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For Bank Holiday Weekend

How to hold your own children's concert - indoors or out

Most children love music and putting on a CD of kids' songs can be a great way to while away an hour or two as they get into the groove and dance enthusiastically.

However, their favourite tunes can get a little repetitive (for the mums and dads as well as the little ones!) and there isn't always something suitable on the TV music channels or radio with which to entertain them.

What about your own concert?

The answer to this problem could be to help them plan and host their very own concert - and then they'll have the instruments to play to themselves for ages afterwards. It could foster a lifelong love of music and maybe even get them interested in picking up a real guitar or violin when they're a bit older, as well as being hugely fun in the here and now.

It's really easy to do too, since you only need a few household items and a little forward planning to make it a roaring success. What's more, you can host a 'Proms in the Park'-style event for all the family if it's warm and sunny out, or swap it to an indoor concert if the weather takes a turn for the worst.

A concert could also be the ideal thing to do for a birthday party when all your child's friends are coming over and you don't want to book the same entertainers they've already had. Here's how to plan and stage yours.

Make the instruments

With a little creativity, a whole host of household items can become musical instruments. Get your little ones involved in a crafty session to build up a veritable orchestra in advance of the big day - all you'll need to do is supervise the parts that might be dangerous for little fingers.

For example, a painted tissue box with elastic bands stretched across the hole and a ruler stuck on one end will make a great guitar, while two cups filled with rice and taped together can be a cracking pair of maracas.

The traditional pans and lids can come out as drums and two empty coffee drums can be taped together for bongos to accompany them.

You might even consider heading to the pet shop to buy a handful of the bells typically used on cats' collars. These can be threaded onto a string or even sewn onto a pair of socks with a parent's help to be shaken with abandon as percussion. If they're attached to the edges of a sturdy paper plate, they can also become a tambourine.

A final idea is to fill empty plastic bottles with different amounts of water and line them up. When they are blown into, they will make a noise as nice as that of a flute. Don't forget to put them in some sort of rack to prevent spillages in the event of excitement, though.

Send out invitations

Another craft session is in order so that your guests will know when and where your concert is taking place. They don't have to be fancy or too formal - folded pieces of copy paper adorned with crayoned pictures and all the details will be fine.

Once they're finished, the children might enjoy walking around to drop them off at your relatives' houses, which also gets in a little extra exercise.

Have fun with the setlist

There's no need to get too carried away with the planning at this stage - it's not Sunday Night at the London Palladium. However, a little structure might be best to avoid the little ones getting bored. Perhaps some of their favourite tunes like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or Wind a Bobbin Up could be chosen and practised, while each child could be given a solo piece to make them feel super-special. If there's a confident youngster, they would probably make a good compere, or mum or dad might step in to fulfil this role.

Sit back and enjoy!

All that's left when you've done all this for you to put out some chairs, sit back and enjoy the live action, whether it's in your back garden or the living room. It's something the kids will remember for a long time and it'll also make for some fantastic photo opportunities, so get the camera poised and your best singing voices at the ready as your little rock stars take to the stage.

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