Bonfire night can be scary for young children, especially when they don’t understand why there are loud bangs going off outside and why the night sky is lit up with so many colours, so here are some ways you can stop them from being frightened on the night. 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Prepare them in the run up: Watch a movie with a firework scene in it or pull a video up on YouTube so they recognise them when they see them in the night sky. Make it a pleasant experience by watching it with them and create a dialogue around what is happening. 

Read a book about fireworks: If you order one on next day delivery or even opt for a Kindle version- read this to your little one tonight and tomorrow night so they will have a better understanding of what fireworks look like and how they behave. When referring to them use positive phrases like ‘look at the pretty colours- how many can you see?’ and ‘look they make a giant circle in the sky!’.

Use their favourite toy to calm them down: Every child has a favourite toy - flavour of the month for my daughter is a fluffy pink rabbit. If your child has a stuffed toy they like to sleep or nap with that that goes everywhere with you- use it to your advantage. Reinforce the point- if (insert the toy’s name here) can be brave and watch the fireworks with mummy and daddy- so can (your toddler’s name). If they see their toy doing something that receives positive reinforcement from you- they are more likely to follow suit. 

RELATED: Seven books you should give your toddler to help them fall in love with reading

Create a vocabulary around the event: There are printable sheets you can access on the internet that show all of the things associated with Bonfire Night such as rockets, fireworks, bonfires and marshmallows. Print one off and encourage your toddler to learn them. That way, when Bonfire Night rolls around, they can put a name to what they see. 

Make it fun: If your toddler doesn’t cry but is still unsure about the fireworks, whether you watch them outside or from your window, turn it into a bit of a game whereby with each bang you hear say ‘wow’ or ‘weeee’ or give them a tickle each time one bursts across the sky. Talk about the colours you see and the shapes they make in the sky. Show them that you are not afraid and they will see the fireworks as less of a threat. 

Cover up the sounds and close the curtains: If your toddler is not keen on the loud noises coming from outside, keep the TV on while you are having your evening meal, put some music on in the background or let them play with their noisiest toys. Keep the curtains shut so there are no lights to draw them to the window. If they can’t hear or see anything, they are less likely to be afraid. Even if they do, if no one around them pays any attention to them they will soon lose interest. 

Play music at bedtime: If your little one is inconsolable at this time of year- try to block out the noise with some music in their room when it’s time for bed, and leave it playing until they drift off. If they are scared, they won’t sleep or will want you to stay with them so if they can’t hear the noises from outside, they will see it as a normal night and relax.   

RELATED: Seven ways to celebrate Bonfire Night with a toddler in lockdown

While Bonfire Night may look a little different this year, you can still celebrate with your little one in your own special way that is appropriate to their age and interests. Here are my top suggestions for making this one memorable despite being in lockdown…to read more click HERE

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