The 4th of July is perfect for outside activities in your backyard, like a BBQ.
Some of our favorite activities include relay races and obstacle courses. You might not realize it, but obstacle courses and relay races improve several areas of learning, including laterality, directionality, visual memory, and auditory memory. These family activities target the mind-body connection, which is critical to learning.
Mind-body activities such as obstacle courses, relay races, or even playing musical chairs can be fun for kids of all ages and are completed in just a few minutes. Bean bag toss or cornhole is also a favorite. All these activities work on our sensory systems.
The sensory systems are interconnected in a number of ways. Strengthening our skills through activities like these games intrinsically improves our academic skills.
Family Activities: Relay Races
Egg on a Spoon Race
- Form two teams. Give each player a spoon. Give each team a hard-boiled egg (or a plastic one). To play, teams carry their egg from the starting line to a turnaround point and back again, then pass it to a teammate to repeat the process. If the egg is dropped, the player must stop and retrieve it. Whichever team gets the egg back and forth the fastest wins.
- Variations: Skip the spoon and use an armload of plastic eggs; use raw eggs; skip the egg and use a bowl full of pennies that must be transferred on the spoon; add obstacles to the playing area; require players to march or skip instead of walking.
- Make teams of two and mark the start and finish lines. One person in each team must walk on his hands while his partner holds his ankles. Have teams go as fast as they can to the finish line, swap places, and race back to the start.
- Divide players into teams of two. Have them stand side-by-side and tie adjacent (inside) legs together using a bandanna or scarf. Mark off the start and finish lines. The three-legged pairs must work together to race to the finish. It’s harder than it looks!
- Variation: Have duos link arms instead. To make this tougher, give them something they must carry together, such as a football or a small bucket of water.
Water Relay Races
- Give each team a plastic cup and a bucket full of water. Put one empty bucket for each team at the finish line. Players take turns filling up their cup from their bucket, then dumping it into their empty bucket. The game is over when the once-full bucket is empty; the team with the most amount of water in their finish-line bucket wins.
- Variations: Use a large sponge instead of a cup; poke a few holes in the cup and have kids carry it over their heads.
Be sure to take pictures too!
Fireworks Family Activities
You can also watch the fireworks online! You can stream Macy’s 4th of July fireworks on NBC. PBS will also be streaming A Capitol Fourth on the 4th of July, celebrating 40 years on the air.
As you watch the fireworks, be extra observant. Count how many blue, green, red, white, and multi-colored fireworks there are. You can even make a chart for this.
Decide which colors were your favorite ones. Was there a style that you liked better than another? This will help you with your observation skills. Be sure to take pictures throughout the day.
Stretch Activity: Scrapbook / July 4th in Review
Afterward, on July 5th, put your pictures together with a quick summary of your day using graphic organizers from the Summer Reading Program. Then, 3-hole punch your summary and keep it in a family notebook. At the end of the summer, you’ll have a great family memory book as well!
Summer Reading Program Family Activities
Family outings and activities are built into the Summer Reading Program. This is one of the ways we build memory skills, in addition to having a good time with your family. The activities build your overall experience bank from which to draw upon while you are reading. This is your factual knowledge base, another piece to improving comprehension skills.
When you do family activities, be sure to take pictures or draw pictures of the activity and family members. Write a few sentences about the activity into your family memory book to go along with your pictures. Then, go through the family memory book and talk about the great times you had. This activity will improve writing skills, both auditory and visual memory skills, and 15 other areas of learning as well!
Summer Reading Program
Our summer reading program targets and builds foundational skills that are necessary to become a successful reader.
The program focuses on building phonemic awareness, reading fluency, comprehension, and improving the ability to decode and encode words. We work on visualization, note-taking, critical thinking, and more. When you take a holistic approach to reading, you can dramatically improve your reading skills not just in school, but in life.
What grade level is your child entering in the fall of 2023?
Select a grade level to learn more about each individualized program: