Happy fourth of July! There's so much history and importance to this day. It's here we celebrate America's independence. For children questioning why today is important, you have an opportunity to teach them all about this celebration, as well as important historical facts about the country. We've decided to make a list of some cool activities that not only highlight fun parts of how we celebrate the Fourth of July, but also the history and reasoning behind this day.
1. Salt painting fireworks
For this first activity, children will make their own fireworks paintings. When we think about Fourth of July celebrations, fireworks are definitely in our top activity list. It's usually one of the last few things we do as an activity for this day. Some children may ask why we set fireworks off, and during this activity, this is a perfect opportunity to explain.
Things you will need:
-paintbrushes and paint (water color for best outcome)
-container to hold the excess salt
Start by having the children make "firework" like swirls of glue on the construction paper. Next, have them practice pouring salt over the entire sheet of paper, making sure they carefully cover their glue trails. After they are finished covering the page, hold out your container, and let them shake their papers so that the excess salt is off the page, and only left on the glue. Finally, have them take a little bit of paint and start dabbing their salt trails with different colors. Remind them not to smear the paint on, or the salt won't move. You can also explain the science of how the water will tread over the salt. The children can mix colors by putting the paint near each other, and they will naturally come together.
2. Construction paper flag
In this activity children will demonstrate counting, fine motor and pattern skills as they create their own construction paper flag. The US flag is one of the main symbols for the country. There are many questions that children can have surrounding the flag. Some of these questions can include:
"Why does the flag look the way it does?"
"Why do we have a flag?"
"What does the flag mean?"
As you work on this activity, you can use this time to tackle some of these questions.
Things you will need:
-Red, White, Blue construction paper
Start off by choosing a red sheet of construction paper for your base. Have the children cut six strips of white paper. They can use a ruler to make straight lines, then use the first strip as a guide to make the rest. Next, have them draw a square on blue construction paper and cut that out as well. Glue the blue square in the top left corner of the red sheet of paper. After they are finished gluing their blue piece, have them arrange their white strips of paper so that there are seven red strips and six white in a pattern going down. Glue the white strips on, and then it's time for the stars. For the fifty stars, the children can decide how they will want to make them. You can suggest drawing, cutting out tiny stars on papers, or using glitter and glue like we have in our examples. Afterwards, their flags will be complete.
3. "The five W's of the 4th" - (Who, What, When, Where, and Why)
This is an activity for older children, designed to inform and educate them on all of the history surrounding the fourth of July. In this activity, you can start by writing down the "five W's" as we call them. This includes Who, What, When , Where, and Why. Near each W phrase, you can list questions about the holiday and have the children use the links to look up information to answer those questions. You can even make it a game of who can find the answer the quickest.
4. "Getting to 50"
This is a great math activity, that utilizes counting and multiplication skills. In this activity, children will make a game of who can get to the number 50 first, by counting and collecting household items. This can include things such as markers, cups, pens, and any other object they can think of. This activity is a great way to transition to our last activity, which is learning all about the 50 states.
5. USA state map and 13 colonies
For this last activity, children will learn and identify the 50 states, and 13 colonies that make up the United States of America. You can start by printing out simple maps of the United states, and the 13 colonies, such as the ones we've included down below. As the children go over each state, have them color them in with a different color of their choice. This activity can help them in learning all of the states, and as a bonus the history surrounding our first colonies.