11 Ways to Prepare Young Children to See Fireworks

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Fireworks Display

Some young children love fireworks. Others are terrified.

Some young children are fine with large crowds. Others are overwhelmed. And it’s hard to tell how yours will react until you go. But there are things you can do to help make the experience as stress-free as possible:

  1. Prepare your child in advance. If your child hasn’t been to a fireworks display, you might show them a fun fireworks video. Explain that they will be loud, but that they’re supposed to be, and it’s ok. 
  2. Reconsider fireworks if your child is afraid of thunderstorms. The Richmond Times-Dispatch has a list of all July 4th celebrations in their Richmond Fireworks, and there are some low-key options that may be a better fit. 
  3. Put your child in pajamas. Dress them before you go so that you can put them right to bed when you get home. 
  4. Bring a comfort toy or blanket. Prepare to soothe your child with a familiar item from home. (Just make sure not to lose it!)
  5. Buy glow sticks at the dollar store for added fun. 
  6. Pack bottles, drinks, and snacks. 
  7. For very small children, pack a diaper bag. For other children, consider what you’ll do if your child needs to use the restroom. Are there portable bathrooms? Pack hand sanitizer or wipes.
  8. Prepare to cover sensitive ears. It may be that your hands will do. But you could also bring ear muffs (like those used for yard work), headphones, or toddler-sized ear plugs. 
  9. Map an escape route, and prepare to leave if need be.
  10. If you’ll be in an area filled with people, make sure your child can’t get lost in the crowd. 
  11. Comfort your child as much as needed.

Or, celebrate at home!

If you don’t have plans to go out, celebrate at home!

  • Watch Virtual Reality (VR) fireworks. Do you have a Google Cardboard or other VR device? Search YouTube for “Fireworks 360 VR” to find virtual reality demonstrations, like this one: Fireworks VR
  • Make s’mores around a campfire or toast some up in the oven. 
  • Have a slice of apple pie together. 
  • Glow sticks!
  • Host an impromptu 4th of July picnic or cookout.
  • Have a neighbor or friends over. 
  • Sing some patriotic songs as your child prepares for bed. 
  • Check out ways to have a sensory-friendly 4th

Have fun no matter how you make your memories! Happy Independence Day!