Fireworks fun that won't put your eye out
"You'll put your eye out kid," is going to be dripping from the mouths of more than a few moms this week. So how can you have some Independence Day fun without making a trip to the emergency room?
You can first of all opt for letting the professionals do it. Click here to see the massive list our Things to Do crew has compiled of all the fireworks and patriotic parades going on in the Tampa Bay area.
For the littlest ones, especially those under 5, it can be hard to find diversions that don't involve lighting something on fire. Some alternatives I've used are the TNT Pop-Its, shown at right, that can be found in the front of every grocery store, Target and Wal-Mart this week. The sperm-shaped paper packets make a loud snap when thrown against a hard surface or stepped on. They are cheap (a box with 150 of them is only $1 or less) and they emit a slight spark when slammed to the ground, but they are safe enough to snap between your fingers (not recommended by the makers, of course, but I do it all the time).
Also, glow sticks, glow necklaces and body lights found in party stores emit such an entrancing neon glow that little ones won't notice you haven't handed them a sparkler. Flash lights also are very appealing to little kids and if you hold off until July 4 to bring out a special one such as a fun LED spiral light or a simple flashlight that blinks in different colors.
But if you, like me, have a husband who loves to blow things up, insist on having a couple of buckets of water on hand and make the rule that all spent sparklers or fizzing whizbees get deposited in the water bucket.
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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