Around the Globus it is a day where we commemorate the soldiers who have lost their lives for the sake of freedom. It is a day loaded with the burden of sorrow and remembrance and it is not easy to deal with. With schools and kindergartens closed and the kids at home it is all the more tricky… How to explain the magnitude of the day to the young ones? How to engage the older ones?
The following are some sensory-based activities you can try with your kids, whether you choose to remember the fallen at home or a Memorial service…
Heavy Work: Are you planning on joining or standing on the side-lines of the local Memorial Day parade? If so it is very important to drink as so not to dehydrate. Instead of carrying the water for your kids give each one an individual water-bottle bag to wear over their shoulders. The benefits are twofold: they will receive good proprioceptive input which will help calm and focus them to better participate in the parade…and they won’t have to nag for some water when they get thirsty…
Vestibular: Before you hang up the flags on you door- post let your child spin them and turn them and watch how they gracefully bend in the winds.
Tactile: Red poppy flowers are a national symbol of remembrance of soldiers who have died during wartime. Try making an arts and crafts project using red crepe paper, glue and paint to create red poppies. Decorate the door-post with your kids creations.
Oral: On this long weekend have your kids join you in preparing food. Try this red, white, and blue recipe from fabulouslyfrugal.com for decorated strawberries. Your kids will enjoy making this fun, as well as healthy patriotic snack. (http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/2012/05/cooking-from-your-pantry-
Deep Pressure: It’s been a long day and being off schedule is never easy for kids. Reward any good behavior with a deep body massage before they go to sleep for calming and relaxing proprio input.
Malky Shapira, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Mother of Two Terrific Toddlers