Sensory Processing Disorder Firework Ideas For Children 

One of the most exciting and anticipated events I went to while growing up was fireworks during festivals or celebrations. The colorful displays, loud booms, and bright lights in the sky can bring joy and amazement to people of all ages. 

Children with Sensory Processing Disorder, the experience of watching fireworks can be a quite different and an overwhelming one. 

According to the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder, approximately 1 in every 20 children is affected by sensory differences, making it a common challenge for children.  

sensory processing disorder kids watching fireworks Sensory Processing Disorder Firework Ideas For Children

Fireworks can be very difficult for some children who have Sensory Processing Disorder.  There are many ways to make fireworks more enjoyable for children and adults if they would like to watch fireworks. 

For many children with sensory challenges, the loud noises and bright lights of fireworks can create sensory overload. The sudden and unexpected sounds can be too much for their sensitive ears, causing discomfort, fear, or even pain. The intense lights and flashes may also be overwhelming, resulting in anxiety and discomfort. The strong smell of smoke can be a trigger for children with sensory sensitivities.

Fireworks are a multi-sensory experience, with loud noises, bright lights, and strong smells. For children with sensory processing disorder, this sensory input can be overwhelming and cause distress, making it difficult for them to enjoy the fireworks. The loud noises of fireworks can be particularly challenging for children with sensory differences. The sudden, unpredictable bursts of sound can be distressing for those with auditory sensitivities.

Children with sensory differences may have difficulty with regulating their emotions and reactions to sensory input. Their senses are on high alert, and the excitement and unpredictability of fireworks can push them over their sensory threshold. This can lead to meltdowns, where children may want to leave the area or cover their ears and eyes to block out the sensory stimulation.

It is important to understand and acknowledge your child's sensory differences. Every child with sensory processing difficulties is unique, and what may be overwhelming for one, may not have the same effect on another. Please always communicate with your child to understand their specific triggers and reactions to fireworks, and plan accordingly.

For children with sensory challenges, watching fireworks can be a frightening experience. There are many ways that you can prepare and support your child, it is possible for them to enjoy the celebration just like any other child. Here are some tips for kids with sensory challenges to watch fireworks:

Prepare them for what to expect: Before attending a fireworks, talk to your child about what they might see, hear, and smell. Let them know that it will be loud and bright, but that they will be safe.

Find a good viewing spot: Choose a spot that is not too close to the fireworks and has plenty of space for your child to move around and take sensory breaks if they need too. This will help to reduce the intensity of the sensory input and give your child a sense of control.

Bring noise-canceling headphones: If your child is sensitive to loud noises, consider using noise-canceling headphones to reduce the impact of the fireworks' sounds. This can help to create a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for them.

Bring comforting items: Some children may feel more comfortable if they have their favorite toy, blanket, or other comforting item with them. This can provide some familiarity in a potentially overwhelming environment.

Use visual aids: For children with visual sensory sensitivities, using sunglasses or a hat with a brim can help to reduce the impact of the bright lights. You can also bring along a small flashlight or glow sticks for your child to use as a distraction during the display.

Take breaks: If your child becomes overwhelmed and overstimulated, take a break and move to a quieter area. You can also try to distract them with an activity they enjoy or give them a hug or deep pressure massage.

Consider alternatives: If your child is not comfortable with going to the fireworks, consider alternatives such as watching a video on YouTube or creating your own fireworks with glow sticks or sparklers at home.

Prepare your child for the fireworks, explain to them ahead of time what to expect, including the sounds, lights, and smells. Use words they can understand, provide visuals if needed. This will help them feel more in control and less anxious about the unknown.

Watch a videos of fireworks beforehand. This can desensitize children to the sights and sounds, making it less overwhelming on the actual day. You can also create a countdown for the fireworks display so they know when to expect the loud noises and prepare for them.

Always keep in mind that, if your child is not enjoying the fireworks, it is okay to leave, take a break, or find quiet activities for them to do while the fireworks are happening.

Fireworks can be a beautiful and exciting experience for many, but it is so important to understand and accommodate those who may have sensory challenges.

1. Prepare your kiddos ahead of time what to expect.

2. Noise cancelling headphones 

3. iPod or MP3 player with favorite music. 

4. Take some kids ear plugs 

5. Reading books about fireworks to prepare them.

6. Sunglasses 

7. Being held and hugged tightly. 

8. Practice with a couple small fireworks at home. 

9. Don't watch them too close, watch them from a  distance. 

10. Watch firework videos on YouTube before you go. 

11. Watch them in a spot not crowded with too many people. 

12. Only stay as long as they are enjoying the fireworks. 

13. Have your kiddos pick out a comfortable chair for seating. 

14. Bring a weighted blanket or weighted lap pad, 

15. Bring a favorite  toy for comfort. You could try a weighted animal too. 

16. Have an escape plan when they are ready to leave.  

17. Check locally for sensory friendly fireworks. 

18. Reassure your kiddo that they are safe. 

19. Let your kiddo choose where to watch them and sit. 

20. Give your kiddo tasks such as handing out snacks to have some control. 

21. Give your kiddo a camera to take pictures.  

22. Take glow sticks. 

23. Essential oils for calming. 

24. Post a visual schedule of the big day to prepare them ahead of time. 

25. Take a tablet or iPad with games to keep them busy. 

Here are some more helpful Sensory Processing Disorder Resources

DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists give you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional.

Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links on my website.  Each of your purchases through links on my website for Amazon affiliation links or sponsored links supports me but at no additional cost to you so thank you for your purchases. I appreciate it so much!