Fun festival ideas for toddlers

Images and words: Sara Conway

If you’ve got romantic visions of family bonding and back-to-nature smiles, these tips and tricks will help you achieve your family festival dream.

1 Take a craft box: you’ll thank yourself later

Grab a Tupperware box and fill it with a handful of craft items – we grabbed sequins, gems and some stickers. Pop in some glue, safe scissors and take a few sheets of card (it’s flat so it packs easily).

Can they cut the card into strips and tape them together to make a cool festival headband? Then decorate it using their craft box. The perfect novelty activity for those moments when you want to sit on a rug and eat, drink and be merry.

2 Take a doll to care for: a useful comforter, distraction and prop

Kids will love pretending to change a doll’s nappy using real nappies and wipes, tucking them up under a blanket, and preparing them pretend meals. If they’re feeling a little out of sorts in the crowds, a familiar toy is comforting to squeeze. Plus, you can use the toy to introduce wearing ear defenders and ID bracelets, which might be a little strange for your child at first.

3 Take little novelty items: it’ll help keep their attention

Festivals are exciting but there’s a lot of standing around – queuing for food, drinks and the toilet, and waiting for acts to come on stage. Having novelty items with you like a small football, bubble wands or similar can help keep kids close at a time when they probably want to wander – and you really don’t want them to!

4 Pack stickers and/or colouring pages: you want lots of things to grab that will keep your kids sitting down

Some festivals will provide these things for kids. Look out for the CBeebies tent at Camp Bestival. Or take a magazine with you. They have stickers, puzzles, colouring pages and a little novelty toy – all in an easy-to-carry package.

5 Snacks are gold: pack this one thing and your kids will be happy and nourished

It goes without saying that kids are happiest when they’re eating, so pack lots of snacks. This simple trail mix is cheap and packs in a load of fruit and protein to balance all the chips they’ll end up eating… plus, they can prepare it themselves.

They just fill a beaker with one part cereal hoops, one part raisins and another dried fruit (dried apricot for example) and one part nuts or seeds. Put on the lid and shake it all up.

For a full list of things to pack see the 5 Minute Fun Festival Survival Guide.