The 4th of July is the most important holiday in the United States because it represents our freedom and birth as a nation. Because of this, it is imperative that we teach our kids about how the day came to pass and the sacrifices that were made. There are many ways to do this annually and almost all of them are great fun for us as adults as well. Below are some activities to enjoy on 4th of July with your kids to help them understand this vital holiday:
4th of July Activities for Kids
Take a museum tour – Most cities will have a museum that commemorates our freedom, at least in part. These places often have makeshift items to teach about the Declaration of Independence, early flags, Civil War items and various other period pieces. There is nothing quite like seeing the real thing, and sometimes seeing a real musket or item from the day is enough to help them understand the importance of the 4th. Make sure you stress the freedom that we were fighting for.
Have them write their own Declaration – This is a fun activity that can truly help them understand the difficulties that the original writers faced. Have them create a situation similar to the one America faced. Use your neighborhood as a sample and create a make believe Great Britain and United States. Let them learn about the Declaration by aping the original. Help them read and understand the document in a basic way to help hammer home the details.
Here is a great reference to help you deliver the information so kids can understand.
Play dress up and create costumes – Dressing up in the outfits of the day and reciting important speeches can also help them to learn about the 4th of July and why it is so important. Few things are more exciting than putting on a play for everyone. Have them learn the parts and give a play for the adults. Kids really take things like this seriously and can learn a great deal.
Attend the fireworks – When we were kids, the fireworks were a big deal not only because of the beauty, but because of the special ice cream beforehand. Take the kids to eat ice cream before the fireworks and teach them our story of freedom. You can tailor the story to be age appropriate, but be sure to explain the fight for freedom and the reasons we lived and died for it.
Have them create a parade – Decorate their bikes, wagons and big wheels and let them throw a mini-parade in the neighborhood. This is always a good time and you might be surprised at the quality that they provide. Give them some notice to prepare and let it be a big community event for the kids in the neighborhood.
All of these items are dependent upon one message – our struggle for freedom and the sacrifices that were made. It is a patriotic holiday that should be celebrated by all Americans, children included.