Monday, June 30, 2014

Make it Monday: Independence Day 4th of July Sparklers

4th of July is Friday!

My family has begun our preparations to celebrate the Declaration of Independence.  My children and I created these 4th of July Sparklers to double as decorations and "toys" for our festivities.

This super easy craft can add color to your celebration in a variety of ways.  You could place some in a jar full of red white and blue rice.  Stick them in potted flowers/plants.  They could even be used to decorate your lawn.  No matter how I end up using mine, I know that by the end of the day each one will be held in sticky hands as we celebrate our Independence.

  • 3/8" Dowel Rod cut into 12" Sections
  • Fine Grain Sandpaper
  • Large Push Pin (optional)
  • 9/16" Screw Eye (1 per sparkler) 
  • Ribbons
  • Fray Check (helps keep ribbon from fraying)

1. Cut ribbons 18" long.

2. Apply fray check to ends of ribbon and set aside to dry.
Warning: If the fray check dries on your skin it forms a film that could bother individuals with sensory issues.

3. Wash your hands.

4. Sand ends of dowel rod to make them smooth.
If you purchased a pre-cut dowel rod you might not need to do this.  
Steps 5 & 6

5. Slowly rotate the push pin as you partially insert it into the center of the dowel rod's end.  You only need to push it in far enough to create a small hole to make it easier to insert your screw eye.  Gently remove push pin from dowel rod and set aside.

If you don't have a large push pin you should use something to start a hole before inserting your screw eye if your wood is hard.

6. Screw the screw eye into the hole.

7. Thread ribbons through screw eye.  Layer them through one after another.

8. Match ends together so that the screw eye is in the center of each ribbon.
Steps 7-9

9. Collect all the ribbons together and tie a knot with all ribbons at once.

10. Select one of the ribbons to tie a second knot to help secure the ribbons.

11. Do the Happy Dance!  You have a sparkler!

Optional Sign: Sparklers are NOT Swords

Learning Opportunities/Skills

Fine Motor Strengthening
Screwing in the screw eye (step 6)
Fine/Visual Motor Skills
Thread ribbons through screw eye (step 7)
Tie a knot (steps 9 & 10)

Finding the Center by dividing the string in half (step 8)
Create a pattern with the colored ribbons (step 7) ex. white, red, blue, white, red, ?

Early Cognitive Color Recognition & Identification 
Have your child locate specific colors.
Have your child name the colors they are using.
What colors remind you of the United States?  Why?

Cognitive Connections Discussion Questions
Why do we celebrate on the fourth of July?
Why are red, white and blue symbolic colors for the fourth of July?

*Please modify (or grade) skills/steps for your child's needs and safety. Comment below if you need specific ideas for grading these steps up or down for your child's age and skill level/development.

Disclosure: Ramblings of Mama will or services that we feel are of benefit to our readers. Ramblings of Mama is not responsible for children who confuse sparkler and swords. If you have any questions, please contact Heather RamblingsOfHeather{at} gmail {dot} com

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