Thursday, 30 April 2015

5 top kids festival tips

Taking kid's to festivals can be a daunting experience. Loads of people, strange surroundings and maybe not everything to their taste. We are fortunate that Max enjoys most of the music we do. That doesn't mean that we have only gone to rock festivals such as Butserfest. We have also been to kid orientated festivals such as Lollibop. Regardless both have similar tips for surviving them with a child!

Festivals are a wonderful place to take a child. Not only are they exposed to some wonderful amazing world, they get to learn about new things, new music and try something they would never expect. There are so many different festivals out there. Day festivals where you are only there for a few hours, camping festivals where you get to get down and dirty in fields and urban weekend festivals that are normally in city surroundings over the course of a weekend.

Here are my top 5 tips for surviving a festival:

  1. Plan your day - As with anything, you have to plan when you go anywhere with a child. Festivals are no exception. When I go I tend to work out who we definitely want to go and see and where the important things like toilets are. It's worth remembering that you won't be able to get your kid to sit still through a poetry reading when they can hear the sounds of a recognisable TV character in the background. Having some back up plans is always good!
  2. Pack light - When we went to Butserfest last year we took a buggy with a rucksack. All that had was some spare clothes, blanket, sun cream, drink and small snacks (my phone and purse too!). When you go out parents tend to pack for all occasions. I chose to take a buggy for Max as I knew by early evening his legs would be fed up of running around the venue (and backstage!). It was great for keeping our stuff secure but it's also tatty enough that someone could take it/break it and it wouldn't matter too much. You don't need to take 3 books, 4 sets of clothes and an umbrella. Remember you have to carry it around all day!
  3. Ear Defenders are a must - Little ears can get damaged easily. That's why we always have a set of ear defenders with us at any gig/festival. Max might choose to take them off for a bit but for the most of it he will happily sit down with them on. They don't block out the noise completely, merely muffle it a bit so that it isn't as damaging. We love Edz Kidz ear defenders (they even fit over my ears!)
  4. Expose your child to the music - There's no use taking your kid to a rock festival if they have never heard the music before and will end up screaming the whole time. Similarly, if your child is scared of people dressed up in character outfits then it might be unsettling to take them to a big kid orientated festival where there will be loads of characters. You need to remember that more often that not a child will end up being dragged to something you want. Make sure it's something they love. Blast that cool music instead of the nursery rhymes!
  5. Embrace the experience - There is no use going to a festival and worrying about everything. It's a new experience for everyone so take it all in, be prepared to jump into something unexpected and be open to trying something new. Festivals are a wealth of culture so immerse yourself in them. There are so many out there for different people and families so find something that suits you and what you want. If you all fancy an ice cream instead of dinner then do it! Treat it like an adventure. 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

50 things that make me happy

So my lovely friend Jeni tagged me in the 50 things that make me happy tag.

  1. My family are the most important.
  2. My friends are always there for me.
  3. Having cuddles from Max.
  4. Hearing him shout "I LOVE YOU MUMMY"
  5. Reading a good book and getting to sell it to someone that will love it too.
  6. Going to a gig or festival, with or without Max.
  7. Good music.
  8. Blasting music in the car on a sunny day.
  9. Watching a great series on Netflix.
  10. Donuts. Me and my wonderful friend Jess have a thing about donuts.
  11. Having a great chat with the girls.
  12. Travelling anywhere.
  13. Holidays.
  14. Disney.
  15. Looking at the stars on a clear night.
  16. Rekorderlig cider on a warm day.
  17. Fresh sheets straight out of the dryer.
  18. The smell of freshly baked goods.
  19. Blogging.
  20. Taking photos for clients that are thrilled with the results.
  21. Taking photos for me to remember life.
  22. Road trips.
  23. Movie afternoons with the boys.
  24. Surprise post.
  25. Feeling body positive.
  26. Seeing a musical with my bestie Jess.
  27. New stationary.
  28. Gorgeous candles that leave the flat smelling lush.
  29. A nice relaxing bath with a bath bomb and a book.
  30. 80's movies with the boys.
  31. Wearing dresses that make me feel pretty.
  32. Cooking anything.
  33. Hot chocolate with marshmallows.
  34. Strawberries on a summer day.
  35. Singing and dancing.
  36. Being silly with Max.
  37. Unexpected hugs and kisses.
  38. Phone calls from people I love.
  39. Weddings.
  40. Picnics on a sunny day.
  41. Mcfly/Mcbusted.
  42. My art collection from Neil.
  43. Watching old home videos.
  44. Going shopping and treating someone.
  45. A cheeky takeaway.
  46. Crafting anything and everything.
  47. Making things for friends/family and seeing them smile.
  48. Iced tea. Always peach.
  49. Frozen yoghurt. Mango preferred.
  50. Taking a moment to appreciate the wonderful place I'm in.
Phew that was hard!
I tag Emma, Dave and Jade 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Basil Brush Live - Review

Basil Brush can be called a national treasure of kid's tv. He seems to have amused generations of adults and children alike. In fact he's been entertaining for over 50 years! So when I heard that he was on tour and we got offered tickets I couldn't really say no to the fabulous fox that keeps on saying Boom Boom.

I honestly didn't know what to expect. Me and Max have tuned into quite a few of the new YouTube videos they have produced but a stage show is always completely different as there were so many things to factor in. Especially as they have a lot of visual gags.

I didn't need to be concerned at all though. The show was packed full of gags that kept the kids laughing for hours. The 3 man cast did an amazing job portraying all the characters (including some ladies!).

The show is based around a theatre. An evil fox hypnotises the stage manager into cancelling the show so Basil and Mr Stephen have to try and find a way to put the show on, whatever it takes. This includes loads of pyrotechnics, interactive screens, climbing over the audience and a super soaker or two (be prepared.) 

There is enough adult gags that will go completely over the kid's heads that the parent's won't be bored. Let's face it, some kid's theatre can be a little bit of a bore without something to entice the adults. Lots seemed to be there for nostalgia as well as for entertaining the kids. 

I was so impressed at the energy in the show that the time flew by and before we knew it we were in a queue to meet the guys themselves. Max was so chuffed that he got to stroke Basil and have his photo taken. It's all he talked about for weeks! My picture was a bit rubbish though. 

We loved this show. It's a great price for a great afternoon full of belly laughs and gags you will be talking about for days after. Check out the tour dates still left, I'm sure they will be headed to a town near you!