Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fireworks + Fine Motor = Fun!

Celebrating the Fourth of July with its family time, picnics, and parades is exciting for children in the United States. But wherever you live, fireworks are sure to be a part of one of your holiday experiences. They are sure to be seen and heard in places all over the U.S. These bursts of color can be wonderful shows for some children while others may be a bit afraid of the noise. You can help prepare children for the excitement by talking about the streams of color in the sky and the loud booms that will be heard. Follow up this discussion by having children create their own pictures showing a fireworks display. And you can help develop fine motor skills at the same time!

To make a fireworks painting, put away the paintbrushes and get out eyedroppers. Why? Using eyedroppers allows children to make streams of color to mimic the falling lights of the fireworks. But the best part of using eyedroppers? By having children use their thumb and forefinger to squeeze the eyedropper bulb and then sweeping the paint across the page, mimics the finger control children need for using scissors. This is an excellent way to prepare young hands for the difficult task of cutting.

Help children squeeze the paint into the eyedropper using the bulb. We find children need assistance with this.

Then show them how to squeeze the paint out of the eyedropper by using their thumb and pointer finger. Most children easily understand this and delight in streaming the “fireworks” across the night sky paper.

Children can practice sweeping the eyedropper across the paper. 
Note that the child is using the finger muscles needed for successful cutting. 
Talk about the colors children can expect to see during a holiday celebration.

Ask children to explain their paintings when they are finished and dry. Verbalizing the sights and sounds of fireworks may result in fewer fears during a celebration. Your child has also practiced key movements for handling a scissors.
Talking about what could be a scary experience for children helps prepare them to enjoy the celebration instead. It also helps increase vocabulary. 

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