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Fireworks Go BOOM!

By: Cathy Burckett-St Laurent 

As the sun goes to bed early, the weather turns colder, and the darkness of night is with us for longer periods of time; it is a bit of relief to have the excitement of Bonfire Night! 

Each year we cozy up with the people in our community, and utter the phrase, 'Remember, Remember, the 5th of November!'. We eat yummy food by a glowing fire, make a funny person called Guy out of old clothes, and as a grand finale, sparklers and fireworks are set off! 

So, what else can we do to use this cultural event as a learning and creative expression opportunity? 

Starting the Conversation

Send home a note to parents to ask for them to take photos of their child or allow their child to take a photo of their family way to celebrate Bonfire night. The next day during group time, have children share their ideas, reactions, and personal feelings about Bonfire Night. 

Talk about fire safety!

Young children are just starting their journey in life and often being around fire when they are more mobile and cognitively aware is a new experience for them. They might try to get too close to a fire, not understanding that the fire is hot and can burn them, etc. So how can we approach this learning opportunity safely, so children begin to build knowledge of the properties of fire? 

After writing a risk assessment, slowly introduce lighting a candle at special times of the day. For example, eating times and maybe even nap time. Talk about the fact that the special candle is hot and if our fingers, clothes, or other items get too close to the fire it can hurt us! You could even get battery-operated lights to introduce the concept and then when you see the children leave it alone, introduce a real candle in a lantern. 

Creative Dramatic Play

Investing in a portable laptop projector can lead to many creative and interactive experiences for young children. All you need after the laptop and projector is a larger blank wall and your imagination of what video clips or online photos you can project to create an immersive sensory experience for children of all ages. So, you could put up a video of fireworks, hang interesting metallic streamers from the ceiling, provide safe flashlights and other light toys to play with, and cut up pieces of garland and shiny cloth for children to throw in the air or even get clear umbrellas and attach metallic streamers to make a mobile pretend firework to carry around! Play music in the background to add another sensory element! 

Creative Expression

To go along with showing the video clip of fireworks, maybe offer a way for children to try to create their own fireworks using paint, black paper, clean toilet brushes, and duster brushes that will leave a fireworks-type mark on the black paper and collage materials such as shiny metallic paper cut up and tinsel. These materials might be stuck on the paint or glue sticks can be provided for each child. Put photos and books about fireworks, and a sign that says, "Can you make your own fireworks?" ! on the table.

Play Dough 

Photocopy real photos of fireworks and print them out. Laminate the photos and put them on the play dough table as placemats. Add sparkly pipe cleaners and other metallic and shiny loose parts! 


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