7 Tips for a Sensory Friendly 4th of July
Spending time outside, parades, barbeques, fireworks. Doesn’t that remind you of a perfect 4th of July? Well for some kids, the 4th of July means being overly hot, crowds of people, feeling overwhelmed, and loud noises.
That’s a lot for your senses to take in. Use these tips to make the day a little less overwhelming.
Count Down – Make a calendar with your kids and cross out days leading up to the 4th. This helps prepare them by letting them know something different is coming up, but it’s exciting.
Talk It Out – Let them know about your plans as much as possible. If your kiddo is older try to let them know how long you expect things to take. Let them know that the parade might be an hour and the ride to the party will be a half an hour or longer with traffic. Talking to your child about what plans can help them feel better about what is in store for them.
Go Through Old Pictures – If you’re going to a party or barbecue with friends you haven’t seen in a while, show your little one a picture of them ahead of time so they don’t feel like they’re in a crowd of strangers. Bonus if you have pictures of that friend or family member with your kiddo together!
Cool Down – It’s the middle of summer! And doesn’t it always seem like the 4th of July is the hottest day of the year? Well, be prepared. Sunglasses, sunscreen, fans with squirt bottles, hats, and water bottles can help keep the kids (and adults!) cool.
Bring the Right Gear – Noise cancelling headphones, blankets, a fidget toy. Maybe all of the above? You know what your child needs, so depending on your plans don’t forget to pack some things to comfort them.
Location, Location, Location – The right spot to watch fireworks or the annual parade can be key. If your kids get overwhelmed, try finding a more secluded spot for these events. Some parents recommend staying near the car during the fireworks show in case you need an escape from the noise for a bit and watch the fireworks from there.
Prep For Fireworks – We want all fireworks and no waterworks! But let’s face it, fireworks can be a little scary, especially when you don’t understand how they work. You can talk about what to expect ahead of time and during the show families can talk about all the different colors they see. Sitting on a family member’s lap during the show can definitely be an added comfort.
Keep in mind you know your child best. It’s up to each family to determine what and how many activities they can handle on the 4th of July. The important thing is to spend the day celebrating together!
Don’t forget: we have a blog post dedicated to safety tips full of great reminders for the 4th of July and all summer long!