For many, Bonfire night is eagerly anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed. Some younger or more noise sensitive children find it overwhelming, loud and downright scary. In the run up to the 5th November, start to prepare your child for the big bangs and whistles.
Talk about Noise – and Make some Noise
Talk about animals that are loud, and those which are quiet. Play at being quiet as a mouse, and loud as a DINOSAUR. Get your child to ROAAAAAAAAAAR like a lion, and roar back. Let the child bang on some pots with a wooden spoon, and band the pot lids together.
Think about getting the child some ear protectors, and let him or her try them out, while banging on pots. Does that make a difference? Is it less noisy, less scary?
Explain How Fireworks are Made
Here are a couple of good videos about explosions and fireworks (remember to put the volume down!)
Talk about Safety
For a lot of kids, it is the worry that something will go wrong that is scary, so talk about all the safety features that you have in place. If you planning to attend a community fireworks display, try and go a few hours earlier so that you can point out how far away the spectators have to stand, and what safety precautions are already in place.
If you are having a party at home, get your child involved in the preparations. Read the Safety Tips here and discuss how to make your display safe.
Have Fun on a Small Scale
You don’t have to go to a big display. Stay home, get a couple of packets of sparklers, light the BBQ and toast some marshmallows. If the fireworks being let off in the neighbourhood are scary, get the ear defenders on.
Be Prepared Call it Off
It is not the end of the world if you don’t go to the Firework display, or if you spend Bonfire Night at home. Download or rent a film that your child would really like to see (or go to the cinema!), get the popcorn, close the curtains and have a cuddle on the sofa. Your child may well feel more confident next year, especially you let them know that their fears and worries are being taken seriously.