Teaching Your Kids About the Fourth of July
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The Fourth of July is both a day off to spend with friends and family, and a time to celebrate America’s independence. Teach your child the meaning behind Independence Day and celebrate our freedom and patriotism with these five fun activities!
Why do we celebrate Independence Day?
Independence Day is the time we celebrate America’s independence from British rule. The official vote for independence took place on July 2nd 1776, but the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4th—which is why we celebrate on this day each year. With this declaration, the Continental Congress announced that the thirteen American colonies were now independence from Great Britain.
What is the Declaration of Independence?
A five-man committee was appointed to draft and present a document of independence to the Congress: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston. Thomas Jefferson was appointed to lead in writing the declaration. This document summarized the colonists’ motivations for seeking freedom. Here is a famous line from the Declaration of Independence that you may have heard before: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.”
Ways to Celebrate Independence Day
- Read the Declaration of Independence and discuss what it means. You can also act it out by dressing in costume!
- Discuss why we celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks! Even before the Declaration of Independence, John Adams envisioned the American people celebrating with fireworks, games and bonfires. After, make your own fireworks using a paper plate, paint, and a paint brush. Dip your paint brush into several different colors of paint, and splatter paint onto the plate in circular patterns. This Fourth of July activity for kids is best done outside—and wear clothes you don’t mind getting messy!
- Teach your kids how to sing the national anthem or engage in a rousing round of patriotic songs—like “Yankee Doodle Dandee” or “God Bless America.” This is a great Fourth of July activity to do as a family around a campfire, on the road, or in the backyard with a plate of barbeque.
- Take a road trip to a historical landmark and learn more about America’s history. Along the way, your child can learn about all fifty U.S. states with a personalized road trip book!
- Attend a Fourth of July parade and bring American flags you can proudly wave! A parade is a fun and visual way to teach kids about celebrating freedom, and awakens their sense of patriotism.