No, not a re-enactment of the Gunpowder Plot for four and five year olds, but a few ideas for November 5th – inspired role play that will greatly help young children grasp simple but vital messages about keeping safe around fire at home, and fireworks.
There are a number of simple messages in the Firework Code that young children can understand that are ideal for them to make their own in role play. One is that on fireworks night all pets should be kept indoors and well away from the loud noises and sights of the fireworks. Children can make ‘extra cosy dens’ for soft toy pets in the home corner. If any do ‘run out of the house by accident’, your firefighters can carry out a search and rescue operation.
Children can role play preparing food for a firework party, such as baked potatoes and Parkin, taking care to keep the home corner baby dolls ‘away from the hot oven’. Talk about how, outside, fireworks must be lit at a ‘safe distance’ from people, and go outside together to measure five metres, the safe distance for a small display in a garden. Encourage children to make a fireworks picture e.g. by blowing paint on black paper and adding glitter. When dry, cover the side of a large carton with the picture, to represent a ‘fireworks display’. Ask children to stand the carton a ‘safe distance’ away from a doll’s house, with playpeople ‘in the garden’ watching the display safely.
Talk together about as many ways as you can all think of, to keep safe at a fireworks party, e.g. keeping fireworks in a closed box, having a bucket of water to put used fireworks in, how to hold sparklers safely etc. If you are fortunate enough to be able to have a firefighter visit your setting, this is ideal, of course, but, for the next best thing, you can bring ‘Firefighter Tony’, a very personable firefighter, directly into your setting, via the award-winning DVD, ‘Daisy’s and Mikey’s fireworks party’, which is endorsed by the Fire Kills campaign.
In the film, Firefighter Tony comes to the children’s house, and shows them and their family and friends how to have a fun and very safe party. The film will inspire lots of talking, creativity and role play around fireworks and being safe around fire at home. There is even a wonderful scene in which Firefighter Tony checks with six year old Maeve that all the ‘smoke alarms’ (toothpaste tube caps) in the dolls’ house are working! For a free excerpt from this film, click www.childseyemedia.com