- What is Bonfire Night?
- What is typical for Bonfire Night?
- What do you do for Bonfire Night at home?
- Firework Sandwiches
- Loo Roll Firework Stamps
- Rhyme and Remember
- Topsy-Turvy Fireworks
Bonfire Night! The name just sums up November, doesn’t it? You hear it and picture everyone all wrapped up snugly, fresh-faced with rosy cheeks reflecting the flickering, flashing flames from the blazing bonfire. Then eyes looking up, mouths open in wonder at a sky full of lights. While every now and again you hear a verse of the famous rhyme: “Remember, remember the Fifth of November, The Gunpowder Treason and Plot”.
What is Bonfire Night? 💣
The UK is home to diverse communities from all over the world and not everyone might be familiar with this celebration. Also known as Guy Fawkes Night, the 5th of November has been celebrated for over four hundred years!
Guy Fawkes was a soldier who, in 1605, was caught with other conspirators trying to blow up the King using barrels of gunpowder hidden under the House of Lords. Ever since, the King’s lucky escape has been celebrated throughout the UK.
What is typical for Bonfire Night? 🔥
The celebrations are usually marked by burning huge bonfires. Traditionally, many people lit bonfires in their own gardens, but this custom is dying out and now you’re more likely to see community bonfires organized by local groups and charities.
Fireworks displays are a big part of Bonfire Night. Some people set off fireworks outside their homes, but public displays are put on by most towns and villages.
Sparklers are another Bonfire Night feature and a great way for older kids to enjoy themselves.
To enjoy sparklers safely:
- Light the sparkler carefully with a match or lighter while the person is holding it.
- Then give them plenty of space to safely enjoy their sparkler as it cracks and fizzles.
- Be careful! Sparklers get very hot and the sticks can still be hot after the sparkler has gone out. So, put them in a bucket of water right after they’re used.
Making a dummy Guy Fawkes is also a popular activity for kids on Bonfire Night.
You can help them stuff old clothes with balled-up scrap paper to make a body and use a balloon or old football for the head. Draw or paint a face (don’t forget the obligatory goatee beard!) and put an old mop head on top for the hair.
Kids used to take their ‘Guys’ out on the street and call out “Penny for the Guy!” to raise some extra pocket money to buy fireworks. The poor Guy still often ends up being burnt on top of the bonfire as part of the celebrations.
What do you do for Bonfire Night at home? 🏠
Of course, there are plenty of Bonfire Night activities that can be done inside too.
Here are some other great ideas to keep your kids entertained on Guy Fawkes Night.
Firework Sandwiches 🥪
Getting creative with food takes on a whole new meaning!
- Four or five egg cups or small containers
- Food colouring
- Bread or toast
- Optional: Sweetener (We recommend stevia as a healthy choice, but you can use sugar, honey, or another sweetener)
- Clean paint brushes
- Leave some butter out of the fridge for a little to allow it to soften.
- When the butter is spreadable (you can try adding a little hot water to speed things along), put a teaspoon full of butter in each egg cup.
- Add a different colour of food colouring to each egg cup and add your sweetener if you want. Mix until the colour is blended into the butter.
- Now give your little ones their clean paintbrushes and let them have fun painting firework displays right on their snacks. Serve and enjoy!
Loo Roll Firework Stamps 🧻
This is a delightful way to mix art and play and create instant firework paintings.
- Paper or card (black card would be a great choice for this activity!)
- Loo roll tubes
- Using scissors, carefully cut one end of each loo roll tube into pointy triangular spikes. You can change the number of spikes and how far you cut into each tube to make an interesting variety of fun stamps.
- Bend the spikes back so the loo roll tube looks a bit like a daisy.
- Spread some different coloured paints on saucers or plates.
- Now, your kids can have a great time squishing their loo roll tube stamps into the paints and smacking them on the paper to create their own firework paintings.
Rhyme and Remember 🦻🏼
Challenge your kids to find as many rhyming words as possible for Bonfire Night-related words.
Here’s a list of some rhyming words to get you started:
Buyer, choir, crier, drier, dryer, flyer, fryer, higher, hire, shyer, tire, and trier.
Aye, buy, by, bye, cry, dry, eye, fly, fry, high, my, pie, shy, sigh, sky, sly, spy, thigh, tie, try, and why.
Blender, centre, December, defender, enter, inventor, remember, sender, September, temper, and tender.
Topsy-Turvy Fireworks 🎆
This activity is lots of fun and can be done at home if you don’t fancy venturing out into the cold, damp November night to watch a typical right-way-up fireworks display. What’s more, you can squeeze a little bit of science education into the show!
- An empty glass or plastic bottle with the labels removed
- Warm water
- Vegetable oil
- Food colouring
- A jug
- A funnel
- Pour about half a cup of oil into a jug.
- Add different food colourings to the oil in the jug, the more, the merrier!
- Mix the food colourings with a fork until they form into little drops suspended in the oil.
- Fill the bottle about two-thirds full with warm water.
- Now pour the oil and colour mix into the bottle using a funnel and watch the Topsy Turvy Fireworks display!
Here comes the science bit:
What’s going on in the bottle?
- Ask your kids how they think the Topsy Turvy Fireworks display works, you might get some interesting theories! Even if they don’t figure it out, it’s a really good idea to encourage them to speculate about how and why things happen, it sharpens their imaginations and analytical skills.
- If they don’t hit on the right answer, explain that water is denser than oil (the water molecules are more tightly packed together than the oil molecules), so the oil floats on top.
- The food colouring is made with water and other ingredients and is denser than both the oil and the water. So when you pour the mixture into the bottle, the food colouring droplets fall through the oil into the water leaving beautiful colour trails as they go!
- To follow up, you could drop some ice into a glass of water and ask your kids to explain why the ice floats.
We hope you enjoy our 4 quick and easy ways to delight and entertain your kids. Happy Bonfire Night!