Tag Archives: countrykids

National Trust 50 things, log den, den building, mumof2

50 things to do before you are 11 and 3/4 – update

50 things, mumof2, national trust50 things to do before you are 11¾

50 things to do before you are 11¾ is a challenge that has been set by the National Trust and is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your kids. Mind you it’s also a great list to have a wander down memory lane and figure out how many of those activities you did as a child too!

We started our 50 things list about 18 months ago and as  and when I have remembered, I have updated it.

It looks like we’re half way and only have another 3 years or so to tick the other 22 or so things off our list before our eldest son reaches the 11¾ bit!

Now, to be honest, I  myself,  have never played a grass trumpet and so I really should get a move on learning how to do that. Or perhaps I should get the boys to figure it out and they can teach me. I also need to figure out what bouldering is – if anyone knows and can let me know the answer…that would be helpful!

Some things which aren’t on the list but possibly should be considered for inclusion :

      1. Ride a bike
      2. Whistle with your mouth (or fingers..I can’t do the fingers one myself!)
      3. Playing Pooh sticks

Those are just a few that come to mind… how about you? Any others you think should be added to the list?


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Wicken Fen, canal, mumof2

Wicken Fen – a great day out

Wicken Fen, Mumof2, great day outWicken Fen is a National Trust Property in Ely, Cambridgeshire and we just love spending time there with the boys.

Over Christmas time, my parents came over to stay and they love bird watching and my mom has taken up photography and so what better place to spend a non-rainy day. It was windy mind but not raining!

We love the fact that there is always something to see or find. The folks at Wicken Fen always have an activity or search going on and the boys take it very seriously as the promise of a sticker if they spot all the items is not to be under estimated!

Wicken Fen, Windmill, Mumof2There are a couple of watch towers which are super to climb and on arrival is their famous windmill en route to a bird hide. Now I am not suggesting the boys are able to sit quiet for long enough in a bird hide but the excitement of going into one is just too sweet!

On non-muddy days we take a picnic and do massive square, stopping and resting along the way and on colder, wintry days we stick the to boardwalk which means a little less mud (or a whole lot less mud!).

Wicken Fen, canal, mumof2I have only ever once spotted the wild horses and it’s their magic that keeps me on the look out for them time and time again. In the Summer the canals are full of dragon flys and other insects.

Wicken Fen, Mumof2, great day out, National TrustAfter a leisurely stroll, and of course ensuring we have spotted everything on the spot list, we head back to the cafe for a nice warm hot chocolate and to collect the stickers!

Wicken Fen, mumof2, sunsetWe had such a lovely day out in amongst all that rain.


oliversmadhouse Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Cow pats and barbed wire – learning in the countryside

country living, cows, mumof2, hidden dangers, barbed wire, barbedwirecountry living, hidden dangers, mumof2Ah…the countryside and an idyllic place to just smell the fresh air and cow dung. Oops! I meant smell the fresh air and walk into some great things that will teach you and your kids a lesson or two.

I have previously posted about various ways of learning and I am a great advocate of learning with real tools. How else would you learn to ride a bike with no hands or that ocean currents are extremely strong even though you can see them?

Every Summer, some of the fields near our house are filled with some beautiful cows and their calves. It really is a lovely sight to see and a great change to walks and thought processes. Apart from the boys learning that animals (no matter how big) should be respected (just as the sea should be I might add), there are a few other things they could learn along the way.

  1. Cow pats stink and provide a lot of hard work to remove from shoes if you don’t watch out for them!
  2. Just because an animal looks docile, does not mean it is.
  3. If you look carefully, there is wire with spikes on it that will hurt if you just ran into it but provides us with useful protection at the same time.
  4. Sometimes, touching and feeling things gives you a better understanding and if you are careful when doing so, it won’t hurt. (apologies for the fuzziness of the photo – I was concentrating on the fingers and barbed wire!)

barb wire, country living, mumof2

There are some things in life that are better learned from experience and well of course there are others that are better learnt from books (like snake bites hurt and can kill!) I want the boys to have the freedom to enjoy themselves at the same time as learning to keep an eye out for the hidden elements, both good and bad.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall