All About Firecrackers – History and Kids Activities

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Have you ever thought about the history of fireworks? When I think about some of my happiest moments growing up and even as a parent, there are bound to be some kind of explosives nearby.

I’ve never given it much thought, but the presence of sparklers and firecrackers in the street on the 4th of July or a gorgeous fireworks display on just about any holiday or vacation seems almost commonplace to me.

So when I was offered a review copy of The Book of Great American Firecrackers: Cherry Bombs, M-80s, Cannon Crackers, and More I was instantly intrigued.  

All About Firecrackers - Great American Firecrackers Book Cover

Firecrackers have been around for hundreds of years, dating all the way back to their origination in China during the Middle Ages. And it’s sentences with that kind of information that remind me how much I love learning about history and how things work. 

Read: How to Make Patriotic Marshmallow Pops

I mean, so much has changed in just my lifetime, so thinking in centuries or even millennia still blows my mind.

To me, firecrackers and beautiful fireworks in the sky are just a part of life. I’ve never really stopped to consider how they got here. 

All About Firecrackers – History

What’s interesting about Great American Firecrackers is that its the first to focus solely on firecrackers here in the United States. Our history is obviously shorter than other countries, but no less interesting.

Read: Washington DC Photo Scavenger Hunt 

In this coffee table sized book, you’ll find tons of information, vintage color photos and even some old-school (and scary!) propaganda.

It’s a fascinating peek into the history of firecrackers but also a look at a life in America many of us have never known. 

Does that poster make you cringe? I mean it’s true and why as parents we teach our kids to play safely, but wow. That’s an image I can’t unsee. 

Are you fascinated yet? Great American Firecrackers is a fun conversation starter and a great book for tweens who are interested in how stuff works. I also love that the author, Jack Nash, is a true fan himself.

From his bio we learn that Jack began collecting firework labels at a very early age, and eventually became a licensed pyrotechnician. Active in the entertainment field, Jack has developed special indoor pyrotechnic effects for the stage.

So cool!

All About Firecrackers – Kids Activities

Thankfully, there are much safer ways to enjoy firecrackers these days. We still have fireworks and of course sparklers are always fun on the 4th.

If you’re looking for some other ways to enjoy firecrackers with your kids (hold the danger) try one of these cute kids activities!

1. Fireworks Straw Rocket
2. 4th of July Popsicle Stick Fireworks
3. Magic Milk Fireworks Science Experiment

4. Exploding Fireworks Craft
5. DIY Fireworks Shirts
6. Fireworks Wand Craft
7. Noise Free Firecracker Craft

8. Confetti Fireworks
9. Pool Noodle Fireworks DIY
10. Glow Stick Fireworks

11. 4th of July Firework Favors
12. Fireworks Pudding Cookies
13. Fireworks Play Dough
14. Coffee Filter Fireworks Pom Poms

Want more patriotic fun? Check out these crafts and recipes!

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Learn all about firecrackers and their history dating back to their origination in China during the Middle Ages and grab some great kids activity ideas.

Post republished from 2017

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About Andrea Updyke

Andrea Updyke is a married mom of two boys living in Raleigh, NC. She is a published author and blogger of more than 18 years and loves to celebrate the little things that make life awesome.

Whether she's sharing tasty recipes, traveling or hanging with the family, Andrea's goal is to help make your days a little easier and a lot more fun! Email inquiries to

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