Bonfire night in the words of a mum by Chelsea Connell

Oct 26, 2015

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As a mum with a young child, the thought of bonfire night can be very daunting. In my own experience I have exposed my son to noise around him from birth for example hoovering around his Moses basket while he sleeps and having the radio or television on when he’s been in the next room. This approach I feel has made it easier for him to accept loud noises and bangs.

Our first encounter was last bonfire night when Blu was three months old, we wanted him to have exposure to the bright colours and different sounds so we chose to take him to a private firework display. This meant we could stand at the window thus keeping him warm but enabling him to experience the colours and different effects of the fireworks.

Because Blu is 14 months now, and did not seem to be perturbed by last year’s bonfire night, we were quite happy to take him to an organised display while holidaying in Devon in the summer of this year. We ensured he was well wrapped up in clothing that was non-inflammable; we checked this on the manufactures label. Leading up to the event in the evening we talked to him about what he was going to see and emphasised the colours and loud bangs. We also played videos to him from YouTube that he enjoyed sitting and watching. We felt this prepared and educated him enough ready for the event ahead.

When we arrived at the display there was a very large bonfire and fire engine in front of us so we explained to Blu what the role of the fire engine and firemen was using his favourite programme “Fireman Sam” to explain.
From the distance we could still feel the heat so we also explained to him about the heat coming from the fire and how it could be dangerous. Blu did keep pointing to the bonfire which put us at ease as it meant he obviously noticed the colours and wanted to show us what he could see. The closer he got to the bonfire he could see other children with their parents and what looked as though they were melting marshmallows, which we decided to join in to make it fun for him.
Chel and Blu 2

We then watched the firework display and encouraged Blu to join in with the “ooohs” and “Arrgghhsss” along with the clapping off hands and cheers at the end.

Blu was mesmerised while looking up to the sky as he could see different colours and shapes fading into the sky. We watched Blu’s eyes as they moved across looking at everything and taking it all in. We tried to talk him through the loud noises and everything that was happening at every stage. When the fireworks were in the air and then fell into droplets like they were coming towards him, we told him he had been sprinkled with magical fairy dust. This was just to make it special for him as he watches programmes sometimes such as Ben and Holly’s magic kingdom where he learns about magic.

After the display we got back into car within minutes Blu had fallen asleep. We knew he must have enjoyed as he was tired but kept himself awake to watch everything he could.

This is my story about enjoying Bonfire night with children and how you can still make it fun rather than the image of it being scary.

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