Most children think of Independence Day as a day to light off fireworks, swim in the pool, and eat a hot dog or two. And while these things are fun, there of course is more to this special day than just that. Take a look below at 7 ways to teach children about Independence Day, so you can be sure they absorb the true meaning of this American holiday. It is easier than you may think.
7 Ways to Teach Children About Independence Day
1. Read the Declaration of Independence.
You can use this day to teach your child about the Declaration of Independence. You can talk about what the words mean and why it was written. Here is a transcript of the Declaration of Independence. You can download a high resolution copy of the Declaration of Independence for your kids. Explore the Declaration of Independence, so it will have a deeper meaning to your child.
2. Share your thoughts on freedom.
It is not always easy for children to understand what freedom means. Help them to know that they get to enjoy things that children in other countries do not. Talk about what freedom means, and how to protect that freedom. Have them share what it is they love about living in the USA.
3. Attend a local parade.
Veterans tend to march in many of the 4th of July parades. Visit a local parade with your family and be sure to point out the veterans marching. Explain to children how we are honoring them in the parade since they served our country. You can even be sure to stand and clap as they walk by.
4. Enjoy some patriotic songs.
Many patriotic songs were written during the war and can be fun for children to learn. There is always the National Anthem you can try, or even fun selections such as Yankee Doodle. Look up various songs on the internet or youtube and have fun!
5. Talk about the Flag.
Today is a great day to talk about the flag and how it symbolizes our freedom. Explain what the stars and stripes stand for, and don’t forget to explain proper flag care. Showing respect for the flag can be encouraged at a young age, so start now.
6. Visit local history museums.
Take a trip to a local history museum to see what you can find. They may have artifacts relating to the early years of our country and the people who crafted it. History museums are so fun to explore, so visit yours and see what you can learn.
7. Visit a local cemetery.
This may seem a little dark at first, but visiting a cemetery to honor the graves of fallen soldiers is quite important. Take a moment to look at the graves and show your child the ones marked as having served in the war. You can help identify the various symbols and even put flags or flowers on the graves of the fallen.
Independence Day is a great time to educate your child on the freedom we enjoy in this country and how it came to be. Give these tips a try and enjoy a 4th of July you will always remember. If your kids want to learn more, check out some books at the library or download a Kindle book like History for Kids: The Fourth of July for Kids.