Den building

What better way to spend a sunny, spring morning than gathering sticks and building a den.

We spent a couple of days at Nanny’s house last week, she lives out in Essex, surrounded by fields and little woods to explore. The boys love to get and about and go on adventures. Nanny had told us about a public walk way that runs along side a golf club, surrounded by trees. She often walks the dog down there and we had previously gone for walk along there but it was so overgrown that we couldn’t get far. The trees have now been cut down and the muddy pathway is now clear of any bramble and lovely to walk along (provided you walk around the muddy patches that is)

The boys found an area that was obviously a meeting area for the local children, they had built their own little house on a hill from branches, it even had a rule sheet attached to it. It gave the boys an idea of building their own den. There were lots of fallen down branches from the recent windy weather that we had.

The boys gathered together some branches and began to lean them up against a tree. They worked together as a team, negotiating where to place the branches, using their imagination and creativity to build a home outside. The tree was at the bottom of a little hill.DSC_4019-opt

They experimented using branches of all sizes, small twigs, leaves, stones and mud.

den building

den

 

The boys really enjoyed being one with nature and it was lovely to see them enjoying themselves and not arguing for once. They were kind to each other and listened to each others reasoning of what to do next.

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They really enjoyed working together and was really pleased with what they had built.

Have you built a den before?
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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An active chilly morning at Junior Parkrun

Every Sunday at 9am a group of children and volunteers gather together in the park to participate in a free, timed 2k run. They are safe and easy to take part in, all you have to do is register online and then print out your bar code in order to receive a time. Winter or Summer, rain or shine, wind or snow this activity happens no matter what and it’s all thanks to the volunteers that give up their Sunday morning lay in. They are amazing!

It’s a struggle foe me to get the youngest up and out of the house during the week for school so when it comes to the weekend, he is not having none of it. On the odd occasion he IS up and moving around the house, we take the opportunity of having to be able to go the park and join in.

This morning was a good morning. We managed to be up, fed, dressed and out of the front door by 8.30. Good eh!

We arrived at the park a little early, which was convenient as I had noticed a few weeks back that their was a geocache located in the park. Using the Geocache app on my phone we navigated our way to the cache. We did cheat a little by reading the hint, which was to ‘take a pew on the left hand side and have feel about’ As we neared the cache we spotted a bench

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The boys ran off ahead to search for it, after a little feel about under the bench we found it

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Didn’t take us long so we had some time to try out the fabulous swing and rope frame to climb

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We only had a short play and it was time to head on over to the start ready for warm up before the race began. The youngest one doesn’t like to participate, not because he doesn’t enjoy it but he lacks confidence and is not happy when people show him attention. So I wasn’t going to push him into running, although I did dress him ready for it just in case he had a change of heart. As we was walking over to the Junior Parkrun Flag, he said that he would take part. He must have been in a good mood. I promised him a hot chocolate in the den at home if he ran and offered him a tic tac, which we said was a speed sweet and it would help him find the energy to run. With sweet in the mouth he was ready for the warm up. It took a lot for him to walk over to a bunch of strangers and join in, I didn’t want to give him too much attention otherwise it may have caused him to not join in. He had a big smile on his face when the countdown began and off he went along with his older brothers following the orange cones that was set out so that the children ran on the correct course. There were volunteers on every corner, supporting the children and pointing them in the right direction as they went past. They had to run round the course twice. It wasn’t long before the eldest passed by, with the middle boy following shortly behind. I waited by the start for the youngest to pass, as he neared he asked if I would join him. He told me that he was cold and needed my hand to warm him up. We ran the rest of the course hand in hand.

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As we neared the finish line i let go of his hand for him to finish by himself. His brothers came to join him, followed by other children that had already finished. They were running along side him, encouraging and cheering him on. The support that the children receive from the adults and other young children is immense, it really does help them along the way.

He finished the 2k run in 14:07. He done so well and was very proud of the token that he received at the end. You need to get your bar code scanned along with the token in order to get a time and place on the website.

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Exploring The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Two years ago the Olympics hit London and what a Summer it was! Living so close to the Olympic park meant that we felt that we were among all of the action and even got to watch a couple of the events. As I walked through the Olympic park back then I felt the electric vibe, the atmosphere was amazing and everyone was smiling and in such a happy mood So when i heard that The Olympic was opening up a play area I couldn’t wait to go back to Stratford an explore it with the boys.

Living just over 9 miles away from it means that it is easily accessible for us, just only 34 minutes away in the car or a 25 minutes train journey it’s not long before we reach the park.

Although the Olympic park has been open to the public to walk through and enjoy the surroundings for the past year, last month they opened up a play area in the North Park near the Copper Box called Tumbling bay. The playground features rock pools, sand pits, wobbly bridges, slides, swings, tall tree houses all made from twisting logs and timber. The boys and I decided to pay it a visit yesterday and i must say that we will definitely be back again especially with our bikes and a picnic.

When we first arrived at the Olympic park we walked in through the entrance that was just in front of the stadium and we came across a small play area with sand, a slide, a swing and a rope bridge, the children quickly ran off to explore. Oliver loved balancing across the rope bridge and the children had lots of fun running up and down some moulds on the ground.

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Just near to the play area we saw some ladders that went down to the river, we went over to explore and found out that there was a climbing wall down there.

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Although it is advised that no one under the age of 10 should be using the climbing wall, I think if your supervising your children and know there limits then it should be fine. Oliver really enjoyed climbing but i made sure that he didn’t go far up.

We decided to make a move on and explore more of the park, as we walked away from the stadium towards the copper box there was an outdoor gym to try and lots of little walkways to go off and explore, the pavements are very big and wide so perfect for a family bike ride.

We found the tumbling bay playground in the North park and at first we thought it was quite small, the boys played in the sand and walked over the wobbly bridge

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As we was walking around behind the wobbly bridge we saw the water pumps and thought that it would be best to keep the children away from them as i didn’t have any spare clothes incase they got soaked, I saw some wobbly logs to balance on and we followed around the back and found the real Tumbling bay playground, the boys couldn’t believe their eyes!

It was timber galore! Swings, slides, rope bridges, treehouses and rope ladders, the boys ran off to explore and have fun.

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Coming down the pole
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Climbing on the tumbling, twisting treetrunks

I didn’t see Joseph, my middle boy at all once we got in there, but I did catch a glimpse of him high up in the tree house walking along the rope bridge

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Jak is within there, I promise!

There is one thing that Oliver loves and that is a swing and there are plenty of them hanging from the bottom of the rope ladders

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There is only one way to come down a slide and that’s backwards

 

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There is lots to do at the Olympic park, all set within pretty landscaped gardens amongst the winding riverways of the river lea. We can’t wait to get back with our bikes and to spend the day cycling around the park enjoying the surroundings and resting up within in the pretty gardens.

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Goodbye Olympic Park until next time :-)
Goodbye Olympic Park until next time 🙂

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

Our London Link Party

 

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Outdoor fun: outdoor gyms and hunting for eggs

Family time is precious and it’s even better when we are visiting Nanny

For the past couple of days the boys and I have been staying at nanny’s house, nanny doesn’t live too close to us so when it’s half term we like to spend our time visiting her.

Our first day we went for a lovely walk in a local nature reserve

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The boys loved running around and making the most of the space by having races against each other

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After a long walk around the marshes we found an outdoor gym just next to the play area

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We all had a go on all of the equipment making sure that we read all the instructions first. Oliver loved the cross trainer, his little legs just about reached and he found it easier to go backwards than forwards but it didn’t stop him from trying it

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Even Nanny had a go on one

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This machine was quite good and you could really feel it working around your hips.

Outdoor gyms are a fabulous way of all the family keeping fit together whilst out in the open air.

Today we went to another local park but didn’t manage to stay long as the eldest didn’t feel very well but I still managed to grab a couple of photos of the boys playing pirates on the wooden ship

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Oliver like the spinning wheel, he has a thing for numbers and loves to point out ones that he recognises, he was spinning the wheel and telling me what number the triangle was landing on each time

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Joseph is a bit of a climber and will try and climb anything, he loves to show me too

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Once we returned back to Nanny’s house it was time for the boys to go out into the garden and search for the eggs that Nanny and I had hidden for them to find.

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They had a lovely time searching high and low for the eggs and web managed to find some that we hidden within the trees and shrubbery.

I loved watching them running around laughing and shouting out to each other that they had found one, big brother even helped the little one with pointing out some for him to pick up.

We have had a lovely couple of days outside in the fresh air, I’m linking this post up with Coombemill Countrykids

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Pools Playground Victoria Park

Last weekend we packed up the car with the bikes and travelled into London, 7.5 miles away, towards Stratford so that we could spend the morning in Victoria Park.

I grew up visiting the park, my mum used to take me and my siblings there all the time, we used to go for walks around the lake and play in the park, but apart from the odd trip there to watch a couple of children football matches I haven’t really gone back to explore the area. Paul had recently been in a running race that was held in the park and came back telling us that it had changed and that there was now a really good play area for the children to explore and play in.

We only took my bike which has the child seat attached to it and Joseph’s bike as Paul and Jak was going to have run around the park whilst we cycled. We decided to go and explore the play area first, we had parked on Cadogan Terrace which was near to the play area. Victoria Park is split into two, with a road going through it, the larger part of the park is called East park this is where the Pools playground is and the smaller part, West park has a boating lake.

The first part of the park that we came to was an outdoor water play area (not on because of the time of the year) The boys were running around over the shaped mounds on the floor pretending to play pirates, Oliver found a tunnel made from sticks to run through

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The boys were enjoying them self so much that we didn’t realise that there was more of the play area to explore, Daddy pointed over towards a mound of bolders, which looked like a mountain, he told the boys to go climb them and see what was on the over side. I could hear and see children on the top but had no idea what was beyond them.

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They were climbing and running over the mountain, chasing after each other and then they realised what was on the other side

 

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There was the longest, highest slides I have ever seen outdoors in a playground (apart from at funfairs), lots of sand to build castles in, different shaped rope climbing frames, wooden houses, roundabouts, balancing logs, rope swings, musical aparataus and much more. The first thing the boys did was try out the slides, these were Oliver’s favourite

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The dot at the top is Oliver

He went up and down so many times I lost count, that was until a few children ruined it for him by sending sand down with themselves, when it was Oliver’s turn he ended up getting lots of sand in his eyes and wouldn’t go on it again 🙁

He didn’t cry for long though as he realised there was lots more to be doing, he quickly made his way over to the spinning top but he wasn’t interested in sitting ontop of the spinning top, all he wanted to do was play with the stones

Joseph loves to climb so he spent his time climbing on the rope frames, trying to get the top so he could be King of the Park.

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Oliver loved running along the magic carpet, he said he was running away from the crocodiles and the carpet would take him to his house where Mummy would keep him safe.

The park is a fabulous place to visit to escape the hustle and bustle of shopping in the city.

Next to the play area is a hub where you can buy refreshments, We bought ourselves a coffee and sat and drank it whilst watching the boys playing on the spinning top

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Jak found some square shaped rubber boxes that made a note when you jumped on them, he ran across them trying to make up a song

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After exploring the park and trying out pretty much every play apparatus there was we got onto our bikes and went for a cycle around the perimeter of the park. The canal runs along the edge, so we did have the option on cycling along it but I am not a very confident cyclist and as I had Oliver in the child seat on my bicycle I thought it would be best to stick to the cycling path in the park

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Joseph taking a break from cycling

We had a lovely morning in Victoria Park and will definitely be returning in the Summer when the water area will be open.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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The sun has got his hat on

Yesterday we saw something in the sky that we hadn’t seen for a while!

It was big, it was bright, it was shining and it was lovely……The Sun!

The big yellow thing in the sky mad an appearance and we made the most of it by taking a trip to our local park to feed the ducks. The sky was blue and the winds had calmed right down, it really was a very pleasant day.

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Jak, the eldest, was out in the morning with his Dad taking part in his first cross country 5 mile race, so our trip to the park was quite later in the day but the sun was still shining. We normally visit this park to play in the outdoor gym and parkour area but instead we took a walk around the lake to feed the ducks.

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Oliver loves throwing in pieces of bread to the birds, he squeals with delight when a duck swims over to eat his bread.

After feeding the bread we walked around the park and found a huge tree trunk that had been pulled up out of the ground.

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The boys quickly began exploring the trunk, climbing over it and walking along it.

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And obviously I took the opportunity to take some shots with my phone at different angles (the boys love to pose)

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Our trip to the park was a lovely day out, it was just nice to be out in the fresh air with no wind and rain about.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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A Wintery Morning ParkRun #countrykids

Early Saturday morning the boys and I wrapped up warm and travelled to one of our local parks, I say early as we left at 8:15am!

Jak normally takes part in a 5k Parkrun on a Saturday with his Dad, but Dad got called out to work early so I had to step in and take him. Jak loves running and is currently training to enter in the Mini Marathon borough trials, last week he managed to run 5k in 23:27 so this week he was hoping to beat his time. We arrived at the park 15 minutes prior to start time so Jak done some warm ups and talked me through the route that he would be running.

Parkrun is a Free local weekly 5km event for runners of all standards, which takes place every Saturday at 9:00am in our local Park. It is not a race against other runners, but a 5k timed run for fun or as part of a training plan. People of all ages ages, name or female from the local community come together on a regular basis, you can run, jog, walk or push a buggy, not only do you get free physical exercise but you get to enjoy the beauty of the park. Jak has registered himself online with them so he has a barcode that he has to take along with him so that he can get it scanned at the end of the run and he will receive his official time.

As the start time was approaching and Jak made his way along with the other participants, the boys and I made our way to the lake so we could cheer him on as he passed us by.

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It was amazing to see him run along with adults, he was in 7th place and I could have burst with pride. That’s my boy running past me with such energy and passion for the sport.

Joseph showed me where to go next on the course to see him pass again (Joseph sometimes goes along too on his bike)

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Everytime Joseph saw him he cheered him on, Jak said this gave him that extra burst of energy to him shout his name 🙂

We was at the finish line to watch him pass over the line, he managed to run it in 22:33 a new personal best for him!

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He is really serious about his running and has now got a new goal, he wants to get his time down by a minute at least! I don’t want him to push himself too much as I want him to keep on enjoying running.

His trial is on the 26th of this month and he has to come in the top 8 in his age category to be in with a chance of competing for the borough in the London Mini Marathon. He is 11 years old (yr 6) he has so much drive and commitment to it I am hoping that he will do well.

After Jak had done his stretches and had a little rest we all went off to feed the ducks

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Oliver loves to feed the ducks, but they were a bit on the hungry side and chased us for the bread so we made a quick get away and found a few puddles to jump into instead

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I am glad we had a spare pair of socks and trousers as he got absolutely drenched! He had so much fun though and smiled and giggled the whole time.

Although it was chilly the Sun had started to make an appearance, the sky was a clear blue and it was turning into a pleasant winters sunny morning.

The boys had some fun playing in the park, Jak rested on the big rope swing

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Oliver climbed on the sunken wooden ship and loved clambering up the rope ladder to the look out point

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All in all Our early morning trip to the park was quite eventful, full of the new memories and lots of fresh air.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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A winter Feeding #countrykids

Winter is here! But that isn’t going to stop us from getting out and enjoying the facilities in the park. The sun was shining but it was bitterly cold so we wrapped up warm and headed off to the local park which has a lovely big lake and a small adventure play area. We made sure that we packed some bread to feed the ducks as this is a favourite outdoor activity for Oliver to do.

Oliver had fallen asleep in the buggy on the way there but i knew he would be happy for me to wake him as soon as he saw the ducks by the lake, he loves walking to the edge and throwing in his bread for the ducks to eat.

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As we was feeding the ducks a swan came swimming over to get in on the action too, Oliver got a bit too close and the swan waddled up to him to grab the bread from his hands, lucky for Oliver, Mummy was close at hand to pick him up and shoo away the greedy swan lol

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Joseph enjoyed feeding the ducks too, but he throws in a whole piece of bread at a time unike his little brother who picks the tiniest pieces of his slice to throw in.

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After all of our bread was gone, we said goodbye to the ducks and went for a walk through the park.

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As we followed the path we came across a wooden statue, which is of a local marathon runner, it was carved into a tree trunk by a chain saw artist

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The boys had fun on a part of the trim trail which is spotted around the park, these are made from wood and are a brilliant way of keeping fit in the outdoors and also a lot of fun for the little ones. Joseph practiced his balancing on the poles

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We finished off our trip with a visit to the play area where they have a zip wire, It was Oliver’s first go on it and he loved it!

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He came off giggling away and shouting for more 🙂

I’m linking up this post with Coombemill’s CountryKids

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

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Spooky Marsh Farm #countrykids

Halloween isn’t only for trick or treating!

Our Halloween day was special as not only was we spending it with Nanny but we was going to visit Marsh Farm in South Woodham Ferrers in Essex. The boys got dressed up into their Halloween costumes all ready to spook anyone they would meet.

Marsh farm is an Animal Adventure park in Essex which is set on over 30 acres of beautiful farm land, The farm offers you a chance to meet and cuddle the animals, feed the birds through the aviary, take a pony ride, enjoy a spin on a tractor, play in the outdoor fun adventure park and if the weather is wet and cold the children can run off some steam in the indoor soft play area whilst the adults can relax and drink some lovely hot chocolate. Through out the year Marsh Farm put on some special events like Teddy Bears Picnic, Christmas Market and Wizards and Witches.

We visited the farm on 31st October, the boys were all dressed up in their halloween outfits and couldn’t wait to have some spooky fun on the farm.

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As soon as we arrived the boys were given a treat bag as they were dressed up, it included some sweets and some spooky stickers. We made our way to the witches cabin to take part in the spellmakers challenge, the boys joined in adding things to the couldron to produce a special spell in which they were rewarded with a bag of rainbow drops.

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Next we went to meet the goats, these were Olivers favourite animals ans he really enjoyed feeding them the food that we had bought from the visitors centre, he even tried to kiss them

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We walked around the farm looking at the animals and birds, we saw Reindeers, Alpacas, Llamas, Owls, Rabbits, Guinea pigs, Pigs, Donkeys and Ponies. There were actors walking around all dressed up Cello the Wizard, Winifred the Witch, Stilts walker and Edward and Mildred unfortunately we couldn’t get close enough to see them as Oliver was very scared of them.

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The farm was offering so many things to do like pumpkin carving, ghost train rides, magic show and monster crafts.

The boys enjoyed playing in the soft play area and riding on the mini tractors, milking a cow and playing in the outdoor adventure area where they dug up the sand with the diggers.

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The Farm is a lovely place to visit and i’m sure we would have done so much more if the weather was slightly better.

I’m linking up with Coombemills countrykids linky, why not pop on over to see what other fabulous activities you can get up to in the great outdoors and while your there check out Coombe Mill Farm website for a brilliant family holiday.

Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Monkeying Around #Countrykids

Over the past few weeks the two eldest boys have been getting more and more interested in the Monkey Bars, you know those apparatus usually found in the park where you have to use your upper arm strength to swing from bar to bar using your hands.

Dad has built the boys there very own monkey bars in the garden for them to practice on, during the summer months they use to do the monkey bar challenge where they would see who could get from one end to the other over the top of the pool and if they dropped they would make a big splash into the swimming pool. I think most of the time they would deliberately drop just so they could fall into the water 🙂

Last weekend while visiting nanny we found a park that the boys had all to themselves and guess what? yes there was some monkey bars to play on

 

Just hanging around
Just hanging around

 

i can still pose even when im hanging
i can still pose even when im hanging

 

Joseph is really good at the monkey bars and manages to get from one end to the other effortlessly, he lets his legs hang and uses his arms to carry him. Jak swings his legs from side to side so he struggles by using up too much energy.

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Jak found another way to enjoy the monkey bars and that was to hang upside down on them by hooking his legs over the bars.

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It’s got to a point now that when we visit the park Joseph goes off in search of some monkey bars and if their isn’t any he gets upset.

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I’m linking up with Coombemill’s linky called Countrykids, which is all about getting outdoors and enjoying the open space. Go check out her lovely blog all about the fun on the farm and while your there read some other great blog posts 🙂

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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