Bonfire Night is one of our favourite times of the year! The dark nights with wrapped up and happy kids, yummy food and drink at the local events. The exploding colours building up the excitement before you go… what more could you ask for!
Even in the days before and after the big night itself my kids love pressing their noses against the windows to see the skies light up before bedtime. But magical as it is, the bangs, cold weather and darkness can be difficult for children to cope with.
So how do you make sure it’s just the fireworks exploding, and not the kids’ tempers?
Here’s Mumbler’s guide to setting Bonfire Night off with a (quiet!) bang:
Plan a Special Tea
Eating plenty before you go out will save you money, and stop hangry meltdowns.
Pick something that works well for your kids and still feels like fun. Hot dogs, catherine wheel toad in the hole, chilli with baked potatoes, campfire stew; whatever works for you. The BBC has a great page on Bonfire Night food and I could seriously eat it all!
Choose a Child-Friendly Event
There are so many events to chose from in Wharfedale & Craven and some are quieter than regular fireworks displays.
Team Up With Friends!
If you know someone who lives close by and has a great view of a local event, try to organise a get-together with them. You can share bringing the food between you and enjoy the fireworks and atmosphere without braving a full-on event. Or, find a good garden and bring your own quieter fireworks. If a few of your band together, you could have a great time quite cheaply and in a quieter environment for the kids.
Use Ear Defenders
Popping a pair of ear defenders on very little ones – or bigger ones who hate bangs – takes away the scare/shock factor while leaving the joy of the colours and atmosphere.
Wrap Up Warm
To say how much my kids hate wearing waterproofs/boots, they don’t half complain when they’re cold! We love fleece-lined waterproofs for an extra layer and protection if they slip and fall in the mud. Lined wellies are great – or use welly liners that you can just pop in. Hats and gloves, of course. We also like the little packets that heat up once you unwrap them. They don’t get too hot and are fabulous for sticking in pockets.
Lay Out PJs At Home
Before you leave, put everyone’s pyjamas where you can easily find them so the bedtime turnaround with worn-out littles should be seamless.
Take Glow Sticks
You can find a whole pack for £1 then use them to make bracelets and necklaces. Kids love them, it makes them easier to spot if they wander off AND it will save you money on buying them at the event – win!
Pack a Flask
Everyone loves a warming cup of hot chocolate when the cold sets in. Make sure you let it cool in the air before giving it to little mouths, and sprinkles or marshmallow make it extra special. We have a set of small, stacking mugs that we bought from the camping section at The Range and take sprinkles and mini marshmallows in tiny plastic pots.
Have Blankets in the Car
A nice blanket to snuggle into and perhaps a favourite cuddly toy or hot water bottle left in the car will warm everyone up on the drive home. I might be slightly obsessed with how to avoid kids getting upset by the cold after a disastrous journey home/transition to bed while camping last month. Lesson learned!