Independence Day is an important day that should be celebrated by Americans every year.
Marking the time our country broke free from the burdensome yoke of Britain is a joyous time where pride in this great nation is expressed.
While fireworks are typically a mainstay for the Fourth of July, they are not the only way to get involved in the holiday.
Whether you have small children or veterans in the family who are startled by the loud noise and bright lights of fireworks, or you just were never really that into them, we have some fun options to get patriotic apart from the grand finale.
Make Your Own Parade
Get the bikes, wagons, and instruments out, and get decorating with red, white, and blue ribbon.
Enlist the children in the neighborhood, and hold your own parade. Sing patriotic tunes, while teaching them to march in line behind the bike procession.
If you plan ahead you can pass out flyers to the neighbors so they can stand on the side of the street and watch your little guys and gals show their love for this country.
Summertime offers outdoor fun and sunshine, and there is no better way to celebrate all we have than to get together in a backyard barbecue.
Have the kids help in the setup to get them excited about the day’s events. They can even present a line or two each to the guests about the importance of Independence Day and how it came to be.
Red, white, and blue food sets the mood, so try strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream, or American flag sugar cookies.
Fourth of July Themed Games
Kids love games, and setting some up will give the kids fun memories to associate with the joyous holiday.
Outdoor games are essential, so try a relay race with a wand that can represent a pen racing to sign the Declaration of Independence.
A red, white, and blue water balloon fight will cool everyone down in the hot July sun, and you can play where two teams mark each side of the Revolutionary War.
Try Patriotic Baking
Everybody enjoys a quality baked good, so make some red, white, and blue treats for your party, neighbors, or just the family.
Some great options are banana bread with strawberries, blueberries, and white icing; or sugar cookies as eagle heads and flags.
Be sure to get the kids involved. Use that quality time together while mixing and baking to discuss all that becoming an independent nation gave us.
There are tons of fun crafts focusing on the Fourth of July, and all it’s red, white, and blue glory.
Making foam paint in the classic holiday colors is easy, and you can take the kids outside to the pavement to compete in a “best holiday depiction” contest.
Setting out coloring pages that depict different key events associated with the Fourth of July while you tell the story is an educational way to spend a craft day.
Get Familiar with the Declaration of Independence
The original parchment of the Declaration of Independence resides in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
If you can’t make it there to see the real thing, print a copy of it out to hand to the kids while you go over who signed it, their importance, and what it meant for this country.
Have the kids imagine what this nation might be like if the Declaration of Independence never came about to give them perspective on the freedoms we hold dear.
Make a Patriotic Wreath
Creating a colorful wreath for all to admire on your front door will remind everyone who passes to get ready to show their patriotism.
Care.com featured a beautiful homemade wreath from crafty Instagram user ceationsbyjimmysdaughter that is festive and fun to make.
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Watch a Patriotic Show
As a parent, we learn pretty quick that kids pick up what’s on TV quickly. Use that to your advantage and watch a show that explains what the Fourth of July is about.
Care.com suggests the educational TV series “Liberty Kids”, about the American Revolution, to get them interested in the holiday.
You can do a whole family movie night with red, white and blue popcorn, and watch the movie “Ben and Me” or “Johnny Tremain.”
Get to Know the Characters of the Revolution
Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Paine helped to bring awareness of the need for the colonies to become independent, and Richard Henry Lee got the wheels of independence moving with the first motion in Congress to break off from Britain.
These men and many more had their hands in forming the country we have today, and they deserve to be remembered.
Have each of the kids pick their favorite character involved in the formation of Independence Day and act out their pivotal roles while the family guesses who they are performing.
Learn About the American Flag
The American Flag is more than a piece of cloth, and has been the show of pride, strength, and history of the United States.
When thinking of the Fourth of July, the flag is probably the first thing you think of, and there is a reason why.
Talk about when the flag was established in 1777, giving the newly independent colonies something to represent their new home and freedoms.
Your children can look at the Fourth of July with new meaning when they have a chance to know what it’s all about, and get involved in the celebration.
No child is too young or old to find a fun tradition they like to do on the holiday, and you can be the catalyst to bring that joy.
Kids are sponges, and tend to mimic our attitude toward events. No matter your opinion on politics at the moment, it is important to show your respect for this country and all it has given you.
(h/t Mommy Underground)