With the festival season well and truly upon us, how can you make the most of your family time? With a heritage that originated at country fairs and horse shows, lifestyle brand Joules has plenty of experience of field trips! Here are their five top tips for maximum family fun in a field.
1. Pack all the essentials
We never leave home without a good pair of wellies and waterproofs, plus spare clothes for everyone including the adults – you never know when you might get a good soaking, and feeling wet and cold can put a dampener on everyone’s spirits.
You can’t beat a good picnic lunch – all that country air can work up an appetite. A pack-away picnic rug is a handy addition to bring a touch of sophistication (and added comfort) to proceedings. We also like to keep a few useful bits and pieces in the boot of the car – just to be prepared for all eventualities. These include buckets and spades, a kite, a ball, a frisbee and a good old-fashioned map – never fully trust the sat-nav! Water, sun cream and a first-aid kit are essentials, too.
2. Make the journey fun
Ah, the age old dilemma of keeping those backseat cries of “Are we there yet?” at bay. Rather than rely on gadgets (looking at a screen can exacerbate motion sickness, and you definitely don’t want that!), try traditional games that rely on your wits.
A few favourites include Who am I? or 20 questions, I-Spy and listing games, with players working through the alphabet in turn (My name is Alfred, I live in Alaska and I have Aubergines in my basket). Another good one is the Category Game, where you list off things like countries, fruit, sandwich fillings, animals, Dr Who character – whatever takes your fancy!
Top Trumps and a deck of cards are useful, but may be best played at your destination. We’re also fans of a good old sing-song sessions too. If you’re headed for a festival, you might want to plays CDs of some of the artists who will be performing. Who doesn’t love to singalong 500 Miles with The Proclaimers? When peace and quiet is sorely needed all round, electronic devices are good to have to hand, too – just make sure they’re fully charged.
3. Wear in your wellies!
Always make sure that your wellies are still a comfortable fit with a good pair of thick socks – it might be an idea to buy a size larger than your other footwear. We highly recommend our fleece welly socks for the simple reason that having cold feet is a truly miserable state of affairs.
To break new boots in when you first get them, gently bend the soles backwards and forwards to increase flexibility. It’s a good idea to wear them around the house a few times before venturing out for a long walk
All Joules wellies come with a one-year money back-guarantee too.
4. Try some fun field games
Again, there’s as many games as your imagination can think up. Building a den, What’s the time Mr Wolf?, hide-and-seek, tag, tree climbing and welly wanging, a Joules’ team favourite, where you fling your wellies either as far as possible, or to try and reach a specific target (yes, jumpers are not only handy as goalposts!). It’s great fun and not as easy as it sounds.
5. Don’t let rain stop play
The old saying ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes’ is applicable here. Our Right as Rain collection of wet-weather essentials was designed to make sure the whole family can still get out and about whatever the weather: we do live in the UK, after all. We’re fans of puddle jumping, not letting rain stop play and we don’t mind a wet walk on the beach. That’s what your wellies are made for!
Did you know? The ‘sport’ of Welly Wanging originated in the Yorkshire village of Upperthong after a spat between two farmers, one of whom accidently spilt ale in the other’s wellington boot. The farmer with the sodden foot took his boot off and chased the other farmer, but – running in one shoe – soon lost the chase. In an attempt to catch the other farmer, he hurled – or ‘wanged’ to use the local dialect – his welly at him. The locals found their escapades so entertaining that they often re-enacted the gesture before adding some sporting rules and incorporating it into their annual village fete activities. Welly wanging is now an established part of many rural events, fetes and festivals.
Fun fact You can wang a welly any way you like: one-handed, double-handed, between the legs and with a backwards throw. You can also take up to 42 paces before letting go of your welly – the 42 here is a nod to Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and one of the sport’s most famous fans, who claimed, in his humorous writing, that the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.
If you fancy trying a little Welly Wanging with Joules, you can catch up with them on the festival trail at CarFest North on July 31–August 2 (Oulton Park, Cheshire), CarFest South August 28–30 (Laverstoke Park Farm, Overton, Hampshire) and The Big Feastival 28–30 August.