My friend Kristine has an adorable, precocious daughter named Morgan. She always keeps us laughing and is such a joy! As I was putting together our regularly scheduled Burns supper, I kept seeing these cute ideas for including children and thought that it would be so much fun to plan a separate, decidedly less adult, Burns Night party with Little Miss M. in mind.
For the invitation I used THIS scottie dog template and tied on some tartan ribbon. Miss M. was thrilled to receive mail addressed to her…and only to her!
Decor from our regular, adult Burns Night remained, but I did cut down the table size and change out the linens to something a bit more festive. Also, I found some free bunting printables HERE and some others HERE that are downloadable if you sign up to be a member.
I used THIS template for the name cards and again adorned them with tartan ribbon.
Miss M. loves to color, so I made easy little books and we set up a coloring station in ‘Robbie Burns’ writing room’. iChild has great, printable Scotland and Burns inspired coloring sheets. Morgan had a good time trying to match Bryan’s tartan when coloring her kilt.
Burns Night Explanation & Ceremony for Children
I wrote a simple little explanation to introduce the evening:
Welcome, friends, to our first ever Robbie Burns Night! We are so happy to see your shining faces. We will eat and drink and continue to be merry, but first let me tell you a quick history of Burns Night.
Robert Burns (or Robbie Burns as he was known to his friends) was a poet who lived over 200 years ago and was from Scotland, which is on the island of Great Britain. Because his poems and songs were so loved and because he was such a good friend, every year on his birthday – January 25th – people come together to eat yummy food, celebrate Scottish heritage, and to read and sing some of his poems! So tonight we shall do just that.
You may now take your seats at the dining table!
Cheeseboard – Miss M. is a picky eater. We knew this, so we made sure to have some things we were certain she’d eat, such as cheese, crackers, cashews, and lots of strawberries.
Deviled Scotch Eggs – We used gluten free bread crumbs, with crushed rice crackers, and gluten free flour for the breading. Our first time making these! They were very good. As expected, Morgan ate the deviled egg but not the surrounding sausage casing.
“Haggis” Meatloaf – Again, we used gluten free bread crumbs. The adults loved this! I think most kids – who like meatloaf – would as well. Miss M. was having a persnickety night, though. 😉
Tatties & Neeps – Same recipe from our regular Burns Night.
Rustic Carrots – Adapted from the same recipe used on our regular Burns Night.
Non-alcoholic Highland Mary Punch – Morgan loved this kid-friendly punch. We also put our collection of scotches, procured for our regular Burns Night, on the table to adultify the punch and let the parents of our featured guest try.
Getting Morgan to participate in reading, or to be interested in it even, was a bit of a struggle; until we started doing silly accents and singing! She loves dancing, so we asked her to do interpretive dance to our songs. I suppose it always helps to know your guests’ interests, yes? Well, this guest loves to sing and dance! Here are just a few suggestions for kid-friendly or kid-adjacent Burns poems:
On Wedding Rings – Lovely short poem that is easy to read for kids.
A Highland Welcome – A bit dark, but short and sweet and an easy read for kids.
To a Mouse – This is quite long and written in Scots dialect but, with visual aids and a bit of explanation, it can be quite nice for an adult to read.
My Heart’s in the Highlands – A fairly easy read for children, though they may need a little help.
Amang the Trees – For an adult reader: reasonably short and you can do fun things with the ‘O’s to include the kiddos!
‘Twas Past One O’clock – I love this fun little song for an adult to sing, and Morgan had a grand time jigging to it!
Auld Lang Syne – Of course! It’s especially fun with sparklers!
Well, I suppose I can now officially put Burns Night to rest for 2017!
You can find additional mini Burns Night inspiration on my Pinterest board! I’d also be interested to know if anyone else has included children in their Burns Night celebrations. Let me know!