As summer nears its end, children will want to squeeze as much playtime into their remaining vacation days before going back to school. Daycare centers for children with disabilities, like those provided by Integrity, Inc. in Little Rock, often use creative end of summer crafts to delight children and keep their minds occupied. The crafts provided often focus on building fine motor skills, social skills, and self-esteem.
Even if your children are unable to attend, you can still plan your own end of summer activities for you and your children. With the help of a developmental specialist at Integrity, Inc., you can come up with a list of crafts and activities that are perfect for your child’s needs and abilities. The following are just a few examples of the kinds of activities and crafts we offer at Integrity. Of course, these activities are not just for children with disabilities; they are designed to be enjoyed by everyone, and fun for the whole family!
Bring Summer Olympics Into Your Home
Why wait until the next Summer Olympics when you can bring the games and ceremony to your own backyard? There is a myriad of crafts and activities you and your children can plan to evoke the spirit of the games. Take a look at the following crafts, and see if they are right for your family:
- Flags of Other Countries Intermingled with Olympic Rings
Collect photos online of a few other countries’ flags. Present the pictures to your children, and let them select the flags that appeal to them most. Print the pictures, and paste them on colorful construction paper. Draw the Olympic rings above a torch, and write the words “Summer Olympics (Year)” on the page.
- Create an Olympic Torch
This is a lot easier (and safer) than you might think. All you need is an empty toilet paper roll, paper towel roll, a 6-inch paper plate, and tissue wrapping paper that mimics the colors of a flame. Tape the rolls together, cut a hole in the paper plate for the roll to go through, and mold the tissue paper around the small toilet paper roll so that it looks like a flame. This is an easy project that should take no longer than 30 minutes.
- Olympic Medals
Everyone loves winning a medal, so why not make a few? They may be made with red, blue, white, or gold felt attached to chocolate coins wrapped in silver or gold foil. As an alternative, you can use ribbon instead of felt. You can also make the medals out of clay, so that your children can design and decorate their own custom medal.
- Outdoor Podium
Lemonade stands are old hat; why not make an Olympic podium with your children? They can make up a few dozen different medals, which will stimulate creativity and enhance fine motor skills. Then, hold an epic ceremony in which everyone gets a medal, and watch your children’s faces light up as they claim their prize!
The ideas for end of summer crafts do not have to stop with just the Olympics theme. You could create food-related crafts, as well. Fresh fruits, especially melons, are still in season, and can be a nutritious, refreshing snack for you and your children. Here are just a few ideas of the kinds of crafts you can make with melons either for crafting, or for snacking:
- Watermelon Paper Mache Bowl
This is easy to do, and will look quite real when finished. Take a look at this video which describes the whole process and shows you each step of the way: Click on the Video Here
- Watermelon Purse
You can make this out of felt or paper colored to look like a watermelon. Do not forget to add the handle!
- Watermelon Sneakers
Start off with a pair of white gym shoes, and color the toe cap red to match the inside of a watermelon. Add the seeds with a permanent marker. Then leave a thin line of white gym shoe showing underneath the watermelon, about ¼ inch wide. Finally, add a ⅓ inch band of green underneath the thin, white band.
- Melon Cheese Appetizers
There are plenty of great-tasting, nutritious food options that can nourish your children, and help them develop fine motor skills when helping you make them. You can make melon hors d’oeuvres like cantaloupe and cream cheese rolled into a ball with a raisin on top; honeydew chunks and Swiss cheese wrapped in bacon; or muskmelon topped with nuts and cheddar cheese and wrapped in lettuce.
Making Clothing Items is Always Therapeutic
End of summer crafts could also involve crocheting, depending on the age of your child and the disability level. You and your child can prepare for the upcoming fall season by practicing making scarves, hats, or even mittens. As your child develops more skills, crafts like crocheting can be incredibly beneficial. Research studies have shown the following to be direct benefits of crocheting, knitting, and sewing:
- Improved manual dexterity and fine motor skills
- Decreased levels of anxiety and stress
- Improved spatial thinking ability
- Improved self-esteem and social skills
Knitting techniques have a wide variety of applications. Some plastic surgeons utilize these techniques during surgery, and top surgeons in this field have been given awards for applying “craft ideas” to surgery to help their patients.
Child disability services from Integrity, Inc. in Little Rock is a great source for activity ideas you and your children can enjoy year-round. Our developmental specialists can help you set up an individualized education plan for each of your children with disabilities. You can also contact our daycare centers for children with disabilities in Little Rock to enroll your child today. For additional craft ideas, including crafts for children with cerebral palsy , check out some of our other blog posts .