When we say farewell to the last guests and close our gates at the end of the holiday season, people often ask us what we get up to for the rest of the year. Well, we have a little break of course????, but like you, we keep working all year round. Richard and Annie our management team, change into their overalls and together we all get down to the business of keeping Country Kids ship shape over the winter. We usually have a huge list of jobs and loads of ideas for new exciting projects; sometimes, things can seem busier than during the season (not often, but sometimes).
This year, our main project has been a new home for our beloved Animals. Although we loved our rustic old barn, we wanted to create a space more in-keeping with nature and the ethos of Country Kids. The Farm in the Forest, is exactly that. An area designed around the natural contours of an old patch of oak trees and limestone rocks on our estate. It’s been important for us to keep the environmental impact low, so we’ve recycled parts of the old barn in its construction. We have tried to increase the opportunity for the children to interact with and learn about each animal whilst emerged in a safe and natural space. It’s been a challenging yet rewarding project. Our Animals are certainly happier in their new home.
But then everything just stopped. Richard and Annie had to stay at home along with all of our other staff. All of our projects, put on pause. And of course, the schools closed. We found ourselves all alone as a family for the first time in a very long time. Family time is our business and our business is currently closed. So, what to do next?
The adjustment period has been tough, as the girls were really beginning to find their feet at school and enjoy their new day-to-day away from us, but after a while we settled into our new routine. One of simplicity. Much more organic quality family time. So, we’ve been thinking about what it’s like travelling to France for a holiday with your kids…and what people are really looking for in a holiday with us.
We’ve always had a range of activities to keep children of all ages busy while mums and dads enjoy well deserved couples time, but we’ve been finding that simple is better. One of our projects we were working on this year was an interactive muddy kitchen. During this messy and engaging sensory play little ones of all ages express their creativity while enhancing their fine motor skills. But mainly, its just a lot of messy fun.
We’ve had time to enjoy the grounds with our children and discover what it’s like for families to kick back with nothing to do at Country Kids. We have taken turns for the home schooling so we can get on with some essential jobs, but the afternoons are for family time. Exploring the big kids campsite forest area, visiting the animals, arts and crafts, dress up and even a spot of tennis now and then. We know we are very lucky to be confined to such a beautiful place during this current crisis. We are thankful for it every day!
We can’t help it, but as we said, family time is our business. We’ve ended up using this experience to create an exciting new back-to-basics entertainment schedule for baby’s and toddler’s first holiday in France. It’s filled with interactive and creative activities designed to keep them happy and engaged for hours.
We can’t wait to share it with you all when we finally re-open those big black gates to you all.
If you have any questions about holidaying in France with your babies, toddlers and older children or you just want to catch up, then send us a message or call us directly at +33 (0)6 77 54 56 00 Laure & Sylvain x