Bonfire Night presents the perfect opportunity to engage young children and further develop their learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework.
A uniquely British tradition, Bonfire Night remembers the events in the early hours of 5 November 1605 when Guy Fawkes was captured in the cellar under the House of Lords with 36 barrels of gunpowder.
Today, bonfires and firework displays continue to be extremely popular across the UK to commemorate Britain's most notorious traitor and the foiled plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I.
If you're planning on celebrating Bonfire Night in an Early Years setting we have put together a selection of creative ideas which we hope you will find inspiring.
We've even grouped them under the three prime areas of learning within the EYFS Statutory Framework to make it even easier to pick and choose.
Playing a backdrop of suitable music, ask children to pretend to be the flames of a bonfire by crouching down and then slowly standing up and using their arms to mimic the movement of the flames. Giving youngsters orange, red and yellow scarves to wave adds to the fun.
For a more lively workout, get children jumping around the room like fireworks. Alternatively, call out firework-related words - such as bang, spin, zoom, whoosh, whizz etc. - for the children to act out.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Help children make a 'bonfire' with (healthy) foods using different coloured fruits and vegetables. Celery sticks are perfect to build up as the 'firewood' foundation, while carrots, red apple peel and red peppers are ideal as 'flames'.
Creating a fireworks picture is simple, fun and messy - so always popular with little ones. Equip children with a paint or toothbrush, a large sheet of black paper and a selection of brightly coloured paints - neons work particularly well. Children dip the brush into the paint and flick it onto the paper or run their finger along the toothbrush to make the paint flick. A great - and potentially less messy - alternative is to use glitter glue pens or brush a glue trail and sprinkle with glitter.
Both these activities also help reinforce colour recognition.
Communication and language
The vital safety messages in the Firework Code - available in poster format online - are ideal for role play. Children can create cosy dens for soft toys in the home corner, in line with advice to keep pets indoors away from loud noises. Discuss how fireworks must be lit 'a safe distance' from people, consider measuring out the five metres recommended for a small garden display so the children can visualise the distance, and encourage them to think of as many ways to guard against accidents at a Bonfire Night party such as keeping fireworks in a closed box.
Circle time is also ideal for conveying the safety message, talking about the history of Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night, as well sharing stories about the children's experiences or plans to celebrate the event.