YOGADOO's Lucy Aston and her family love festivals and make their annual pilgrimage to a muddy field or two every summer. But what are her top tips of essentials to pack for a fun and melt-down free festival experience?
Our family loves festivals, and my husband Tim and son Freddie (now 9) have tried lots of different ones over the years. This summer we've been lucky enough to have been invited as guest bloggers to Camp Bestival near Lulworth Cove which kicks off this weekend (27-30 July).
We've been before and it's completely set up with families in mind, DJ Rob Da Bank and his wife Josie programme the festival with a weird and wonderful mix of great music, comedy and absolute heroes for the kids (Dick and Dom, Mr Tumble, Tom Gates author Liz Pichon to name a few!). It has an almost pantomime atmosphere about it with dressing up fancy dress positively encouraged and the humour of some of the acts, definitely working on two levels.
So, in final preparation for this weekend we have given our son Freddie an education in the music of Leftfield, Brian Wilson, Mark Ronson and Madness (the headliners), selected our fancy dress (it's a Rock or Pop star theme this year) and dusted off the wellies (if we take them hopefully we won't need them!). But what are our absolute family essentials which, if you're heading to a Festival (or even camping), you might want to pack:
Here's our 14 family Festival must-haves:
(see below for links)
1) Ear Defenders - whether the music is too loud, or they are having trouble sleeping, these are a must have! £13.99 Peltor Ear Defenders
2) Books/Sticker Books/Card Games - for those quiet moments between acts, or when they wake up just a little too early, books like these are perfect. Our favourites are these sticker books by Really Decent Books - you can find them in Sainsburys and Morrisons rrp £8.99 or Amazon - the red book is on promo for £6.99 and the blue one is £8.99
3) A large carrier bag. Ikea ones are great! If muddy welly boots are heading into the tent, use a large carrier bag just inside the door for the mucky little darlings to step into to take off their boots before stepping into your nice clean tent. Genius!
4) An eye pillow - We always take a little Lavender enfused eye pillow with us camping or to festivals which also acts as a little black out blind. It just helps children to relax and wind down after all that excitement. YOGADOO Eye Pillows £11 filled with fresh Somerset Lavender and Flaxseed.
5) Anti Bac gel - because you never know just how well they've washed their hands!
6) As many Healthy Snacks as you can carry! From fruit, to nuts, to cereal to granola and biscuits. Go prepared and your wallet will thank you for it. It's not always easy to get Healthy snacks which don't cost the earth and it might just keep them going another half an hour!
7) Glitter! I cannot count the number of times a tub of glitter has got me out of potential meltdown situation. I remember a particularly wet festival where my glitter collection entertained 3 children who set up a 'Glitter Beard' stall in one tent for all the dads in our group. Win! We found glitter on husband's pillow for weeks!
8) Trolley This might be a controversial one, but I LOVE a good trolley. By day, it carries all our shizzle and by night, it turns into a cosimobile with blankets and fairy lights and is somewhere for Freddie to bunk down. Ours was this model from Homebase, but it seems to have been discontinued.
9) Glow Sticks Brighten up any dull moment. £6.95 for 100 from Amazon
10) Wet wipes (for everything!)
11) A crowd marker/a flag or kite To find your group again in a crowd, we love this 'Design your own' kite which is £6.99 from John Lewis (it gives them something to do whilst you put up the tent, and their design will make it truly unique!)
12) Picnic Blanket to sit on and to line the trolley with! Clas Ohlsen £7.99 (in the sale)
13) Sharpie To write your mobile number on their hand/arm - in case they get separated from you!
14) Refillable drinks bottle So easily forgotten! And will save you a pretty penny! We love this BPA free bottle from Mountain Warehouse £4.49 (in the sale)