It seems this summer my friends are embracing festivals with their five year olds and I’ve been asked countless times about what to pack. We’ve been on the festival scene since Isabella was potty training, so we’re pretty seasoned in our festival set up. Here’s what we’ve learnt over our last 6 festivals with small kids…

A decent sized tent

It might feel like a good idea at the time to pack the smallest, easiest to transport tent to your festival, but this would be a mistake! Every festival we have gone to have trolleys to hire so you can easily get all of your kit from car to camping spot without any bother. 

Air beds

If you want a decent night’s sleep, remember your air beds.

Camping stove and kettle

This is something we’ve taken to some festivals and left behind for others. Earlier this year we left it behind and I was GUTTED. I had to endure 30+ mins of morning coffee queues. Not the best way to start your festival day if you need your caffeine hit in the morning.

Biodegradable glitter

You’ll have seen all the photos of glitter clad kids and parents at festivals – it costs a fortune for a family of four to get this done ‘professionally’ and the queues to match. So I’d advise on purchasing some before you go, pack them in your handbag and glitter up when you’re there. You’ll also the. Guarantee that your glitter won’t harm the environment. Win, win. 

Seats and blankets

Even if you’re lucky enough to get amazing festival weather, and you should given how amazing this summer has been, you’ll still want to rest those legs. So, make sure you pack your camping chairs and picnic blanket so you have a base. Without it, at bigger festivals, you’ll lose your spot if anyone goes to get food etc. 

Warm clothes

Even in the hottest of days, you’ll feel the chill by night – so don’t forget a onesie for the kids, jumpers etc! You’ll be thankful for them.

Snacks

Always worth putting some extra snacks in the bag for the weekend. The little ones will be walking a long way and will need more refuelling than you!

Reusable water and coffee cups

At most festivals there are water refill points, avoiding the need for any single use plastic! Pack your water bottles and you’ll be sorted for the weekend. Hot drinks vendors are more than happy to fill up reusable coffee cups these days too. Hooray! 

The one item I often get asked about is transport for the kids. It really depends on how old your children are and how grumpy they get if they are walking for too long. You’ll have seen the photos of kids in festival trolleys all decorated with flowers and fairy lights – they are great if you have a couple of kids, but they do come with a price tag. We’ve personally avoided them for a couple of reasons; we’ve seen people try to drag them through mud and that looks bloody hard work, if Isabella is tired at the end of the day that’s fine – we will go back to our tent and listen to the music from there rather than let her sleep in the trolley (personal choice!) and in the sunshine I get hot and sweaty walking myself around never mind pulling one of those big metal things with me!! 

When we went to our first festival with Isabella she had just turned two – I took a backpack baby carrier which her potty was attached to (yes you can potty train at festivals!) You’ll learn a lot at each festival you go to about what works for you and your family. Whatever the packing list, have a fabulous time and let us know what festivals you’ve been exploring this summer @helloecoliving 

Happy camping! 

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