With the announcement of a second lockdown starting on 5th November, I’m beginning to think that Guy Fawkes had the right idea all along! I’m joking of course, but it has meant that most of the organised events have had to be cancelled this year.
But, if like us you still want to mark the occasion either on the 5th or at the weekend, I’ve pulled together some last minute home based alternatives to make Bonfire Night go with a bang!
Anyone remember party games from the 80’s? No, just me? Well, now is the perfect time to bring a classic one back.
Start by grabbing a selection of winter clothing, jumpers, gloves, mittens, scarves, hats and even wellies! Then get a set of cutlery for each player. Finally you need a large family sized bar of chocolate.
Sit the players in a circle. Hand a set of cutlery to each player. Place the chocolate bar (still in it’s wrapper) and the clothes in the middle of the circle. Each player rolls the dice then passes it on. If you roll a 6 you must jump up and quickly put all the clothing on, unwrap the chocolate bar then use your knife and fork to eat as much as you can whilst the dice is being rolled and passed on by the other players. If someone else rolls a 6 while you are in the middle with the chocolate, you must take off all the dress-up items and let the next person have a go!!
It’s all coming back to you now isn’t it?
Penny for the guy might have died out along with shell suits and walkmans, but you could try making your own mini guy with things you can find around the house. Grab an old pair of tights perhaps, or a carrier bag, and stuff them with straw or tissue paper. Dress him up and display him proudly on your doorstep. Maybe you could hold a competition with school friends, take photos of your entries and vote for the winner. You could even repurpose your Halloween pumpkin for his head.
Get in the Garden.
Firstly, I’m not going to recommend buying your own fireworks as I know that both animals and people can find them upsetting, things are tough as it is so please be considerate of others at all times. However, I AM a massive fan of sitting around a fire, using a fire basket/pit, or even getting the bbq back out for one night.
Honestly, there’s nothing nicer than toasting marshmallows over a fire, making s’mores or even cooking jacket potatoes (wrap them in tin foil first) by putting them in the embers. Add a mug of hot chocolate into the mix and snuggle up in sleeping bags or blankets.
For a quick activity get the kids to count how many fireworks they can spot from other garden displays around you.
Or try stargazing – what shapes can you see? There are some great child friendly apps that will tell you exactly what you are looking at. We had some great views of Mars last week when we were in the Lake District, look for a very distinctive orange star near to the moon.
Light some sparklers and write your name in the air, set your phone camera to a long exposure and try some family sparkler selfies.
Fancy making your own fountain firework? (well kinda!)
All you’ll need is:
- A bottle of diet coke
- A packet of mentos mints
- A piece of a4 paper
Turn your bottle of diet coke into a firework by removing the label and adding some sparkly star decorations or tape on some glowsticks.
Roll the piece of a4 paper into a tube that will roughly fit the neck of the bottle and tape it together. Remove the cap and put the bottle onto a flat surface. Please do this outdoors otherwise your house will be a complete disaster zone of stickiness.
This next part needs to be done by a responsible adult, or can be done by older children with adult supervision.
Put your finger over the bottom of the paper tube and fill the tube with mentos, using your finger to keep them from falling out of the bottom. Hold the tube over the top of the bottle of diet coke, do a countdown and when you get to 1 remove your finger allowing the mentos to drop into the bottle and quickly stand back taking the tube with you.
Watch your bottle ‘rocket’ explode into a geyser of carbon dioxide bubbles.
Scientists aren’t sure exactly why the mints cause such an explosive reaction, but they think that the sweetener and other chemicals in the Mentos react with the Diet Coke to cause lots of carbon dioxide bubbles to form on the surface of the mints very quickly. This causes pressure to build in the bottle and send a spectacular jet of bubbles shooting into the air.
Bonfire Night Banquet
Yes, I admit it – I think about food A LOT! And when it comes to special events, food is always high on the agenda here.
Bonfire Night in my opinion, gives you two ways to go:
Fancy finger food – think along the lines of hotdogs, toffee apples, cinder toffee and parkin. You can find some great inspiration on Pinterest. Lay on a fabulous firework themed feast.
Cosy comfort food – this definitely gets my vote! A slow cooker full of chilli bubbling away (perfect over your fire cooked spuds) or a pan full of lobby to eat with crusty bread. Warm yourselves up from the inside out.
And remember, remember not to let lockdown ruin your 5th of November!
All images are my own unless otherwise credited and must not be reproduced without permission.