Burns Night

We are celebrating Burns Night and all things Robbie Burns here at Activity Village! Come and join us and have some fun with the kids ...

What Is Burns Night?

Robert Burns, Burns Night for KidsFive years after Robert Burns died, a group of his friends got together to remember him and his poetry. The tradition became established and now, every year on his birthday, 25th January, Scots all round the world celebrate Burns Night with a Burns Supper which follows a format similar to the original dinner (often with much toasting and drinking of whisky!) We've got more details of some well-loved Burns Night traditions for you to read about, plus some family-friendly ideas for your own Burns Night celebrations - everything from recipes through to printables of the Selkirk Grace and Address to a Haggis, colouring pages, and lots more, and this year you can even learn how to draw Robert Burns! Explore below. New this year we have a fun set of printables and colouring pages for younger children, which you could combine to form a mini-project, folder or notebook.

"When Scotland forgets Burns, then history will forget Scotland”
J S Blackie

Burns Night Supper

A traditional Burns Supper will often include the following:

  • Cock-A-Leekie soup (chicken and vegetable)
  • Haggis, neeps and tatties
  • Sherry Trifle
  • Oatcakes and cheese

If you can't get hold of a haggis or would prefer not to, you could always make a meatloaf!

A plate of haggis, neeps and tatties
A plate of haggis, neeps and tatties

Format for A Burns Supper

At a grand dinner, guests are piped in by bagpipes to take their places at the dining table. The guests are welcomed by the host, who declares the celebrations open. The Selkirk Grace (see below) is read, and supper begins with a soup course (often the Scottish favourite Cock-A-Leekie soup). Now the haggis, a traditional Scottish dish (not for the faint-hearted!) is piped in from the kitchen while the guests stand and clap the haggis in. The host or an invited guest reads Burn's famous poem, Address To A Haggis, cutting open the haggis with a large knife when they reach the line "an cut you up wi' ready slight"! The haggis is eaten with mashed tatties and neeps (potatoes and turnip, swede or rutabaga.) Then there will be dessert (often sherry trifle) and oatcakes and cheese.

After dinner there will be a toast to the Queen, and one of the guests will give a short speech about Burns called "The Immortal Memory". A man makes a "Toast to the Lassies" and a lady makes a toast in reply. Guests will take turns reading Burns poems, singing Burns songs and possibly doing some Highland dancing! The party will close with everyone singing Auld Lang Syne (scroll down).

Ideas For Your Family Burns Night

Why not include the kids in your Burns Night celebrations, or hold a family Burns Supper? We have lots of ideas for Burns Night activities for kids below, as well as suggestions for food and printables to help your celebration go smoothly!

Robert Burns colouring page
Learn a little about Robert Burns and enjoy a collection of colouring pages, printables of all sorts, and worksheets. You can even learn to draw Robert Burns yourself!
Robert Burns Lots NEW!

Scottish flag printables
Decorate the house or table with the Scottish flag, try a Scottish flag jigsaw - or colour in some Scottish flags. Print and fold our Scots dialect booklet, or have a go at our Scots themed acrostic printables.
Scotland Flag Printables

Special Burns Night Printables

A Red Red Rose

A Red Red Rose

Here are all the words to A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns. Perfect if you're studying the famous Scottish poet, or perhaps to read out on Burns night? 

Address to a Haggis Printable

Address to a Haggis Printable

Here's a useful printable version of Robert Burn's classic poem, Address to a Haggis. Print it out for your Burns Night dinner!

Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne

Many of us sing Auld Lang Syne by Robert Burns as part of our New Year's Eve celebrations, but there's not many of us who can recite it all - so here's the full version ready to print!

Burns Night Word Cards

Burns Night Word Cards

These Burns Night word cards include all sorts of vocabulary that might be useful for your Burns Night discussions, from simple up. There are 20 cards over 4 pages in the pdf file.

Burns Night Word Search Puzzle

Burns Night Word Search Puzzle

Here's a good way to keep the kids amused while the adults enjoy a Burns Night Supper - or a fun extra activity for all! There are lots of words to find in this Burns Night word search puzzle. They can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal, but not backwards.

Robert Burns Comprehension

Robert Burns Comprehension

Comprehension worksheets test the ability of older children to understand a reading passage and answer questions based on the text. This comprehension worksheet is all about the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns.

Robert Burns Factsheet

Robert Burns Factsheet

Learn about the life and work of famous Scottish poet Robert Burns with the help of our simple factsheet.

Robert Burns Interview Worksheet

Robert Burns Interview Worksheet

Imagine you are a talk show host and you were able to interview Robert Burns. What would you ask him? Perhaps you could ask about the inspiration behind some of his famous poetry? 

Robert Burns Newspaper Writing Prompt

Robert Burns Newspaper Writing Prompt

Our newspaper writing prompts are a fun way to record the information you've learned about a famous person or event, and also great for inspiring some creative writing. This newspaper writing prompt features the famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns.

Robert Burns Poster 2

Robert Burns Poster 2

I think it is clear from the etching we have used for this poster that Robert Burns was a very handsome man by today's standards - and he was certainly regarded as one in his day too!

Robert Burns Quote Poster

Robert Burns Quote Poster

"Ah the power that gift would give us, to see ourselves as others see us." This quote poster features a powerful quote from Robert Burns and one that might really make us think - what if we really could see ourselves through the eyes of others?

Robert Burns Quote Poster 2

Robert Burns Quote Poster 2

Here's a quote by Robert Burns set against a beautiful photograph of scenic Scotland. Print this stunning poster using the borderless settings on your printer for the best results. 

Robert Burns Quote Worksheet

Robert Burns Quote Worksheet

Here's one of our most interesting quote worksheets! Can the children write about what this quote means by Robert Burns and rewrite it in their own words too? They may have to do a little research on Scottish dialect!

Robert Burns Story Paper

Robert Burns Story Paper

Use our Robert Burns story paper to write a creative story, perhaps based on one of his poems, or you could do some copy work and try copying out one of his poems. We have two versions available, lined and with handwriting lines.

Robert Burns Timeline Worksheet

Robert Burns Timeline Worksheet

Can the children use our Robert Burns timeline to fill in the important events in the life of the Scottish poet? For example, when was he born, and when did he write Auld Lang Syne?

Robert Burns Word Search

Robert Burns Word Search

There are ten words all about Robert Burns hidden in our word search grid - a fun Burns night activity for the kids perhaps?

More Burns Night Activities

Sing along to Auld Lang Syne:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.

And there's a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o thine,
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.
Robert Burns

More Activities from our Scotland Topic...

Scotland Topic Resources
We've got all sorts of general Scotland resources here!
Scotland

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O my Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile!

Robert Burns

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