Here in the Southwest, we are entering Year 5 of the drought, and there are more firework restrictions than ever. So once again I have compiled a few ideas/links from my own head and around the net. Share and enjoy!

No fire crackers?
Buy an extra long roll of bubblewrap (or collect it from places that get lots of things shipped), put it down on a sidewalk or driveway and have a little bubble walking parade!

Milk jug rockets Got old snap top milk jugs? How about making little rockets for the tops, and pouring a little baking soda in the bottom, pour in a few table spoons of vinegar and snap the cap on, and stand back. (experiment option alka-seltzer tablets can work too, which works better?

Family Firework time
Youtube videos and a data-projector outside on your garage door! If you live anywhere really dark (or inside)and don’t have a data-projector, you can project a monitor using a cardboard box and a magnifying lens (those flat fresnel lenses they sell at bookstores work great!
‘Jellyfish’ in a Bottle
Check out this YouTube video, which while not super fireworky, it’s a fun bottled show.
Bottle Lightshow
Spitballs, waterbeads, watergems; whatever you call those jelly spheres that they sell for putting in flower arrangements and as kids toys… Put them in a tall thin plastic bottle with a few glowsticks or cheap LED lights (Dollar Tree has flashing color LED bracelets), then toss it around in the dark. The spheres all work as little lenses and look at how it projects on a wall in the dark!
Paper Straw Rockets
No Bottle Rockets? How about Paper Straw Rockets? Breath-powered and fire-free fun.
Fireless Sparkler Decorations
Try these Pipe Cleaner ‘Sparklers’
LED Throwies
LED, Tape, Magnet, and a disposable lithium battery turn into Throwies; these will glow for up to 3 weeks and can be tossed against anything magnetic (garage doors often work great). You can also collect them and tossed them over and over again!
Pringles-can Kaleidoscope
Check out this link to get the plans. Substitute Transparency material with the shiny side inside folded and taped into triangular tube (instead of their cardboard and foil), and use a Phillips screwdriver to poke a hole in the middle of the bottom for an eyehole). I’d suggest cling wrap over the open end and then fill with beads and confetti, and snap the lid on.
Water Balloon Launchers
Follow these instructions to get a world-class water balloon catapult.
Confetti Popper
Get an air pocket in the corner of a ziploc bag, twist it off once and hold it in your hand. Sprinkle in some confetti in the upper part of the bag and zip it shut keeping as much air inside as possible. Hold above your head and quickly squeeze the air pocket — it should quickly untwist and then pop open the zip lock spraying confetti upwards!
Glowing Magical Mud
Needs cornstarch (or potatoes), Tonic water and a blacklight. Watch the YouTube video for the results.
Black Snakes
(no fire,  but fumes and dangerous chemicals). Uses Sulfuric acid (concentrated battery acid) and Powdered sugar. This experiment should be performed outside or in a fume-hood. In a glass beaker or other heat-safe Pyrex container. Put a 1/4 cup sugar in the bottom, pour in a little sulfuric acid until the sugar is completely covered, stir quickly, then just sit back and watch the reaction. The sugar will change from white to dark brown, then to black carbon.

For previous year’s ideas, check out:
Quelab’s Fireless Fourth Links from 2013
Quelab’s Fireless Fourth Links from 2011

 

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