How to get that festival feeling with your family – at home
Published on: 26 May 2016 Author: Sophie Offord
We're heading into festival season - and events like Hay on Wye and Latitude are great for entertaining your family over the summer. But what if you're cash-strapped, time-poor and can't be bothered to carry two kids and a tent across a field?
Festivals. Go to one and you'll probably see a family blowing bubbles by the side of a stage, or making models of themselves with Plasticine. It all looks like the bohemian dream.
But the reality, for most parents, is an awful lot of hard work: grappling with tent poles, trying to clean your muddy monsters, and desperately searching through bags for the Nurofen.
So no-one will blame you if you say 'I don't think so' - and instead make a DIY festival day at home. (Bonus: you don't even have to leave the sofa.)
- It doesn't take long to give your home that carnival feeling. Why not try one or two of these ideas?
- Settle into your tent (i.e. the living room) or prettify the garden, with bunting, balloons and blankets on the floor.
- Get in some paper plates and picnic food.
- Introduce a 'dress up' theme - for example, ask everyone to wear their most colourful outfits (the more it all clashes, the better).
- If you're feeling brave, invite some of your children's friends, and tie a bit of twine over their hands like a wristband.
- Draw up a schedule for a day so the children know what to expect and when; or give them optional activities in different corners of the room.
- So now the stage is set: get ready to enter the 'imagination zone'.
As we all know, getting creative with crafts can involve a horrible amount of cleaning up - so you might want to set some drawing or writing challenges, instead.
For instance, some of Chris Riddell's illustrations are in search of a story. Can your child come to the rescue and give these images a storyline?
You could also watch one of our interactive books, and join in with the actions and story.
After all that, why not finish by listening to some fantastic talks from the best children's authors around? And unlike that muddy tent, you're also guaranteed a seat.
Fun talks and activities
You can watch the talks below via the links below.
- Shirley Hughes on her great Alfie character
- Former Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman on creative writing tips
- Comic-strip tips from Kate Brown and Neill Cameron
- Interview with Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid
- Answers to Frequently Asked Questions from Jacqueline Wilson
- David Walliams taking questions at Collingwood School
- Former Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo answering all the things you want to know about his job
- Tips on how to draw a ghostly mouse from Children's Laureate Chris Riddell
- Former Writer in Residence Matt Haig talks about one of his books, The Humans
- Former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen dishes out some poetry ideas - from gathering ideas to putting on a poetry show
- And, with a little help from us, you could end the day by doing the animal bop...
So there you are: hours of fun without the camping or weather woes. Enjoy!