Hip, Hip, Hooray! It’s Independence Day!

by Judy Mullican

Brightly colorful fireworks  in the night skyPicnics, parades, fireworks, and more are all part of the fun when we celebrate Independence Day on July 4! This holiday commemorates the approval of the Declaration of Independence, which officially proclaimed our nation as an independent country.  In explaining the holiday to young children, we often speak of it as the birthday of the United States. In honor of this occasion, here are a few ways to celebrate:

Holiday Pennants

Invite the children to cut pennant shapes from red, white, and blue construction paper. Offer patriotic stickers, white chalk, paint, markers, or other supplies. Encourage each child to decorate one or more pennants. Attach the short ends of the pennants to a cord or length of yarn and display along the ceiling to create a festive display.

Fireworks Art

Spread out a large piece of dark blue or black bulletin board paper on the ground outside or tape it to a fence. Locate some small trigger-spray bottles, and fill them with washable red, white, and blue paint. Test to see if they spray easily. If not, add water a few drops at a time until they will spray. Invite the children to use the bottles to spray paint on the paper to create colorful fireworks.

Red, White, and Blue Cookies

Bake or purchase star-shaped sugar cookies. The children can spread vanilla frosting on them. Offer miniature marshmallows, blueberries, and diced strawberries. The children can arrange the berries and marshmallows on the frosting to create one-of-a-kind designs. You may want to take pictures of their creations before they eat.

Red, White, and Blue Tossing Game

Make balls from old white socks. Stuff the toes with fabric scraps or other old socks. Twist the top and fold the opening back over the stuffed portion to make a ball. If you like, stitch down the top. Wrap chip cans or similar containers with red and blue paper and decorate with star stickers. Stand up the cans and toss the sock balls at them. See how many fall down and how many are standing.

Read Books

To build anticipation, read books like these in the days leading up to the holiday.

  • Red, White, and Boom! by Lee Wardlaw
  • The Night Before the Fourth of July by Natasha Wing
  • Apple Pie, Fourth of July by Janet S. Wong
  • Hat’s Off for the Fourth of July by Harriet Ziefert

Sing and Clapindependence day-singing

Celebrate the holiday with a patriotic sing-along! You can sing “Yankee Doodle,” “America the Beautiful,” and other familiar patriotic songs. Here’s a new one the children may also enjoy.

It’s Independence Day (Sung to “Old MacDonald”)

Now it’s time to celebrate!

It’s Independence Day.

We know the USA is great!

It’s Independence Day.

So we clap our hands,

And we give a cheer!

Give a cheer, give a cheer!

Everybody give a cheer!

Now it’s time to celebrate!

It’s Independence Day.

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