Getting ready for your July 4th party yet? Independence Day in the United States is associated with BBQs, parties, and fireworks. However, if you have a family member with sensory sensitivities, July 4th celebrations are likely stressful. However, there are simple ways you can adapt your celebrations! Create a sensory-friendly Independence Day celebration that makes people comfortable.
This blog post shares ways you can make your Independence Day be sensory-friendly. Include more people by becoming accessible!
Prepare in advance
First, an important step to making your Independence Day celebration sensory-friendly is preparation. A stressor for many people who experience sensory overload is the unknown. Therefore, provide information in advance about your party. For example, include basic details like its location. Moreover, give start and end times. Create a detailed schedule of activities. Additionally, be sure to include the timing of meals. Most importantly, include the timing of sensory-rich activities, like fireworks.
Look at old pictures/videos
Another effective way to help your child prepare for an Independence Day party is to look at pictures of previous parties. Even better watch videos of past parties! Give your child an opportunity to ask questions. Reminisce together. Remind your child about what will happen at the party.
Use a social story
In addition, use a social story. A social story is a description of a social experience and expectations. Check out Positively Autism’s example of an Independence Day social story.
Select a sensory-friendly location
Another way to make your July 4th celebration sensory-friendly is to wisely choose the location. For many children with sensory processing disorders, new environments are stressful. Therefore, host your party in a familiar space.
Additionally, choose a large enough space. Ensure you can create some separation in areas or activities. Furthermore, this will help reduce noise. This will be particularly beneficial to create a quiet zone!
Create sensory-friendly kits
Sensory tools help people manage sensory sensitivities in more sensory-rich environment. For a sensory kit, add noise-cancelling headphones, sunglasses and fidget toys. Sensory tools help people manage sensory input. Especially from noise and light.
Additionally, fidgets help both children and adults!
Prepare sensory-friendly activities
There are many different sensory-friendly activities to add to your party. Additionally, there are several ways to make activities to be Independence Day-themed. For example, think of arts and crafts or Independence Day colouring pages. Create sensory bins. Do movement games or yoga!
Attend a sensory-friendly fireworks event
Consider a sensory-friendly fireworks event! Fireworks are sensory-rich. Loud noises, bright lights and crowds are overwhelming. However, there are many ways to make watching fireworks comfortable.
This may involve bringing sensory tools to regulate the senses. Additionally, your child may prefer watching fireworks from an indoor space instead.
Finally, find ways you can host a sensory-friendly fireworks show.
Adjust your expectations
Lastly, adjust your expectations as a parent, host or guest. For example, expect that your child might not be able to participate in all activities. Respect everyone’s comfort levels. Foster trust!
Learn more ways to adapt summer experiences:
- How to Have a Sensory-Friendly Camping Experience
- Make Your Beach Sensory-Friendly
- 6 Steps to a Sensory-Friendly Backyard
- How to Create Sensory-Friendly Swim Lessons
- Create a Sensory-Friendly Camp
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