Olympic Art Activity: Olympic Torch

Olympic competitions offer many great lessons to teach young children about sportsmanship! Tonight, all of the Olympic athletes will gather in Rio for the opening ceremonies. There, a burning torch that was originally lit in Greece earlier this year, will be run through the crowd to signal the beginning of the games. To make your very own torch with just a few supplies, follow the instructions below! Kids will work on some gentle fine motor skills when gently wrapping tin foil around an object without tearing it and using tape to secure it. Working with thin tissue paper is also a great way for kids to learn the value of being gentle!


Paper towel roll (or 2 toilet paper rolls taped together)
Sheet of tin foil
Clear tape
Red, orange, and yellow tissue paper


Tape your toilet paper rolls together end to end or get your paper towel roll ready.


Start by wrapping a sheet of tin foil around the cardboard tube. Tuck the end pieces into the holes at either end and use clear tape to hold it on the tube.


Take your 3 sheets of tissue paper and grab the center of each sheet as if you were going to put them into a gift bag. Twist the center pieces together so they will fit into the top of the tissue roll.


Stuff the centers of each sheet into the tube and you have created your very own Olympic torch! IMG_0657


Things You Should Never Say to Children with Special Needs

Unfortunately, a child with special needs doesn’t just have to endure the frustrations and struggles that come with the way their brain is wired, but they also have to withstand many misinformed comments and phrases being thrown their way day to day.

It’s not that hard to {insert common activity}.

Yes. Yes, it is that hard. They are not doing refusing to do whatever it is you are waiting for them to do, just to annoy you. It might look like it, but… that is not their intention.

Calm down.

This is easier said than done. In fact, if they could calm down on their own, they already would have. The truth is that they need help. They don’t have the skills yet to self-regulate, but they are learning!

What is wrong with you? You know better.

Yes, they SHOULD know better. This is especially true if the person you are talking to is older than a toddler. They should know to keep their hands to themselves. They should know to walk in a library. They should know to use a quiet voice in a restaurant. However, for whatever reason in this moment, they are unable to! Pointing out that something is “wrong” with them will only make them feel more self-conscious.

Why did you do that?

They have no clue. This one is a lost cause. Most likely, you are going to be met with an “I don’t know” and the shrugging of shoulders. Instead, try explaining why doing that is not a good idea.

Stop being “bad”.

There are so many other phrases to say to a child misbehaving, rather than a phrase that is hurtful.

It’s not that big of a deal.

Not to you! However, to them it is the BIGGEST deal! To them, that wet shirt is like daggers to their skin. To them, that fan whirring sounds like a helicopter trying to land in their room. To them, it’s a HUGE DEAL!

Why don’t you just….{fill in the blank} 

Because they can’t. Because they are overstimulated. Because they aren’t processing the information. The why’s could go on and on.

Go away.

You might think other’s don’t say it, it’s said on the playground, at the park, at birthday parties. Someone that struggles with special needs can have annoying behaviors. However, they are not annoying. They have lots of great qualities. It may just take a little patience and understanding  to find them!

Quit being a baby.

No, they are not being a baby, a sissy, silly, or ridiculous. To someone with special needs, their problems are very real to them and their frustrations are very real. Please don’t downplay what they are going through.

Preschool Suspension and Expulsion: Root Causes and Solutions



When children are suspended or expelled from preschool for problem behaviors, that often indicates problems that predate that child’s enrollment, said experts on a panel earlier this month.

Source: Preschool Suspension and Expulsion: Root Causes and Solutions