Family

Five Top Tips For Family Festival Fun

Family Festival FunImage via Unsplash

It’s a huge part of the summer experiences – festivals pop up around the entire country, covering every topic from music to food to literature to wellness and more, so no matter what you’re into , there’s a festival waiting to be discovered – for you and the rest of the family too! Once solely the preserve of groups of friends, festivals have evolved to become a part of family life too. With kid-friendly entertainment, activities such as face-painting, storytelling and drama workshops, they are now a must-do summer event. But if you’ve never done a festival before or if you’re a seasoned pro of them but are contemplating your first one with kids in tow, what do you need to know in order to make the experience swim rather than sink?

Organise Your Travel

It’s always a good idea when going to a festival with your small humans in tow to ensure that travel arrangements are sorted well in advance. Whether you’re hiring a camper van for the week, driving in a family car or travelling on the train, it’s always better to time your arrival a little on the early side. That way, you can claim the best camping spot. The worst part of any festival experience is generally the lengthy queues to leave the site and traffic on the roads surrounding, so consider leaving a little before the stated finish time to beat the rush and make sure that you don’t get stuck in a gridlock with tired and fractious kids to entertain.

Create A Packing List

The number of essentials you need to keep children happy and comfortable can be huge, so packing lightly or spontaneously is definitely a thing of the past. It’s a better idea to follow a family festival packing list to make sure that all the bases are covered. Remember to include items such as baby wipes (even if your children aren’t babies, there’s nothing better for taking care of sticky hands and wiping them down), lots of high factor sunscreen, waterproofs and wellies, hats, sunglasses, packets of tissues and insect repellent. Remember that concerts can get very loud, so bring ear defenders for young children or you may find yourself having to look up Miracle-Ear’s tinnitus treatment. Remember that kids can be less tolerant of discomfort and go for a level up on what you may normally have opted for – some extra blankets, inflatable pillows and foldable camping chairs can go a long way towards keeping everyone happy.

Overpack On Snacks

When blood sugar levels drop, that’s when kids can get extremely fractious, so it’s a good idea to overpack on healthy snacks. The food available at festivals can be quite unhealthy, with a lot of fried or sugary treats on offer – and while the occasional ice-cream is more than recommended, to stop costs mounting up and keep energy levels steady, take healthy snacks along as well. Dried and fresh fruit, unsalted nuts and packets of vegetable crisps are all a good idea, and you could also try involving the kids in making some homemade low sugar granola bars to take along. Pack plenty of juice and give the whole family reusable metal water bottles which can be refilled on site to stay hydrated.

Layer Up

With the weather being so unpredictable, even safe bet packing can go disastrously wrong, and even outfits which are suitable for the sunshine during the days can get too chilly when the temperature drops in the evening. Rather than taking up lots of room with bulky jumpers and thick coats, go for a mix of light layers, for yourself and the kids. Pack things like lightweight fleece jackets, compact ultralight down top layers and thermal tights and tops which are warm but non-bulky and can be layered under or over more summery pieces if it gets colder. Don’t forget the waterproof items as well – children can quickly get cold and miserable if they’re not dressed right for the conditions. Take lots of spares as well – all that running around outdoors means that kids often get through more changes than they ordinarily would.

Get Yourself A Trailer

Taking kids to a festival means transporting a lot of stuff – be it camping equipment, supplies or even the kids themselves when little legs get easily tired. A lightweight, foldable trailer can be a lifesaver in many circumstances, as it’s easy to take and provides instant transport or even an impromptu napping spot. It means that when you leave your tent, you can carry all your supplies for the day with you and not have to keep heading back –  cool bags, rucksacks, kids things and an umbrella for shade or showers can all go with you.

Technology

Getting Your Act Together: Easy to Use Apps to Help You Organize Your Life

Most of us resolve to be more organized each year, but it often doesn’t happen because organising itself can be so time consuming. Staying on top of your to-dos, files and habits is a tall task. Prioritising and scheduling tasks or projects (over the short and long term) requires good daily management. Here are some simple apps to make organisation far easier.

Self-Organization Apps

Apps can help you organise your files, to-do’s and budget. Dropbox lets you keep all your files – be they photos, videos, or documents of (almost) any format and size – on the one cloud service. These are then backed up and synced to the app and can be shared across any device (provided you send the right link or log-in). 24me acts as a personal assistant which automatically organises your tasks by synchronising your calendar, to-do lists and notes, prompting you to tap your daily errands to complete them and receive reminders for upcoming tasks or events. For a more gamified and social experience there’s also Habitica. Google Calander helps organise events and Evernote lets you record and store your notes in a variety of ways. Lastpass makes sure you never forget your passwords by securing them all in central location you can access with TouchID or one “master” password. Mint lets you manage your budget by logging your expenses and tracking your savings. Automatic Call Recorder lets you manually or automatically record calls so you can review them later, with several other features you can learn more about here.

Streamlining Apps

Remember the Milk also lets you set up to-do lists and sends you reminders for due dates but It incorporates your other services including Gmail, Twitter and Google Calendar. If (If This Then That) is a kind of super app that connects up to 300 apps together (such as Spotify, Instagram or Google Drive) to let you sync files across platforms and receive relevant notifications about topics from whichever platform they’re being noticed. Likewise, Pocket lets you save links, articles and videos from across your social media to a single location to be accessed across your devices and even includes reading aloud using text-to-speech. SmartNews is a similar service but specifically designed for news articles. AroundMe lets you locate your nearest amenities, restraints and movie theatres.

Thinking Outside The Box

Sometimes the thing you need is to destress or jog your mind with a bit of creative recreation. Simplemind lets you brainstorm easily by dragging, dropping and editing text and visuals together. Unstuck acts as a digital to help you overcome creative blocks with various tips and tools. Any creative activity you can think of, be it drawing, image editing or making music – there’s an app for it!

Now you can organize your stuff, plan ahead, streamline your apps and get your creative juices onto any problem. Looked for an app to fill some niche but couldn’t find it? Checkout Kickstarter: it may already be in development!

Paige Carter knows how to manage her time; she’s a Mom to 3 girls and works multiple freelancing gigs as well as helping with her friends business. Read how she manages it all in her articles!