Children who may not have families originally from the United States may be unfamiliar with our traditions for Independence Day. This is also a nice time to discuss how so many people came to our country for different reasons. Talk with families ahead of time to see what they do for the Fourth of July. Do they have a picnic, visit with friends and family, or head to a fireworks display at the end of the day?
Patriotic and Proud
While some older children may be familiar with what the holiday is about, others may be unaware of the history behind it. Books are the perfect way to expand their knowledge and encourage conversational skills at the same time. Several picture books on Independence Day include:
- A is for America – by Devin Scillian
- Happy 4th of July, Jenny Sweeney – by Leslie Kimmelman
- Sweet Land of Liberty – by Callista Gingrich
- Fourth of July Mice! – by Bethany Roberts
- O, Say Can You See? – by Sheila Keenan
- In 1776 – by Jean Marzollo
- The Night Before the Fourth of July – by Nataasha Wing
- The 4th of July Story – by Alice Dalgliesh
- The Story of America’s Birthday – by Patricia A. Pingry
- Hats Off for the Fourth of July – by Harriet Ziefert
Take book walks through the story to see what kids may recognize ahead of time. While reading, take time to chat about the story. What have kids done with their families or would they like to do? Encourage use of new vocabulary and complete sentences.
Red, White, and Blue Kites
Kids will love making red, white, and blue mini kites to decorate for this summer holiday. To make the mini kites, you will need patriotic paper, holiday ribbons/sparkles/glitter, red and/or blue straws, twine, ruler, scissors, and glue. Make some stencils ahead of time for kids to use for their kite shapes. Allow everyone to make several different kites using different paper combinations together. When they are done, the straws are glued onto the kites. Brit + Co has a great picture tutorial to guide you through this project and simplify it for kids.
Have everyone talk through their planning and color schemes. When finished, have a parade celebrating Independence Day together and sing some songs for the holiday. Be sure to send the kite creations home with the kids to decorate.
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