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Bonfire night

Remember, remember the 5th of November… Sadly this Bonfire Night will mainly be remembered as the year we couldn’t attend a fireworks display. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate with the people you live with at home. Here are some tips for having a safe and memorable firework night.

Staying safe on Bonfire Night

With public firework displays cancelled, you may be tempted to hold your own display in the garden. But according to RoSPA, firework celebrations can end in painful injuries, for adults and children. So if you do decide to let off fireworks in your own garden, make sure you stay safe by following the current Covid-19 restrictions in your area and the firework code. You can find out more about firework safety at the Fire Safety Scotland website. You can also download a leaflet on Bonfire Night safety here.

For some people, fireworks can be distressing and frightening. So if you’re thinking of setting off fireworks in your garden, talk to your neighbours first to let them know, so it doesn’t come as a shock, and so they can keep their pets indoors. Remember, if you have pets, you should always keep them indoors on Bonfire Night. You can find out more about keeping pets safe on Bonfire Night on the SSPCA website.
 

Using sparklers safely

Did you know that sparklers burn at 1,000-1,600°C? That’s 10 times the temperature of boiling water and 5 times hotter than cooking oil! So while sparklers may seem like a harmless way of bringing a bit of pop and fizz to Bonfire Night, they can be very dangerous. If you do decide to use sparklers, here’s how to stay safe:

  • Never give a sparkler to a child under 5
  • Always supervise children with sparklers
  • Wear gloves when holding sparklers
  • Light sparklers one at a time
  • When they’re done, put used sparklers hot end down in a bucket of water.

Tips for a fun Bonfire Night at home

Remember, remember, there are extra things to consider this year with Covid-19 restrictions in your area.  We need to make sure that we aren't taking part in gatherings or other activities that could risk spreading the virus. At the moment, the guidance states that a maximum of 6 people from 2 households can meet outside.  Despite the wintery weather, you can’t meet other households in their home or yours. 

Because of this, you should only party with the people you live with, and the people in your extended household if you have one.

Tip #1: Bonfire baking

Just because you can’t go to a firework display, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the delicious food associated with this time of year. The BBC Good Food website has recipes for lots of seasonal tasty treats, including toffee apples and ginger and treacle traybake.

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Tip #2: Make your own celebrity 'guy'

Traditionally, kids would make a dummy or ‘guy’ to represent Guy Fawkes. This would then be burnt on the bonfire. This seems pretty unkind, so how about getting the kids to make their own ‘guy’ from pillows and old clothes to invite to your firework feast? They could even model it on their favourite celebrity!

They can use a pillow for the body, then dress it up however they like – as it’s not going on the bonfire you don’t need to worry about your favourite t-shirt going up in flames! Stuff the arms and legs of the clothes with socks to form the body. The head can be made from a cushion, or a balloon covered in paper-mache, decorated with a face. Hair can be made from wool, tissue paper or even an old mop!

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Tip #3: Try some science magic

You may not be setting off fireworks, but you can still make things fizz and pop with these fun, simple science experiments from CBeebies. Make a lava lamp, a rainbow cloud or even fizzy chalk, perfect for creating a firework picture.

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Tip #4: Make your own crafty fireworks

Who needs to set off fireworks when the kids can make their own from toilet rolls, tin foil and paper? Simply paint or cover a cardboard tube with paper, then roll a piece of stiff paper or card into a cone to make the firework’s nose. Attach strips of tinfoil, tinsel, tissue paper and crepe paper for a shimmering tail! Or how about making a Catherine wheel from a paper plate?

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Tip #5: Create a firework picture

Another fun craft idea is to create a big firework picture on black, dark blue or purple paper. Let the kids go wild with tinfoil, tinsel, glitter, pipe-cleaners, pom-poms and paint to create an explosion of colour. The humble toilet roll comes in handy here as well – cut strips half way up the roll then fan them out to make a circle, dip them in paint and use them to print a rocket burst – check out the Learning 4 Kids website to see how this works. Another option is to blow paint through a straw to create a firework burst – messy but fun!

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Tip #6: Special slime

Yes, you probably hate it, but kids love any opportunity to make slime, so why not have a go at making something glittery and gorgeous for Bonfire Night? This slime recipe on the CBeebies website is safe and easy to make – try adding glitter, strands from tinsel or glow in the dark paint for a special firework twist!

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Tip #7: Discover the history behind Bonfire Night

Why do we mark November 5th? If you don’t know the Guy Fawkes story, you could explore this article from BBC Newsround together – and why not try the ‘which firework are you?’ quiz while you’re there? Then check out this YouTube video from the Horrible Histories team for a more humorous twist on the tale. Your kids may have learnt about Guy Fawkes at school so may enjoy telling you all about the gunpowder plot – particularly the gory bits!

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Tip #8: Make a lantern display

Even without a bonfire you can still light up your home with colour. Get the kids to collect up any empty glass jars from your recycling and cover them with different coloured tissue paper. Place LED tea-lights inside them and they’ll cast pretty, coloured shadows all around the room.

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Tip #9: Make a crayon scraper picture

This simple craft activity is easy, fun and doesn’t involve glitter! Get the kids to fill a piece of paper with different coloured swirls or shapes using crayons. It doesn’t matter what they draw, as long as they cover all the paper. Then draw over the colours with a black crayon or paint over them with black acrylic paint, filling the paper again so it’s completely black. Once the paint has dried (if you use paint), get the kids to use a fork or cocktail stick to etch firework explosions into the black to reveal the colours underneath. Magic!

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Tip #10: Draw and write with light

In a darkened room, ask the kids to use a torch or mobile phone to draw a picture or write a word in the air. Can you guess what it is? A great way of sneaking in some spelling!

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