Celebrate July Fourth With a Bang And a History Lesson
This holiday weekend teach your children the meaning behind the parades, fireworks and Independence Day celebrations.
Recently we celebrated my boys’ birthdays with an All-American themed party. Red, white and blue balloons, decorations, place settings and even food (red and blue Jello jigglers in star shapes and strawberries dipped in white chocolate with blue sprinkles) gave the party a patriotic feel. Some guests came dressed in red, white and blue and the kids had a blast knocking down the firecracker piñata.
The day after the party I was curious to see how much my kids knew about our country’s independence, so I asked them what the Fourth of July means to them.
The first words out of their mouths were “parades” and “candy.” Now, I’m a sucker for parades, and growing up I loved my share of candy (okay, I still do.) However, I was hoping my kids would elaborate more on why we celebrate the Fourth of July. My 5- and 7-year-old gave typical responses for their age, but I prodded them a little longer until my 7-year-old said, “that’s when we became our own country.”
I was glad he knew the real reason we celebrate on July 4 every year, but I needed to make it easy to understand for my 5-year-old. Since we had just celebrated their birthday (with a patriotic theme no less) it was an easy comparison to our country’s birthday – and the parades, BBQs, and fireworks as the celebration.
If you search the Internet for ways to educate young children about Independence Day, you’ll find a wealth of information. Everything from ways to discuss and explain the holiday, to ways to celebrate it, patriotic crafts to make, and even ways young children can honor those who help our country keep its freedom.
Here is a sampling of what I found:
Explain the meaning of Independence Day
This page on Kaboose.com is written for kids, but reading it as an adult gives you ideas of simple terms to use so your child can understand everything about the Declaration of Independence and how it came to be. It also has a link to read the entire Declaration of Independence.
Today.com has some interesting ways to teach children about our country’s independence and even some ways to act it out.
The More4Kids website gives eight tips to help children celebrate while learning about the holiday, including ways to honor soldiers who fought for our country.
FamiliesOnlineMagazine.com has an interesting take on the holiday from a Christian perspective. It also gives ideas of how to encourage the work of the leaders of our country and learn about various governmental roles.
Fourth of July party ideas
IndependenceDayFun.com offers a variety of fun children’s games to play on the holiday.
This website, KidsPartyFun.com, has everything you’ll need to plan the perfect Fourth of July party, from sending out creative invitations to festive decorating and fun party favors.
Patriotic arts and crafts
FamilyFun.com has creative craft ideas for children. Remember to explain the meaning behind the patriotic crafts you’re making.
The Enchanted Learning website has instructions for crafts using everyday materials found around the house.
Kids can create miniature Uncle Sam hats or a Stars and Stripes pencil wrap, among other crafts, using the directions on this website, Craftlinky.com.