Tips on how to make these special occasions extra festive and fun
Halloween and Bonfire Night can be a particularly challenging time for foster families, especially if the young child has experienced trauma in the past. It can be a time of heightened anxiety and sensory overload. However, it does not mean we cannot enjoy the festivities. With some preparation, planning and adherence to safety guidelines, we can prepare for a fun and memorable Halloween and Bonfire Night. In this post, we will share some tips on how you can celebrate these occasions in the safest and most enjoyable way possible while creating beautiful memories that your foster child can cherish for years to come.
Create a Safe Home Environment
One easy way to make Halloween and Bonfire Night more manageable is to create a safe environment. During Halloween, create scare-free surroundings by placing decorations that are more ‘cute’ than spooky. This way, you set the ambiance for the season but without the added stress of making the foster child uncomfortable. On Bonfire Night, avoid fireworks displays if you think that they would be overwhelming for the child in your care. Instead, opt for sparklers or watch the fireworks from a safer distance or even from indoors.
Find Fun Activities that Fit Your Family’s Needs
It can be tricky to find activities that are both enjoyable and appropriate for individual foster children. If your child loves arts and crafts, set up a Halloween decoration station. Provide the materials like paints, stickers, and fabrics to help them create their designs and enjoy Halloween in the best way possible. Bonfire Night can be an opportunity to embrace your inner chef and prepare some warming comfort food like jacket potatoes- with a choice of toppings, hot chocolate, and roasted marshmallows.
If young person wants to go out trick or treating, it is important to ensure they understand that not everyone celebrates Halloween. Also, not all people- particularly those that live alone, will be happy to open the door when they knock. It is important to ensure that they understand this and move on to the next house if there is no response. Also talk to young people about keeping safe when out with friends’ trick or treating- staying in a group and not going into homes if they are invited in.
Plan Ahead to Alleviate Sensory Overload
On Bonfire Night, if your foster child is sensitive to noise, plan to have noise-cancelling headphones available- they may still enjoy the firework display in terms of the sights, just not the sounds. If they are afraid of the dark, use an on-the-go night light. If they don’t like crowds of people, switch planned outings with fun outdoor activities or at-home parties. It is all about getting to know individual needs and not making assumptions that all children will enjoy these 2 festive occasions. Some children may need to have an explanation beforehand of what a large firework and bonfire party will involve – have a look online together so they can see if it is something that they think they may enjoy.
Ensure Your Child’s Safety
Safety should be top-of-mind, especially during Halloween, when Halloween masks and costumes can hamper visibility or become entangled with other objects. Look for flame-resistant materials with which to make costumes or invest in them. Additionally, glow-in-the-dark bracelets will make it easier to keep track of your child if you’re going trick-or-treating together. At Bonfire Night, be aware of any stray sparks or fireworks that could pose a fire hazard. If it is cold outside, make sure your foster child is wrapped up warm. If you are having a firework display at home- ensure that you follow the safety instructions in terms of keeping a safe distance, keeping the fireworks in a safe place, and definitely not letting children light them. Make sure adults act appropriately and do not fool around with or throw fireworks.
Contact Acorn Fostering Services for More Tips and Tricks
Halloween and Bonfire Night can be a time of great excitement and fun, but it also has the potential to become quite stressful for foster families. By taking the time to understand your foster child’s needs and trying out some of the tips outlined above, you can create a safe and enjoyable environment that can help even teenager embrace their inner child and enjoy the festivities in their own way. Remember, this is an opportunity to create memories that your child can cherish for years to come, and with the right preparation, everyone can have a great time.
Celebrating Halloween and Bonfire night as a foster family is a great way to make meaningful memories and lasting bonds. All foster families should therefore embrace such occasions with enthusiasm, but of course this starts with finding the right fostering agency. Acorn Fostering Services provides unrivalled support, tailored packages ensuring that the interests of both children and carers are at the centre, and dedicated teams offering advice on every step of your fostering journey. This makes it the leading choice for all those planning to open their hearts and homes to children in need. Contact Acorn Fostering Services today at 01162166040 to learn how to get started!