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19 Tips For Taking Kids To Festivals This Summer

Family fun in the sun.

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1. Write on or stick your phone number to your child somewhere visible, in case you get separated.

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Make it easy for your child to contact you again by writing your number on their arm. Labelling their clothing with your contact details is also a good idea. You could also take look at this handy festival checklist which offers some good advice.

2. This is your best friend. Goes in as a carry case, doubles as a bath, a washing machine and a portable toy basket.

Wilkinsons

A quick search on Google for "rubber trug" will find you a load of sizes and options, but good places to pick one up include Wilkinsons, Asda Living or Tesco Home.

3. Get a cart. These can be hired from most major festival sites and are great for tired legs.

amazon.co.uk

These make it easy to transport your kids and everything they might need for the day around the site, and you can use them to take your stuff back to the car once the mud has set in! You can see some ideas for styling them up for festivals here.

4. Accept the change. Go to the festival with an understanding that your time there will not be about which bands you want to see.

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If you do want to be organised, and get the most out of your time there, you can use an app like this to plan what's on when, so you don't feel like you're missing out.

5. Try to take things slow – soak up the atmosphere and give the kids time to take it all in. Don't assume you have to be "doing" something all the time.

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Many festivals, big and small, have more secluded, quiet areas away from frenetic activity (Latitude has the woods, for example). Maybe make that your meeting place for some family relaxation time?

6. Pick your battles over meals – doughnuts and chips are on tap at festivals and sometimes, the indulgence is worth the happiness.

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You'll always remember the taste of that first ice-cold cider at the festival, so why not allow the kids the memory of a still warm, sugary doughnut as the sun goes down?

7. Make that pushchair visible at night. It's amazing how many people trip over them in the dark on the stumble back to the tent.

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Style it up with LED lights, flashing torches, or whatever you can. You can get inexpensive LED lights here, and you can also use them inside the tent as a night light once you get back to base. Giving your child their own torch can also help increase the excitement about camping.

8. Throw your nap schedule out of the window, but expect the unexpected return of the daytime sleep for all ages.

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Don't forget how big even the smallest festival will seem to little legs, plus (hopefully!) some warm weather.

9. Crawling babies and mud make things hard work – you'll be searching for dry indoor space most of the time.

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Maybe consider taking a puddle or rain suit so that you can slip it on top of any other clothes. These are also a good idea for the adults, too!

10. Mud is hard work with a pushchair or carrying kids. Prepare for it.

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Pro pushchair tip is that dragging it backwards on two wheels is always easier than pushing it forwards on three/four! Slings and back carriers are a fantastic investment for festivals.

11. Buy your glowsticks and other rave flair before you go, or you'll regret it!

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Release yourself from pester power by going prepared. You can buy 100 connecting glow sticks to make bracelets and headbands for under a fiver on Amazon.

12. See also: floral headbands. Why not have the kids craft their own before you go as a rainy day activity?

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Get your inspiration from Pinterest and check out stores such as B&M, The Range and other craft shops for affordable embellishments.

13. And on the subject of rain, pack things to do if you're tent-bound because of rain.

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Ideas include good old Top Trumps, writing a festival journal, family portrait painting competitions, drawing a festival site map, and making chocolate rice crispie cakes on the camp stove.

14. Shade is hard to find at festivals, so take parasols or umbrellas and customise them so you can spot your kids in a crowd.

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How about making a jellyfish costume umbrella before you go? If kids are carrying their own rucksacks, get a foldaway brolly so they can carry it themselves.

15. Caution: these may seem like a good idea at the time, but try wrestling them off your kids at 3am whilst they keep the campsite awake.

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Having said this, mobile reception can be scant at festivals so calls are hard. Using messaging services like WhatsApp to communicate whilst you're there could be a good way to get in touch.

16. Brioche is a really awesome breakfast option, it keeps well, lasts a long time and has great a "festival treat" feel.

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Try freezing it before you go and letting it defrost in the cool box, which will keep it as fresh as possible. You could also get chocolate brioche as an alternative to other on-site temptations for kids.

17. Batch cook before you go. Cold new potatoes. Sausages. Pasta Pesto. All these things can be relied on as a snack or a meal.

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Pinterest has some fantastic festival camping food inspiration boards, for those with camp fires or stoves.

18. When it comes to snacks, save money and make your own pick and mix.

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Try making your own kid-friendly trail mix or granola bars, or try these energy balls from Deliciously Ella, which can be frozen beforehand and kept fresh in a cool box.

19. Finally, don't camp near the toilets, or the water stands.

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Find out where the most suitable places for your set up might be, by checking the festival Facebook pages, or e-festivals which has a forum on almost every festival.

Thumbnail via Starbelly Jam

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