Welcome to the nineteenth edition of “a thousand words”. This story is called “Sparklers with Kids in the Backyard”. Since Charles was a small child, one of his favorite pastimes involved hanging out with his family in the backyard using sparklers. Though the youngest you should use sparklers is 7 years old, times were quite different when he was growing up. In fact, his father taught him how to handle fireworks as early as age 3! Since his youngest son just turned 7, Charles decided it was time to recreate the magic with his own children for nostalgia.

However, he wanted the first time to be really special for everyone, so he decided to plan it as a surprise. Instead of choosing something obvious like Independence Day or a birthday party, he wanted to do it at an unexpected time. And with that, the story of how he planned the perfect way to use sparklers with kids in the backyard begins.

Choosing the Perfect Situation

The first task Charles had to complete was picking the right situation for the event. He obviously didn’t want to make it seem forced, but he also wanted everything to be perfect. Fortunately, the family had bi-weekly barbecues with their neighbors, so that was a great place to start. Typically, everyone hangs out in one of the neighborhood backyards for drinks, food and conversation. The one major hang-up is that the party rotates between 4 houses equally; meaning it wouldn’t always be in his backyard. However, with some luck, it was going to be his turn to host in just 4 short weeks.

On top of that, Charles also had another milestone that he could honor at his barbecue: he’s late father’s birthday. His dad’s birthday wasn’t something they made a big deal out of every year, but it was a great added symbolism that made it feel more special. Since his turn and the birthday coincided, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to reintroduce his beloved tradition!

Protecting the Children

Image of a Man Holding a Child While Using SparklersObviously, sparklers need to be handled with caution; especially when children are involved! Anytime children use sparklers, your safety awareness needs to go up a few notches. Since Charles is a very loving and caring father, he wanted to make sure that the kids were well protected. After all, some of the other families have small children, too! So, he decided it was time to take a good, hard, look at the options. Here’s a small list of his most serious considerations.

Holding the Sparkler for the Child

One of the safest options out there is to simply hold the sparkler for the child so they never have direct contact. Some people prefer to hold the kid while they do it while others prefer to stand further away. While this is a very safe option, Charles wanted the children to have a higher level of participation. So, he decided to skip past this one.

Stick the Sparklers in the Ground

Another fun option the he considered was sticking them into the ground for spectacular display. One of the main advantages with this method is you can light several of them at once for a dazzling effect. Moreover, smoke can help repel mosquitoes and other flying insects; so there is a practical advantage, as well. However, this still eliminates any direct interaction; so he ultimately decided this was not the right fit, either.

Insert Them into Another Item

Of course, the ground isn’t the only place you can insert a sparkler. In fact, people have been using them on birthday cakes for many years now. However, nearly anything that provides a stable anchoring point and enough weight to stay upright can do the job. For instance, some people use a carrot to hold a sparkler as a buffer for their child’s hand. Similarly, you can use items like potatoes, bananas, or even bell peppers to accomplish the same feat. While this was a bit closer to the mark, it still wasn’t quite the right fit for his plan to use sparklers with kids in the backyard.

Wearing a Cup Over Their Hands

Lastly, he considered a tried and true method that many people across the internet have endorsed for years. Of course, I’m referring to placing a cup over each child’s hand. The method is simple: just pop a hole in the center of the bottom of a plastic party cup. Next, insert the wire handle of the sparkler through the hole into the void. Then, the child simply slides the cup over their hand and can hold the handle while being protected from most accidents. While it isn’t the safest option on the table, Charles felt like this was the best fit.

Choosing the Right Type of Sparklers

Once the logistics were figured out, it was time to decide on the best choice for sparklers with kids in the backyard. Obviously, he wanted them to have a metal handle for safety reasons. Additionally, he didn’t want too much smoke since there were going to be a lot of children involved. Lastly, he wanted them to be long enough to last but easy to handle for smaller children. With all of this in mind, he set out to find the product that best fit his criteria. In the end, he selected 20 inch long sparklers as the perfect mix of all these factors.

Finally Being Able to Use Sparklers with Kids in the Backyard

With everything figured out, the day of his barbecue had finally arrived. Once everyone was there, he proudly pulled out his stash of sparklers and told a story about his childhood experiences. He talked about his dad, and highlighted that it would have been his 86th birthday. One by one, the children lined up to slide their plastic cups over their hands and prepare for the fun. As he lit the sparklers with a lighter, the glow reflected off the faces of the smiling children as they looked in awe at the spectacle. For Charles, it was a trip down memory lane. For the kids, it was the start of a new lifetime of memories that they would cherish forever; as you can see in the photographs above.

I really hope you enjoyed these photos along with the story they so vividly tell. For some of you, this can act as a guide for using sparklers with kids in the backyard at your own event. For others, it can serve as nostalgia to remind you of your own childhood experiences. Either way, I truly hope you found what you were looking for out of this tale. If you want even more great ideas, please check out our previous version of “A Thousand Words.” Thank you so much for reading, and have a delicious barbecue!