July is the month for celebrating summer and all things patriotic. From backyard BBQs to watching fireworks, the Fourth of July and Canada Day are exciting and fun-filled events. To get ready for the festivities, try these activities the whole family can enjoy.
Everybody Loves a Parade!
If you have even just a few children in your neighborhood, you can still organize an impromptu parade. Gather some rhythm instruments or, better yet, make a few homemade ones. Create a little noise, sing some patriotic songs, and march down the street. Smaller children may prefer to ride in decorated strollers, but they'll surely want their own instruments. Here's how to make a few:
Noisemaker: Use a clean soda can. Place a handful of dried bean or pebbles in the can and close the opening using heavy-duty tape. Cover the can completely with aluminum foil and decorate with patriotic stickers. Encourage the kids to "shake, shake, shake!"
Musical Kazoo: Stretch a piece of cellophane or waxed paper over one end of a toilet paper tube and secure it with several rubber bands or a band of tape. Invite children to decorate the tube as they wish. Your child can create sounds and music when humming into the open end (the cellophane will vibrate at the opposite end).
Tambourines: Take a heavy-duty paper plate and punch several holes around its edge. Tie on jingle bells (available in craft stores) with elastic thread or string. Invite the kids to decorate their plates with paints, markers, or crayons. Children can shake their tambourines or tap them against their hips. As an easy variation, you can put a few dried beans between two plates and staple it together.
NOTE: Supervise young children at all times with these instruments. Small materials can become a choking hazard if swallowed.