Independence Day, or July 4th, is not just a time for parades and barbeques, but a great opportunity to teach your kids what the holiday is all about, beyond the fact that it’s our country’s birthday. We have five ways to teach kids about Independence Day in fun, relevant ways perfect for gearing up for the patriotic day.
5 Ideas for Teaching Kids About Independence Day
- What Does Freedom Mean? For young kids, the best way to teach about freedom is to relate it to their world. What if they couldn’t eat the foods they wanted? Or go to the park to play if they felt like it? Bring in characters they may be familiar with, like Cinderella, and talk about how her freedom was taken from her. Talk about what freedoms your children are thankful for, even if it’s silly things such as their stuffed animals or toys. Explain how our country didn’t always operate with the freedoms we currently enjoy.
- American Symbols. For grade-school kids, Independence Day is a great time to explore the meaning of symbols. Ask kids to think about what symbols they feel represents their country, and talk about what those symbols mean. Have them create artwork to decorate the home for July 4th. Ideas include the American Flag, Bald Eagle, White House, Mount Rushmore and Liberty Bell. For help getting started, check out these free National Symbols Worksheets and Printables.
- Historical Landmarks. Look up a list of all the historic landmarks in your state. This summer, choose one place to visit and learn about. If you can’t visit, go online! Explore photos and videos of some of our nation’s most important places. Encourage your kids to do their own research, take their own photos and/or create a journal of writing/drawings about what they learn.
- Online Resources. If you’re having trouble explaining the story of our country, don’t be afraid to use videos to help tell the story! Some kids need that extra visual. They’ll enjoy the Liberty Kids: First Fourth of July and Schoolhouse Rock: Fourth of July stories. Be sure to encourage questions and discussions after viewing, and tie these in to your current day life.
- The Importance of Voting. If you are throwing a party for July 4th, bring a fun lesson into the party planning. Have your kids create ballots and have a few family and friends vote on what to eat at the party. Talk about campaigns, why voting is important and how it helps shape our country.
We hope your family enjoys these lessons and activities!