Independence Day means a lot of different things to people. For some children, it is a day of swimming, barbecues, and fireworks. Others may have a deeper meaning if they are newer to the United States. No matter how it is celebrated, it is important to embrace the holiday and talk to all students about the true meaning of the holiday. Always begin by chatting with students to see how they do things on the Fourth of July. Send messages to families to see if they have unique ways to mark the day and include this in your sessions.
One of the easiest ways to introduce Independence Day, and share the reason for the holiday, is to read a story about it. There are many options available for children of all ages. Some examples to look for include:
- The Fourth of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh
- Hats Off for the Fourth of July by Harriet Ziefert
- Happy 4th of July Jenny Sweeney by Leslie Kimmelman
- On Independence Day by Judy Zocchi
- The Journey of the one and only Declaration of Independence by Judith St. George
- What is the 4th of July? by Elaine Landau
- F is for Flag by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
- Henry’s Fourth of July by Holly Keller
Take time to compare what each child has done for Independence Day and things they learned from the story. Other books are also available with patriotic songs. These would be perfect for practicing speech and language goals. Many will also have hand movements that go along with them to work on fine motor skills. In addition to this, you may want to have kids act out some scenes from the stories. Let them practice skipping, jumping, or acting like fireworks. All of these will be perfect for gross motor activities.
Next, take some time to create something fun and patriotic. Allow students to make their own red, white, and blue windsock. This craft has children work on sequencing, modeling, repeating instructions, fine motor with cutting, and more. Supplies needed for the windsock include card stock, construction paper, ribbon or streamers, glue sticks, hole punch, and other decorations you desire. Several project tutorial examples include:
- Parents – Firecracker Flags
- Lia Griffith – Handmade Windsocks
- Preschool Alphabet – Red, White & Blue Windsock
- Danielle’s Place – Fourth of July Cup Windsock Craft for Kids
Each windsock will be different, so take them out for a parade. Play a game of windsock Simon Says, allowing each child to take a turn leading the group. The windsocks can go to the left, right, up, down, twirl around, and more. When they are finished, send them home for everyone to share during their own Independence Day festivities.
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