When I was a young child, I don’t think I fully appreciated the Fourth of July. It was just another holiday with yummy food and cool fireworks. Part of the reason that the significance was lost on me was that I didn’t know any better; living in a country like the United States was all I’d ever known, and I couldn’t comprehend any other reality.
As I got older, I learned about the American Revolution, the Constitution, and what made our government different from those of other countries in my history classes and through my parents. Even movies gave me a greater understanding of how important and special the Fourth of July is (The Patriot, anyone?).
It took me awhile to celebrate the Fourth of July with a full appreciation of all it represents; but your kids can have a meaningful holiday this year. Make sure this Fourth of July is a truly special and patriotic one with some of these ideas:
Have a conversation with your kids about the history that surrounds the Fourth of July. Ask them what they know (they may have already learned a few things in school) and then fill in the blanks and answer their questions. Tell them the story of Paul Revere and the Midnight Ride or read some of the Declaration of Independence with them.
Print out coloring sheets of the American Flag or the Liberty Bell and create a fun activity that can also be educational. While your kids color, talk about what it is they are coloring. You can explain why there are fifty stars and thirteen stripes. You could also do any of these 4th of July crafts.
I wasn’t kidding when I said that The Patriot helped me understand the American Revolution and how monumental it was in history. That is a great movie to watch if you think your kids are old enough. Some other great movies include 1776 and National Treasure.
Who doesn’t love to belt out some good old patriotic tunes. Take a break from the eighth rendition of “Let It Go” and sing “Yankee Doodle Dandy” or “You’re a Grand Old Flag”. Print out the lyrics ahead of time so that you have them handy.
Bake some scrumptious red, white, and blue goodies that everyone will enjoy. There are some great recipes out there like the one for these Stars and Stripes Cookies or these easy to make Rice Krispy Treat Sparklers. You can also make some snacks on the healthier side like some patriotic Cookie Cutter Fruit Salad or Tutti Frutti Popcorn.
Wherever you go and whatever you do, throw in some good patriotic celebrating. Make this Fourth of July the best one yet by giving your kids the gift of knowledge. Help them understand the America that our forefathers fought for so that one day they can keep that America alive.
In a letter to his wife, John Adams wrote what he thought the Fourth of July would mean to future generations: “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more."
So go celebrate the way John Adams would want you to and remember what it took for us to be here.
Source of quote: https://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.6632/pub_detail.asp