Planning on taking your little fireworks to see a fireworks show this holiday weekend? Well, don’t leave the house without reading this guide about how to navigate a fireworks show with kids.
Go shopping. So, as with most parenting tasks, preparation is key when going to a fireworks show. And preparation starts with shopping. Your best friend this summer should undoubtedly be your local Dollar Store. Why? Because they have a cheap version of just about every expensive thing that your kids will ooh and aah over at your local fireworks show. If you plan ahead and purchase light up sticks and trinkets from the discount store, you will not only make your kids happy, but also make your wallet happy. That is, until you go on a summer shopping spree. But I digress…
Light it up. Those same light up sticks that your kids will wear and twirl around will also come in handy in keeping everyone safe (including the drunk person a few blankets over) if you plan to bring a stroller or wagon to the fireworks. Why? Fireworks shows begin at dusk (duh) and it gets dark. Combine darkness, crowds, and drinking…not so awesome. So to avoid trips and falls, light up your stroller or wagon if you choose to use one by attaching light up sticks, flashlights, etc. My kids absolutely love decorating their wagon, and it is a great way to keep them busy waiting for darkness to fall.
Game plan. Talk with your partner and/or the other adults you are going to the fireworks with to formulate a game plan. Why? Because in parenting, I feel like you should always hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Since we didn’t know how our little one was going to react the first time we took him to a fireworks show, we had an escape route mapped out in which one of us would take the kiddo and head to the nearest exit while the other would pack up blankets, snacks, etc. That way we weren’t flustered and fighting about what to do if a tantrum or problem occurred….and thankfully we didn’t even need our escape plan!
Get some sleep. If your child is staying up for a fireworks show, it is obviously going to be a late night for them. Most kids are a bit off schedule in the summer, and when you combine a day filled with sugary treats and lots of stimulation it can be a bit challenging. That’s why we start to modify our kids’ sleep schedules a bit leading up to the 4th of July to ease them into the transition. You can either have kids nap a little bit later during the day or put them to bed earlier and wake them right when you head out for the fireworks show. Oh, and make your life easier and dress your kids in pajamas—no one cares if they aren’t in Instagram worthy patriotic clothes. Trust me.
Be flexible. Finally, make sure your child actually WANTS to see the fireworks live and in person. For some, it can be really scary and intimidating. A great way to prepare them is to watch some YouTube clips of fireworks shows. You can also pick up some noise cancelling headphones if you think noise will be an issue. And if they don’t want to go, don’t drag them to it. Stay home and curl up with the dog (who will undoubtedly also be afraid of the fireworks) and roast marshmallows. I’m sure you will hear or see some type of fireworks in your neighborhood since every grown man seems to think he has pyrotechnic skills (I’m looking at you, hubby!).