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.
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 (tongue depressor size)
Small star stickers
White foam sheet
- Cut the rounded end of 3 blue foam craft sticks into 3 inch pieces.
- Get 3 red foam craft sticks.
- 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.
- Line up the longer foam sticks starting with a red stick, then alternate white and red.
- Glue the 3 short blue pieces on top of the top three large craft sticks. This makes your blue field for your stars.
- 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.
- Turn the sticks over and add magnets to the backside.
- Now you can put your flag puzzle together.
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.
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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?