This is a rather late post about the stuff we did around Bonfire Night and fireworks. We've had illnesses, lost most of our pictures and then the laptop cable broke so not only is it late, but its lacking in visuals too!
We are finding one of the best resources for us is youtube! Our sons need to see something if it is to have any meaning to them so short video clips are ideal. This worked brilliantly in terms of talking about fireworks. Its hard to get them to watch anything at length but no problem with this subject - I suppose you can't really get more visually stimulating than fireworks! We tend to use video clips/images on the laptop at the same time as activities so we watched a few displays and then brought in the 'real' thing...
I found a great recipe on this website, http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/chocolate_sparklers.htm, for 'Chocolate Sparklers' made out of chocolate fingers dipped in sugar strands, (no pictures I'm afraid) which was so simple to do. James enjoyed eating them as he took part and then once finished decorating them, proceeded to then remove all the decorations before he could contemplate eating them!!
We made several attempts at different craft activities. I'm trying to keep these ideas really simple. Anything too involved and lengthy is not a good idea. I'm also trying to come up with ideas based around the way the boys like to play so for Charlie it would be very sensory based and for James its more about putting things 'in' something else and threading. We made a bonfire out of lolly sticks and orange/red tissues paper. No glue involved here. We looked at a photo and tried to recreate it by piling up the lolly sticks for the base and putting the flames in the middle. We also did a firework starting with a lump of play dough and sticking pipe cleaners in. Some we made into spirals by wrapping them around a pencil, others we left as they were and we just gave the boys the options to chose which they wanted to use. Its the pictures from these activities that we lost but I do have a picture of my ancient pipe cleaners saved from my own childhood!!!!!
Continuing on the theme of threading, we made some fireworks out of cardboard tubes and tinsel. Really, really simple. Just threading the tinsel through the tube and holding it in place with an elastic band.
We used these for a rather excitable re-enactment of a bonfire and firework display! We have a wonderful rug which I found on ebay a while ago which has lights running through it, so that was the bonfire, we had our mirror ball going, loads of party poppers for the bangs, blew balloons up and then let them whiz around, 'Light My Fire' playing really loud and we ran around the 'bonfire' with the tinsel fireworks. It was a lot of fun!!
Our touchy feely sensory activity was with our coloured rice. (Again!) We just put a piece of black card on the base of our tray (I use cat litter trays) and threw handfuls of the rice in so we got the noise as well as the visual effect.
At the end of the week we went to a real display, which the boys loved. We are lucky in this respect I think, a lot of children on the autistic spectrum find this hard. It was a great display but I always find it hard to know where to look as I get as much pleasure out of watching their faces as watching the fireworks!