
  13. Feed some bread or grain to the ducks. Try and spot the greediest one.
  14. Bray with the donkeys. Ee-ore!
  15. Talk to one of the hens. Will they listen to you? What are they telling you?
  16. Stand very still in the field and look for the deer.
  17. Bottle feed an orphaned lamb in the spring.
  18. Watch the goats dance on the play equipment (no kidding, old play equipment is put into the goat enclosures).
  19. Feed the rabbits some freshly picked grass.
  20. Borrow some wet weather gear – and leave some behind for other families to use (there’s adult sizes too)
  21. Ramble down the lane at the top of the farm.
  22. Taste the ripe juicy blackberries growing in the hedgerows.
  23. Smell the wildflowers and find the most fragrant one.
  24. Look for animal tracks in the mud.
  25. Make up a picnic and decide on the best place to eat it outside.
  26. Borrow some of the outdoor games and toys from reception.
  27. Play swingball.
  28. Find all the slides on the site and decide which one is your favourite.
  29. Have a bounce on one of the trampolines.
  30. Jump in all the puddles around the place after the rain.
  31. Play pooh sticks on the bridge.
  32. Paddle in the stream near the ford when the water is low enough.
  33. Make a tiny raft from natural materials to float down the river. Will it reach the sea?
  34. Spot a dragonfly near the river.
  35. Go fishing. Watch the pond skaters dance across the still water.
  36. Find the measuring stone and wonder what it was used for in the past.
  37. Visit the fairy garden and leave a treasure for a fairy to find.
  38. Sit on the tree stump chair.
  39. Search for a peacock and see what it is up to.
  40. Look for a bush which you can hide in to make your own special place.
  41. Catch the train at 5pm – driven by Guy, the resident 10yr old train driver. Alternatively, wave the train off from Coombe Halt with the green flag.
  42. Visit at Halloween and ride the Ghost Train. Be very scared when going through the tunnel.
  43. Be a pirate and take over the ship.
  44. Have a barbecue. There’s lots of different places to choose from.
  45. Look for the stars coming out as the daylight disappears. Chose one to wish upon and see if you can see a shooting star.
  46. Watch the fairy lights come on at the end of the day as night falls.
  47. Go for a night-time moonlit walk around the farm.
  48. Sniff the air to see if it smells different at night time on a farm.
  49. Listen for the night-time sounds.
  50. Let your eyes adjust to the dark. See if you can find your way back to your chalet without using a torch.Goat
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen October 19, 2014 at 07:38

I love this list and can imagine list of people working their way through it x


Pinkoddy October 19, 2014 at 08:44

What a fantastic post. I love your take on the National Trust’s 50 things and a great list.


Jo Laybourn October 19, 2014 at 21:04

What a fantastic list! My youngest is 4 early next year and I’m sure he would love to do many of these activities! #CountryKIds


SouthwarkBelle October 19, 2014 at 21:29

Great list, I think we’ve done most of them but looking forward to ticking off the rest next time we’re there. Our other favourite thing when we only had one little one was borrowing the baby backpack and walking up the hill to the pub for a well deserved roast!


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