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Olympics #4: Opening Ceremony Inspires Pretend Play Parade

The Olympic Games Opening Ceremony can inspire today’s activity: a pretend play parade and performance with music and dancing. Kids can be Team Imagination.

pretend play parade

Most kids, little and big, love a parade and what could be better than being in one? Like the athletes, they can march around, wave flags, and cheer. Hopefully, the weather where you live will be nice enough so kids can be outside. Part of the fun is being loud.

The Opening Ceremony has a variety of tremendous performances. Countries showcase their history and culture in music and costumes. The athletes who are part of the competition, will march in teams. Being chosen to carry the country’s flag at the head of the team is an honor. For a parade or performance at home, costumes for kids do not have to be elaborate. Check to see if there are some in the dress-up box, or look through the drawers for some brightly colored scarves, sparkly t-shirts, big hats, and sunglasses.

For music, either choose something fun and catchy or put together some homemade instruments. A saucepan lid and wooden spoon make a great, but noisy, drum. A couple of plastic spoons inside two aluminum pie plates stapled together creates a tambourine. Staple or tape on some colored streamers. Humming into a paper towel roll is like playing a flute or horn.

pretend performance

Kids like to showcase what they can do. They might like to show how they can move or dance. Some like to sing songs they know. Although kids are usually clamoring to be the center of attention, it takes self-confidence to perform in front of anyone, even a few family members. When two or more kids get together, they have to watch each other for clues and coordinate what they are doing. While their performance and pretend play parade is not as elaborate as the Opening Ceremony, it’s more important to them. Do you agree imagination and play are worth celebrating too?

Olympic Games #3: Make A Flag Craft for Kids

The Opening Ceremonies for the Olympic Games, where each country’s team will have a flag and flag bearer, inspires this make a flag craft for kids.

Last month, both the United States and Canada celebrated their major holiday. For each of these, we made flags.

make a flag craft

To make a sort of US flag, use a rectangle of plain white paper. Kids can use paint dabbers to create the blue background for stars. You may be able to find some white star stickers but, if not, the white spaces left between the blue dots can be imaginary ones. All of the red stripes may not fit, depending on the size of the paper, but there’s likely enough space for five.

make a handprint flag for Canada Day craft

For the Canada flag, kids paint two side bars with red paint on a white piece of paper. A hand makes a maple leaf so kids get to cover their hand with red paint. The hand-print goes right in the middle of the white space. The red hand needs to get carefully washed before kids wipe it on their clothes or touch anything else.

make a flag craft for kids

Countries have all different sorts of flags in many colors. But kids don’t just have to copy. They could also make their very own flags. Flags are a rectangle shape so kids can color on paper using crayons, felts, or paints. They might like to make geometric shapes, like lines, stars, circles, or triangles, or just color randomly. Kids will make their own choices about what they do as they create.

painting for kids

If the Opening Ceremonies are not too late for where you live, your family might like to watch the tv coverage. As they see all the different flags, kids can check to see if there are any that look like the ones they colored for their make a flag craft. There are so many flags because there are so many countries coming to the games. There is one team that doesn’t have any country at all. The members are refugees from various places in the world and they are using the Olympic Games flag. Are you waving flags too?

Transportation Activities #15: Touch A Truck Fun

On the weekend, our community had a Touch A Truck event. This was for both Father’s Day and a local fundraiser. What fun for both kids and adults!

transportation activities

A dream come true for kids, there were all kinds of trucks: a firetruck, ambulance, garbage truck, big transport truck with eighteen wheels, excavator, two different dump trucks, fuel trucks, a few tractors, a police car, and more. It was like Roger Priddy’s My Big Truck Book come to life with a whole parking lot full of trucks.

my-big-truck-priddy

For the first hour, the horns were quiet, but kids got to climb up and sit in the seats. They could look around, touch the buttons, and pretend to drive. Holding tight to her daddy’s hand and with the help of the driver, Little Sister got to move the garbage truck lever and lift up the trash container then set it back down. On the tractor, she sat all by herself. Big Sister climbed the ladder and discovered how high the sides are on a dump truck. The box of a dump truck is bigger than a room. Wheels on a couple of the  trucks were taller than some grownups. touch a truck fun

Although the kids had to line up and take turns, it was exciting to be up close and personal with the trucks they see. Kids watch videos of trucks and construction equipment so have ideas of how they work, but getting inside is a whole different story. Because we see these trucks on the streets and highways regularly, when we think of them, we picture them from the outside. The Touch A Truck event gives kids a chance to check out the view from the inside. Imagining being a driver in one of these will have so many more details after getting this kind of an experience and is so much easier after being hands-on. Kids will also have lots and lots of new words for talking about trucks. The video below is from another city and there were others from all over.

It’s no wonder Touch A Truck events are happening in more and more places. This was an awesome afternoon. Don’t think we can wait a year for another one. Any chance there will be one in your area?

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