While many festivals may have been postponed or cancelled, 2020 is proving to be the year of inventive creativity - so why not embrace the summer season and hold your very own festival at home? From choosing (or even making) your own music, decorations, food, costumes and activities to keep everyone in the festival spirit, let your imagination run free and enjoy yourselves! You and your children will find planning and preparing for your festival can be just as much fun as the event itself, so fish out the fairy lights, jam jars and face paints, and get preparing. From making wrist bands to bunting, this is something everyone can get involved in while costing very little, and can help with decluttering your home too!
Wrist bands: Let your children help measure wrists, and create festival bands for all the family. These can be simple paper bands coloured in or painted, and brightened up with glitter, coloured wrappers or buttons. You could use strips of fabric, or ribbon, and jazz them up by sewing on buttons or beads - or simply use different coloured wool or string, and get everyone plaiting their own. Even beads on thread will make a nice keepsake wrist band, while keeping little fingers busy and entertained.
Bunting, flags and streamers: For bunting, create a simple template from card and use that to draw around and cut out triangles of paper, card or old fabric. The kids can have fun painting the triangles, and then simply staple, glue or sellotape them to string or wool. Top tip: set your string or wool out where you want it draped first, and then attach the triangles. This may save you spending lots of time untangling bunting, especially outdoors if there is a breeze! Ribbons or narrow strips of fabric hanging from a tree, garden parasol, chair backs or even a washing line can also add to the festival feel. Adding fairy lights to your creations can really help enhance them. Do double check nothing is dangling near open flames (or the barbecue).
Lighting: add to the magic by incorporating fairy lights and candles in jars or hurricane lamps. If you have younger children, or are having your festival indoors, battery candles are a safer option, and can be picked up quite cheaply in stores and online - they are always handy to have in the house and can be reused simply for indoor decoration, and 'lit' for any party, celebration, event, or even during a powercut! Battery operated fairy lights look great in old jam jars dotted around the garden, or even indoors too. And don't forget the glow sticks!
Music: Make a playlist of your favourites, and let everyone chip in with theirs too. Make sure this is available offline to ensure the music never stops! You can join in with some karaoke sessions, and encourage everyone to take a turn at performing - be that singing, dancing, or an open mic poetry or comedy piece. Even if they don't have or play an instrument, kids love making their own - empty plastic bottles with dried rice or pasta are perfect for percussion. Whatever your thing - this is your own tailor made festival after all, but do think of your neighbours when it comes to noise levels, especially in the evening! Virtual festivals you can tap into: Yes, a few are being hosted online, and some are free! Find details here.
Food: Your festival - so your choice, but keeping it simple, with things which can be prepared beforehand means you can relax and enjoy the festival too. Finger foods the little ones can help themselves to throughout are ideal, or to have available as a snack to tide them over while cooking something more substantial. And kids do love to help - so tap into that, maybe making their own pizzas! For outdoor festivals, a BBQ is a great choice. If you have limited outdoor space, small disposable barbecues are available in most supermarkets throughout summer (do not try to use these indoors though). Don't forget the marshmallows and skewers - even if you don't have space for a fire pit, you can still toast them over the barbecue!
Seating: You can create cosy nooks and dens with rugs and cushions on the floor. Deckchairs, camping chairs and makeshift benches can all help create the festival experience. Sun shades and pop up tents make great festival-style shelters, you may even want to try making your own tipi. Sheets suspended from a tree or washing line can create a perfect makeshift den! Even indoors, we all know how creative children can be with just chairs, cushions and a few sheets. Adding fairy lights to a home-made den can really make it magical. Pop in some books to provide a quieter break out zone - for you or for the kids!
Entertainment: Along with the music, simple props like inflatable or cardboard instruments can help make your at home festival more fun - who can give the best air guitar performance? Craft activities (check out our Kids zone for ideas), juggling, face painting , sparklers, skittles (make your own if you don't have any), creating daisy chains or simply blowing bubbles are all things kids will enjoy. You could even create your own photo booth filled with hats, scarves and wigs, or make your own props. Who doesn't love a cardboard moustache on a stick? You could make it really colourful, and combine your festival fun with the 2020 Paint Runner at home for St Michael's Hospice - this is running all throughout summer and is great fun.
Outfits: Festival goers will know anything goes, the whackier the better. Have fun dressing up, let the kids choose their own outfits and see what creations they come up with. Wellies optional!
Sleeping: you may want to really get into the festival spirit and plan a camp out (or camp in, if space is limited). If you have outdoor space, setting up a tent and having a camp out under the stars in your own garden can become a mini adventure - but even if you don't, a pop up tent, or simple sleeping den in your own front room can be just as much fun by torchlight.
We hope you have a fantastic summer, and enjoy trying out your very own festival at home. Don't forget to send us in any more festival at home ideas, and we would love to see any photos of you all having some festival fun this summer.
Mum. Nan. And editor of Raring2go! Hereford & Worcester.