Whether you love or hate fireworks, let them spark your ideas…

 Some children find fireworks exciting, colourful and full of amazing science. Other youngsters dislike them because they ‘bang’ so loudly, freak out their pets and pollute the environment. What do you think? Do you find them scientific or artistic? Musical or historical? Have fun with your thoughts and interests as you try these great activities!


Fireworks can be awesome but they must be handled safely and only lit by a responsible adult. Please see here for safety information: https://www.capt.org.uk/firework-safety Also https://www.cheshirefire.gov.uk/young-people/fireman-sam   for Fireman Sam’s own videos!

Life Skills / Design Technology

Make sure you have used information you can trust (like the weblinks above) and found out how to stay safe around fireworks.

  • Create a safety poster for anyone having fireworks in their garden or visiting a large display.
  • Invent a world-first viewing area that would be safe, warm, comfortable and let you see the explosions really well.
  • Research how fireworks and sparklers are made.  https://www.fireworkscrazy.co.uk/blog/how-are-sparklers-made/

History / Geography / Religion

When and why do different countries, cultures and religions traditionally enjoy firework displays?

  •    For example, in the United Kingdom; on November 5th to remember the year 1605?
  •    In the USA; on the 4th of July?
  •    In France; on ‘le quatorze juillet’ (July 14th)?
  •    In China; in early February, based around the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month of the Chinese calendar?
  •    For Hindus; the 15th day of Kartik, the holiest month in the Hindu lunar calendar, (usually between mid-October and mid-November).

How were fireworks first invented in these cultures?

Where are fireworks and sparklers made in today’s modern world? Do certain ingredients need to come from a particular country or landscape?

 Visit overviews of historical celebrations around the world: http://www.thefireworksfirm.co.uk/25-interesting-facts-about-fireworks.php and  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fireworks#Fireworks_celebrations_throughout_the_world

English / Other Languages

  • Write a piece of ‘persuasive writing’ to try to make someone else agree with your opinion. You might argue that fireworks are, for example, impressive and fun…or scary and environmentally polluting.
  • Compose poetry, prose or song lyrics to describe your own feelings about fireworks.
  • Research the word(s) for ‘firework’ in at least 5 different languages. Are there similarities in the meanings?

Try an online translation tool like this one: https://translate.google.co.uk


  • Compose a piece that sounds like fireworks; use voice and musical instruments or digital sounds and voice samples.
  • Make up some song lyrics that describe what you love or hate about fireworks and set them to music.
  • Create a piece of instrumental music or straight percussion that could be a carefully-timed backing track to a firework display.
  • Which do you prefer and why; Katy Perry’s pop song called Firework or Handel’s classic composition ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’?

View Handel’s music set to fireworks at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuG1t2smdCQ

Science / Maths

How do various fireworks, ‘fountains’ and sparklers actually work?

  • Here they are in alphabetical order, but can you match up these bright lights you will see in the sky –gold, green, orange, red and silver– with the exploding chemical salts used to make the colours; Barium-, Calcium-, Copper-, Sodium- and Strontium salts?
  • What gives fireworks their bang sound, waterfall effect or crazy whistle?
  • Design a chart that shows the average distances travelled by various sorts of firework.
  • How would you measure the distance travelled by the ‘Catherine Wheel’ as it spins round and round?
  • Can you discover or calculate an approximate equation to show the relationship between firework type, chemical ingredient, distance travelled and time alight?

There is a fascinating set of colourful wallcharts at https://www.compoundchem.com/?s=firework

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About the author: Gillie Ithell is a writer and editor for Potential Plus UK with a B.A. in Modern Languages & Communication and further qualifications in mental health. Having worked internationally as content manager of classic board games and ‘edutainment’ software, Gillie now writes to inspire others like herself; on a daily journey with High Learning Potential.