July 4th Games, Activities & Crafts for Kidsby A. Elizabeth Freeman
Welcome summertime and celebrate the United States' independence by spending some quality time with your children on the Fourth of July! Whether you travel out of town for July 4th or stay nearby, you will want to plan several activities and games to keep the children occupied throughout the holiday weekend.
Get the children to help you decorate for Independence Day. Help smaller children draw and cut out red, white, and blue construction paper stars. Punch a hole in one point of each star. Then string them onto a piece of thread or yarn, and hang them up on the wall or along the top edge of a picnic table. You can also cut the center from a large paper plate and glue the paper stars around the outside circumference of the plate to make a quick wreath.
Independence Day Wearables
Keep the sun out of little eyes by helping the children make July 4th themed hats and visors. Purchase inexpensive plastic visors or solid color baseball caps. Paint an American flag on the hat with puffy fabric paint or cut out foam shapes and glue them to the plastic visor. You can also decorate solid color T-shirts with fabric paint and have each child wear their T-shirt on July 4th. The more adventurous child may want to wear a silly red, white, and blue tulle wig. Help the child make the wig by tying strips of tulle around a strip of elastic.
If the weather's not too hot or rainy, take the children outdoors for some fun, Fourth of July-themed games. You can play classic American games, such as Capture the Flag or whiffle ball, or you can introduce new games to the mix. If there are many children, put small American flags in two buckets and divide the children into two even teams. Have each team line up for a relay. Have each player march across the field, pick up a flag from the bucket and march back. The team that picks up all their flags and finishes marching first wins.
Don't despair if it rains on July 4th. Plan some indoor activities just in case you can't take the children outdoors. Indoor activities are a great way to teach children about the history and geography of the United States. Print out several blank maps of the country. Give one map to each child and have him or her fill in the state names. Whoever gets the most state names in the correct spot wins. You can also play an Independence Game Trivia quiz. The person who gets the most questions right wins.
July 4th Cooking
Hot dogs, s'mores, and cherry pie are all popular Independence Day foods. As the sun sets and the fireworks start, help the children assemble s'mores. If you do not feel comfortable roasting the marshmallows over an open bonfire, you can heat them in the microwave. Before the holiday, help children bake tri-colored cupcakes or an angel food cake. Decorate the cakes with blueberries and strawberries for a festive look. If you bake a big sheet cake, you can use the berries to make it look like an American flag.
- fourth of july corn dogs image by LadyInBlack from Fotolia.com