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Brilliant Bonfire Night Ideas For Hosting At Home

bonfire sparkler

Home-Made Bonfire Night Activities for Kids (That’ll Keep Em Quiet!)

Bonfire night is a great excuse to dress up warm, keep the kids up late and enjoy some treat-filled fun in your own back garden. So, if you’re planning to host a private fireworks party, we’ve got bonfire night activities for early years as well as crafts and games to keep older kids entertained until the fireworks begin.

Ideas for Bonfire Night Decorations

If you’re hoping the party-goers will stay in the garden, make it an inviting place to be by adding some mood lighting.

Why not try magical fairy lights? Take large glass jars and fill with short chains of coloured, battery-powered LED lights. These can be hung from trees, or placed in flower pots and along walkways. If your kids are older and are looking for bonfire night craft ideas they could even decorate the jars with stained glass paint for an individual touch.

Longer chains of LED lights can be wound around tree trunks and trellises for stunning illumination effects.
And for something a bit different, put glow sticks inside balloons before you blow them up for colourful, glowing orbs that you can tie to trees, doorways and dark corners.

fairy lights LEDs

Credit: Wyatt Ryan

Bonfire Night Activities for Early Years

For bonfire night arts and crafts for small children, try a fun fireworks painting or rocket-making activity.

• Fireworks Paintings For The Kids: Cut thin 5-10cm slits all around the bottom of a toilet roll. Then push the cardboard tube down onto a table to make the cut ends splay out. This will make a stamp. Dip the splayed end into firework-coloured paint and print onto paper. Repeat with different colours and different length toilet roll stamps on top of each other to make a lovely firework-effect picture. Paint on black paper for added wow factor.

• Edible sparklers: Put a marshmallow on the end of a kebab skewer. Dip the end in melted chocolate and then cover in hundreds and thousands or little stars. Your very own edible sparkler!

• Rocket Crafting: Provide triangles, rectangles and small circles made of card, paper or stickers. Help younger kids to stick them on to paper to create their own rocket pictures.

These fun bonfire night crafts and firework activities for early years are a great way to practise colour recognition and simple shape names with under-fives.

Or for more traditional Guy Fawkes activities, help the kids make a guy to sit atop the bonfire. This will need to be done in advance. Use Papier-mâché around a balloon to make a face, and old clothes and a hat stuffed with straw or newspaper for a puppet version of the gunpowder plotter. Why not re-tell the famous story while you’re doing it?

Make a judgement as to whether you burn your guy with the bonfire – remember younger children may not be ready to see their hard work (and new buddy!) go up in flames.

Credit: Jamie Street

Glow-in-the-Dark Bonfire Night Games for Kids

If you’re looking for ideas for bonfire night games, we think these glow-in-the-dark ones work brilliantly. And they’ll add a vibrant splash of colour to your garden party too.

• We all know kids love bubbles…but have they ever seen glow-in-the-dark bubbles? If you want bonfire night activities that will make everyone say ‘ooh’ and ‘ahhh’ long before the fireworks appear, you must try this. Open some little bottles of bubble solution. Cut glow sticks of different colours and pour the contents into the bubble bottles. Shake to mix, blow as normal and then marvel at the multi-coloured glow-in-the-dark spectacle. (Keep the bottles out of reach of the younger kids as the solution can be harmful if ingested).

• Make glow-in-the-dark skittles. All you need is 6 plastic water bottles of a similar size (around 1 litre) and a ball that’s heavy enough to knock them down. Add some water to give them a bit of weight, drop glow sticks of different colours into the bottles, set them up in a triangle formation and get bowling.

• Play glow-in-the-dark hoopla. Stick glow sticks in the ground as stakes, position the kids a short distance away and give them 3 glow stick rings each to toss – anyone who gets one over the stake wins a prize.
And finally, not glow-in-the-dark, but not to be missed! Why not try doughnut bobbing? It’s like apple bobbing, but way more delicious! Hang ring doughnuts on strings from a fairy lit tree. Blindfold a willing participant and tie their hands behind their back. Then spin them round a few times and point them in the direction of the swinging doughnuts and see how long it takes them to devour a whole one. Extra points if they do it without licking their lips!


Credit: Hanna Morris

What to Wear to a Bonfire Night Party

We often forget just how cold it is by the beginning of November, so if you’re trying to work out what to wear on bonfire night, you’ll need make sure you don’t underestimate that biting chill.

Dress the kids in layers, hats and scarves, wear thermals if you have them, and put on your warmest winter coats and boots. And make sure you don’t forget those gloves or mittens to keep little hands safe when holding sparklers. To be extra safe, avoid trailing or easily flammable fabrics when choosing bonfire night clothes.

Hopefully we’ve given you some brilliant bonfire night children’s activities to make sure your young guests remember, remember the 5th of November for all the right reasons.

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