When my second daughter was 6 months old, she loved the fireworks. She giggled. She laughed. She acted like they were heaven on earth. At 18 months old, she had a total meltdown. She was so scared and I felt like the worst parent in the world for bringing her to watch the show. The 4th of July can sometimes be too much for our littlest ones to take in, which means the party can be difficult for us to enjoy. But a bit of creative thinking can make it fun for everyone.

Party Early

There’s nothing wrong with having your 4th of July fun before the sunsets. Most towns have parties that last all day long. Get out early and enjoy the day as a family. You can get home before the traffic jam even starts, and watch some fireworks from the comfort of your living room with the TV on mute.

Get a Nap In

If you plan on taking your kids to see the fireworks, try to work a nap into the day – for all of you. Resting up for a late night will mean a lower chance of meltdowns and tantrums and a greater chance of more fun for everyone.

Pick a Spot

Visit the location ahead of time and ask the parks and recreation department where the fireworks will be set off from. Then, pick a spot between the parking area and the fireworks where you can have a clear view without as much noise. Arrive early to claim your spot.

Plan a Snack

Hungry kids equals cranky kids. Cranky kids don’t care what you say, they’re going to be cranky anyway. Having a snack ready to go can prevent unnecessary meltdowns.

Plug Their Ears

Bring some noise cancelling head-phones. Do some practice runs with them so your child gets comfortable wearing them.

Have an Escape Route

No matter what you do, your child may just not want to listen to or watch those loud fireworks. Park your car close to the entrance and plan to spend some extra time walking to your perfect fireworks-watching spot. Know exactly which way you need to go so when the time comes, you can skip out of there fast.

As every parent knows, sometimes you just can’t predict or prevent a child’s meltdown. The only thing you can do is be prepared.

Have a fun, safe 4th of July celebration from everyone here at Parenting Squad!