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The Fourth of July is synonymous with fireworks, parades, and barbecues. It’s a day of joy and celebration for the whole family. However, the loud noises and crowds can sometimes be overwhelming for children with sensory sensitivities (such as children diagnosed). That’s why we’ve put together a selection of sensory-friendly crafts perfect for kids of all abilities to enjoy the Fourth of July festivities. From creating patriotic noisemakers and painting dazzling firework displays with toilet paper rolls to shaking up homemade sorbet, these crafts are fun and offer skill development and imaginative play opportunities. So let’s dive in and explore how you can make this Independence Day extra special for your little ones with crafts that engage the senses in a positive and enjoyable way!

1. 4th of July Noisemaker craft

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This 4th of July Noisemaker craft involves creating festive noisemakers using paper towel rolls, paint, ribbon, stickers, egg carton cups, hot glue, and various materials to make noise (such as hard noodles or rice)​​.

Skill Development Opportunities:

  • Fine Motor Skills: As children paint the paper towel rolls, stick on decorations, and handle small objects such as noodles or rice, they engage and improve their fine motor skills. This helps develop the small muscles in their hands, which is essential for writing, buttoning, and other precise movements.
  • Sensory Processing: The activity involves various textures and sounds – from the smooth feel of the paintbrush to the roughness of the egg carton and the noise created by the noisemaker. This helps children process sensory information and can be particularly beneficial for those with sensory processing disorders.
  • Creativity and Expression: By choosing colors, patterns, and decorations, children have the opportunity to express themselves creatively. They can make decisions about their design and take pride in creating something unique.

Imaginative Play Ideas:

  • Parade Leader: Children can pretend to be the leader of a 4th of July parade. Using their noisemaker, they can march around the house or yard, leading a parade of stuffed animals, family members, or imaginary friends. This encourages imaginative play and leadership skills.
  • Fireworks Show: Encourage children to use their noisemakers to create the sound of fireworks. Turn off the lights and have them shake their noisemakers while someone else flashes a flashlight on and off to simulate fireworks. This can be an exciting way to celebrate without the actual fireworks, especially for children who might be sensitive to loud noises.
  • Musical Band: The children can form a band using their noisemakers and other homemade instruments. They can create songs about the 4th of July or make music together. This encourages cooperation and creativity and can be a lot of fun.

2. Toilet Roll Firework Stamps

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Toilet Roll Firework Stamps involve creating firework patterns on paper using toilet paper rolls, red and blue paint, glitter, and other craft supplies​.

Skill Development Opportunities:

  • Fine Motor Skills: Cutting the toilet paper rolls, applying paint, and pressing the roll onto paper to create firework patterns all involve precise hand movements. This helps develop children’s fine motor skills, which are essential for various daily activities.
  • Color Recognition and Mixing: By using primary colors like red and blue, children can learn to recognize different colors. They can also experiment by mixing colors to see what new colors they can create (for example, mixing red and blue to make purple).
  • Planning and Spatial Awareness: Children can plan where they want to place their firework stamps on the paper and how they want them to look. This helps develop their spatial awareness and understanding of how objects relate to one another in space.

Imaginative Play Ideas:

  • Starry Night Storytelling: Once the firework art is complete, children can use it as a backdrop for storytelling. They can create stories about a magical night under the fireworks and use their imagination to add characters and adventures.
  • Firework Display Manager: Encourage children to imagine they are in charge of a grand firework display for the 4th of July. They can explain the different types of fireworks they have created and even make sound effects for each firework.
  • Space Adventure: Turn the firework art into a space-themed adventure. Children can imagine that the fireworks are actually stars and galaxies and they are astronauts exploring outer space. They can create stories about the planets and alien life they encounter during their space journey.

3. 4th of July Sorbet

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Who doesn’t love a refreshing treat on a hot summer day? Our third sensory-friendly craft is a delightful homemade sorbet that’s as tasty as it is educational.

Skill Development Opportunities:

  • Scientific Understanding: Making sorbet is not just a fun activity; it’s also a science experiment. Kids can learn about the changing states of matter as the juice transforms from a liquid to a solid. They can also understand how salt affects the freezing point of water, which is an essential aspect of making sorbet without a freezer.
  • Following Instructions and Sequencing: The kids will learn to follow a set of instructions to achieve the desired result. This is an essential skill for cooking and many other tasks. They will also understand the importance of sequencing; what happens if you put things in the wrong order?
  • Motor Skills and Coordination: The activity requires kids to pour liquids carefully, seal bags, and shake them for several minutes. This helps in developing their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Shaking the bags vigorously is also a good exercise for gross motor skills.

Imaginative Play Ideas:

  • Ice Cream Shop Role Play: Once the sorbet is ready, children can engage in imaginative play by setting up an ice cream shop. They can pretend to be the shopkeeper, serve sorbet to family members or stuffed animals, and even engage in pretend money transactions.
  • Color Mixing and New Flavors Creation: Kids can experiment by mixing different food colorings to create new sorbet colors. They can also pretend that they are inventing new flavors of ice cream and give them creative names based on the colors they have made.
  • Pretend Time-Travel to the Ice Age: Children can pretend to have traveled back in time to the Ice Age. They can imagine that they have to make their own ice creams using natural elements. This could be a fun and educational way to also learn about the history and prehistoric times while enjoying their homemade sorbet.

These sensory-friendly Fourth of July crafts provide wonderful activities for children of all abilities to enjoy the holiday festivities in a comfortable and engaging way. These crafts offer skill development, imaginative play, and sensory engagement, from creating noisemakers and painting firework displays to making homemade sorbet. If you’d like to learn more about Bierman Autism Centers and our services, please contact us at 800-931-8113 or Let’s make this Independence Day a memorable and inclusive celebration for all!



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