July 4th Parade Expedition
What to Pack
- Snack and water
- Small flags to wave
- Star stickers
- Blankets or beach chairs
- Friends and neighbors
- Stroller, bike or trike
- Money (just in case)
- Get ready. Check your chamber of commerce for times and dates of your local parade.
- Get set. Dress in comfy clothes in shades of red, white and blue. Use ribbons or crepe paper to decorate bikes and strollers.
- Get going. If possible, consider walking or biking to the parade to avoid contending with traffic and parking. Find a roadside spot, preferably in the shade, where kids will get a ringside seat.
- Search for stars. While you wait, play I Spy and hunt for stars. Spot them on flags, Uncle Sam hats, banners, T-shirts, sunglasses. Kids get a star sticker for each star-studded item they find. Ask, how many points are on a star? Where else can we see stars?
- Spot a friend. Does your family know anyone in the parade? Star stickers go to the first person to spot them.
- Count down. Count the fire trucks, police cars, convertibles.
- Choose an instrument. Help your child identify the instruments in the bands. Can he find a tuba, a drum, a clarinet?
- March it out. If kids get antsy, have them march in place in time to the music.
- Take a break. Make sure kids stay hydrated in the hot sun.
- Investigate: Ask your child these questions:
- Why do we celebrate July 4th?
- Who is Uncle Sam?
- What is a veteran?
- What are the colors on our flag?
- What do the stars on the flag stand for?
- What state do we live in? What country?
- Record your findings. Have kids sketch the parade. Can they draw a star? A flag? A fire engine?
- Sing along. On the way home, teach your kids how to sing patriotic songs such as "America the Beautiful," "The Star-Spangled Banner," "This Land Is Your Land," "Yankee Doodle" and "Dixie."
- Read all about it. Check out Eloise and the Big Parade by Lisa McClatchy, Olivia Forms a Band by Ian Falconer, and Parade by Donald Crews.
Bonus Explorer Activity Watch the fireworks as you picnic under the stars! Be aware that the loud booms and bangs can frighten very small children. Consider earplugs for kids who are particularly sensitive to noise.
For more ways to explore together, play Dora's Great Big World game, find do-together Dora crafts, recipes, and activities, and print a personalized Explorer Kit for your child at DoraTheExplorer.com.
Thanks to Susan Hood
BACK: Dora's Beach Expedition / NEXT: Dora's Planetarium Expedition