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HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Therapy Activities for the 4th of July

Happy 4th of July from the Washington University NF Center!

Summer is here and it is time to celebrate! Get outside and enjoy Independence Day weekend as a family. While you’re at it, consider trying out these 4th of July themed therapy activities.

Occupational Therapy – Fine Motor Skill Development

“Fireworks” in a Jar

This science experiment will get your child thinking as well as practicing important finger skills. Fill a clear jar with water and 2 tbsp of oil. Then add a few drops of multiple colors of food coloring. Watch as the colors mix and separate just like fireworks!

What this activity works on: grasp, finger isolation, pre-writing skills

This activity can be found on

Physical Therapy – Gross Motor Skill Development

Build a Flag Relay Race

Have your child and his or her friends build a giant flag together out of materials from home. Here’s the catch, put the materials in different places around the yard and make up different rules for how to get to each item. Maybe they have to skip to get to the stripes. Maybe they need to frog jump to get to the stars. The possibilities are endless!

What this activity works on: coordination, motor control, balance, visual motor integration

This activity, and other great play-based therapy activities, can be found on the blog The Inspired Treehouse.

Speech Therapy – Language Skill Development

Watch Fireworks

Sounds simple, right? It is! Doing something as simple as watching fireworks together can be an excellent opportunity to work on language development. Have your child describe what he or she sees. What colors? What sizes? What shapes? Have little ones describe the sounds such as “boom” and “pop” to develop those tricky b and p sounds.

What this activity works on: articulation, language comprehension, expressive language

This activity, and other great speech therapy activities, can be found on the blog Chicago Speech Spot.