When you welcome foster children into your home, one of the best things you can do is create special memories to help your foster children feel safe and loved. And Fireworks Night is the perfect occasion to start.
Fireworks Night, or Bonfire Night, marks the historical events of the Gunpowder Plot, and it’s a time when you can gather your family to come together, light up the sky, indulge in some hot chocolate, and enjoy the wonder of fireworks.
In this blog post, we’ll show you how to create a safe and fun Fireworks Night in the comfort of your home and help make your foster child feel like one of the family.
Creating a Safe and Fun Fireworks Night at Home
First things first. Before the excitement of Catherine Wheels and sparklers takes over, it’s important to ensure your fireworks display is safe for everyone by following some simple fire safety tips.
- Have a bucket of water or a hose at the ready at all times - this is essential in case of any emergencies to extinguish unexpected fires if they arise.
- Clear the area - having a fireworks display in the comfort of your own garden can make for a comforting and safe experience for your foster child, especially if they have any anxiety, but it’s important to clear the area of any flammable materials such as dry leaves or garden toys.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy - hopefully, you won’t need to use it, but it’s always a good idea to keep one close by, just in case.
- Buy from a reliable source - ensure you purchase your fireworks from reputable sellers that meet the safety standards.
- Keep a safe distance - it might be tempting to get up close with the fireworks, but you need to maintain a safe distance at all times and ensure your foster child keeps well back.
- Read the instructions thoroughly - check the instructions and then read them again carefully to make sure you understand exactly how they work and how they need to be handled.
- Don’t reignite faulty fireworks - if one of your fireworks doesn’t go off, don’t attempt to reignite it. Wait for at least 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Use noise-cancelling headphones - if your foster child is nervous of loud noises you might want to invest in some noise-cancelling headphones so they can still enjoy the magic of the fireworks without any of the loud bangs.
- Wear appropriate clothing - wrap your child up warm and if they are going to be holding sparklers make sure they wear gloves to protect their hands. You could also stick the sparklers into the end of a carrot so they don’t hold the sparkler itself.
Easing Anxiety for Nervous Children
Many foster children come from a traumatic background, and while they might love the idea of setting off fireworks on Bonfire Night and enjoying the festivities, it is possible that elements of the night could cause anxiety. The loudness of the fireworks, darkness, and flashes of light among them.
To help make your night enjoyable for your foster child, it’s important to help put them at ease if they do have any worries.
First, talk to your foster child then listen to any concerns they might have. Depending on their age you could explain the story behind Bonfire Night and help them understand what the celebration is about, and what to expect. Let them know there will be loud noises and flashes of light in the sky but reassure them they will always be safe. If they have any concerns about the night but are still keen to participate, encourage them to share any fears they might have and make arrangements around them.
Instead of going to a community fireworks display, which will be very busy, crowded, and noisy, create a safe and comforting display in your own garden with just you, your foster child, and your family. This way, you have total control over which fireworks are used and how long the display goes on. It also means your foster child can go inside and watch from the window if it gets a bit too much.
Ideas for Making Fireworks Night Extra Special for Your Foster Child
Now we’ve looked at some safety tips, let’s look at some ways you can make this magical night even more special for your foster child.
Set up a Cosy Viewing Area
Set up a cosy viewing area for you and your foster child. Create a comfortable area in your garden with cushions and blankets - weighted blankets can give additional support and comfort. Wrap yourselves up in warm clothes and if your child has any security items such as a teddy or a blanket, take them outside with you so they feel safe.
Buy some glow sticks for your child to wave around so they can participate safely and set the mood by playing their favourite music on a speaker. Add some tasty snacks and treats or have a picnic dinner outside to add to the fun, then cuddle up and watch the fireworks light up the sky.
Make Firework-themed Treats Together
One of the best things about Bonfire Night is all the yummy food and treats. Why not make some fun firework-themed snacks with your foster child and enjoy them as a family as you watch your display? Cooking together is a lovely way to bond with your foster child and make them feel included. Here are a couple of simple but delicious ideas:
- Homemade toffee apples - a classic treat for autumn and these are so easy to make. You’ll need: 8 apples, 400g golden caster sugar, 1 tsp vinegar, and 4 tbsp golden syrup. Clean your apples, dry them thoroughly, and twist off the stalks. Push a wooden skewer into the stalk end of each apple. Next, put the sugar and 100ml water into a pan and place on medium heat until the sugar dissolves then stir in the vinegar and syrup. Boil the toffee to 150C - you can check if it’s ready by pouring a little into a bowl of cold water. If it hardens instantly then it’s ready! Quickly (so the toffee doesn’t harden), dip and twist each apple in the hot toffee until covered, then place on some baking parchment to harden.
- Fruit rockets - if you want to try something a little healthier, these easy fruit rockets are perfect. They look particularly impressive if you can find foil cocktail sticks to make the ends look like fireworks. For the rockets you’ll need: 5 strawberries, 10 chunks of mango (or any fruit your child enjoys), 15 blueberries, and 5 foil cocktail sticks. Once you’ve washed and dried your fruit, hull the strawberries. Take a cocktail stick and thread the blueberries and mangos onto the sticks, alternating between them. Top each skewer with a strawberry to make a point at the top of the rocket.
- Pretzel stick sparklers - these are easy and so delicious. You’ll need: 24 thin pretzel sticks, 100g white chocolate, and colourful sprinkles. Gently melt your chocolate in the microwave until it’s only just melted and smooth. Dip the end of your pretzel sticks in the white chocolate and lay them on a lined baking tray before adding a smattering of your favourite sprinkles. Place the tray in the fridge until the chocolate hardens.
Use Sparklers to Make Family Memories
Give your foster child the opportunity to capture the fun of Fireworks Night forever by creating a special photo book. Grab your smartphone or tablet and snap away as you all enjoy the festivities together. Sparklers are a lovely way to make amazing photos. Using our sparkler safety tips above, ask your foster child to write everyone’s names in the night sky using a sparkler. Take photos and videos to capture it and then everyone else can take turns writing their names
You can then print your photos and turn them into a photo book your child can keep with them always. Don’t forget to add names and dates so it can be something they look back on lovingly in years to come.
Make Fireworks Night Special for Your Foster Child
However you choose to spend Bonfire Night with your foster child, we hope we have given you some ideas for how to make it extra fun and safe.
By following these safety tips, taking your child’s needs into consideration, and planning some exciting activities, you can create memorable moments to help your foster child feel loved and welcome in your home.