This year was our third Camp Bestival and we found so many amazing new things to do and revisited some old favourites. Mr A made us all get up early on Friday to sign up for the wood crafting workshops. These are one thing that book up fast, most things you can just turn up to of course, and Camp Bestival added lots more amazing kids activities, it would be impossible to do them all I think, but we had a good go! I have a 5yo boy and 7yo girl, here’s what we got up to!
One. Miss L wanted to try out the Badger Printing press. She has an old printers block full of nick nacks in her room and so this was the perfect chance to show her what it would have been used for. At first printing may not seem such a big deal, but as I watched I realised giving kids the chance to emblazon their words onto paper and reconnect with type was powerful indeed. I loved the slogans they came up with! £5 for 3 prints.
Two. The Soul Park had a wonderful free challenge for kids which we wanted to do but kept getting sidetracked. The field with its spa, massage, reiki and tarot tents, peacock cafe and wood fired pizzas and campfire was a lovely place to be. This gold budda in a tree fascinated my kids and we had some great chats about what we thought our soul was, spirituality and Buddas. The kids challenge was Free.
Three. my kids loved lying in the BIG TOP watching some kids animations, until David Bond came in and ruined that by asking which kids liked playing outdoors and showing his awesome film project Wild Thing, about getting kids outdoors. They watched the first 20 minutes, then dragged me and Mr A off to the Dingly Dell for some WILD TIME. We couldn’t say no of course.
I wanted to finish watching the film as I had the pleasure of meeting David at the National Trust. I saw him later in the Dingly Dell and wanted to congratulate him, but my son was in danger of cracking his chin on a log, and David looked busy trying to help one of his kids shimmy down a muddy hill, so I left it. But the twenty minutes we saw of the film, set the tone for a lot of conversations over the weekend, both ours and other parents, about how we re-engage kids with nature. Free.
Four. Oberon’s Observatory was an amazing structure, containing a miniature cinema with films showing other worlds. On the roof top are two telescopes.
In a mysterious meeting with one of the actors in the observatory I managed to solve the riddle and our family was invited back at nighttime to meet Oberon and to see the stars from the giant telescope in the roof! Mr G was so excited to be out at dark. Free.
Five. Miss L and I made willow head dresses. I was invited to participate by the workshop leader and it was the most blissful and satisfying ritual. You have to warm up the willow, here Miss L gives it a HUG!
It was also my 16th anniversary of meeting Mr A, so it seemed like and appropriate day to make a head dress! We wove in lavender and peacock feathers. £5 per headdress for an 45 min workshop.
Six We met up with the boys again and made wooded pirate boats together. It was lovely to see how Mr G got stuck in and how easily he could weave the willow.
It was also really lovely to work with the kids to finish their boats off with sails and a mast. We bought a book of nature crafts recently and this really inspired us to get stuck in! £10 per boat for an hour workshop.
He was so pleased with the final result!
As was she!
Seven Miss L and I learnt how to finger knit in a really happy and peaceful half hour in the Knitting tent, which has armchairs and floor cushions. Wool is only a £1 a ball and staff there will get you started with a one to one lesson for free. Annie was also telling me about making a yarn tipi, which I must try too!
Eight Miss L tried her hand at chromatography in the Science Tent, she’s is learning about pigments in colour and the weight of pigments. The Science tent really was awesome this year, so many great organisations teamed up to provide some amazing opportunities. Miss L did really well in Science this year, so it was fab to inspire her further with some ideas we can try out at home too. Free.
Isn’t Science amazingly pretty?
Nine We loved the potions kitchen, which is part of Lizzie’s Way, a wonderfully creative outdoor play area constructed for the festival, in the forest. I think we have to make a potions kitchen at home now, and I know the charity shops are bursting with great things we could use! Free.
Ten. My two were digging for ages trying to find gold coins in a specially prepared plot. So easy once again to play at home! Free.
Eleven Project Wild Thing invited them to take each other on a blindfold walk through the forest. Prior to this they had just been arguing, yet suddenly they were arms round each other, completely willing to trust each other and I might add, utterly respectful of each other’s lack of sight. Free.
Twelve We have always taken a little bit of Lego or some small play things to the festival as it lets the kids chill out while we watch bands. So Lego actually being there made sense. Mr A took them while I went to Knackered Mother’s Wine tasting, you can read all about that on A Residence my other blog. They all three built something, you can use whatever bricks you like for this. A pint sized tub of Lego plus whatever you make, £12.
Thirteen Making new friends. Here my two hang out with Mari from Mari’s World’s gorgeous girls. Miss L loved being a ‘twin’ for the day. Free.
Fourteen Being brave. It was the first year Miss L went on the Big Wheel without a grown up! £2.50
Fifteen. Helping to paint the giant cardboard castle in Art Town. A happy half hour was passed! Free.
Sixteen Watching the insect circus and then trying out some skills using Dad. Both free.
Seventeen Learning about Fossils with Bournemouth University students, and then painting a cast of one. Free.
Eighteen Learning how to make a circuit with LEDS, buzzers and play dough. Mr G had to be coerced away from the buzzer with ice cream, let’s just say the lady from Technology Will Save Us, who make ace science kits for kids, was very patient with him! Free.
Nineteen Miss L made coconut and lavender flavour sea shell shaped red soap, again in the Science tent. Free.
A lovely souvenir of an an incredible weekend! And just what was needed after four days in a field
Twenty Mr G made a bow and a sword, except Mr A was having so much fun making it he forgot to take a picture of the sword. This isn’t Mr A, but one of the lovely artists who ran the workshop. £10 per sword.
Thanks for having us Camp Bestival. You rocked! Or in the words of L, This is EPIC! I should also add all the staff and artists who led activities were wonderfully attentive, caring and patient, which really added to the experience.
Do read a more grown up post about the wine and cocktails and grown up offerings over on A Residence and I will leave you with some video evidence of all the fun from 2012, why we first fell in love with Camp Bestival, what we loved last year 2013 and a packing list.
Early Bird tickets for Camp Bestival 2015 go on sale Friday 8th August 2014, and there is a payment plan, so catch the bargains while you can!
Disclosure – we were given tickets to the festival in return for preview and review and live coverage – in other words, I worked hard to party hard.