WNY Family Magazine July 2018 - Page 6

at all times with these instruments. Small materials can become a choking hazard if swallowed. A Little Declaration of Independence for the Red, White & Blue! Celebrating Independence Day with Kids — by Tania Cowling J uly is the month where we can celebrate with activities that will perk your child’s interest in all things patriotic. Everybody loves a parade! If you have even a few children in your neigh- borhood, you can organize an impromp- tu parade. Gather some rhythm instru- ments, or better yet, make a few home- made ones. Create a little noise, sing some patriotic songs, and march down the street. Toddlers may prefer to ride in decorated strollers, but they’ll surely want their own instrument. Here’s how to make a few: Noisemaker Use a cleaned plastic water bottle. Place a handful of dried beans or plastic beads into the bottle. You can add che- nille sticks and other colorful baubles in- side. Run a bead of heavy-duty glue in- side the bottle cap for security. Encour- age the kids to “shake, shake, shake” their bottles for some joyful noise. 6 WNY Family July 2018 Musical Kazoo Stretch a piece of cellophane or waxed paper over one end of a toilet paper tube. Secure with several rub- ber bands or even a band of tape. In- vite the children to decorate the tube as they wish. The sounds are made when a child hums into the open end and the cellophane vibrates at the opposite end. Humming “Yankee Doodle” might be quite appropriate. Tambourines Take a heavy-duty paper plate (the paper kind) and punch at least three holes around the edge. Tie on jingle bells (available in craft stores) with elastic thread or string. Invite the kids to decorate the plate with paints, mark- ers or crayons. Children can shake this tambourine or tap it against their thighs. As a variation, you can put a few dried beans between two plates, staple togeth- er, and decorate. NOTE: Supervise young children Learning to make choices is a very important part of becoming indepen- dent. Giving a child choices from an early age lets them practice decision- making. Choosing between two differ- ent shirts or two kinds of juice can make a child feel more grown-up and in con- trol of their world. As an activity, chart a list of choices and let your kids pick their favorites. Allowing children to s e- lect healthy snacks, places to visit, mov- ies to see, and family chores will help them feel more responsible and bolster their self-confidence. Talk about making choices. When children are young, you’ll want to con- trol their options, while still giving them the power to choose. Hopefully as they get older, making smart choices will be second nature. The Rockets’ Red Glare Fireworks don’t have to last only a few, fleeting seconds. You can make your own in this painting project and use them as decorations. Prepare several paper cups of paint. For each color, mix two parts tempera (poster) paint, one part white school glue, and a few drops of water. Put a spoonful of each color onto a sheet of paper (black paper looks like fireworks at night). Then take a drinking straw and let the kids blow directly over the paint. For little ones, practice blow- ing out instead of sucking in. Add some glitter while the paint is still wet for that sparkling look. Perfect Patriotic Picnics There’s nothing like a summer pic- nic, and every picnic needs games. Ar- range some old-fashioned competitions like three-legged races, pop-the-balloon, and the infamous raw egg (or water bal- loon) toss in which team members get further and further away from each other until the egg cracks (yuck!) or better yet, the water balloon pops. Here are some other games to try: