Happy 4th of July!

4th of July Theme 2015

We celebrated 4th of July with crafts, dress-up, picnics, and a parade in our Hop and Squeak and Kinder groups this month. Through our 4th of July activities we worked on regulation, group participation, sharing space and materials with others, following directions, vocabulary, gross motor development and planning, tolerating a variety of movement, and tool use.

July 1 B (2)
Noise maker craft

In our kinder groups, we developed fine motor skills by making noise makers out of paper plates and cardboard tubes with streamers and paint. Kids worked on their visual-spatial skills, motor planning, fine motor skills, and tool use in this activity.

Next, we put on costumes and had a 4th of July Parade! The children followed directions to practice using their noise makers both loudly and softly before the parade. They also shared space and materials with others to dress up for the parade.

July 1 E
Parade!

In the gross motor room, we created “fireworks” with a parachute, encouraging gross motor development, motor planning, and tolerating a variety of movement. We also made “fireworks” with shaving cream and paint by blowing through straws.

July 1 R
4th of July picnic

For snack, we had a picnic of toast, turkey and cheese sandwiches, cucumber, and watermelon. The goals addressed at our picnic included tool use, requesting, increasing food tolerance and variety, and tactile food exploration.

Making noisemakers, dressing up for a 4th of July parade, imitating fireworks, and picnicking supported a variation of goals including group participation, social exchanges, sharing space and materials with others, following directions, vocabulary, and turn-taking and waiting.

Festivals, parades, and fireworks can be stressful for children sensitive to loud noises, and/or have difficulty being in close proximity to many people. Other children may find these events exciting but might lack the coping skills to regulate their energy level and emotions.

Try some of these suggestions at home during the summer festival season:

  • Set expectations: discuss what will happen at the event, how long you will be staying, how many people will be there, and what will take place. Setting expectations beforehand can help reduce anxiety.
  • Reduce sensory input: Sit farther from the noise, or in a less-crowded space. Bring earplugs or noise-cancelling head phones.
  • Let your children know what they can do if they feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable.
  • Begin conversations in advance to help your children ask for what they need and provide for their needs.