2 years old

Ethan's First Fireworks


Tonight we took Ethan to his first fireworks display for Bonfire Night / Guy Fawkes.  He absolutely loved it!  It was a really different experience for him, being out at night, in a huge crowd and watching very bright and very loud fireworks.  Great for his Personal, Social and Emotional Development as he learns about adapting to different situations.

We were very aware that the situation could have gone either way, and that Ethan could have absolutely hated the fireworks, so here's what we did to prepare as best as we could:

Tips for Preparing Toddlers for Fireworks Night

  • explain to them what fireworks are and build up the excitement - show them videos of fireworks on YouTube (or in our case, just watch some out the windows for the few nights leading up to the fireworks display)
  • if you're worried about the noise, look into buying some ear protectors / headphones (I actually didn't think of this until too late with Ethan, but he was fine with the noise -- possibly his layers of hat and hood helped!)
  • play with glow sticks and torches / flash lights at home in the dark to prepare them for how dark it will be outside on the night
  • bring some lovely glow sticks and light up toys to the fireworks (we bought loads from Poundland, no point in spending a fortune on the night either!)
  • research the fireworks show that you're going to see, look for one that is the most child friendly
    • gates open earlier than the fireworks so that the little ones can get used to the area
    • child friendly food
    • fun fair and games to add to the fun and excitement
    • lots of parking (free if possible) so that you won't be parked too far from the gates and to make it easier to leave when the fireworks are over (rather than getting into a packed train or bus to get home with a tired toddler)
  • dress warm!  We wrapped Ethan in layers and layers of clothes and brought hat, scarf and mitts (which he actually kept on, so he must have been feeling the cold)
  • if possible, don't bring a pram / stroller with you.  It meant that Ethan had to be carried when he was too tired to walk, but it was so much easier to get through the crowds without one, and he was happy to be held up during the fireworks as he was close to us and that helped him to feel safe and secure (and I could watch his little facial expressions)
  • choose a good spot to stand and watch the fireworks (there's no point in pushing to the front as you don't get a better view and it just makes it more difficult to get out if your little one isn't happy)

Ethan loved everything about the night, on the drive there we saw other fireworks displays through the windows of the car, so I think he thought that was it!  When we arrived and he got to eat hot dogs and go on fun fair rides, he was over the moon.  He just had the biggest smile on his face the whole time!  When it came time for the fireworks he was completely mesmerised, he was just staring at them the whole time.  He didn't seem to be bothered by the noise at all, and happily waved around his Bob the Builder glow stick.  When it was over we waited a few minutes for the car park to clear out, then brought Ethan to the car, where he quickly fell asleep. It was so comforting to be in a nice warm car and to know that Ethan was sleeping soundly and happily all the way home :)

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