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Seven Family Festival Tips

Summer is here and festival season is upon us! Who can resist the colour, the excitement, the sound, the freedom and the adventure of a day or weekend of fun in a field? So we thought we’d put together our 7 top tips for taking the kids along!


1.     Choose your festival wisely 

Do your research into camping pitches to see if there are family or quiet areas available. Check whether you can arrive the day before to set up when it’s less busy. Whilst not a deal-breaker for some, you may want to find out if there are facilities such as changing or feeding areas or children’s toilets. Getting a programme ahead of time will allow you to learn about activities specifically for children so you can plan your time.


2.     Invest in camping gear extras

We assume you’ll have your basic camping gear sussed but here are a few extra items to consider for the kids:

·       Picnic blanket and a beach tent for a safe space to play

·       For babies, a carrier can be easier than a pram in mud, and a floor travel cot can double as a place to play

·       Plenty of light in the form of torches/headtorches/lanterns/fairy lights

·       A festival wagon for bringing stuff from the car to the tent. With blankets, toys and maybe more fairy lights, you can then turn this into a cosy way of transporting tired children around later in the evenings. They usually fare better than prams in the mud.

·       A potty with a lid or a BoginaBag

·       A first aid kit containing plasters, sterilising wipes, paracetamol, rehydration sachets/tablets and child-safe bug spray.


3.     Keep the toiletries to a minimum

Whether you plan to brave the showers or not, there’s no judgement here, but many children will be delighted to just accumulate filth over the weekend! They can get by on very little in the way of toiletries: biodegradable wet wipes (lots!), toothbrushes and toothpaste will usually suffice for a couple of days. Hand sanitiser and wipes or tissues in the day bag are a good idea for the inevitable Portaloo trips.


4.     Decide your food and drink strategy

If your budget – and your children’s tastes – allows then onsite food is the easy option. Otherwise stock up on individual juice boxes, individual cereal packets (just add milk to the inner packet and pass them a spoon!), basic sandwich-making components and resealable or individually-wrapped snacks. Ready-made formula and pre-sterilised bottles should keep your little one going for a weekend. Bring reusable water bottles and either top them up from communal taps or bring a much larger bottle to decant.


5.     Think about safety

Ear defenders are a popular choice for reducing stimulation and protecting ears from prolonged exposure to loud noises. Getting lost is another key concern. Prepare older children before you go by talking about how busy it’ll be and what to do if they get lost. Ensure your child knows what the festival staff look like and show older children a place to go if they’re lost. Go for brightly-coloured clothing and consider buying wrist bands on which you can write your phone number, name and tent location. Phone signal can be poor and batteries die, so walkie talkies can be a cheap alternative if your child is old enough to explore independently.


6.     Keep them entertained

To get the kids into full festival mode, you can’t go wrong with costumes, face paints, glitter tattoos and bubbles! Outdoor toys are also an obvious choice but it’s important to have some calm toys for downtime too: colouring, stickers, compact travel games and books don’t take up much space and will matter less than a tablet if they get lost. A disposable or cheap camera means they can snap away and record their own unique perspective on the festival.


7.     Relax

Embrace the mud, the sugar, the lack of routine. Accept you probably won't be able to do and see everything. Go with the flow and soak up the atmosphere! They’re only young once. And, before you know it, it’ll be Monday again!

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