Camp out in the garden
If you have accumulated camping gear, why not put it to good use this Bonfire Night and pitch up in the garden? This is a great way of getting all the family together to ‘ooo’ and ‘ahh’ over the fireworks, but at the same time avoiding the crowds and the dangers that come with Bonfire Night. Wrap up warm and get outdoors – it’ll be like having your very own private firework display! Take a good book *link to top 10 sparklers blog post* and a torch and read to your little ones outside once the display has finished. Magical.
Bonfire night is all about cosy comfort food that can be made ahead of time, leaving you to enjoy the big bangs and bright lights. Gone are the summer salads; now it’s time to think about dishes such as pumpkin soup, sticky sausages, stews, cakes and hot puddings. Get the whole family involved and prepare a feast of a supper. And don’t forget the obligatory toffee apples; nothing beats the crunch of biting into one, and they taste so much better than the shop-bought variety. They are also simple to make, requiring only apples, sugar and golden syrup, and can be made up to two days in advance.
Arts and crafts are perfect for a chilly Bonfire Night evening, and are a creative way of getting kids excited about November 5th. A sure fire favourite is to make your own firework display by decorating a large piece of black card with splatters of fluorescent paint, colourful pipe cleaners and glitter. Ask your child to write words to go alongside the picture, such as ‘blast’, ‘fizz’ and ‘bang’. Or how about making a bonfire picture with twigs collected from the garden and orange sweet wrappers? They could also make flying fireworks that can be launched into the air using an empty kitchen roll wrapped in tin foil with crepe paper in a variety of colours, lengths and widths attached to the rim of the roll.
History behind Guy Fawkes
When we celebrate Bonfire Night now, it seems rather far removed from the events of over 400 years ago! Nevertheless, it is a good opportunity to teach your children about Guy Fawkes and his plans to blow up Parliament, known as the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Sit down and read a good book that explains what happened clearly. Why not design your own Guy and ask them to make up a play once you have told them the story? A Guy is simple to make; all you need is some old clothes that you can stuff with newspaper, and the head can be made from a balloon with a face drawn on to it. Easy! This is also a good time to teach your child about firework safety.
Host a party
Have you been inspired to host your own Bonfire Night party? Help your celebrations get off to a bang with some fun games such as apple bobbing (it’s recommended to do this outside!). Serve up some of the dishes you have made, making sure you have plenty of hot dogs, chilli con carne, toasted marshmallows and other heart-warming food. And don’t forget to create a playlist with some bonfire-themed tracks (think ‘Firework’ by Katy Perry, ‘Relight my Fire’ by Take That and ‘Light my Fire’ by Will Young!).
Top tip: If a lot of your friends have kids then why not turn it into a sleepover? The first half of the night can be all about the kids, and after they’re tucked up in bed the adults can settle down for some grown-up conversation and a good film.
Do you have any other tips for safe Bonfire Night activities? We’d love to hear from you in the comments box below.