Independence Day is often referred to as simply the Fourth of July. With the excitement of fireworks, barbecues and July 4th parties, the true meaning of the July 4th is sometimes forgotten. It is important to teach kids about Independence Day and that it is the celebration of a very significant event in history. The story of America is still being written, and our children are essential to preserving our history and writing the next chapters.
Happy 237th Birthday, America!
Education expert Claire Haas with Kiddie Academy (www.kiddieacademy.com) offers the following tips to teach kids about Independence Day. This year, teach your kids a little about U.S. history while celebrating Independence Day!
5 Ways To Teach Kids About Independence Day
Even the youngest children understand the concept of a birthday. Explain that this July 4th will be America’s 237th birthday. Bake a cake together, decorate it in patriotic red, white and blue, and sing Happy Birthday. Create birthday cards as part of your holiday decorations to teach kids about Independence Day.
Read Sections Of The Declaration of Independence
Read sections of the Declaration of Independence together, and explain that it’s the reason we celebrate America on this date. You can find the text at the U.S. archives. Talk about the courage it took for the men who signed the document to break away from England and establish a new nation.
Discuss American Symbols
Become a U.S. detective — talk about American symbols and their history. For example, research together why the bald eagle, Liberty Bell and Statue of Liberty are so important to our nation.
Sing Patriotic Songs
Learn a variety of patriotic songs, and sing them together with your child. America the Beautiful, The Star Spangled Banner and Yankee Doodle Dandy never go out of style! For extra learning, investigate the history and meaning of each song.
Salute the American Flag
Salute the flag. The stars and stripes we fly today has changed a great deal over the years. Explore the history of the flag, its design and creation. The Smithsonian, which preserved and houses the original flag that flew over Ft. McHenry, has a terrific Star Spangled Banner educational site.
For more educational tips and ideas, including a roundup of family-focused Fourth of July activities, visit the Family Essentials blog at: http://www.kafamilyessentials.