A List Maker's Life: Fourth of July Traditions & Activities for Young Children

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fourth of July Traditions & Activities for Young Children

This week's picnic table talk on ABC & 123: A Learning Cooperative is dedicated to the 4th of July. They have asked what we do to celebrate the holiday, teach freedom, encourage independence, and honor our country.

To join the picnic I would love to share our family's 4th of July tradition & a few craft ideas to celebrate all things red, white, and blue.

I have spent a significant amount of time researching & developing family traditions. What makes a great tradition? Here are some criteria: includes everyone, promotes conversation, brings on excitement & wonder, easy to repeat, connects us with others, builds our family's identity, and teaches a lesson or important value.

In looking for an idea for the kids for the 4th, we wanted something that wasn't committed to a certain group of people or a certain place, as often our summer vacation plans take us to different locations in July. So, our tradition needed to travel & travel it does!

The kids and I put together a patriotic suitcase filled with red, white, and blue decorations: raffia, streamers, curling ribbon, pinwheels, flags, star cut outs,and more. We also packed sevearal small noise makers into the box. On our grocery trip the week before the big day each of the kids gets to choose a bag full of wrapped candies for throwing to our spectators.

On the 4th we will round up any kids, and adults, who love a parade. All they need is a smile and a mode of transportation. We decorate their "ride" using the goodies in our kit, divvy up the candy in traveling bags, pass out the instruments, and have ourselves a mini parade!

I love that we can include anyone in our tradition, it's easy to prepare, and it's lots of noisy fun!

These pictures are from last year at Grandma's cottage. This year's parade will be in the campground. We're looking forward to it.

We will also be taking these great patriotic craft bags with us on our camping trip. These 3 activities were put together by several of the clever mamas who participated in the last toddler swap I hosted:

Patriotic Windsocks

Red, White & Blue Visors

Stars & Stripes Beaded Bracelets

This was a quick & easy project. Cut 7 pipe cleaners in 1/2. Dip each end first in glue, then in glitter. Let dry. Pile 6 strands together. Tie together with the seventh strand. Fold out the pieces to make a wild firework. If you want to hand these add a piece of fish line or clear floss. (Makes 2)
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  1. Those look like fun projects!

  2. Have patriotic spirit and travel! Great ideas for celebrating on the go!

  3. Having a parade is the cutest idea! How fun!

  4. These are all great ideas! I think I should a trip to Holland tomorrow to get my swaps so we'll have great activities to do on the 4th. :) Love the parade idea! Happy 4th of July friends!

  5. Love the parade and love the craft ideas!

  6. This is such a special and unique tradition. Your kids are going to think you rock when they are grown:-), and have so many fond memories of this!

    I love all the craft ideas included as well--this is truly special.

  7. You have fantastic traditions - your kids are so lucky to grow in such a fun and generous family. Happy 4th of July to you and your family.


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