For most of us, the SCA is something that you tend to think of to some extent as being a family thing. It is living history and well it isn’t like children just popped up as squiers or ladies in waiting.
As crazy as it sounds, many of us wonder how exactly do I get my tiny overload out to an event and then have us survive the day? And second is it really possible to do it with period things?
To start, children look downright adorable in garb. It is also easy to make. Pillowcase tunics, a pair of pants add a belt and boom done. Make several because chances are you will be changing them. Also don’t be afraid to make them large, they tend to grow fast and what might work one event could be too small by the next. Don’t forget a hat or hood. They can get just as crispy as us and often times faster then we think. Don’t forget that layers are your friend!
An RTS, or return to sender, is a good idea. As we know kids can wander and be gone in a flash. A belt favor with your name, both society and mundane, your phone number, an alternate emergency contact and anything important about your child ie nut allergy, non-verbal ect. can help get them back to you if they do make an escape. (As a side note they are also good for wandering campmates…)
So how do you keep them amused?
Going to see what there is to do is a good start, also check if there are any activities directed at children.
My kid loves watching the fighters, he is glued to them once swords start swinging. At the last Kingdom A&S, we had a friend who let my son play with his workbench and he ended up trying to copy him as he demoed his workbench.
We also keep a basket of SCA only toys that only come out for events. He has a crocheted hammer, a wooden teether from when he was teething. We have also brought stuffed animals and never underestimate what a few blankets and a wagon can do.
We will be adding his boffers in as he gets bigger.
Some sites even come with a playground to keep small children occupied.
Snacks are critical to our day. Cheese, fruit (fresh or dried), bread or crackers. All give a period vibe and usually are toddler favs. You can also put more mundane snacks in a wooden cup to help dress them up. Make sure you offer water as often as you can, especially if you are out of doors.
For those who still have a napping toddler, you may choose to go before or after a nap. I recommend bringing a stroller or better yet a wagon if your kiddo will nap any place. I also recommend a ring sling, they are nap time magic and are period.
Overall know that the more you play the better it will get. Friends will be made, and they will be more willing to be involved as they get bigger!