This morning my eldest son Seth and I woke up to the pitter patter of raindrops on the tent roof in our back garden after taking part in the very first Big Little Tent Festival. After keeping them busy on Sunday morning, the boys fell asleep in the car. This meant Daddy and I could pitch the tent so it was all ready for when they woke up. We had sent off for a free Festival pack so I put up the bunting and the flag and when he woke up, Seth and I put on festival wristbands.
Seth entertained himself really well, firstly whipping up a festival feast with his play food (this seems to be a firm favourite at the moment, after not being played with for a very long time) and then he sat at his picnic table doing glueing and sticking and made me a magazine. Soon after, we zipped up the tent, got Rory in his baby carrier and went for a nature walk. We took a bag with us and collected sticks, chunks of bark and leaves. The local paths have been redone recently and it was good to walk through our local woodlands. It’s usually too overgrown and muddy in the summer.
After an outdoor picnic tea, Seth and I settled down outside the tent to do some craft with the collection we had found in the woods.
On Saturday, a book arrived in the post that he had won to review from Toppsta – Let’s Go Outside by Steph Scott and Katie Akers. Perfect timing to try out some of the activities inside. Although a lot of the makes are beyond his age group really- he just doesn’t have the attention span – he enjoyed collecting the supplies and picking out what he wanted me to build for him. We ended up with a slide and a swing, then Seth used some bark and a twig to make his very own seesaw. By then, the sun had begun to set. There was a lovely red sky.
It went dark and Seth asked what we could do in the dark. I was put on the spot a little bit here. I’d put quite a lot of ideas on a Pintrest board with stuff to do, but I had secretly hoped he’d just go to sleep and I would sit and read my book sipping an alcoholic beverage to celebrate it being a bank holiday and my night off baby duty. Luckily we had torches and I’d bought some glow sticks, so I just winged it! We looked round the garden with the torch. Seth found our blueberry bush and helped himself to a few berries for a ‘midnight snack’ (it was about 9pm but who’s to know?!) Then I snapped the glowsticks and Seth counted to ten while I hid them around the garden for him to find. After that, we used them to make shapes. Here are my favourite ones:
Seth announced he wanted to go to bed so we pumped a bit more air into the air bed, which kept going down, then I got him zipped up into his sleeping bag snuggled in with his teddies and we read a few books. We tried to make shadow puppets but it was quite a pathetic attempt really, although Seth liked my crocodile (which was supposed to be a dog). He nodded off fairly quickly and I was asleep myself soon afterwards.
Although I’m paying the price for it now (tired beyond words and aching from head to toe thanks to the punctured air bed) we had a good time. It’s a shame the rain started in the night and continued this morning as it brought our festival to an abrupt end before breakfast. So much for ‘a red sky at night’! Thank you Big Little Tent Festival for the inspiration. We’ll definitely think about a family camping trip next year and we’ll venture a bit further than the back garden.