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Bank holiday ideas

Bank holiday fun for all the family

Tip #1: Family karaoke

Who doesn’t love a bit of karaoke on a bank holiday? Singing together is a great way to bring the family together – even if you don’t think you can sing! There are lots of karaoke websites you can try, or simply stick on some tunes and sing over the top of them. No one’s judging you – unless of course you decide to make it a competition! Your own Eurovision perhaps – dix pointes for mum and dad!

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Tip #2: Camp out indoors

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden – and a tent – then your bank holiday problems are solved. But even if you don’t, the kids will still enjoy camping in the living room. Don’t have a tent? A sheet, two chairs and some string is all you need!

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Tip #3: Get green-fingered

Gardening is a traditional bank holiday activity. But you don’t need a garden to grow plants – or even plant pots and compost! All you need is a saucer, some kitchen towel and some dried seeds, fruit or veg from your food cupboard. This article from the BBC explains how kids can set up their own growing experiments.

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Tip #4: Hold your own gala

May is the traditional time for galas to be held in towns and villages across Scotland. But who says you can’t have your own gala? Decide who’s going to be crowned king or queen. Toys make a great audience for a coronation ceremony! You could even get the kids to make a special crown from card or tinfoil (hint – boiled sweets make great jewels) and decorate the house with homemade paper bunting (any old paper will do).

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Tip #5: World’s Strongest Kids

Hands up if you enjoy watching strongman competitions on bank holidays! Even if you don’t, it makes a great family contest. Who can carry objects from one end of the room to the other the fastest? Who can push a toy car the furthest? Who can pile the most objects onto a shelf? (Also a sneaky way to get things tidied away – win win!)

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Tip #6: Have a picnic

Wishing you could head to the beach for a picnic? If you can't go outside, a family picnic in your own living room can still be fun – and you won’t need to worry about seagulls stealing your food. Get the kids involved with making sandwiches . They could even bake some sweet treats – you can find lots of recipes here. Follow up your picnic with some family games – there are lots of ideas here.

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Ideas for older children

Okay, so older kids might not be too thrilled at the idea of being crowned Gala King or Queen of your home. Here are some ideas to make their bank holiday a bit more enjoyable too.

Ideas for older children

Tip #1: Make a stop-motion movie

Ever wondered what makes Wallace and Gromit come to life? The answer is stop motion animation – and you can do it for free on your phone! If your kids have a creative or techy streak and are in need of a project that will really absorb them, this could be the answer. All they need is a phone, some free software and something to film – this could be LEGO, toys, their own drawings, your origami models or any other objects they can lay their hands on. Their imagination will do the rest! This YouTube video explains how to get started.

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Tip #2: Dance the day away

If your kids are restless and need to burn off some energy, how about getting them to try an online dance class? Y-Dance offers classes in jazz and fun and funky commercial dance, while budding Billy Elliots can check out these classes from Scottish Ballet. If that doesn’t sound very holiday-ish, how about organising a dance-off with their friends via video chat? Choose a theme, get dressed up, even decorate the living room with lights and a tin-foil glitter ball and party on! It’s amazing how quickly they’ll stop feeling a bit daft dancing round the living room and start having fun.

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Tip #3: Create an online photo album

So you can’t get away this bank holiday, but why not use the time to relive past days out and think about where you might like to go in the future? Now’s a great time to look back over all those holiday photos you and your kids have sitting on your phones and organise them into online albums. The kids could do this on their own, or you could do it together as a family and reminisce about the fun you’ve had, laugh about the times when things went wrong, and look ahead to future trips.

If you have a printer, you could choose a few photos to print out and frame, or even use an online service to transform them into a canvas. If you’ve too many to choose from, how about making a photobook?

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Tip #4: Take part in the 2.6 challenge

With the cancellation of the London Marathon, many charities are feeling the pinch. But your kids can help by coming up with an activity related to the numbers 2.6 or 26 and raising some money for their favourite cause. How about 26 keepy-uppies? A circuit session with 26 stations? A 2.6 hour dance marathon to put those new-found skills to good use? The more creative the idea the better. They don’t need to be raising thousands – every penny counts.

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Tip #5: Learn to code

Your kids may already be learning how to code at school, but there are lots of online resources out there to help them learn more in a fun way that won’t feel like school. Code.org offers free tutorials including how to code your own Minecraft game or dance party (useful if they’re trying our first tip), while Code Monkey offers a free trial.

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