Growing up with a house on Whidbey Island the Fourth of July was a daylong celebration. It was a day filled with beach play, boating, BBQ, and a campfire on the beach waiting for it to get dark. My uncle was in charge of the firework show, and he always put on a good one. This was a family tradition since before I was born. Starting at a young age the adults would always make sure we were safe around the fireworks. My mom was cautious when giving my sister and me sparklers because they get hot, plus when I was two I got burned by one. That all being said, the best part of the Fourth of July was all the family that was around. The firework experience was very unique because if you live in the city limits you are not allowed to set off fireworks, but on Whidbey Island you can.

Nowadays, my family enjoys watching the fireworks from afar, but there are still activities that we do that make us feel like we are in the middle of the action. Here are some of my family’s favorite activities as well as some firework safety tips.


Anything that is bright and colorful is intriguing to children and they will do whatever it takes to get their little hands on the sparkly stick.

  • Get some fun glow sticks for everyone to waive around. They are just as good as a sparkler and they don’t go out as fast.
  • Your little ones can also create their own wand that is a great sparkler substitute.
  • A Stars and Stripes Fruit Wand is super festive and yummy! All you need is watermelon, blueberries, strawberries and a skewer.

Firework Safety

It is important to teach firework safety early, especially if your family is going to be around fireworks.

  • Keep a bucket of water handy and explain to your little ones why it is necessary. 
  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
  • When disposing of it I recommend having a special bucket to put them in with an inch or two of water inside.
  • Have earplugs available. Sometimes the loud banging can be scary to younger ones and may even hurt their ears. Earplugs only cost a few dollars at the drug store.

When I was little and learning about firework safety what helped me the most was when the adults would explain to me why what they were doing was important. “We have a water bucket so we can put out a spark or fire.” As I child I was always curious so this really helped me comprehend. Don’t forget to enjoy family time!