A toddler-friendly bonfire bash…
Older kids (and adults too) love bonfire night, but toddlers and bonfire night? Is this really a workable mix?
I know that my soon-to-be two year old would be awed and amazed by a fireworks display and would love the crackle and glow of the bonfire and the hustle and bustle of the party. I also know that the awe and amazement could easily turn to fear, and that most bonfire parties start way too late in the evening for him.
So, while we hope to show him a few fireworks from his bedroom window before bed, our main ‘bonfire’ party will be held in the afternoon.
1. The bonfire
Create a toddler-friendly ‘bonfire’ by stacking empty kitchen and toilet roll tube ‘logs’ and adding yellow, orange and red tissue paper ‘flames’. A few strategic dabs of glue should be enough to hold the whole thing together.
Dance around it, warm your hands near it, toast some marshmallows on it – do anything you’d do with a real fire, but without the worry of ending the party in A&E!
Pull the curtains across and add to the atmosphere with some LED tealights: pop a few inside your bonfire to make it glow and spread the rest around the room for a little warm, autumnal ambience.
2. The fireworks
Real fireworks – with their sudden loud bangs and danger – are not a great idea for a toddler party. But there are plenty of alternatives: give your little ones confetti or streamers to throw, glow sticks to wave, and party poppers to pop. Blow up balloons and let them whizz in a loud blur of colour around the room.
To promote some group activity, try making a pinata filled with healthy (or not so healthy) snacks that the children take turns to hit until it bursts (make it fairly strong so everyone gets a turn), and gather the kids into a marching bonfire band to entertain their parents with a little music.
3. The food
Pizza ‘Catherine Wheels’: create a rectangular, homemade pizza with your choice of toppings, then roll it up tightly lengthways, cut it into 2cm slices, place the resulting ‘wheels’ on a baking tray and pop them in the oven.
Hedgehog potatoes: halve a bunch of small-to-medium sized, skin-on potatoes and create your hedgehog look by putting lots of thin, almost-through slices into their domed tops. Pop them on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, and bake them in the oven till they’re a delicious mix of crispy and soft.
Serve from an artistically blackened, crumpled foil wrap, fresh from your ‘fire’.
DIY ‘sparklers’: Lay out bread sticks, melted white chocolate and shimmery sprinkles in a series of bowls so that your children can make their own savoury-sweet edible ‘sparklers’.
By Vicky Scowcroft