Celebrating Bonfire Night with Children
Bonfire Night is approaching, and what better way to get in the celebratory mood than by teaching our little ones about this occasion in fun, engaging ways!
Celebrating Bonfire Night at home with your little one can be a delightful and memorable experience. Here are some tips and activity ideas to make the most of this special occasion:
Discuss Bonfire Night
Explaining Bonfire Night to young children can be done simply and in fun ways.
Keep It Simple
Start by explaining that Bonfire Night is a special evening when people go to big parks and have bonfires and fireworks displays to celebrate.
Share the story of Bonfire Night. It's a special day we celebrate yearly to remember when Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament but got caught.
We celebrate by seeing fireworks and building a big, safe fire called a bonfire.
Talk about fireworks and how they light up the night sky; discuss why it is easier to see them at night, their colour, shapes and sounds, "Whoosh, zoom, bang", etc.
Watch videos of the gunfire plot and fireworks on the internet. Discuss with your little one what you are watching, and ask open-ended questions, such as what, how, where, why, etc., to support their thinking
This is an excellent opportunity to discuss safety around fireworks and fire too.
Create Fireworks and Bonfire Crafts
Your child can create a colourful fireworks display by spraying paint on paper. This supports their fine motor skills as they manipulate the spray bottles. They'll enjoy seeing the colours mix as they touch each other.
You will need to get black paper (white will do, too), three spray bottles, red, blue and yellow paint and sticky tape.
If doing this activity indoors, protect your floors with a plastic cover or newspaper and stick a large piece of paper covering a door.
Add water and some paint to the bottle, close and shake well; get your little one to shake with you!
Support your little one to spray the bottle if they can't reach it because of tiny fingers.
Talk about what you see, discuss the colours, and what happens when they touch each other.
Fireworks Stamping Roll
This activity is a great way to encourage your little one to create fun sound effects and movements that mimic fireworks. Plus, they'll also get to explore how their actions can transform materials and resources.
You will need paper rolls, red, blue, and yellow paint and paper (use black if you want to represent the night sky).
Get your child to make snips into the tube around about 5cm in length. Model by doing it next to them.
Encourage them to dip the cardboard tube into the paint, transfer it to the paper, and press down so it opens up.
You can create different firework shapes by cutting the tube with wavy snippets, zig-zags, thin, thick lines, etc.
Talk about the colours and the marks they make on the paper.
Explore more colours and see how they overlap on the paper when printed.
Say, "The fireworks are going BANG and CRACKLE and POP!"
Glow Stick Fireworks
Glow sticks are an inexpensive way to add a glow to your celebration; you can use a torch, too, to create different light movements.
Create glowing necklaces, bracelets, anklets and belts, and even put them in jars to create colourful lanterns.
Dark up your room and have a dance party; move around like different fireworks! Make star jumps, sway, etc!
Remember to make the sound effects!
Bonfire Night is a great chance to talk about colours! Fireworks create amazing colour displays in the sky. Do a quick colour experiment with paper towels to recreate this effect.
For this experiment, you will need paper towels, plastic cups or glasses and red, blue and yellow food colouring.
Set up 7 cups in a row.
Fill the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th cups with water
Add 5 drops of red food colouring to the 1st and 7th cups.
Add 5 drops of yellow food colouring to the 3rd cup.
Add 5 drops of blue food colouring to the 5th cup.
Take a half sheet of paper towel and fold it half lengthwise and in half again lengthwise.
Place one-half of the paper towel in the 1st cup and the other half in the cup next to it.
Continue this, placing paper towels between each cup.
Observe as the coloured water crawls up the paper towels and mixes together, creating other colours such as green, orange and purple!
Homemade Chocolate Apples
Make Chocolate apples at home with simple ingredients. Let your little one help you dip apples into the chocolate mixture and decorate with different sprinkles!
200g milk chocolate, finely chopped
decorations such as sprinkles
lollipop sticks or skewer sticks
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water or using short bursts in the microwave, stirring in between.
Prepare the apples by washing them with warm water and inserting a stick.
Line a tray with parchment paper.
Dip the prepared apples into the melted chocolate, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl, and place them on the tray.
Sprinkle decorations over the apples while the chocolate is setting but not fully firm.
Go to a Local Fireworks Display
Attending a fireworks display with your little one can be a wonderful bonding experience. With the right preparation and a focus on safety and comfort, it can be a night to remember.
There are plenty of inexpensive or free fireworks displays around London; check in with your local area.
Look for firework events advertised as family-friendly, as they often feature milder and quieter fireworks suitable for children.
Check the schedule to ensure the display's start time aligns with your child's bedtime, avoiding overtiredness.
Dress your child in warm, layered clothing.
Protect your child's ears with child-sized ear protection or noise-cancelling headphones due to the loud fireworks.
Bring a special toy.
Bring your little one's favourite snacks and drinks. Make hot chocolate in a thermos to share and keep you warm.
Consider bringing your little one a blanket or portable chair to sit or lie down comfortably and enjoy the view.
Arrive early to secure good seating and allow your child to adjust to the surroundings.
Be prepared for the possibility that your little one might become overwhelmed, and don't hesitate to leave early if necessary.
In some cases, this event may become too loud and overwhelming for children who are neurodivergent or have sensory difficulties. Bonfire Night and Supporting Children with Sensory Needs is packed with tips and strategies to help you support your little one through Bonfire Night.
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