Summer has finally begun and cookouts and festivities are underway. The 4th of July is a huge holiday for most Americans. It is also a fantastic opportunity to talk about why we celebrate this holiday.

Conversations

July 4, 1776 is our country’s birthday; it is the day our country’s founders declared independence from Great Britain. Ask your child (or if you are in a classroom, the children) what do the stars and stripes on the flag mean?  

  • 50 stars are our 50 states and the 13 stripes stand for the 13 British colonies, which we declared on July 4th, 1776

This can open up a dialogue about their ancestors and where they came from.

  • Where were they from?
  • Where in America did they move to?
  • Why did they come to America?
  • Was it for freedom, beliefs, a job, or for their family?

It is a terrific way to open that door and a way for children to speak with grandparents and start the conversation of what America means to them and the things that make our country special. 

Talk about how we show support for our troops and gratitude and why we honor them. If you don’t have military in your family, have your child or children write a letter thanking a military person for their service and our freedom.

Cookouts & Crafts

Before enjoying family or neighborhood cookouts, take some time out to celebrate and teach our children about the 4th of July and say Happy Birthday to America. Independence Day is so much fun, but we need to help children appreciate why we celebrate it. In discussing with your child or children you can add in some crafts to make it fun while you talk about the 4th. Some activities you can do that are fun are:

  • Sing songs that are patriotic.
    • America, You’re a Grand Old Flag, The Star Spangle Banner, and so on.
    • July 4th Bingo
    • Give children a card and wipe off marker.
    • Have them go around the cookout looking for the items on the card.
    • Have them do one row first, then have them do two rows and so on.
    • Have beach balls or bags of goodies to give them once it is full.
    • Decorate marshmallow with melted chocolate and red white and blue sprinkles.  Children will love dipping in melted chocolate and add sprinkles. The best part is eating them.

Most residential areas do not allow fireworks.  We also want to keep it fun and safe for the little ones. So, an easy fun craft to do is confetti launchers:

Materials needed.

  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Markers
  • Balloons
  • Decorative paper
  • Tape
  • Paper and scissors.
  • Decorate the tube any way you want,
  • Cut paper into little squares for confetti
  • Cut balloon in half tie one end
  • Stretch other side over the tube,
  • Fill with some little confetti.
  • Pull back and watch the fireworks happen. So much fun

Posted by Mel Cline