Families Edinburgh March/April 24

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Issue 141 March / April 2024 familiesonline.co.uk IN THIS ISSUE Easter Fun What’s On Clubs & Classes
2 Families Edinburgh familiesonline.co.uk Call us on 0131 622 0405 3-5 News & Views 6 Bunny Binoculars 7-9 Easter Camps & Activities 10 Packaging Learning 11 Learning Forest School Skills 12 A Year of Nature Activities 13-15 Out & About What’s Inside.... T 0131 622 0405 editor@familiesedinburgh.co.uk @FamiliesEdinburghMagazine @Familiesedinbur E Get in Touch Sea Monkeys Mini Pet Activity Bundles Giveaway Ages 6+ APPLY at familiesmag.co.uk/go Hatch, grow and nurture your own swimming pets! Bundles include: Sea Monkeys Ocean Zoo Sea Monkeys Instant Life Mystery Egg Sea Monkeys On Mars Tank Sea Monkeys Magic Castle Tank PLEASE NOTE: COLOURS MAY VARY Worth £53 each T&Cs apply NEXT ISSUE Summer 2024 Summer Camps Days Out Fringe for Kids

St George’s School, Edinburgh

As Edinburgh’s only 3-18 girls’ school, St George’s is a place of possibilities.

The courage of our founding mothers, who pioneered women’s education in Victorian Scotland, still echoes defiantly through our corridors. That’s why amplifying the voice of every girl remains part of our DNA today. Everyone here is respected, appreciated and treated with genuine compassion – thanks to exceptional pastoral care which nurtures close-knit pupil-teacher relationships.

We consider ourselves big on ambition for our pupils, yet we still know that small details matter. Excellent relationships, interest in every individual and a strong community mean each and every girl can find their passion and talents.

Our careful attention to each developmental stage means girls experience an abundance of opportunity, strong female role-models and leadership expertise all through the school, utterly free from stereotypes.

Over 90% of our girls achieve their first-choice university: leaving us as grounded, empathetic change-makers, ready to take on the world…

Find out more at our Open Day on March 8. Book online www.stge.org.uk or please get in touch T: 0131 311 8008, E: admissions@stge.org.uk

Sight Scotland and Sight Scotland Veterans

Tackling vision loss together

We are an Edinburgh-based charity who have specialised in helping people with sight loss for more than 230 years. We help people like Freya, who is six years old from Tranent. Freya, who was born very prematurely and has severe vision impairment, has been inspired by music and song to start speaking, something that her parents did not think was possible.

Our new ‘More Than Meets The Eye’ campaign shows people what life with sight loss can look like when they have the right support. It aims to dispel the negative perceptions of people living with sight loss and show that vision impairment isn’t a barrier to living a happy and fulfilling life.

Our range of services support people with visual impairment and span all stages of sight loss, including learning services, support in the community, residential care, enterprise and funding for research.

Find out more by visiting sightscotland.org.uk

French Courses For Your Wee Ones

Boob Bling is an Edinburgh based business, specialising in premium quality breastmilk jewellery.

Owner and mum of 2, Lauren Devine, wanted to create tasteful and elegant pieces of fine jewellery that celebrate a mum’s breastfeeding journey.

Boob Bling jewellery is designed and lovingly hand crafted right here in Edinburgh using only solid Silver and Gold. They are also passionate about only using sustainable and ethically sourced materials. There is no piece of jewellery more unique and precious than a piece of Boob Bling!

Find out more at www.boobbling.co.uk

You want your kid to learn a foreign language? Join us at the Institut français d’Ecosse!

In the heart of Edinburgh, we welcome kids from 3 y/o in a playful and secure environment, exploring French language through stories, songs, crafts with our experienced French native teachers. Register now for next term starting on the 17th of April 2024.

Full information on classes and booking can be found at ifecosse.org.uk

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions: frenchclassesife@gmail.com

0131 285 6030

Email us - editor@familiesedinburgh.co.uk familiesonline.co.uk Families Edinburgh 3 news&views We have support services from children including a speciaist school, accessible holiday and after school club through to the elderly in Edinburgh. Find out more about our services in Edinburgh at sightscotland.org.uk or call 0800 024 8973 Scottish Charity Number SC017167
Boob Bling

Forth School of Music

Forth School of Music have recently expanded into West Lothian, running piano group classes at Tots Spot Play Cafe, as well as at their own Edinburgh studio on Newhaven Road.

Their group classes are for children aged 3+ and explore many aspects of musicality through games, songs, rhythms and patterns.

As well as their group classes, they will continue to offer individual instrumental lessons for all ages at their studio on Newhaven Road. The teachers here will continue to provide tuition in trumpet, singing, guitar, bass guitar, ukulele, flute and piano, with additional new slots available for violin lessons for all ages and abilities.

All information can be found on their website, where bookings can be made too. Get in touch via the website or through social media or email if you need more information about any of their services. They offer a taster session for all group classes and individual lessons.

Edinburgh Finishing School

Welcome to Edinburgh's First Finishing School, where fun meets learning. Our new kids etiquette school is an exciting journey for your child to discover manners, pose, and social skills through enjoyable activities led by our friendly instructors.  Every class is a delightful blend of education and play, ensuring your child not only learns essential life skills but also has a great time doing so.

At our Finishing school, we emphasise boosting confidence and kindness through easy, mindful practices by giving your child the gift of grace and self-assurance. Every lesson will be an adventure, and learning in a joyous enriching manner with fun being at the forefront. Watch your child grow with lasting confidence.

Classes take place at RSE Edinburgh from 4.30 - 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays 25% discount for a limited time only.

Call 07942 383 627 or email sheila@edinburghfinishingschool.com

to book your child's place

Ninja Warrior Edinburgh

Brand NEW Build Your Own Party Packages are coming to Ninja Warrior Edinburgh on June 1st 2024. As simple as:

• Select date and time

• Choose food package

• Add treats and any add ons and you're done! For ages 4+



Like us on Facebook - www.Facebook.com/FamiliesEdinburghMagazine news&views 4 Families Edinburgh familiesonline.co.uk Classes in- pre-school rad ballet jazz tap contemporary commercial acro adult dance ASN More! FIRST 2 WEEKS FREE!

A Journey to Healing from Kedras Clinics

If you or your child is struggling with their mental health, challenges associated with neurodivergence and/or worried about performance in any area of life, Kedras Clinics based in Edinburgh and Perth is offering an innovative, evidence-based, ground breaking approach that could help.

The clinics are one of the UK leading providers of a technique called neurofeedback that basically uses technology to help the brain function at its best, meaning it stays calm and focussed, leading to an overall feeling of physical and mental relaxation. As it works with both the conscious and subconscious, neurofeedback often works where other psychological and pharmacological interventions have struggled to make an impact. After children and adults engage in sessions, they find they can do more in less time as their brain is working better, tasks seem easier to achieve, emotions are more controlled, pain is reduced, relationships improve, and life overall seems easier. It’s an approach used extensively in the USA, Europe, and some parts of the UK, to successfully treat mental health problems and improve performance in school, work, or sports by increasing attention, focus and concentration, reducing anxiety, and improving motivation, leading to optimum performance.

Neurofeedback is non-invasive, works with areas of the brain most therapies struggle to reach leading to long-lasting impact with no need to talk or articulate problems, which children and many adults struggle to do. It’s an easy, engaging approach that creates results without much effort on the part of the person in treatment. Studies have shown that compared to taking medication, neurofeedback has more durable effects with no drug-related complications (e.g., Van Doren et al., 2019).

Dr Dawn Harris, founder of Kedras Clinics, spoke of how after years of using various therapeutic approaches to help people overcome challenges, she knew there must be something more, something better than what she had been using. After training in neurofeedback, she has been constantly amazed at the results.

Dr Harris shares her vision for Kedras Clinics, stating, "we believe the brain has the power to overcome any obstacle and achieve unimaginable heights. We are committed to guiding each person on their personal transformative journey, empowering them to lead a life beyond limitations."

Kedras clinics use neurofeedback in combination with other approaches.

For example, if working with children, play therapy is used alongside neurofeedback or with adults, other therapeutic approaches can be used to compliment neurofeedback.

Below is a testimonial from the parent of an 11-year-old girl:

“After a few months of Emma’s anxiety increasing and affecting her daily life, we were delighted with how she improved even after one session. Emma’s anxiety settled after having neurofeedback, and she is back living a full and happy life. We are so glad we found Kedras and were amazed by the difference is made to Emma so quickly.”

Learn more about Kedras Clinics by visiting their website www.kedrasclinics.com calling 0131 376 4242 or emailing them at admin@kedrasclinics.com

Dr Dawn Harris can be contacted on dawn@kedrasclinics.com

Could you be the new Editor and owner of Families Edinburgh?

So, first things first - I LOVE being the Editor of Families Edinburgh and will happily continue to do this until the right person comes along to take the reigns from me.

But, when I first took on the magazine back in 2006 my daughters were both in Primary school - now one of them is in her probationary year as a Primary School teacher!

I am so glad I had the opportunity to be available to my kids right through school (and beyond!) Running the magazine worked brilliantly around being a parentbarely a school show or assembly did I miss. I worked around the school day and school holidays.

If you are looking for a, quite frankly, marvellous job and the opportunity to run your own business where you can set your own hours and work around your family then get in touch. Families Edinburgh is part of a franchise and you can have as much or as little support from Head Office and the other magazine Editors around the country as suits you. Drop me an email to find out more.

Let your child flourish with confidence at knowing what is the right way of doing things and let their future be bright.

We strive to provide a fun filled time at our school learning about poise, manners and etiquette with a touch of mindfulness the modern way.

We are affordable and centrally located at RSE Edinburgh so all kids can enjoy the experience.

Classes are 4.30pm-7pm. Tuesdays or Thursdays. Call to book- 07942 383 627 sheila@edinburghfinishingschool.com

For foods that are more about the goodness and less about the processed
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familiesonline.co.uk Families Edinburgh 5

Be egg hunt ready with our BUN�Y Binoculars!

Hop into the Easter spirit with this delightful craft!

Unleash your little one’s creativity and recycle cardboard tubes to make bunny-shaped binoculars. Are you ready for the hunt?

Let the crafting adventure begin!

You will need:

• Loo roll tubes (x2)

• Cereal box card

• Tape

• Scissors

What to do:

• PVA glue

• Colouring materials

• Printed template (scan QR code to download)

Step 1:

Glue the two tubes together to make binoculars. Leave to dry.

Step 3:

Glue the rest of the template to cereal box card. Once dry, ask a grown up to help you cut out the nose and ears.

Step 2:

Ask a grown up to help you cut out the band from the printed template.

Step 4:

Use glue to attach the nose to one end of the binocular tubes. Leave to dry.

This activity has been provided by toucanBox (www.toucanbox.com) whose all-in-one subscription craft boxes for kids make playtime easy-peasy.

Step 5:

Colour in your band, then wrap around the binoculars and glue tab to secure.

Step 6:

Ask a grown up to help you cut a small slit for each ear, about 1cm away from the end of the tube.

Step 7:

Insert the bunny ear tabs into the slits. Fold the tabs towards you and tape to the inside of the tube.

anCutout dKeep 

Easter Camps & Activities

TotalRugby Easter & Summer Camps

8th to 12th April 2024 29st July to 2nd August 2024 5th to 9th August 2024

TotalRugby has been running fun packed school holiday rugby camps for 5 to 16 year old boys and girls in Edinburgh since 2009. Our structured yet fun programmes will help develop and improve their rugby skills and techniques in a fun and safe learning environment. We absolutely love seeing children return to us each year allowing us to help them in their next stage of rugby, whilst they enjoy spending the holidays with friends or making some new ones. We even have some returners from abroad. One mum recently commented ”(he) has loved it and thanks to Gib and the coaches his love for rugby is reignited.” 10am to 3.30pm - £200 for 5 days

Fettes College Playing Fields, Edinburgh, EH4 1QX (indoor facilities available if very wet)

For more information visit www.totalrugby.org or contact us at info@totalrugby.org

DN Dance

School holidays are great for kids, but it’s important to find enough of the right things to do to stimulate their young minds.

That can sometimes be a challenge, particularly for working parents. Sound familiar? Well look no further. DN Dance holiday clubs provide the perfect balance of creative stimulation, learning and fun to ensure your child has a super rewarding week.

Our holiday clubs are generally based around a theme, we often use well known musicals or the latest kids film craze. All the activities and crafts we do tie into that theme.

Subscribe to the mailing list to receive emails about all upcoming holiday clubs for kids Dndance.co.uk


Our dynamic weekly play sessions


just call or email: 0345 313 3252 kirsty@rugbytots.co.uk

Email us - editor@familiesedinburgh.co.uk familiesonline.co.uk Families Edinburgh 7 MAKE YOUR CHILD’S DEVELOPMENT MORE FUN!
enable boys and girls aged
to develop their social and physical skills in a fun, positive environment.
The world’s favourite rugby play programme rugbytots.co.uk

Easter Camps & Activities


This Easter, Whizzkids will be offering its four favourite fun and educational computer courses, running from 1st to 5th and 8th to 12th April. Children can learn useful keyboard skills using a fun and engaging program on the touch-typing course or create keyrings, cards, t-shirts, stickers and gift boxes on the computer art course. For those with an interest in coding, the Scratch course offers a great introduction with its user-friendly format and the Raspberry Pi course offers a more advanced level of coding using the Python programming language.

For further information visit www.whizzkids.uk.com, email gillian@whizzkids.uk.com or call 0131 447 5893.

The Wild Outdoors

Immerse yourself in an array of thrilling activities with The Wild Outdoors Holiday Camps!

From exhilarating Easter hunts to soaring down zip lines, wielding gel blasters, and racing pedal go-karts, every moment promises excitement. Dive into nature with crafts, planting activities, and honing fire and survival skills, all set at our gorgeous locations in Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders. Our camps offer flexible options, including half-day adventures, full-day escapades, and unforgettable summer overnight stays. With convenient booking and payment plans, you can secure your spot hassle-free and even pay in installments. Join us for an unforgettable experience packed with fun, learning, and unforgettable memories. Booking through our website www.thewildoutdoors.org

Easter Trail Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

Friday 29 March to Sunday 14 April

Daily from 10:00 to 16:30

Cost: £3 per trail booklet. Purchase on arrival at the Garden.

Come and help the Botanics Bunny in its quest to find the elusive Golden Egg. Complete the challenge and get a sweet reward.

30 March - 14 April Edinburgh International Science Festival

The theme of this years festival is Shaping the Future.

Celebrating the power and potential that human creativity, collaboration, innovation and play have to change our world for the better, the 2024 Festival will explore the roles of science, technology and their creative cousins in tackling the challenges and seizing the opportunities that our ever-changing world presents.

A range of amazing experiences for all ages, with a programme of exhibitions, events, workshops, performances, screenings and discussions between some of the world's foremost scientific minds.

Venues across Edinburgh including Dynamic Earth, City Arts Centre, Edinburgh Zoo, National Museum of Scotland, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

8 Families Edinburgh familiesonline.co.uk Like us on Facebook - www.Facebook.com/FamiliesEdinburghMagazine
www.doodlescotland.co.uk 27-29 Marchmont Cres EH9 £20 deposit required when booking NEW EXPANDED PREMISES pottery painting fun birthday parties age 8+ unique gifts for all occasions baby hand & footprints clay imprints take home kits vouchers 100s of colours to choose from call us on 0131 229 1399 to book your painting session today

National Mining Museum

There’s something for everyone this Spring at National Mining Museum Scotland!   Come along for a guided tour of the colliery with an ex-miner guide and enjoy our Find the Colliery Cats/Easter Bunny Hunt activity as you go round!   Family events run throughout the Spring and include our ever popular Pirates and Princesses event, Dino Day and Dig, Victorian Tours and activities and Family Ghost Tours.

Families can also explore our Green Zone!  Have fun in the play park with new weather and biodioversity activities, investigate new energies and technologies like a scientist in the Energy Lab and explore engineering and climate change in the Interactive Hub through our series of challenges!

Activity packs and sensory backpacks are available to borrow from our reception to get the most out of a family visit. For full information about your visiting see www.nationalminingmuseum.com

Angela Watson School of Dance

Our dance camps are a lot of fun with dancing, games, outdoor play, crafts and more.

We have a gorgeous dance studio and a wonderful outdoor setting for activities if the weather permits.

Join our wonderfully talented dance and MT teacher Cat McNally from Monday 8th to Thursday 11th April from 9am - 3pm.

Learn new dance styles, make new friends, and have a brilliant time. We will also be holding dance camps throughout the summer holidays so do look out for these on our website, instagram and Facebook page. We run regular weekly classes in Ballet, Jazz, Acro and Musical Theatre for children from three years to adult.

All our teachers are fully qualified, hold PVG’s, are first aiders and passionate about the training of young minds and dancers.  Our classes are age appropriate, fun, rewarding and engaging. angelawatsonschoolofdance.co.uk instagram.com/angelawatsonschoolofdance www.facebook.com/angelawatsonschoolofdance

Spring at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Join us at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on Saturday 30 March to decorate your own Fabergé inspired eggs, make a Spring-inspired crown and explore the gardens with your copy of the Family Garden trail. On selected dates during the Easter holidays, join us in the Family Room to discover the story behind some beautifully decorated eggs in the Royal Collection, and make your own bejewelled egg to take home. Come back again for free by converting your ticket to a 1-Year Pass. For full details of upcoming events please visit www.rct.uk/whatson

29 March - 1 April Easter Outdoor

Fun Lauriston

Castle 11am - 4pm

Free and drop-in events all day. Collect an easter trail or egg hunt quiz from the front of the castle and see how far you get.  Maybe you’ll discover parts of the grounds you haven’t seen before!

Follow us on Twitter @FamiliesEdinbur familiesonline.co.uk Families Edinburgh 9 FRENCH COURSES FOR KIDS 0131 285 6030 IFECOSSE.ORG.UK Institut Français d'Écosse, West Parliament Square, Edinburgh, EH1 1RN FROM 17 APRIL 2024 LET YOUR CHILDREN HAVE FUN WHILE LEARNING FRENCH!

Packaging learning

Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote ‘tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember; involve me and I learn’ captures the essence behind true learning.

This may be why encouraging your own child to WANT to sit down to learn can feel like an impossible task at times, with parents often questioning how their child is able to sit, concentrate and learn at school.

Covid lockdowns thrust homeschooling onto families. Parents had to take on the role of teachers, experiencing the complexities surrounding learning, while children faced the need to respond differently to their parents as teachers.

Being in a classroom in a school setting, rather than at home, helps children grasp that a different set of rules apply. In fact, in schools, they conform simply because the majority do - children are excellent at policing each other!

There has been a rise in the number of families who choose to homeschool, many of whom have developed effective strategies to create a learning environment at home. Whether you want to homeschool, support homework or just nurture a love for learning, a deep dive into the working mind of a child can offer ways to package learning.

Understanding that learning is something that occurs through experiences or acquiring knowledge and skills, we can usefully engineer situations and scenarios to facilitate this. These techniques can package learning as inviting and exciting.

Use toys. This applies for children of all ages. For example, Nerf guns are great at firing at answers to times table questions or spelling. Scrabble tiles are also fantastic for practising spelling. Foam letters or numbers in the bath are fun for both spelling and maths questions.

Go into the wild. There’s so much learning to be done in the great outdoors: making rain gauges, following maps, gardening, studying wildlife and classification.

Question of the week. To encourage independent thinking, at the start of the week pose a question which doesn’t have an obvious answer. For example: ‘Who built the strongest buildings - Romans or Saxons?’ Developing curiosity in children is key to packaging learning.

Celebrating achievements

This is the fun, rewarding and essential part of parenting, increasing self-esteem and motivating children to keep learning. Try these:

The Tate Modern allows children to upload their own artwork for display in the online gallery (www.tate.org.uk/kids).

Some maths apps have pre-made certificates. For example, Whiterose 1 Minute Maths App (www.whiteroseeducation. com/1-minute-maths)

Blue Peter Badges are fantastic way to celebrate children’s work. There are a number of badges your child can apply for and they even get your child into some attractions for free!

Computer games. The settings and characters in welldeveloped computer games are designed to entice children. This can be good for enhancing creative writing skills.

Book and movie comparison. Turn a movie session into a learning opportunity. Watch the film and then read the book or vice versa. Compare their similarities and differences.

Reading dogs. There’s a lot of research that suggests that children’s reading improves if they read to pets. It’s as simple as that!

Treasure hunts. Children love finding things. Plant words, numbers, sentences, objects and questions around the house and send children to find them.

Board games. A lot of learning can come out of playing board games. Create your own board game linked to your chosen topic.

Current issues - whether environmental, social or political. Find something that your child is passionate about. Write letters, research, devise fundraising events.

Zuzu Jordan is a Mastery for Maths specialist who has taught primary aged children for sixteen years and is interested in early years and home learning. For free homework and home learning resources, find the Facebook page Edumateuk.

Cross curricular learning

Cross curricular learning links subjects together, allowing children to find patterns and connections, thus developing and deepening their knowledge of a subject. For example, writing a diary entry in the role of someone in Ancient Roman times embraces English and history and is therefore a cross curricular activity.

This type of learning helps enforce key knowledge and make subjects meaningful. Cross curricular links are particularly important in maths as they provide context for their mathematical problems.

Call us on 0131 622 0405 10 Families Edinburgh familiesonline.co.uk

Learning Forest School skills

‘How was school today ?’ a parent asked their child ‘It was amazing : we all worked together to build a den; we played hide and seek in the woods and toasted marshmallows on a real fire!’ the child enthusiastically responded. This was a conversation I overheard in the playground after my first Forest School session with my Primary class. No mention of the new method of addition that we had worked so hard on using manipulatives; no rendition of the funny poem that we had been reading in English that had us all laughing as we acted out the different verses.

Was I disappointed? Not one bit.

Learning outside the box

My class was the first class at the school to ‘do Forest School’ and they (and the adults) loved every minute of the afternoon. Some people might question ‘losing’ an afternoon’s learning within a packed, timetabled curriculum. I’d respond that rather than loss, the experience was in fact very beneficial to helping these children, preparing them in general for life beyond education. Teamwork, communication skills, risk analysis, trying things outside your comfort zone, resilience and independence are just a few things that my class of 7 and 8year-olds learned that afternoon and they continued to learn and make progress in these areas throughout their time at primary school.

New experiences

For some children, Forest School and learning outside the classroom can seem scary and unfamiliar. They may not have as much access to the outdoor environment as previous generations and this needs to be handled sensitively. Such children can still learn the skills and also enjoy everything that the environment has to offer, when lead by adults who are aware of and respond to how they are feeling in a way that helps them get the most out of the opportunity.

Making it work

Not every school has access to a forest or woodland area but they can still embrace the ethos of Forest School and it can be adapted in so many ways. You don’t have to have a real fire to sing songs in the round and you can be creative in an art or music lesson and take it outside!

Trips and residential oppor tunities

These are a highlight of a child’s school life, allowing them to empathise with how other people live or lived, giving them a change of scenery and a change of adult teachers. Not all children learn best when sat at a table; being interactive and hands-on can have so much more impact on long-term memory and knowledge retention.

When they reduce us all to tears at their leaving assembly every July, it is the moment when someone fell out of the canoe (and got back in safely), when someone successfully abseiled or when the teacher got covered in mud (true story) at the end of the obstacle race that they want to share. These experiences teach children so much more than academic skills: they teach them life skills. In today’s fast-paced, busy and tech-driven life, it can be difficult to take a step back and embrace what nature has to offer but it is ever increasingly more important to do so for everyone’s well being.

Jemma Z Smith is Director of The Education Hotel. For further advice, visit www.educationhotel.co.uk

Finding your own opportunities

Your child’s school may not have Forest School oppor tunities on offer to all children but there are lots of private providers out there who run enriching after school and holiday clubs. You may even find them adver tising in this magazine! Alternatively, a quick search online will usually yield a list of providers in your local area.

Even simple activities, like taking a walk in your local park, can offer outdoor learning opportunities: your kids can take note of the different leaves on the trees and research them when you get home or by using an app on an adult’s phone. They can take photos of the different colours of nature at different times of year, look out for animal footprints and play ‘hide and seek’ with their friends and family - I bet the children are much better at this than the adults!

Being outdoors offers so much learning potential and like all good learning oppor tunities, when a child is having so much fun that they don’t realise they are learning, all the better.

Email us - editor@familiesedinburgh.co.uk familiesonline.co.uk Families Edinburgh 11

A year of nature activities

The impact of nature on wellbeing is well documented and getting children outside is proven to boost both their physical and mental health. But how do you incentivise them with different, exciting, low cost and eco-friendly outdoor activities all year round? Think crafts, science experiments, scavenger hunts, beach and camping games and so much more.

Here a just few nature activities you may want to take with you to liven up your next outdoor adventures as a family.


Pop an object or two in your backpack as you walk and have the rest of your group ask questions to try and guess what it is. You can tell them the first letter of the object and they get ten questions to ask about it - to which you can only answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Will they work it out or will you have to tell them? Best not to take anything too heavy or it will feel like a long walk!


At the start of your walk find a long, slim but strong stick. As you walk, thread on the best leaves that you find. You might want to go for all large leaves or all orange leaves or maybe a mix. Encourage every member of your family to do the same – you’ll be surprised how different all your wands look. On your return, arrange your leaf wands into a vase for a beautiful display.

If you have a neighbour or older relative who doesn’t get out much, consider gifting them a leaf wand to bring a bit of nature’s treasure into their home.


Each person chooses a letter from the alphabet and tries to spot things beginning with that letter, as they walk. Tally up how many you things you find and see who spots the most.

Because this can be tricky for younger children, it is fine to use descriptive words too so if you have chosen B for example, you could say ‘blue sky’ or ‘big tree.’ Or just ‘bench’ if everyone’s ready for a sit-down rest!

You may want to specify that each descriptive word can only be used once, as well as taking a notebook to keep track of your spots.


For each challenge, make sure you agree on a ‘base’ before you start.

Find five stones, then bring them back to base and see if you can use them to build a tower that doesn’t fall over.

Choose a marker such as a particular tree. Balance your paper cup on your head and walk to the marker, then try walking back to base without the cup falling off your head.

Find some twigs, bring them back to base and use them to form the first letter of your name (or your whole name if you want a bigger challenge).

Catherine Hughes and Becky Goddard-Hill are co-authors of A Year of Nature Walks and Games, a book packed full of ideas to keep kids entertained in the great outdoors all year long. It features crafts, science experiments, scavenger hunts, beach and camping games plus lots and lots of ideas on how to make the great outdoors inspiring. Available from good book stores and online retailers.

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We LOVE sharing everything that is going on in and around Edinburgh with you every issue but please remember to check with the venue before setting out just in case anything has changed. All details are correct at the time of going to print but as we've all learnt over the last couple of years - things can change!


Daily ArtSpace

in the City Arts Centre

Free family activity space in the heart of the gallery.

Come and have fun in our family area in the Lower Ground Floor at the City Art Centre. Our activity area is packed full of art materials and worksheets relating to our exhibitions.  We offer a warm and welcoming space for family groups to work creatively together and to stay as long as you like. Open daily 10am-5pm.

Daily Family Activity Area in Museum of Edinburgh

Free family activity space in the heart of the museum

Come and have fun in our family area in the heart of Museum of Edinburgh right next to Greyfriar Bobby's gallery. Our activity area is packed full of art materials and worksheets relating to our galleries and amazing objects relating to the history of Edinburgh.

We offer a warm and welcoming space for family groups to work creatively together and to stay as long as you like. Open daily 10am-5pm.

Every Friday during term time

Family Fridays 10am–12noon (ages 0–3). 2–4pm (ages 4+)

Free, drop-in. National Gallery

Every Friday during term-time we dedicate our new gallery spaces to families! Friday mornings are for our littlest art-lovers. Expect interesting textures, lights, sounds, sensory art-fun … and a cuppa for the parents/carers. The afternoons are for the big kids! We’ve got trails, new play activities and, of course, hands-on making with artists.

2 March

Archaeology Family Fun Day

The Edinburgh Archaeology Outreach Project is hosting a family fun day! Get hands on with real archaeologists, have a go at excavating, reading Ancient Egyptian and more!

This is a really exciting event, where we will have games and activities for children (and young at heart adults) as well as refreshments and snacks. The event is free for all! Running from 10:00am -16:00pm we’ll be there to answer questions about how to get young people involved in archaeology, and whats coming up in the local area for families. Marchmont St Giles’ Parish Church of Scotland, 3 Kilgraston Road, Edinburgh, EH9 2DW

Easter at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Join us for family events and activities throughout the Easter holidays.

Saturday Science Sessions with Dino

Join us at Dynamic Earth on selected Saturdays throughout the year for a variety of hands on activities! £3 per child. Booking required.

11 - 12 March

Sensory Sundays

Free but booking required. National Museum of Scotland Sessions are relaxed, fun hands-on, and respond to the needs of the families participating. You are welcome to come and go at any point during a session.

These sessions are suitable for children with additional support needs, neurodivergent children or children with disabilities. The content is aimed at ages 5-10 but is not set – we welcome all families who think they might enjoy these sessions. Please email communities@nms.ac.uk if you have questions or would like to find out more before you book.

4 March Bring Your Own Bump/Baby

10.15, 11, 11.40am. FREE. No booking required. Gallery of Modern Art (1) Babes-in-arms gallery tours for new, and expectant, parents/carers! Come for a tour, stay for a free cuppa in our Learning Space. This month we will exploring Do Ho Suh | Tracing Time.

6, 13 & 20 March

Magic Carpet Minis

Magic Carpet Minis introduces you and your little one to some of the wonderful galleries, objects and themes in the museum in a fun and gentle way. Taking place in different spaces around the museum, you will explore subjects such as the Natural World, Space, World Cultures and Scottish History through songs, stories, rhymes, actions, objects and sensory play. £15 per child for block of 3.

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8 March

Open Day at St George’s School, Edinburgh Book online www.stge.org.uk or please get in touch T: 0131 311 8008, E: admissions@stge.org.uk

10 March

Spring time at Doodles

Why not paint something extra special for Mum this Mother's day on Sunday 10th March. They have a range of Easter and spring themed pottery available. Call on 0131 229 1399 to book a place today.

11 March

Royal Rhyme Time

Enjoy an interactive storytelling session full of songs and rhymes for toddlers with our Royal Rhyme Time session. 11 - 11.45

Come back again for free by converting your ticket to a 1-Year Pass. For full details of upcoming events please visit www.rct.uk/whatson

17 & 26 March

Arthur’s Secrets 1-3pm

Come along on a guided walk to learn more about Arthur’s Seat’s turbulent past, created by fire and ice!

Find out about the people who lived and worked in the Park from seven thousand years ago up until the present day and learn more about the rare wildlife that makes the Park so special. This event includes a moderate grade walk. The route contains rough tracks, uneven and boggy terrain, steep inclines and declines. www.historicenvironment.scot

24 March

Family Ceilidh

A choice of 2-3pm or 3.15 - 4.15pm

St Mark’s Episcopal Church, 287 Portobello High St, Edinburgh EH15 2AR aimed at families with 3-9 year olds but everyone of any age is welcome.

The dances will all be preschooler-friendly and non-scary.  For all of these events, please bring your own refreshments

A donation of £5 per family would be welcome if you can manage it. Email ceilidhkids@ceilidhkids.com to book your place, letting us know how many people and for which session

29 March - 14 April

Easter Trail

Royal Botanic Garden


Daily from 10:00 to 16:30

Cost: £3 per trail booklet. Purchase on arrival at the Garden. Come and help the Botanics Bunny in its quest to find the elusive Golden Egg. Complete the challenge and get a sweet reward.

29 - 31 March

Easter Egg Trail at Newhailes House and Gardens

Make this an Easter to remember and share special moments with your loved ones by taking part in Newhailes House and Gardens' annual Easter Egg Trail!

29 March - 1 April

Easter Outdoor Fun

Lauriston Castle. 11am - 4pm

Free and drop-in events all day. Collect an easter trail or egg hunt quiz from the front of the castle and see how far you get. Maybe you’ll discover parts of the grounds you haven’t seen before!

Saturday 30 March

Easter Activity day 10 - 3pm

Decorate your own Fabergé inspired eggs, make a Spring-inspired crown and explore the gardens with your copy of the Family Garden trail. On selected dates during the Easter holidays, join us in the Family Room to discover the story behind some beautifully decorated eggs in the Royal Collection, and make your own bejewelled egg to take home.

Come back again for free by converting your ticket to a 1-Year Pass. For full details of upcoming events please visit www.rct.uk/whatson

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30 March - 14 April

Edinburgh International Science Festival

The theme of this years festival is Shaping the Future.

Celebrating the power and potential that human creativity, collaboration, innovation and play have to change our world for the better, the 2024 Festival will explore the roles of science, technology and their creative cousins in tackling the challenges and seizing the opportunities that our everchanging world presents.

31 March Easter Eggstravaganza

Lauriston Castle 1pm - 4pm

You will be spoilt for choice, with easter crafts, storytelling, easter trails and egg hunts. Why not bring a boiled egg to decorate and roll down the hill, or take part in an egg and spoon race?

Please arrive promptly at 1pm for a chance to take part in all activities. £6 per person. Book at edinburghmuseums.org.uk


1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12 and 13 April

Extravagant eggs activity 11am - 3pm.

On selected dates during the Easter holidays, join us in the Family Room to discover the story behind some beautifully decorated eggs in the Royal Collection, and make your own bejewelled egg to take home. Come back again for free by converting your ticket to a 1-Year Pass. For full details of upcoming events please visit www.rct.uk/whatson

20 & 21 April and 27 & 28 April

Japan Sakura at Lauriston Castle 11am - 4pm

Celebrate the blossom in our beautiful Japanese Garden. Join us over 2 weekends for the return of the Japan Sakura in Scotland festival. After a successful event last year, Japan Sakura in Scotland are returning for another 2 weekends of fun at Lauriston Castle.  See the beautiful set of dolls for Doll's Day, Hinamatsuri. Try on a Kimono and take your photo under the breathtaking cherry blossom in the Japanese Garden.  Learn to make some lovely origami creatures to amaze your friends and family. Free events but some events will have timed tickets to book in advance.

Japan Sakura in Scotland. By the community. For the community. For everyone

27 April 11am and 2pm

What Moves You presents  My Friend Selkie

A dance theatre show with live music for 3 - 8 years

“A child-like delight that encourages audience interaction and offers a charming introduction to Scottish folk tales"

The Skinny, August 2023

"The adults loved it as much the children" Parent, 2023

"My favourist show" Child, 2022

The Brunton at Corn Exchange

13 Court Street, Haddington EH41 3DS

Tickets £10 The Brunton 0131 653 5245

28 April Family Ceilidh

A choice of 12.30-1.30, 1.45 - 2.45 or 3-4pm

The Counting House Ballroom,  34 West Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9DD

Aimed at families with 3-9 year olds but everyone of any age is welcome. The dances will all be preschooler-friendly and nonscary.  For all of these events, please bring your own refreshments. A donation of £5 per family would be welcome if you can manage it.

Email ceilidhkids@ceilidhkids.com to book your place, letting us know how many people and for which session


28 May – 1 June


The most fantasmagorical musical of all time flies into Edinburgh Playhouse for one week only!

This brand-new production of the muchloved family favourite is bursting with unforgettable songs by the Sherman Brothers including Toot Sweets, Hushabye Mountain, Truly Scrumptious and of course the Academy Award-nominated title song, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Based on Ian Fleming’s timeless story for children and later made into the famous 1968 film, absent-minded inventor Caractacus Potts (Adam Garcia) restores a broken-down old racing car with the help of his children Jemima and Jeremy. Soon the family discover the car has magical powers, and along with the delectable Truly Scrumptious, they end up on a fantastical adventure to far off lands. Their heartwarming journey makes Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a fun-filled hit for all the family.

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ADAM GARCIA AS CARACTACUS POTTS FLYING INTO EDINBURGH LIAM FOX AS GRANDPA POTTS TUE 28 MAY - SAT 1 JUN ATGTickets.com/Edinburgh* *Fees apply Families Edinburgh is part of Families Print Ltd, a franchise company. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. Families is a registered trademark of LCMB Ltd, Remenham House, Regatta Place, Marlow Road, Bourne End, Bucks SL8 5TD. The contents of Families Edinburgh are fully protected by copyright and none of the editorial or photographic matter may be reproduced in any form without prior consent of Families Edinburgh. Every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, but the franchise company, Families Print Ltd and LCMB Ltd cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents, or any consequence thereof.

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