July Family Friendly Events 2015

July Family Friendly Events 2015

The biggest of the July Family Friendly Events will be the 4th of July celebrations. There are several places you can go to enjoy your 4th of July. I believe that next to Christmas, the 4th of July is my favorite holiday. I am a very patriotic person. I am so thankful for the many sacrifices of all of our military personnel and their families. I am very proud of my son-in law who is currently serving in the military and of all my family members that have served in the military in the past. Be sure to stop any military personnel that you might see and thank them for their service.

There are also many other activities going on this month. Be sure to check back often because I add things as I find them.

Happy 4th of July!!!
Happy 4th of July!!!

 

 

July 4
Saturday
Happy 4th of July!!!
Happy 4th of July!!!

Carmel Fest 2015
Start the 4th of July with a parade! Lots of fun for the whole family; musical entertainment, a kid zone and don’t forget carnival food! Come out, make memories and enjoy this 4th of July Celebration, at Carmel Fest!
Parade starts at 10:30 a.m.; Fireworks at 9:45 p.m. with lots of fun in between!

Family Friendly Events: Hendrick's Symphony
Family Friendly Events: Hendrick’s Symphony

Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza at Hummel Park in Plainfield, IN
Bring the family for a fun evening of celebration. There will be bounce houses for the kids along with face painting and many other fun activities. You can pack a picnic to bring with you or try some wonderful carnival-style food. I love carnival corn dogs and cotton candy. (I know they aren’t good for me but I don’t eat them too often.) The Hendricks Symphony Orchestra and Choir will be back this year with a moving performance. The bounce houses and vendors open at 5:00. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. culminating in the Fireworks Extravaganza at 9:55.
***My husband is playing with the Hendricks Symphony Orchestra so this is where we will be this year.
Hummel Park
1500 S. Center St.
Plainfield, IN 46168
5:00 – 10:30 p.m.

Star Spangled Symphony
Indianapolis Symphonic Orchestra at Conner Prairie
Bring your chairs, blankets and wagon loads of kids and sit outside and enjoy some truly wonderful music. Everyone will be awed by the outstanding fireworks display. This is a truly spectacular way to celebrate the 4th of July. The concert starts at 8:00 p.m.
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
13400 Allisonville Road
Fishers, IN 46038
8:00 p.m.

Family Friendly Events: Fireworks
Family Friendly Events: Fireworks

Donato’s Downtown Freedom Blast Independence Day Fireworks Show
Do you love fireworks? Then head downtown for this spectacular event. There will be food, music and fun starting at 6:30 p.m. Come out and enjoy. The fireworks display will begin at 10:00 p.m. and will be synchronized to patriotic and popular music on Country 97.1 HANK FM, 93.1 WIBC, FM 107.5/1070 The Fan and B105.7.
Downtown Indianapolis
6:30 – 10:30 p.m.

July 6
Monday

Free Community Drum Circle for Special Needs at Bongo Boy Music School
This event is open to families, music and recreational therapists & their clients, and organizations working with children and adults with special needs. It is a requirement that caregivers/therapists stay with their family members/clients and that the ratio stay at one caregiver to two family members/clients. This is so the instructors can more easily lead the group and keep things fun and moving. Drums will be provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO. So beat a path to Bongo Boys Music School, on Monday, for a drumming good time.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)

July 7
Tuesday

On the first Tuesday and Wednesday of every month, your child (ages 6 – 14) can stop by the Lego Store in Castleton and join in on the free mini model build. The July model is a Lego Whale. You must now register to participate but it’s still free. Register here: shop.LEGO.com/Minibuild-Registration Walk ups on the night of the event are no longer allowed.
Lego Store, Castleton Square Mall
6020 E 82nd St
Indianapolis IN 46250-5508
5:00 p.m
Free

July 8
Wednesday
Family Friendly Events: Lego Building Blocks
Family Friendly Events: Lego Building Blocks

On the first Tuesday and Wednesday of every month, your child (ages 6 – 14) can stop by the Lego Store in Castleton and join in on the free mini model build. The July model is a Lego Whale. You must now register to participate but it’s still free. Register here: shop.LEGO.com/Minibuild-Registration Walk ups on the night of the event are no longer allowed.
Lego Store, Castleton Square Mall
6020 E 82nd St
Indianapolis IN 46250-5508
5:00 p.m
Free

Symphony in the Park
Join the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra as they share a free concert with the people from the Ellenberger Park area (and anyone else that wants to stop in). It’s an opportunity that some of us don’t get very often so take advantage of it and bring the whole family. Summer outdoor concerts are one of the best ways to introduce your child to different styles of music. They can get up and dance and move around without disturbing others. It is such a wonderful opportunity for families. Bring a picnic dinner or some snacks and enjoy some spectacular music. (Alcohol is prohibited)
Alternate rain site: Warren Performing Arts Center
Located at Ellenberger Park
5301 East St. Clair Street
Indianapolis, IN 46219
8:00 p.m.

July 9
Thursday

Free Community Drum Circle for the Whole Family
Sharing musical experiences, with the family, can be so much fun. Bongo Boys Music School (not just for boys) gives your family an opportunity to find the rhythm of the beat together, every Thursday evening. It’s a free community drum circle and all ages are welcome. No experience necessary. Drums will be provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)
7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Free

The Indianapolis Symphonic Band will be giving a free performance at Garfield Park. Bring a picnic or a snack with you and be sure to come early and let the kids play in the park for a while before the concert starts.
Garfield Park
McAllister Center
2408 Garfield Park Center Dr
Indianapolis, IN 46203
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

July 11
Saturday

Kid’s Rhythm Club – Shake, Rattle & Roll – for ages from the Womb to 36 Months
Bongo Boys Music School has added a new event! Shake, Rattle & Roll for the little ones in your family. You are never too young (or too old) to get your groove on. All materials, instruments & drums will be provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)
9:30 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.
$5.00 per child (Parents are free)

Kid’s Rhythm Club – “Jam as a Fam” for Ages 3 – 8 yrs old
Do your children love beating on pots and pans?…using your end table as a drum? Check out the Kid’s Rhythm Club at Bongo Boy Music School every Saturday. Children will explore rhythm making and rhythm making games. Recommended ages are for kids 3-12 but all ages are welcome. Older kids and parents play supportive rhythms while younger kids explore rhythm on various instruments. Parents must stay with their children and are encouraged to participate.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)
10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
$5.00 per child (Parents are free)

Free crafts for kids every Saturday at the Lakeshore Learning Store. This Saturday your child will be able to work on a special aquarium craft. Lakeshore is an Educational Store that has wonderful toys and craft supplies for use at home or in the classroom.
1300 E. 86th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46240
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Free

July 13
Monday

Free Community Drum Circle for Special Needs at Bongo Boy Music School
This event is open to families, music and recreational therapists & their clients, and organizations working with children and adults with special needs. It is a requirement that caregivers/therapists stay with their family members/clients and that the ratio stay at one caregiver to two family members/clients. This is so the instructors can more easily lead the group and keep things fun and moving. Drums will be provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO. So beat a path to Bongo Boys Music School, on Monday, for a drumming good time.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)

July 16
Thursday

Free Community Drum Circle for the Whole Family
Sharing musical experiences, with the family, can be so much fun. Bongo Boys Music School (not just for boys) gives your family an opportunity to find the rhythm of the beat together, every Thursday evening. It’s a free community drum circle and all ages are welcome. No experience necessary. Drums will be provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)
7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Free

Symphony in the Park
Join the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra as they share a free concert with the people from the Holliday Park area (and anyone else that wants to stop in). It’s an opportunity that some of us don’t get very often so take advantage of it and bring the whole family. Summer outdoor concerts are one of the best ways to introduce your child to different styles of music. They can get up and dance and move around without disturbing others. It is such a wonderful opportunity for families. Bring a picnic dinner or some snacks and enjoy some spectacular music. (Alcohol is prohibited)
Located at Holliday Park
6363 Spring Mill Road
Indianapolis, IN 46219
8:00 p.m.

July 18
Saturday

Kid’s Rhythm Club – Shake, Rattle & Roll – for ages from the Womb to 36 Months
Bongo Boys Music School has added a new event! Shake, Rattle & Roll for the little ones in your family. You are never too young (or too old) to get your groove on. All materials, instruments & drums will be provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)
9:30 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.
$5.00 per child (Parents are free)

Kid’s Rhythm Club – “Jam as a Fam” for Ages 3 – 8 yrs old
Do your children love beating on pots and pans?…using your end table as a drum? Check out the Kid’s Rhythm Club at Bongo Boy Music School every Saturday. Children will explore rhythm making and rhythm making games. Recommended ages are for kids 3-12 but all ages are welcome. Older kids and parents play supportive rhythms while younger kids explore rhythm on various instruments. Parents must stay with their children and are encouraged to participate.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)
10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
$5.00 per child (Parents are free)

Free crafts for kids every Saturday at the Lakeshore Learning Store. This Saturday your child will be able to make a jumpin’ jellyfish. Lakeshore is an Educational Store that has wonderful toys and craft supplies for use at home or in the classroom.
1300 E. 86th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46240
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Free

The Indianapolis Symphonic Band (ISB) will be giving a free performance at Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park. You do have to pay to enter the park but the concert is free. You will find the band set up at the foot of the sledding hill. Summer outdoor concerts are one of the best ways to introduce your child to different styles of music. They can get up and dance and move around without disturbing others. It is such a wonderful opportunity for families. Bring your lawn chairs or blanket and a picnic or snack to enjoy. Come early and let the kids play in the park for a while before the concert starts.
6000 N. Post Road
Indianapolis, IN 46216
7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

July 19
Sunday

The Barton Rogers Big Band will be giving a free performance at Seminary Park. Summer outdoor concerts are one of the best ways to introduce your child to different styles of music. They can get up and dance and move around without disturbing others. It is such a wonderful opportunity for families. Bring a picnic or a snack with you and be sure to come early and let the kids play in the park for a while before the concert starts.
Seminary Park
S 10th St
Noblesville, IN 46060
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

July 20
Monday

Free Community Drum Circle for Special Needs at Bongo Boy Music School
This event is open to families, music and recreational therapists & their clients, and organizations working with children and adults with special needs. It is a requirement that caregivers/therapists stay with their family members/clients and that the ratio stay at one caregiver to two family members/clients. This is so the instructors can more easily lead the group and keep things fun and moving. Drums will be provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO. So beat a path to Bongo Boys Music School, on Monday, for a drumming good time.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)

July 23
Thursday

Free Community Drum Circle for the Whole Family
Sharing musical experiences, with the family, can be so much fun. Bongo Boys Music School (not just for boys) gives your family an opportunity to find the rhythm of the beat together, every Thursday evening. It’s a free community drum circle and all ages are welcome. No experience necessary. Drums will be provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)
7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Free

July 25
Saturday

Kid’s Rhythm Club – Shake, Rattle & Roll – for ages from the Womb to 36 Months
Bongo Boys Music School has added a new event! Shake, Rattle & Roll for the little ones in your family. You are never too young (or too old) to get your groove on. All materials, instruments & drums will be provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)
9:30 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.
$5.00 per child (Parents are free)

Kid’s Rhythm Club – “Jam as a Fam” for Ages 3 – 8 yrs old
Do your children love beating on pots and pans?…using your end table as a drum? Check out the Kid’s Rhythm Club at Bongo Boy Music School every Saturday. Children will explore rhythm making and rhythm making games. Recommended ages are for kids 3-12 but all ages are welcome. Older kids and parents play supportive rhythms while younger kids explore rhythm on various instruments. Parents must stay with their children and are encouraged to participate.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)
10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
$5.00 per child (Parents are free)

Free crafts for kids every Saturday at the Lakeshore Learning Store. This Saturday your child will be able to make a cool sun visor. Lakeshore is an Educational Store that has wonderful toys and craft supplies for use at home or in the classroom.
1300 E. 86th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46240
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Free

July 26
Sunday

The Indianapolis Symphonic Band will be giving a free performance at Seminary Park. Summer outdoor concerts are one of the best ways to introduce your child to different styles of music. They can get up and dance and move around without disturbing others. It is such a wonderful opportunity for families. Bring a picnic or a snack with you and be sure to come early and let the kids play in the park for a while before the concert starts.
Seminary Park
S 10th St
Noblesville, IN 46060
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

July 27
Monday

Free Community Drum Circle for Special Needs at Bongo Boy Music School
This event is open to families, music and recreational therapists & their clients, and organizations working with children and adults with special needs. It is a requirement that caregivers/therapists stay with their family members/clients and that the ratio stay at one caregiver to two family members/clients. This is so the instructors can more easily lead the group and keep things fun and moving. Drums will be provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO. So beat a path to Bongo Boys Music School, on Monday, for a drumming good time.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)

July 30
Thursday

Free Community Drum Circle for the Whole Family
Sharing musical experiences, with the family, can be so much fun. Bongo Boys Music School (not just for boys) gives your family an opportunity to find the rhythm of the beat together, every Thursday evening. It’s a free community drum circle and all ages are welcome. No experience necessary. Drums will be provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO.
Bongo Boy Music School
8481 Bash St. Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46250
(Located in the Castleton Area about .3 miles north of 82nd street on Bash St.)
7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Free

 

Celebrating the 4th of July with Children

Celebrating the 4th of July with Children

4th of July! A time to celebrate the birthday of the United States of America. For me, the 4th of July is the 2nd biggest holiday of the year. I love celebrating the 4th and all it represents. I believe we, too often, fail to remember what it took to become a nation.

People traveled across the ocean, in uncomfortable conditions, to get to the New World. Once here, they experienced many hardships, including sickness and death. Settlements were established but then they realized they wanted to make their own laws and govern themselves. They had to fight to become independent and begin building their own nation. The freedoms we have today are granted to us because of the people that sacrificed their lives fighting for it. We need to appreciate and celebrate their sacrifices.

Patriotism has always been taught and celebrated in our family. It is something I have tried to instill in my children and now I hope to pass it on to my grandchildren. Now that I have a son-in-law serving in the Armed Forces, it means even more to me.

Celebrating the 4th of July with Children

You might be wondering how to teach your children the deeper meanings of the 4th of July. If you have been following me for very long you know I like to start with books. You will find several that I have read and reviewed below in the Story Time section. Choose a couple books and share them with your child. You will be surprised the conversations that will come up. Maybe not at the time you are reading but sometime over your 4th of July celebration, someone will bring up something you read to them in a book.

Start teaching your children how to respect the United States flag. Did you know that during a parade you are supposed to stand for the American Flag? You don’t have to stand every time you see one because, especially during an election year, many groups or floats might have the American flag with them. The very first American flag in a parade (usually carried by an Honor Guard) should be shown our respect by standing (removing head coverings) and placing your right hand over your heart. It’s not a time for chatting and goofing around but for remembering what the flag stands for and the cost of freedom. My 23 month old grandson is all ready learning this.

Craft

4th of July Puzzle from Craft Sticks

D.I.Y. Flag Puzzle

I got the inspiration for this from Ginger Snap Crafts. I did not use the 3 ½” sized sticks to hold all the pieces together because I wanted it to be a puzzle. Instead I put magnets on the back of each of the large sticks so my grandson could put them together on the metal pan he plays with.

I also found a new product: foam craft sticks. I was going to use the large wooden craft sticks for this craft but when I found the color foam sticks I decided to give them a try.

Foam Craft Sticks
Foam Craft Sticks

Materials Needed

Foam craft sticks (tongue depressor size)
Small star stickers
Magnets
White foam sheet
Glue
Scissors

Directions

  1. Cut the rounded end of 3 blue foam craft sticks into 3 inch pieces.
  2. Get 3 red foam craft sticks.
  3. There were no white craft sticks in the set I purchased so I bought a white piece of craft foam and cut out 2 white craft sticks, using one from the package as a pattern.
4th of July Craft: White foam craft sticks for flag puzzle craft.
4th of July Craft: White foam craft sticks for flag puzzle craft.
  1. Line up the longer foam sticks starting with a red stick, then alternate white and red.
  2. Glue the 3 short blue pieces on top of the top three large craft sticks. This makes your blue field for your stars.
  3. Add stars to the blue field. I couldn’t find white stars to purchase so I use a star shaped punch and punched them out of white card stock. I was hoping to punch them out of the white foam but the foam was too thick to get inside the punch.

    4th of July: Stars for Flag craft stick puzzle.
    4th of July: Stars for Flag craft stick puzzle.
  4. Turn the sticks over and add magnets to the backside.

    4th of July Craft: Attaching magnets to back of foam pieces.
    4th of July Craft: Attaching magnets to back of foam pieces.
  5. Now you can put your flag puzzle together.

    4th of July Craft: Flag Craft Stick Puzzle
    4th of July Craft: Flag Craft Stick Puzzle

Using the foam sticks made the project go quickly but if you want to make it more of a craft for your child, then I suggest using the wooden craft sticks and letting your child paint them the colors you need.

 

Story Time

(affiliate links included below)

Celebrate Independence Day: With Parades, Picnics, and Fireworks by Deborah Heiligman
Reading Level: Ages 6 to 10 yrs old
This is a picture book with bright illustrations and lots of information. Your child will learn a little of our history and a lot about celebrating. It shares many different ways American’s celebrate the 4th of July. You might dress in red, white and blue or you might head to the beach. If you need some ideas, you will find plenty in this book.

Independence Day (Our Country’s Holidays) by Sheri Dean
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 8 yrs old
Although this book mainly covers Independence Day for the United States, it also talks about Canada’s special independence day, which is called Canada Day. This is a great book for the younger child. It explains Independence Day in general terms. I like that it points out that Independence Day is our country’s birthday. Even young children understand the concept of a birthday and the fact that we celebrate it.

Independence Day (Holiday Histories) by Mir Tamim Ansary
Reading Level: Ages 6 to 8 yrs old
Although this is a picture book, it is packed with loads of information. If your child is interested in learning a little more about how the United States formed this book will be a great choice. It shares a little of the history of our ancestors coming from England. It talks of the first 13 original colonies and how they were treated by England. Your child will learn why we wanted our independence from England and ways we celebrate our nation’s birthday.

Independence Day (Holidays and Festivals) by Rebecca Rissman
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 6 yrs old
This is a great book to introduce the 4th of July to younger children. The text is fairly simple. It covers a little of the history of the United States without going into too much detail. The illustrations are a mixture of bright photographs and drawings.

Independence Day (Rookie Read-About Holidays) by Trudi Strain Trueit
Reading Level: Ages 5 to 8 yrs old
This is a cute little picture book that will help your child learn about Independence Day (4th of July). Your child will learn a little about our history and breaking from England. They will learn about some of the symbols and traditions for our 4th of July celebrations. How do you like to celebrate the 4th of July?

Related Posts

Celebrating Flag Day
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Celebrating Flag Day

Celebrating Flag Day

Did you know that not only do we celebrate Flag Day but there is a whole week dedicated to it? Flag Day is observed on June 14th, which is the beginning of Flag Week, that lasts until June 20th.

Celebrating Flag Day
Celebrating Flag Day

Your child might ask why we are celebrating a big striped cloth. Well, it’s not so much the flag that we are celebrating but what it stands for. It represents our freedom and all the people that have been injured or died to give us our freedoms. Not all countries get to go to church and worship God the way they want to. In some countries, people would be put in jail for speaking out against their government. We are a blessed nation and we need to remember and teach our children about the sacrifices made to get us here.

Pledge of Allegiance

A great way to celebrate Flag Day and Week would be to learn the Pledge of Allegiance. The pledge is not recited in schools like it was when I was young. We started each day with the Pledge of Allegiance. There is a good chance that your child is not learning this in school so this is something you can work on together.

If you don’t remember how it goes, here it is:

(Place your right hand over your heart)
“I pledge allegiance to the flag,
Of the United State of America,
And to the Republic for which it stands,
One nation, under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.”

Craft

I usually like to create my own crafts but I found this cute American flag dot craft on the Meaningful Mama blog.When I taught preschool, the kids loved Do-A-Dot paints. I can’t wait to try this one with my 2 year old grandson. There is a free printable included. Click on the picture and it will take you to her website, where you will find the printable.

Flag Day: American Flag Craft
Flag Day: American Flag Craft

Snack

I found this great appetizer plate, on The Better Mom. It would be great for celebrating Flag Day.

Flag Day: Fruit and Cheese Plate
Flag Day: Fruit and Cheese Plate

I recreated it, on a smaller scale, with different fruits, for my grandson. Berries upset his stomach so I used purple grapes, apples and cheese. You could also use watermelon and banana.

Flag Day Snack using grapes, apples and cheese.
Flag Day Snack using grapes, apples and cheese.

Story Time (affiliate links included)

I read and reviewed these books myself.

   A Flag for All by Larry Dane Brimner
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 8 yrs old
This is a simple little book that would be great to introduce your young child to Flag Day. It shares what the stars and stripes, on the flag, represent. Your child will also learn a little about what the flag means to different people. I love the way the kids bring the community together to form a big flag made of people.

Flag Day (Our Country’s Holidays) by Sheri Dean
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 8 yrs old
Although this is a good book to introduce young children to Flag Day, I wish it had a few more details. This book doesn’t cover what the stars and stripes represent but it does talk about proper handling of a flag. Even though it doesn’t have a lot of detail, I would still use it with a younger child.

Flag Day (Celebrations in My World) by Robert Walker
Reading Level: Ages 5 to 10 yrs old
This book is for a little older child and is crammed full of information about Flag Day. Your child will learn some of the history of our flag and the first Flag Day. They will learn about the different designs of the flag, over the years. The Pledge of Allegiance and other ways to celebrate Flag Day are included.

Flag Day (Holiday Histories) by Mir Tamim Ansary
Reading Level: Ages 5 to 8 yrs old
There is a lot to learn in this little book but it is written in a fun, picture-book style. Your child will learn some of the history of the flag and why flags were invented. I learned that, in the beginning, a star AND a stripe were added with each new state. The flag started looking too crowded so they went back to having thirteen stripes and just adding a star with each new state. Your child will also learn about some of those early celebrations. How will you celebrate Flag Day?

PBS Kids in the Park Review, 2015

PBS Kids in the Park Review, 2015

PBS Kids in the Park
PBS Kids in the Park

Saturday, June 13th was, once again, PBS Kids in the Park. The event was at Military Park in downtown Indianapolis. I had attended two years ago but this year was extra special. My grandson and daughter were able to attend with me.

Keagan won’t be two years old until the end of July so I wasn’t sure how much he would enjoy this. My daughter said that he watches most of the characters so we thought there would be some interest. I believe my daughter was more excited than anyone. Well, that is until the characters started to appear. Once he starting seeing the characters, this was the expression we received:

He can hardly contain his excitement once he sees the characters.
He can hardly contain his excitement once he sees the characters.

Needless to say, he was ecstatic. He must have yelled, “Super Why!” 50 times over the course of the day.

My favorite part of the day is the character parade. It is the first thing to kick off the event. My suggestion is to get there early and find a place to the left of the stage. (That is left as you are facing the stage.) This is the best advantage for the children to see the characters. The characters march up from the left side of the stage and across it, then down the other side. One of the reasons I like to get to the left of the stage rather than right in front of it is because the kids can stand or sit in their strollers and easily see the characters. We weren’t having to lift him up so he could see up on stage.

Here were some of the pictures of the parade. I believe I have the names of all the characters this time; thanks to my daughter and a couple of Facebook friends. Check out my post from two years ago: PBS Kids in the Park Review. It was pathetic. I only knew a couple of the characters and I didn’t get much help from anyone so they went nameless.

PBS Kids in the Park: Daniel Tiger
PBS Kids in the Park: Daniel Tiger

 

This is Daniel Tiger. His show is a spin-off of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

PBS Kids in the Park: Character Parade
PBS Kids in the Park: Character Parade

Starting at the front of the parade (the right side of the picture), that is Buddy from Dinosaur Train, next is Word Girl. Most of you are probably familiar with the next character, Curious George and the last character is Chirp, from Peep and the Big Wide World.

PBS Kids Day in the Park: Character Parade
PBS Kids Day in the Park: Character Parade

Again, starting from the front of the parade (the right side of the picture), the first two are Migel and Mia. They are brother and sister. I’ve loved the next character since I was a little girl. That’s Clifford the Big Red Dog. He doesn’t seem to be quite as big as he was in the storybooks. Behind Clifford is Wonder Red.

PBS Kids in the Park: Sid the Science Kid
PBS Kids in the Park: Sid the Science Kid

 

 

This is Sid the Science Kid. I’m not familiar with him but I loved science so maybe I should check him out.

PBS Kids in the Park: Super Why and Princess Pea
PBS Kids in the Park: Super Why and Princess Pea

These two characters are on the same show. It’s one that my grandson simply loves. This is Super Why and Princess Pea. The dog in the picture below is Woofster. He is also from the same show.

PBS Kids Day: Woofster
PBS Kids Day: Woofster

Digit, resized 640x1040

This purple bird is Digit. He is one of the characters on Cyberchase. It is a fun children’s show that incorporates math in their adventures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PBS Kids Day: Peg & Cat
PBS Kids Day: Peg & Cat

The above characters are Peg and Cat, which come from the show by the same name. Cat stopped to show us a few of his dance moves. He is definitely a groovin’ cat.

PBS Kids Day: Alpha Pig
PBS Kids Day: Alpha Pig

 

 

And last, but definitely not least, is Alpha Pig. He is also a character on Super Why!

 

Meeting the Characters

If you miss the parade you do have opportunities to meet the characters throughout the day. They each have their own tent and schedule. The only problem with this is that the wait can be very long. We were lucky enough to get in the beginning of the line for Super Why and only had a 20 minute wait. Daniel the Tiger was in the other half of the same tent but it was going to be an hour and a half wait from the time we finished with Super Why. We were going to come back and get in line later until we realized that people were already lining up. We made the decision to go ahead and get in line. My daughter and I took turns taking Keagan to enjoy other activities while one of us stayed in line. As I talked with other people I found out that most of them came with a strategy. One of the people I talked to had several adults in their group. They would split up and sit in the different lines while someone else shuffled the children from spot to spot. Since it was just my daughter and me, we only waited in the two lines. Here are the pictures of Keagan meeting Super Why and Daniel Tiger.

PBS Kids Day: Meeting Super Why and Daniel Tiger
PBS Kids Day: Meeting Super Why and Daniel Tiger

Please don’t misinterpret the pictures. Keagan was thrilled to meet the characters. He ran up to them, gave them high fives and hugs but he was NOT thrilled with us for making him turn around to get his picture taken.

Other Activities

There were several other activities besides meeting the characters. Keagan made a colorful butterfly and was able to climb and jump at the Gymboree tent.

Fun at the Gymboree Tent
Fun at the Gymboree Tent

He raced Hot Wheels and played in a sand table at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis tent.

Children's Museum Booth
Children’s Museum Booth

There were bubbles to blow at the Child Care Answers booth.

Blowing Bubbles at Child Care Answers Booth
Blowing Bubbles at Child Care Answers Booth

We stopped by the main stage a couple of times to enjoy the shows that were taking place there. Keagan loves music so this was especially fun.

PBS Kids Day, Main Stage
PBS Kids Day, Main Stage

There was so much more to enjoy but it was getting really hot and Brittany and I were worn out. Some of the other activities we saw were a bounce house, a fire engine that the kids could go through and so much more.

My suggestions for a great day:

*** Get there early and station yourself to the left of the stage.
*** Take extra adults with you to hold places in the lines of the characters you really want to see.
*** Bring extra snacks and small toys to entertain your child if you do have to sit in a long line with them.
*** Most of all have a magically fun day.

Related Posts

PBS Kids in the Park Review, 2011

Firefighters: Love to Learn About Community Helpers

Firefighters: Love to Learn About Community Helpers
with Free Printables

Firefighters put their lives on the line for us each and every day. It is essential that we teach our children about the sacrifices they make to help others.

Schedule a visit to the fire station. Call first to see if they welcome visitors and what a good time would be to stop by. If the first station you call doesn’t welcome visitors, then try another one. I know there are many stations that would love to have you visit. One thing to ask, is if someone would be willing to put on a full set of fire gear. It is very important for children to know what a firefighter might look like if one would have to save them from a fire. Children need to be taught not to run and hide from them but to go to them.

I like to start my learning activities with a book and I recommend you do the same. There are a few listed below in the Story Time section. If you have another book, that you really like, please share it with me.

Below you will also find a craft and some ideas for pretend play. Be sure to enjoy this time of exploration and learning with your child.

Content:

Playtime
Fun Sheet
Craft
Story Time
Videos
Related Posts
Acknowledgements

Playtime

Does your child have a fire station or fire truck to play with? I love the Fisher Price Rescue Heroes. They were very popular with my preschool classes. I just scored several of them at a Goodwill Store. You would have thought I won the lottery. Playmobil was another things my preschoolers loved. They have a fire station and fire trucks.

Dress up is a fun way to explore the world of firefighters. Dress up is fun for boys and girls alike. I like to look for costumes after Halloween. That’s when they are really inexpensive.

Firefighters: Fireman D.I.Y. Costume by Parties for Pennies
Firefighters: Fireman D.I.Y. Costume by Parties for Pennies

 

 

You can find a D.I.Y. Firefighter costume on Parties for Pennies. Click on the link, or the picture, to see how to make this cute outfit: Fireman D.I.Y. Costume

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Fun Sheet

Community Helpers: Firefighter Fun Sheet
Community Helpers: Firefighter Fun Sheet

 

I have created a fun sheet to do with your child. Have your child color the firefighter and then color only the items that the firefighter would use. Don’t color the items that the firefighter would not use. Click on the picture to get the downloadable fun sheet.

The fun sheet is a great way for your child to develop their fine motor skills, as they color. They will learn to follow directions and will also reinforce what they have learned about firefighters.

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Craft

Fire Truck Shape Craft

Firefighters: Fire truck Shape Craft
Firefighters: Fire truck Shape Craft

Materials Needed:

Fire Truck template
Crayons, markers or paint
Paint brushes
Scissors
Glue stick
Optional:
magnets
lamination

Instructions:

I have given you several free downloadable templates to use with this craft. I had so many different ideas of things you could do, I just had to include it all.

First of all, you can use it as a simple craft.

  1. Print the fire truck with no color
  2. Print the fire truck shapes (with no words and no color)
  3. Let your child color or paint the pieces.
  4. Cut out the pieces. (either they can do this or you can, depending on where your child is developmentally)
  5. Glue the pieces to the fire truck.

* Another option would be to print the truck shapes with color and cut them out. Then let your child glue those shapes on.
** You could also cut the shapes out of construction paper and let your child glue them to the fire truck.

Another way to play with this is to make a puzzle out of it.

  1. Print the fire truck with color.
  2. Print the fire truck shapes with color.
  3. Laminate both sheets. (I get my laminating done at a nearby teacher’s store)
  4. Cut out the fire truck shapes.
  5. Add magnets to the back of the fire truck picture and to each of the pieces.
  6. Now your child can do the “puzzle” on a cookie sheet.

*You could also print the fire truck with no color for some extra puzzle fun.

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Story Time

 

DK Readers: Jobs People Do — A Day in a Life of a Firefighter (Level 1: Beginning to Read) by Linda Hayward
Reading Level: Ages 5 – 7 yrs old
Follow Rob Green as he goes through his day as a firefighter. Rob will have to be away from his family for a full day (24 hours). This book covers a couple of duties that Rob might have that I haven’t seen covered in other firefighter books. It explains that the firemen have to inspect restaurants and stores to make sure they are safe and have the simple fire equipment they need to keep customers safe. It also talks about a class having a field trip to the fire station. The firemen will also get to go put a fire out. Rob even sleeps at the firestation. This will be a fun way for your child to learn about firemen and the jobs they have to perform.

A Day in the Life of a Firefighter (Kids’ Career Library) by Mary Bowman-Kruhm and Claudine G. Wirths
Reading Level: Ages 5 and up
If your child is looking for a little more information about firefighters and not just a simple introduction, this would be the book to go to. This book explains the responsibilities of firefighters and the equipment they need but with a little more detail than some other books. If you have an inquisitive child that loves to sit and listen, I would recommend this book.

A Day with Firefighters by Jan Kottke
Reading Level: Ages 2 – 6 yrs old
This is a great book to introduce your little one to the responsibilities of firefighters. It has very simple text but covers the basic information your child will need. The illustrations are actual pictures of firefighters on the job. On another note, I was surprised when I picked up this book at the library. It came in a plastic bag with some paperwork and a DVD. I thought it was a movie of the book but that’s not what it was as all. It was actually a video of someone using American Sign Language to share the book with deaf children. It turns out there is an organization called The Shared Reading Project. The video is to help parents be able to effectively share books with their deaf child so they can become lifelong readers. You can search your library’s website for The Shared Reading Project and you will find several titles to choose from.

Fighting Fires: See More Readers Level 1 by Seymour Simon
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 7 yrs old
If you have a child that is really interested in different types of trucks then he/she will love this book. It doesn’t just talk about fire trucks in general but names and gives you pictures of the different types of fire trucks and the special job each of them does. I especially like the fact that the book explains how people used to pass buckets of water by hand to put out fires. This book impressed me because it covers fire fighting from a different angle than most books.

Fire Fighter! (DK Readers) – Level 2 by Angela Royston
Reading Level: Ages 6 – 8 yrs old
Your child will enjoy the excitement in this book as the firefighters do their jobs. It starts out as a quiet day in the firehouse. Your child will get to see the different things found in the firehouse. Then the alarm goes off and they head to a fire. They are worried that a child might be trapped in the burning house. Your child will get to hear about the different things a firefighter might experience while searching through a burning house for a trapped person. There are several different side notes and pictures of the equipment the firefighters use. This is a very sweet and informative book.

Firefighter (Benchmark Rebus) by Dana Meachen Rau
Reading Level: Ages 2 to 6 years old
I love the books by Dana Meachen Rau that are put out by Benchmark Rebus. They are so simple and easy to understand. I like the fact that they use pictures instead of words as part of the text. It will make your little one proud that they are helping with the story. In this book we learn about the many things that firefighters do and the equipment they use. This is a very cute book to introduce the job of firefighters to your child.

Fire Fighters (Community Helpers) by Dee Ready
Reading Level: Ages 4 and up
This is a great book to introduce your child to the responsibilities of a fire fighter. The illustrations are actual pictures of fire fighters doing their many jobs. The text is simple; just a few clear sentences to each illustration. Once you share this book with your child, they will have a better understanding of what fire fighters do and the things they need to perform their jobs.

  Firefighters (Neighborhood Helpers) by Cecilia Minden
Reading Level: Ages 5 and up
A little girl, named Elizabeth, believes she may want to be a firefighter when she grows up. She wants to learn all she can about being a firefighter. You will find a lot of information in this book about what firefighters do and the equipment they use. It even talks about some of the education they need. Although there is a lot of text in this book it is broken down into subtopics so if your child has a short attention span or just needs a break, it is easy to stop and start up again. There is a lot of additional information along the sides of the pages too. If I had a child that was really interested in firefighters I would definitely share this book with them.

  Fire Fighters: A to Z (Community Helpers) by Jean Johnson
Reading Level: Ages 5 to 8 yrs old
Every letter of the alphabet represents something a firefighter uses or does. There are a lot of wonderful pictures of firemen at work. The illustrations are in black and white but they are still very interesting. There is quite a bit of information about firefighters including an extra section in the back called “More About Fire Fighters”. I would recommend this book whether learning about firefighters or just wanting to reinforce alphabet recognition.

I’m Going to Be a Fire Fighter by Edith Kunhardt
Reading Level: Ages 4 and up
This story is about three little girls whose daddy is a firefighter. They get to go to work with him one day and they share all the things that their daddy does on the job. You will see some of the tools he uses and the many different aspects of his job. The illustrations are actual photographs of the firefighter at work and with his family. This is a fun way to learn about firefighters.

  I Want To Be A Firefighter by Dan Liebman
Reading Level: Ages 3 – 7 yrs old
This book has wonderful photos of firefighters at work. The text is simple which makes it nice for a younger child. Although the text is simple there is plenty of information to help your little one learn about firefighters. Not only does this book talk about building fires but it also talks about forest fires and fires on boats. You child will learn a lot from this simple but informative book.

  I Want to Be a Firefighter by Stephanie Maze
Reading Level: Ages 8 yrs old and up
This book is for a little older child. There is plenty of text and a lot of pictures describing the life and job of a firefighter. Your child will learn about the different places firefighters are needed, such as in urban areas or out in the brush putting out wildfires. Your child will also learn about the different kinds of training that a firefighter needs. There are a lot of interesting pictures of firefighters in action. If your child is a little older and interested in firefighters this will be a great book for them.

Uncle Rocky, Fireman by James Burd Brewster
Reading Level: Ages 3 and up
Uncle Rocky, Fireman is actually a series of books about Rocky Hill and his fire station. As of this moment, I have only read the first book but I can’t wait to get hold of more of the series. I love the use of sound words such as vroom, vroom and clang, clang, clang. Children love making noises and this story definitely encourages that. I love that the author uses technical terms without making the story difficult to follow. Your child will learn new words like turnout coat and smoke inhalation. I hope you enjoy following the adventures of Uncle Rocky as much as I did.
The author, James Burd Brewster, is offering a free download of his first book. Just go to his website: Glad To Do It!

  We Need Fire Fighters (Helpers in Our Community) by Lola M. Schaefer
Reading Level: Ages 3 and up
This is a simple little book that makes a great introduction to fire fighters. There is just one sentence per page. Each page shows a picture and explains something about fire fighters. You get information about the jobs they do and the things they need to carry out their work.

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Videos

Fireman Sam – distributed by Lionsgate
Recommended for ages 3 to 6 yrs old
Fireman Sam is a British animated children’s show. It is about Fireman Sam, the other firemen at his fire station and the townspeople of Pontypandy. Each episode deals with some aspect of a fireman’s job. The ones I watched covered things like forest fires, a fire because of paper close to the stove and fire prevention. I believe your child will enjoy these videos and learn a lot about being safe with fires while having fun at the same time.

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Related Posts

Community Helpers – Overview
Doctors: Love to Learn About Community Helpers
Dentists: Love to Learn About Community Helpers
Police Officers: Love to Learn About Community Helpers

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Acknowledgements

Some of the images for the Fun Sheet were created by Charlotte’s Clips
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Charlottes-Clips-4150

whimsy-clips-by-laura-strickland-square
Some of the images for the Fun Sheet were created by Whimsy Clips
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Whimsy-Clips

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